So you want to write a tune, or learn a tune, or remember a tune, or enhance a tune? 

The creation of a tune is what I would like to finally address, as it happens to be one of my favorite topics.  I’ll begin with the first question that has to do with the creative process as well as the subconscious thoughts that can derail the effort before it even gets off the ground.

Probably the first thing to do is to strike one string.  There.  You have your first song!  My point is that not knowing where to start is exactly the first hurdle to overcome.  Another obstacle is actually having in mind, “Hey, I think I’ll write a tune!”  My best material has usually surfaced when I’ve offered myself up to the guitar Gods, just mindlessly playing around – almost fidgeting on the guitar and accepting that absolutely nothing is happening. 

When I seem to drift into a somewhat  unconscious state, a little riff or sequence of notes, a rhythmic quality, or even an unintended movement of some kind almost wakes me up like an alarm clock.  That return of my senses warns me that, “Hey, you’ve got a nibble!”

At that point, the craft for me tends to enter a different phase where I DO wake up, pay attention, and get to work attempting to find an extension of my little riff, a variation, a rhythmic feel, a call and response approach, a harmony part…but never getting away from that theme of the potential for a tune.  There’s nothing like giving life to a new musical nugget!

Originally posted 2009-11-05 01:05:06.