As I’ve been turning towards music more in the last couple of years I’ve been experiencing increased success with songwriting (“Increased success” can best be understood as writing better songs with less effort.) I’d been writing songs for many years, but I finally began to consider making an album when the songs I was writing felt “right.” What does that mean exactly?
Well worn wide awake music: a composition of lived in melodies
At the time I didn’t know what had changed about my writing, but I knew it wasn’t about the lyrical message, at least not fundamentally, and also that a complete song was not necessary in its best or final form when completed, just that it was honest in its current form--it felt true to me--like it was an authentic extension of myself, rooted at a subconscious level. The new songs I was writing felt complete with just a voice and an acoustic guitar, and I knew that if a song felt right with everything else stripped away, then I had something. At that point the addition of elements became a choice, not a necessity: layering in other instruments wasn’t done to hide what was wrong with a song, but to accentuate what was right with it. The addition of elements to a finished song is much like plugging an electric guitar into an amplifier: you can have the best amp in the world, but if you plug a bad guitar into it the problems only get louder. A song has to be right before you start “scaling” it, or it won’t stand up under the weight of the additional elements.
Search thinker singer songwriter, exploring the idea of well worn wide awake music
I sometimes refer to myself as a search thinker singer songwriter, you know, for branding purposes, and it’s basically true. As such I’ve thought at length on the “rightness” of songs; why do certain tunes feel authentic while others do not? Once I’d released an album and began spending more time around other writers (as opposed to by myself in the basement) it wasn’t long before I started getting asked the classic songwriting question: do you begin with music or lyrics? The question was vexing for me, truly, because it felt like a trap. There was no correct answer. It was like I was being given a multiple choice test on which my answer was not listed, and none of the above was not a choice.
For a while anyway, this blog will be focused on songwriting, specifically: The process of understanding and writing authentic songs, as I’ve experienced it.
To watch the accompanying YouTube video for this blog follow this link.
Americana Singer Songwriter Ed Dupas’ lived-in melodies unwind with reflective lyrics that speak to the current state of the human condition. Soothing where possible, agitating where necessary, and calling for change where appropriate. Ed Dupas creates and shares well worn wide awake music.
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