Songwriting From The Audience’s Point Of View

I was remembering the old days when I was in a serious rock band, before marriage, kids and a fulltime job. It was serious to us at the time at least. We were young and dedicated. It was common for our rehearsals to last 7 or 8 hours, with the typical pizza break half way through of course. There was something so fluid about the songwriting process at that time for me. When I had a song idea, I would simply ask my drummer, rhythm guitarist and bassist to play what I heard in my head. We would write the song then and there on the spot. As each idea for the song popped up in my head, the band was right there to immediately play it and let me hear it in real time. I could make the changes on the fly and hone each song in on what I wanted. Songwriting was a pretty easy thing for me when I had ability to hear what was in my head become reality so quickly.

Fast forward 9 years and things aren’t quite as easy for me. After the events of the typical day, I find myself sitting at my workstation scratching my head, pondering where I should take the song next. Every song is different. Every song has a unique way of coming into existence, however with every song I usually sit back in my chair and do one thing that helps me focus and be a little more creative.

When I get an idea in my head and begin to put everything together into one cohesive song, I like to picture the song being played live in front of a large crowd. I actually imagine myself in the audience and try to hear it in my head coming out of the speakers. I imagine the wall of sound, the energy, the emotions I feel. This always seems to help me produce a song that’s less predictable. If I feel bored, or find myself(in the audience remember) predicting where the song goes, I try to change it up and surprise the audience. Remember, if your own song bores you, there’s a good chance it will bore most people. Take that as a warning and go a different direction. Give this a try next time you feel stuck or bored with an arrangement.

Have a great week people! Cheers!