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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Best Way to Write a New Song?

SongWriter

SongWriter (Photo credit: jorik de beer)

This article is very much a “personal wandering & pondering” blog entry. It’ll probably be full of stream of consciousness stuff. Still, I hope it’s going to be helpful for other people, too. So, here I go:

Writing a new song is almost always a miracle. The core of it sometimes comes from “nowhere”, unless it is a carbon copy of a stupid hit song you just heard on the radio. And it’s all yours. (Here’s a philosophical question: do songs really belong to anyone? But that’s a different story…)

What makes the song-writing challenging is that there is no universally perfect way to write a song. Some people start with the lyrics, some people like to write together with other people, some people prefer writing songs alone at night in the moonlight, or the candlelight.

The Kinks' "You Really Got Me" guita...

The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” guitar riff. About this sound Play ( help · info ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Starting to write a new song is easy if you have inspiration. The moments of inspiration come and go and they are very unpredictable. So, you cannot always wait for it to come. Just pick your guitar, your keyboard or whatever instrument you prefer when writing a song. Choose a chord or a short melody that comes to your mind. Or a guitar riff. Or just pick a scale and try improvising with it (for instance, pentatonic scale is quite interesting).

Don’t get mad if nothing interesting pops up. Sometimes you can try anything for days and still: nothing. And then, a perfect idea can come into view and suddenly you’ve got a brand new perspective to the new song. What’s interesting is that you can have an interesting and fascinating idea even if you are not inspired. Yeah, well, this is more than obvious but it’s the reason you can and should try composing a song any-time you want to. Or even when you don’t want to.

Songwriters Circle

Songwriters Circle (Photo credit: AndyRobertsPhotos)

But naturally, one riff or melody or chord isn’t enough. The next thing is having at least one or two more ideas and starting to think about the song structure. (Let’s just assume we don’t care about the genre of the song, it’s just whatever comes naturally…) A very short song? An epic song? I think the answer is: whatever you feel like. Sometimes the thirty-two-bar form is nice, sometimes trying to do something new is very fruitful.

Let’s just say you’ve written a three-minute song with a melody. Then, what should the lyrics be like? Should the song tell a story? Or describe a feeling or a moment? (Or, in some cases: should the song just be an instrumental?)

This year, I’ve been fascinated about the idea of writing very personal lyrics. (Then again, I’m also keen on writing interesting stories that have nothing to do with my life.) How personal can you get without sounding too cheesy and not being embarrassed about the lyrics? Moreover, can you write an imaginative story that would still feel very personal to you? I suppose you can but it’s very difficult.

English: Music and lyrics of the song "Go...

English: Music and lyrics of the song “Good Morning to All”, the basis for the allegedly copyrighted song “”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, I suppose I’ll write at least a couple of personal songs by the end of this summer. I don’t know about the genre yet, though. Something related to prog rock, maybe.. Something different, that is. And very personal lyrics, I wonder what that would be like. Something revealing, something I feel.

Choosing the language is also a difficult question. For those who speak English as their mother tongue, the choice is very easy. But for a Finn, it’s harder. It is very easy to write a song full of clichés when writing in English. In Finnish, the lyrics inevitably become much more personal because the mother tongue is always the “language of your heart and emotions”. This is why writing in English is so much safer.

So yeah, there’s a lot to think. But perhaps the best way to do this is not to think at all? “Just do it”, as the slogan goes. Yep. That’s how I’ll do it. Interesting.

 

 
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Posted by on 31.7.2013 in In English, Music

 

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End of July, New Project…

creativity

creativity (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

It’s the end of July and as always, the summer is almost gone. They always pass us by so quickly. Even though it’s not very zen, letting summer go is kind of frustrating. This is basically because for most Finns, summer is the best season. Well, sometimes it is too hot and there is too much light, but for the most part, it is better than winter that is usually cold and dark.

It’s actually worrying about the end of summer because I’ve only had the first half of my summer holiday. The second part will start in about 2½ weeks. I really don’t want to be someone who worries about the past and the future and that’s why forgets to live in the here-and-now. I’ve been like that practically all my life and I’m starting to get rid of it.

English: Signed Painting of a Girl Reading A B...

English: Signed Painting of a Girl Reading A Book by Emma Eilers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But in the end, no matter how “zen” I get, there is one question that puzzles me. Is it true that the older you get, the harder the relationships become? When I was young, they were easy. “Boy meets girl, boy likes girl and girl likes boy, boy and girl fall in love” and so on… There was no doubt, hesitation, emotional locks or other things like that. Could it be that I’ve changed so much during the years? And I am the only man ever to think about things this silly as this? Well, f**k it, I don’t care :D.

