Songwriting again, and again.

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I did it again.

I have been fighting with a song for about a year now, went through endless versions none of which actually worked and was about to quit on it yesterday. If a song doesn’t work after a day I usually let it go, because some do after 10 minutes, and i’d rather write five songs a month and chose the best two than waste my time on just one.

So yesterday I threw away four sessions of vocals, three sessions of acoustic guitars, the bass, actually the whole arrangement, and started from scratch. Again.

Usually you record, then you mix, edit some stuff and that’s it. During the mixing and editing I often find parts, chords, words that could have been done better, but you cannot, because you are already mixing it. I have worked on this song for so long now that I know the exact phrasing of every single note, and so I started again and had the guitars, bass and vocals rerecorded in two hours, all of them a lot better than their predecessors.

Dissecting and rearranging again and again can be a sign that you don’t know where to go with a song. Usually that is just a waste of time. But this final time was not because I knew exactly what I wanted.

There is another benefit of not letting go: In my frustration over this one song that just wouldn’t work I wrote TWO new songs in less than two hours each, one last tuesday and the other one monday night. I think they are the best songs I’ve ever written. Both will be on the EP, which hereby extends to 6 songs. One more week to finish them, the other four are pretty much done.

Love,

J

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