i recently started the notion of becoming a better singer\songwriter than i have attempted in the past. this is not an easy task due to my difficulty in hearing lyrics clearly. i can hear the notes, the melodies and phrasing, but the words in those phrases are often just glazed over. in the past few years i have gotten better at this but it takes me a long time to hear what the singer is actually singing. so when i decided to write lyrics, i noticed that despite my well listened and musically competent developed skills, i have no ear for poetic lyrical writing.
so i decided to step it up a notch. i have been scribbling lyrics and phrases i hear, or that come to mind for about 2 years now and though they often get lost in the shuffle, i feel this practice has helped hone my craft a bit. they seem awfully pretentious and obvious…bordering on cliche. but its part of putting in your dues i suppose.
i also have been learning many of my favourite songs…pop songs, folk songs, rock etc… this is with the idea that by imitating their lyrical and melodic phrasings…all while i attempt to sing and play at the same time, this will do nothing but help my own efforts when they arise. in the same ways i studied the past jazz masters’ compositions, improvisational phrases and motifs, their melodies and harmonies…i am attempting to do the same in the language of rock and pop music instead.
i already have 1000s of recordings by most of my favourite artists, but now i am trying to learn and steal and imitate artists like bob dylan, the beach boys, neil young, the beatles, wilco, beck, radiohead, death cab for cutie, coldplay, ryan adams, decemberists, interpol, fiona apple, jon brion, etc etc. its a notable task…but something that i hope to pay off w\ a solid sense of pop song construction. the experiment rolls on…