Writing Lryics: Accept the ideas that hit you!

Since diving into music making I’ve also become a bigger music fan. This could be indicated by the correlation between the decrease of netflix movies and increase of musician/producer interviews watched on my computer. (trying to keep my math skills fresh here!)

I enjoy watching interviews of my favorite artists explaining their creative processes behind songs and albums and I wanted to write a ‘Top 5 List’ type of blog entry to summarize the key writing methods I’ve observed or practiced.

The thing is, my list of 5 kind of ended up at something around 20! Can you really sum up such a dynamic and creative process in only 5 key points? I concluded that each lyric writing technique deserved to be its own entry 🙂 So here is the first tip:

Accept the ideas that hit you!

My husband will sometimes jump out of bed when we’re falling asleep, grab his guitar and the i-touch I got him for Christmas, and fumble around the room in the dark exclaiming “I’ve gotta record this idea before I forget it!” I used to laugh at him when this happened, but now that I’m working on music, I find myself doing the same thing…

Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat Pray Love, explores this phenomenon in her 2009 TED talk, ‘Your Elusive Creative Genius.’ Is it some kind of genius that strikes us with noteworthy ideas when we are least expecting them? Well not exactly genius the way we define it today, but more like an ancient version of the word. Gilbert explains how the ancient Romans identified a genius as a divine spirit that mysteriously provided artists with rich content and inspiration. Instead of the artist embodying the genius, something that Gilbert believes puts unnecessary pressure on artists today, the Romans envisioned a separation of the artist and the mysterious creative spirit.

For anyone interested in watching Gilbert’s talk, here is a link:

Now I had watched this talk for the first time about a year ago, and one thing I took from it was to be prepared.  Be prepared for your ideas to hit you at anytime! Be it pen and paper, or cool trendy smart phone, grab them and record them when they strike! Capture them before they vanish back into the mysterious world they came from, whether its a genius spirit or the intricacies of your subconscious 🙂

So what the heck is my blog about?!

In the most simple explanation, the purpose of my blog is to share the fun musical endeavors of The Rungs, an electronic indie pop band formed by my husband (Diwas) and me (Mandy). Let me give you a bite-size version of the back story:

My husband and I spent our first year together in a long-distance relationship while I completed college. He was a dedicated guitar player in a local rock band in upstate New York and I was studying plant science at the University of Delaware.  I was never quite fond of my college town (no offense Delaware!) and as soon as I graduated I loaded up my car and headed to New York to live with my ever so compatible dude 🙂

Now being a Florida native, in the very beginning of my first upstate New York winter I discovered I needed a serious indoor hobby. Something that could keep me busy while sitting next to the heater in thick warm socks from December to March…those long winter months!

With Diwas in and out of the house on band tours and practices, I took advantage of the rotating population of guitars in our living room. ‘Okay guitars, its you and me, lets do this!’ Diwas taught me basic scales and chord progressions, bought me a metronome and downloaded Reaper, a nice user-friendly recording software to my computer. At this point my little musically unexperienced brain was just like, ‘Wwwowww!!!&!#@$@!!!!!’ I thought that playing music at home was just the best thing ever and I pushed through my 9-to-5 plant-bio-lab-tech job with the thought in the back of my head, “I can’t wait to get home and plant myself in the living room with a guitar!!!” I spent evenings recording layers of guitar on top of each other (You can only imagine how awkward the first recordings sounded), somehow became obsessed with the White Stripes,  and for reasons I will explain in a future blog post I started singing.

About a year after this newfound hobby (or should I say lifestyle?), Diwas organized a Birthday Bash for me at a local venue. We played a few songs together and it was a blast of a bash! We got such a great response from friends that we continued to play together around town. Eventually we needed a name, and being the clever devil he is, Diwas dubbed us The Rungs.

Oh what a fateful night that Birthday Bash was! …as you can see in the dark fuzzy cell phone image provided by my sister… How long we’ve come since then!

at delilah's

Fast forward to today: I’m boiling over with excitement about music and I needed a place to log and share this overflow of musical energy! I must admit I was a little hesitant at the thought of starting a blog, not really knowing what to write about or how to organize my pages. For the past few weeks I’ve been dipping my toes in and slowly swishing around the WordPress waters.  Already I’ve had a chance to visit some really cool blogs by very creative people! I’m discovering new music that others are sharing,  found some other great bloggers to follow, annnd I have more ideas about what pages to add. So blah blah blah enough about me and Thank You WordPress! I’m ready to get blogging 🙂