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Natural flow vs working with it


Boydog

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as songwriters I feel sure we all have those times that a song just seemingly comes together with little or no effort whereas other times we have to struggle and work at it to get it. As far the quality of the song, do you feel having it "flow" makes it better or is working at it and picking out the parts to get it "just" right?

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I have some decent songs that were a struggle, that I had to fight for every shred of what passed for inspiration on, that had to be assembled bit by bit, often with substandard parts swapped out and better parts jiggered in... but... yeah... often the songs that just flow (as though channeled from 'somwhere else') tend to mostly fit together and typically have better, more satisfying images and wordplay. Success may be 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration... but I'm not sure that ratio holds for genius.* ;)

 

 

* And, by genius, I don't mean super-smartness but, rather, more the Latinate root, a tutelary deity... the muses... flow.

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There is nothing better for me than when a tune just comes together almost by itself.

 

There is a lot to be said for grinding on things to get them just right and I do that at times. But sometimes it just happens by itself.

 

For instance......I just tracked the finished version of the thing I was working on today. For some reason everything just flowed like a dream. Raw tracks sounded great, very little volume automation, not a lot of plugins....it was like I was inhabited by somebody way better than me.

 

Don't know if it sounds any better but it sure felt good.:cool:

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There is nothing better for me than when a tune just comes together almost by itself.


There is a lot to be said for grinding on things to get them just right and I do that at times. But sometimes it just happens by itself.


For instance......I just tracked the finished version of the thing I was working on today. For some reason everything just flowed like a dream. Raw tracks sounded great, very little volume automation, not a lot of plugins....it was like I was inhabited by somebody way better than me.


Don't know if it sounds any better but it sure felt good.
:cool:

I have definitely found that, for me, the tracks that seemed somewhat 'inspired' or even 'channeled' tend to hold up best, as a rule.

 

 

(Since I've often somewhat casually mentioned muses and channeling and similar notions, maybe it's best if I say that I'm using those as models -- loose theoretical constructs of convenience that hopefully provide a useful handle for dealing with complex and not entirely charted or understood phenomena. So, when you hear me talk matter-of-factly about the muses, it's parallel to the personification of predictable weather patterns, the North Wind, Father Winter, and so on. A model... a handle that helps us quickly and facilely perform conceptual manipulation of a complex set of phenomena, the complete nature of which we may not fully grasp.)

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I "work with it" so I can find a "natural flow" more often.

 

It's the way it works for me. If I waited for a bolt from the blue... I'd still be checking the weather reports. But working with it, though not always providing direct outcome, tends to inspire those moments of inspiration. Like being ready for an opportunity. You try to drum up some action and it fails. Then magic happens when you weren't looking, cause you were ready. Cause of all the silly "working with it".

 

Frustrating? Yes. Useless? Of course not.

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I "work with it" so I can find a "natural flow" more often.


It's the way it works for me. If I waited for a bolt from the blue... I'd still be checking the weather reports. But working with it, though not always providing
direct
outcome, tends to
inspire
those moments of inspiration. Like being ready for an opportunity. You try to drum up some action and it fails. Then magic happens when you weren't looking, cause you were ready. Cause of all the silly "working with it".


Frustrating? Yes. Useless? Of course not.

 

 

more yes

 

I find grinding some tunes out, even when you know they will be thrown out later, gets your brain working in the right (or should I say write) way. Sometimes those crap tunes can even be be transformed into something inspired later.... that is if the inspiration comes.

 

The best answer to any songwriting question is almost always to write more songs

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yes and




more yes


I find grinding some tunes out, even when you know they will be thrown out later, gets your brain working in the right (or should I say write) way. Sometimes those crap tunes can even be be transformed into something inspired later.... that is if the inspiration comes.


The best answer to any songwriting question is almost always to write more songs

 

 

This is pretty much the norm for me as well, usually if I grind away at something that isn't working it will usually come back as another inspiration that works then again there's nothing like having that natural flow where it all comes together with little or no effort

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If I were working towards a definite end, like having a story to flesh out while working within a definite song structure there'd be a lot of awkward grinding with equally unfulfilling results. But I wing it, and contrary to the sentiments of another poster in the "Stop Worrying about Deep Things" thread it is not easy. Every next move is a total leap of faith. Every passage, every note, every syllable is like jumping off a cliff into the darkness. You end up where you end up and go from there.

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