Friday, September 11, 2009

Knowing it all and still not knowing anything

I'm a know-it-all by style, and I know it. I know it's sometimes irritating when I talk too long and don't give other knowledgeable people a chance to speak up. It's sometimes embarrassing when I get the facts wrong, when someone points out my mistake, and I have to apologize and admit that I was just plain wrong. And it's sometimes even dangerous when I overconfidently set out to do something without first double-checking the safety instructions.

On this blog, what's the risk? This is all "try it and see if it helps" advice, so at worst I may give some advice that isn't helpful. I simply don't have the time to double-check everything, so I'm just charging blindly ahead in know-it-all style.

But I know that I don't actually know everything about songwriting. And the reason I know that is that I'm constantly stumbling across new things that I didn't know before.

And as much as I think I have the tools and techniques of songwriting under control, I find myself constantly awed by what other songwriters come up with. "How did they do that? Where did that come from? How do they come up with this stuff? Why didn't I think of that??"

There are some songwriting feats that can't be imitated. All you can do is stare in awe. Like, for example, "Bob" by "Weird Al" Yankovic. On the surface, it's an effective imitation of Bob Dylan's songwriting, singing, and production, which is impressive enough. But then the song has three more layers of clever. Here's the YouTube video.

On Fridays, I write about my own songwriting efforts and personal opinions.

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