Wednesday, February 24, 2010

3♠ The lyrics notebook

3♠ Three of Spades in The Rock Songwriter’s Deck: 52 Ways to Write a Song

The Three of Spades doesn't see the need for clever tricks or inspiration games. If it's time to write a song, sit down with your musical instrument, and flip through your lyrics notebook. Find some lyrics that are at least halfway there, then finish the verses, clean up any weak spots, and start composing the music.

Don't have a lyrics notebook? Then the Three of Spades insists that you go out this week, buy a notebook, and start writing lyrics in it!

It's part of the songwriting lifestyle to carry around a notebook and scribble lyrics and ideas in it whenever life inspires you.

To be the perfect picture of a songwriter at work, you have to sit in a coffeeshop or on a bus or train, intently jotting down possible rhymes while the world carries on around you. But it's also fine to sit quietly at home on the occasional evening, dreaming up new lyrics.

Write in pen in a hard-cover book for boldness, or use pencil and a spiral-bound notebook if you want to keep your options open. Or use your iPhone or BlackBerry if you must; it lacks the poetic mystique of pen and paper, but on the positive side, people will assume you're diligently working on stuff for your Very Important Day Job.

If you work in your lyrics notebook even occasionally, you'll end up with ten times more lyrics than you'll ever use, but that's okay. Whenever you're ready to write a song, you won't have to wonder where to start. You'll just whip out your notebook and start flipping through it.

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