So far so good. I was exploring chords and songwriting, finding out what made pretty sounds. I was having a fun time stringing chords together to make progressions and putting music to words that my brain thought of. I found it was quite therapeutic. Now I find it very therapeutic. As I have mentioned I tend to write when things are not going too well. The side effect of this is composing actually makes me worse! I find I wallow in it, to drain every last drip of whatever it is so I can make the most of it.
Music is a powerful force and can help people through difficult times. It also helps create lasting memories. I have quite often found I want to have the backing music that you hear in films to help me through dilemmas and problems. It’s not all depressing though. Music can really lift my mood and though I find it a struggle sometimes to listen to a happy track, I find that it does help.
So continuing the story of my musical journey, I started to really get into songwriting. It’s funny looking back at my old lyrics and seeing all the cliches that get trotted out. However some things I think remain constant in all of us. For me, one of the constants as far as my songwriting is concerned is I can only write when I am unhappy.
I can write songs under any mood, but it seems the ones that grab me, the ones that make the hair stand up on my palms are the ones that reflect some kind of emotional turmoil. Usually about a woman. Even now, I go through sporadic phrases of productivity when I am feeling melancholy, or worse. I am not entirely sure why. To a certain extent I understand that it is my subconcious dealing with issues, I just seem to be pre-programmed to create my finest when I am a dribbling wreck.
Looking back over my lyrics over the years that’s my main constant. From relationship break-ups to women that float through my life that I seem to fall for. Ah yes the un-requited love. What fun that is! I still have my first book of lyrics that I wrote whilst I was under the magical spell of teenage hormones and misplaced affection for a girl at school.
She occupied my every waking, and sleeping moment (more or less). Little did she know how much she would impact on me finding out that I am somewhat a slightly more sensitive chap than the usual. Though much water has passed under that bridge, I am still aware of thought processes that can trace their roots back to how that relationship panned out.
We all have a mojo of some sort. What’s yours?
Have you ever wanted to work in the music industry but thought it’s all about who-you-know rather than what-you-know? Well UK Music Jobs can help you! It’s an online jobs database for the music industry which is constantly updated. You can register yourself as an individual or your band, upload pictures and do a banner ad. It’s a vital tool in the online promotion of your own music and your professional services.
They also have a message board so you can interact with other members of the site and build important networking contacts to help further your career. I’m sure many of us dream of that incredible signing of a recording contract, but how about becoming a Presenter for a radio station? Or an Outdoor Arts Producer?
It’s all there ready for you to discover. Sign up (it’s free!), build your profile, get networking and go for some jobs! People may even come to you!
I was starting to love the guitar. My Dad said he would buy me and electric if I started off on an acoustic. Which is supposedly the “right” way. Being a rebel without a clue I said “nahhhhh…” and jumped right in with the electric.
So there I was, a scrawny 14 year old, playing out fantasies of being a rock god in my cupboard of a bedroom. Playing along to my sisters copy of Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet (on tape!)..rewinding to go over that solo again and again. I remember the joy of hitting the right note at the same time as Richie Sambora..clearly I was a natural. Forget the fact that I had trouble finding all the other notes in the solo… Not having any song books with tablature I learnt to play by ear. A fragemented approach but extremely rewarding. I don’t have perfect pitch (which I have heard..excuse the pun..is more of a curse than a blessing) but I can nail pretty much any note or melody down thanks to those years of..”here..nope..here..no ahh.. here it is!”
Still, I persevered. Getting accustomed to power chords was a life changing moment. BAHLAANNGG!!! Lovely stuff. I lacked a whammy bar on my Encore sadly, and it would be a few years before I would experience the joy of dive-bombs and gargle notes a la Vai. I remember the action on the Encore was frightening (don’t blame the tools..) which made string-skipping an Olympic event.
My early musical influences were certainly more melodic than technical. Though at the time Richie Sambora sounded like a guitar god (and he is under-rated I think), his style isn’t overly technical. Coupled with listening to Mark Knopfler (who I will defend to the death as one of the most tasteful guitarists) my ears were bending towards melody and taste rather than outright technical ability.
All of this started to make me think about writing my own songs. I still have somewhere my very first attempt at writing a song using the aforementioned power chords. As my very first attempt it was..poor. I may well upload it here (shall I? It is bad…) after I have sorted some sort of copyright, though who would want to steal the glorious lyrics that make up “Sharper Than a Knife” I do not know..
So some bright spark said to me about blogging about my music as I am a little more active now than..ever. This will eventually have pictures, videos and songs to download if anyone wished..