So much for the stupid complaining. Damn, I’m a grown man, you know. Today is the first day of my new two-part project. By “two-part” I mean it has daily tasks as well as weekly tasks. The daily tasks are simple: physical exercise (jogging etc.) for 20 minutes + meditation for 20 minutes every day. The weekly tasks are probably going to be a bit more complicated: writing a short story, reading a book or writing a new song every week. Or perhaps something else that is creative and “constructive”, so to say.

Creativity intention plate

Creativity intention plate (Photo credit: Pilisa)

Why this project? Many reasons, many reasons. First, I want to expand my creativity and imagination. Playing in a band (and writing songs for it) for twenty years is quite safe, even though Eternal Tears of Sorrow has always been an experimenting band in a way. We’ve always wanted to try new things. Still, doing something new and creative every week could be very refreshing.

Also, I want more routines in my life. I’m not a fan of routines but they could make my life a bit easier. It could give me the space to concentrate on more important things.

But tonight, I’ll keep planning this new project. I need a list of books I’m going to read during the next, say twelve months. Actually, I don’t know how long this project should last. Twelve months sounds ok, though.

So, I’ll write how the project starts. Well, I hope but you never know. I’ll try my best, I know that. Now: the sauna, some meditation and planning. Sounds like a plan! Or more like: sounds like planning a plan!

 
 

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On my way home…


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Posted by on 24.7.2013 in Instagram

 

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Everything Is a Matter of Perception.

Thought Bubbles

Thought Bubbles (Photo credit: Michael Taggart Photography)

This summer has been weird. Weird in a good way, I think. Once again, it’s been a matter of “what do I want?” and “how do i get it?” and more often than usually “how do I feel?” During the two years I’ve been single, those questions have been hard for me. Sometimes even too hard, so I’ve tried to forget them and tried to live on. But well, there’s no way you can escape questions that important. Eventually, they will come back to you and you will have to deal with them.

One of the most important tools of introspection for me this year has been zen, or zazen, the meditation practice of zen. It’s not anything special. You sit down for twenty, thirty minutes, stare at the wall and well, listen to how stupid thoughts you actually have. Then again, there are no stupid thoughts, they are just thoughts. (But if thoughts could be stupid, this would be one of the most stupid ones ever.. :D)

What I’ve found out about me so far is 1) I still love music and it’s an integral part of my life, 2) the other parts of my life ain’t so bad either, 3) I like being single and living alone, 4) but it’d also be nice to find someone, 5) but I’m in no hurry and 6) does anyone really give a sh*t about these sorts of list, anyway?

For the rest of this evening, I’ll try to live in the moment. I’ll try not to think about yesterday or tomorrow. All that matters is this moment.

 
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Posted by on 22.7.2013 in In English, Life

 

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Family reunion. These ones probably aren’t related to ne. #boars


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Posted by on 20.7.2013 in Instagram

 

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Summer’s Here!

English: Main stage area of Ilosaarirock (2007...

English: Main stage area of Ilosaarirock (2007) festival site in Joensuu, Finland. Suomi: Ilosaarirockin (2007) päälava, Joensuu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been quite a while since the last “real” post. So, as you might have found out, I tried to make the blog more active by connecting my Instagram to this blog. So far so good.

Why the silence? Well, actually nothing special has happened in my quiet little world. Basically, it’s been work and music and then work again. Utterely boring. (I could go on and on and use thousands of words trying to describe how boring my life has been, but that would probably be totally pointless.

But this month, the life has turned out to be slightly more interesting. EToS has played the first gig since July 2011! It is weird how good playing a live show feels after a long, long break. And as a summer festival, Ilosaarirock is one of the best in Finland, if not the best. Almost 30 000 people every day and everything went really well. And I met a lot of interesting people, including the members of Pelican, a band whom I’ve been listening to for a year or so. And a lot of other people, too. Which was nice.

Anyway, I’m on my first half of my summer holiday and I like it. Unfortunately, this half ends by the end of this week. But then again, I’ll have two more weeks in a month. So, I’m thinking of starting of planning of doing something during the second half of my holiday. Or at least considering of thinking … And so on. The point is that I rarely plan my holidays, and even more rarely when I’m being single. But this time, it could be fun to have at least a vague holiday plan. Let’s see what happens.

What about music? Well, later. And good night :).

 

 
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Posted by on 16.7.2013 in In English, Life, Music

 

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Pelican. Pretty damn good. #Ilosaarirock


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Posted by on 13.7.2013 in Instagram

 

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