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Thread: how do you start writing?

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    Usually I'll play a sequence of notes, or a couple of chord fragments mixed with single notes that will sound interesting. That's usually a set up for me to fail though. I end up writing "guitarcentric" instrumentals that don't have a lot of melody. The instrumental tunes that I like best are driven by melody and are accented by guitar specific things. My general rule is "if I can't hum it, it won't work." As a result I have a lot of discarded "starts" in my GuitarPro folders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolCat View Post
    like Ginger Baker said Sunshine of your love...was straight & boring until he changed the rythm to something else (and he got no credit as a songwriter but the manager did?)
    The manager didn't get a songwriting credit. It's credited to Jack, Eric Clapton {he added a major shift} and Pete Brown who wrote the lyrics. The manager, Robert Stigwood, might have got the publishing though. Some of them were tricky that way in the days before the artist realized that the money was in the publishing.

    Quote Originally Posted by CoolCat View Post
    supposedly the engineer said he came up with the unique drum beat idea too...which is odd because the engineer wasnt the drummer or even in the band...
    It's not unusual. On Pink Floyd's "Remember a day" the producer Norman Smith came up with the drum part and even played it because Nick Mason couldn't. On the Stones' "You can't always get what you want" the producer Jimmy Miller plays the drums because Charlie Watts just couldn't get the part. There are lots of examples of producers, engineers, even friends, suggesting musical parts that become iconic. Anita Pallenberg suggested the "woo woo" backing vocal that is an integral part of the Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" for example.

    Quote Originally Posted by CoolCat View Post
    Jack Bruce got paid-he wrote the boring version without the drum change.
    It may have been the boring version {according to the master of cantankerous bitterness, Ginger Baker} but the song existed before that drum part became part of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by CoolCat View Post
    but songs can take on a whole new direction on later tracking, imo.
    Wholeheartedly agree. In fact, it's usually in the tracking that the song comes alive and really assumes its shape. Comparing the Bowie demo of "Quicksand" with the studio take is like comparing a photo of someone when they've just come out of the bath as opposed to when they're dressed in all their finery and made up.

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