Monday, January 16, 2012

Get ready for FAWM: Do a dry run

Suppose you've gotten all of your tools together and prepared your space for the FAWM songwriting challenge. How do you know if you're really ready for February 1? You do a dry run.

A dry run means that you send the plane up in the air and drop an empty bombshell on a sample target. You run through all the scene changes and lighting cues, start to finish, in an empty theater. In songwriting, a dry run means that you go through all the motions of songwriting and create a little sample song.

Your sample song doesn't have to be any good, and it can be very short. For example, you could write one 8-bar verse and a 4-bar chorus, just a little fragment of a song. The point isn't the song itself, it's proving that you can go through all of the steps of picking an idea, writing lyrics, writing a melody, writing chords, and, if recording is part of your process, recording the completed song.

(This song can't count towards your FAWM total, so don't use one of your best ideas. Use a throwaway idea.)

Along the way, everything works. You don't freeze up when you have to pick a rhyme. Your musical instrument works, there's ink in the pen, the recording software capture audio correctly. If something needs a little troubleshooting, it's better that you're doing it now, when the official clock isn't ticking.

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