Tips for Consistent Songwriting

6056213346_9729bbb4ff_nI just saw two articles talking about songwriting, and I thought they had some really good tips.

The two articles are:

Some of the tips that I liked include:

  • Write to a prompt. Choose a one word prompt, and write a song around that prompt.
  • Finish the song. Even if it’s bad. Apparently some people use a content creation calendar, set goals (i.e., write a chorus today), and stick to it. Wow.
  • Write the skeleton first, then fill in the blanks.
  • Write for a predetermined amount of time. Set a timer, say for 1 hour, and write.
  • Write something every day – even if it’s just a title, or a few possible lines of a verse.

I’ve been … meaning to get back to songwriting … (translation: procrastinating) and reading these two articles really gave me a bit of a kick in the pants. I finished one song this year – I wonder if I can finish writing and recording two more?

We will see!

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Posted in Song writing

New Song – If I Stay!

I have a new song up on Soundcloud called If I Stay. Please take a listen, favorite it, share it, etc!

This song is sorta special to me. Why? Because I took a very different approach to writing it, and it worked.

What did I do different this time? I just … sat down and wrote the song. Took me 45 minutes or so. From start to finish. With no ideas about lyrics, chords, or melody lines at all. And I was successful – weird!

Why did I do it that way? I got the idea from Joe Gilder over at Home Studio Corner. I’ve been enjoying his YouTube content lately. He has a couple of videos where he writes a song from scratch (one of them is embedded below) and shows his process:

Cool huh? So I thought – I think I’ll try that (without making a video of my process). And what the heck – it worked!

This was a very new writing process for me. I usually wait until I have some words, or a hook, or a riff, or something, and the song is nagging at me to “write it already.” Then I end up doing a bit of editing, to make all the different ideas match up. It’s a bit tedious, but it’s worked for me over the years.

But this time? I just sat down with my guitar and my iPad, and started writing. And a song came out. Sweet! Is it my best song ever? Beats me. It does happen to be my first acceptable love song, so there’s that.

It’s also the best mix I’ve done to date. Watching all these YouTubers is slowly paying off that way. I’m picking up some good recording and mixing tips.

So anyway – my point?

  • Listen to my song and share it if you like it. Share it if you hate it, for that matter 🙂
  • Change up your writing process, if you haven’t in awhile. Try something new and different. It just might work.
  • Take some time to find people who are already sharing stuff – on YouTube, in a blog, etc. Watch read, listen, and learn.

Thanks for reading!

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Recording my Drums

I recently recorded my drums, and like how the recording came out.

Well – at least how the drums sound! Watch the video, crank up the volume, and enjoy the awesome tone of my drums.

I know I did!

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Posted in Drums, Recording, Uncategorized

Emotional Responses in Worship

8546820219_e42f639c67_nI love Carlos Whittaker’s short blog post about feelingsWe were definitely created to FEEL.

As a worship leader, sometimes talking about “feelings” can get really weird and almost scary-sounding, right?

Because – as a worship leader – you don’t want to be accused of “manipulating an emotional response.” That’s like the worship leader’s kiss of death.

But is it, really?

Because here’s the deal. God created us to feel. Feel and react to things. Things like an awesome song, a great dinner, or an amazing sunset. A beautiful work of art can give us chills. If you like sports, a touchdown can bring you shouting to your feet.

Our emotions are “turned on” by those things. Because that’s how God made us. It’s how we respond and react.

I think God put those emotions in us – those types of responses and reactions – as a sort of  “hook.” Sorta like in coding. WordPress has a bunch of hooks that do things – hooks make something easier, allow you to access something, etc. It’s a hook made by the coder to get stuff done.

I think God did that same thing with our feelings and emotions. So in worship, sometimes we suddenly get caught up in the moment. We react to God’s presence. We react to what we are feeling. And that’s ok – it’s a good thing. God hard-coded that response into us.

It’s a hook put there by the Creator that points us back to Him.

So let’s take that a bit further. ALL those similar feelings we get … those emotional responses we have during a moving worship song … OR when looking at a sunset. OR that same feeling you get during a cool rock concert, or while experiencing art. Those are also hooks – triggers – that point back to God.

So. How about when you are a worship leader, and you notice that hook, and “go with the flow” so to speak? Are you manipulating worship? No, I don’t think so. You are basically pointing out the hook, and letting us know it’s there.

Anything wrong with that? I don’t think so.

Recognizing God’s hook in worship has really changed how I think about congregational responses to worship. Like when people clap after a song. At those times, “God happened.” And people are responding to it.

Pretty freaking awesome, if you ask me!

image by Peter Konnecke

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Posted in Leading Worship, Worship

Writing a Song – Melody and Chords

Next in my series of “Writing a Song” videos. In this video, I create a melody line and figure out chords for my song. Not a ton of instruction or suggestions here – it’s a video of my process.

So watch as I create a song from my lyrics and a rough idea of where I want to go with the song.

What do you think? Is this how you create a melody line and figure out chords to your songs? Leave a comment and let me know what works for you!

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Posted in Song writing
David Lee King

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