Imagine capturing your ideas and bringing them to life…regardless of how corny that sounds it is exactly what happened to me over the first 6 months of 2013…and all it took was that one small guitar riff.
Flashback 13 years:
Fifteen years old.
There I was, sitting in my room, and all of a sudden a guitar lick popped into my head. What I did next changed my life. I pressed the red ‘record’ button.
I felt like an architect. Granted, I was building a shanty, but it was my shanty. It was a little out of tune and out of time, but the foundation was there, and so it stood upright nonetheless.
It’s about a foundation.
It’s different for everyone. Some people write the lyrics first. Some the music. And some start with a beat.
I start with a guitar riff.
I say it’s about foundation, but the thing is, the foundation of a home or building is always the very bottom that everything sits atop. The guitar riff, however, is different. It’s a starting point for me, but it’s not necessarily the beginning of the final draft of the song, nor is it the end, the chorus, the verse. It’s simply the seed. It’s the spark.
I play it, and then I riff on the riff, saving what I like and discarding what doesn’t work. I let myself feel, knowing full well that sometimes I feel things that are hard to understand, don’t make sense, and therefore shouldn’t end up in the final draft of the song. And sometimes I don’t know how I truly feel until I let it all out without thinking.
We’re all the same in that regard. And if you think you know perfectly how you feel and that everything comes out beautifully the first time, think again.
It’s why I love music, and its how the act of expressing myself through music begins.
Second Star To The Right is, to you and most people, another album with music on it. To me, it’s my masterpiece. Each song began as a short guitar riff, and ended as my dream come true.
From the first low E I struck on my Gibson Les Paul Studio in my bedroom 13 years ago, I knew it was possible to create something that, to me, was profound, sonically spectacular, satisfying, positive.
Something that I could be proud of.
I am sharing this with you, not to gloat about how happy and proud I am of the album, but to remind you that this feeling is yours to create for yourself. If you love music (or any art for that matter), stay positive, love your life, and express those feelings with the utmost confidence, with your music (your art) as the vehicle.
Whatever the seed may be, embrace that initial spark that causes you to want to
continue creating, that initial feeling that you must capture the things inside your heart and mind and build on them before they vanish. Record it on a tape recorder (remember those), on your computer, write it down on a piece of paper—whatever your process is—do it, and don’t look back.
I hope this post was interesting to read. I’d love to know more about your processes for creating art. Leave a comment below.
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