My Writing Process.

I thought I’d offer up some more insights into my writing process.

I recently blogged about how Fingerstyle Guitar Shapes My Songwriting Process and a number of you seemed to really enjoy the post, so I thought I’d delve a little deeper into my writing process and also share the progress with future posts as the song grows (this piece is really in its infancy, so this is a grassroots look at a song being born)

Skeet Williams Guitarist

99% of the Songs I Write Start Out As Fingerstyle Pieces.

As i mentioned in my previous blog post, virtually all of the songs I write start out as instrumental guitar pieces. I don’t mean just chord progressions here, I mean melody, rhythm and chord progression combined. Because I’ve had some formal Classical training, this is a natural way for me to play my guitar, so I hardly ever write songs from a chord progression alone. That’s just not my writing process.
I’m lucky that my ‘day job’ is as a Guitar Teacher, so I have a guitar in my hands for hours a day. With some of my more advanced students we often use alternate tunings for solo guitar pieces. Alternate tunings are a great way of breaking out of cycles we often find ourselves repeating when we are writing songs. I will blog about some of my go to tunings at some point in the future, so be sure to join our mailing list for updates.

I’ve been noodling around this new piece for the last few days and it’s completely earwormed me. It won’t leave me alone, it’s like it’s begging to be written. I sometimes find this period frustrating. Some songs I’ve written in 30 – 60 minutes, top to bottom. Any other songwriters will tell you that the songs that come quickly are always good songs. It’s like they are a gift from some devine creative being and our job is simply to write it down and offer it to the world. This song however, is not one of those gifts. It’s making me graft at bringing it to life and that is what can be frustrating.
When I say it won’t leave me alone, I mean that I wake up with it in my head, I spend every single quiet moment with it in my head and it’s the last thing in my head as I fall to sleep. Rinse / repeat. Once it’s written, it leaves me be. This can sometimes drag on for weeks and gradually it seems to take over my life.

This is where I’m up to so far.

I have the chord progression, the melody and some alternate vocal melodies. I also have some key phrases, rhythmic meter etc. The video below is just the solo guitar version.

Thanks for reading this, I hope you enjoy watching this song grow. Please leave a comment if you enjoyed this post.

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