Thursday, December 06, 2007

The beginnings of a new song

I was doodling around with the microphones and guitar tonight, as in, about 30 minutes before I started writing this post, and wrote this song (warning - 5 megabyte mp3 download), which I will call, for the moment, "Bloody Hands". Raw. Especially the lyrics, where I knew the general idea of where I was going but not exactly what I was going to sing until I sang it, other than the chorus and first two lines which predates it by at least a year. So I'll need to go back and write down the real lyrics now that I have the bones laid down, I know what they should be (basically fix the clear glitches in the current ones) now that I have the bones.

The doodling at the beginning is me trying to back in to how the song should feel. The tune for the chorus is derived from one I heard on a Mexican radio station one day -- I don't understand what they're singing, but the passion comes through, and that was an especially bloody day in Iraq and I was feeling especially depressed about the state of things. Post-production consists of selecting "Male RnB Vocals" for the vocals and "New Nashville" for the guitar off of the GarageBand side menu, with a slight tweak to the compression on the vocals (the guitar was fine, my guitar playing is pretty even insofar as dynamics go and the "New Nashville" has a fair amount of compression to begin with). Unfortunately, while the mix sounded good when I previewed through the phones, when GarageBand mixed it down to mp3 it applied its own compression on top of all of this and as a resuilt there was a couple of places where the guitar ended up coming up a slight bit too high in the mixdown. Fuggetabout it, this is just a scribble anyhow, I'll worry about it when I record for real.

So anyhow, now you know *one* way I write songs... i.e., bang around ideas in my head until one day I grab the guitar, turn on the Lexicon, and start playing and singing until something is down, then fix/polish/finish. Of course, with all these days at the office and nights managing folks in That Big Country Overseas, I don't get to do that as often as necessary for all the ideas banging around in my head :-(.

Tune and Lyrics copyright 2007 E.L. Green All Rights Reserved yada yada.


  1. good stuff. i've heard some much crappier demo mixes, hell, i've even made a couple (like when i dropped a sony mic inside the martin for the guitar track).

  2. Thank you for the kind words. Like I said, I wasn't much concerned with the mix because the song was not finished yet, I'd certainly have gotten rid of the noodling at the beginning and figured out what's causing that friggin' hiss (I shouldn't *have* any hiss in my setup, it's all digital all the way to the ADC's and preamps at the XLR's to the mikes). Which I need to do tonight (figure out the hiss issue, that is)...

    Mostly I just thought people might be interested in the processes behind writing a song, though frankly I don't understand them well myself since it seems so many things happen over such a long time then suddenly come together. Maybe I'll go further and put up a "demo-quality" version once I get the lyrics down. (Shrug). Or maybe not. Life's just too friggin' busy for me right now. Which, I suppose, is better than the alternative... but it reminds me of that old Chinese curse, y'know?

  3. Good point. We are all like Lady MacBeth now.

    Even those of us who try hard to get it stopped. It's in our name.

    I wish more Americans would realize that.

    Then I watch the evening news and know why they don't think of it.

  4. I always say that if you're going to steal, steal from the classics.


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