How George Harrison Inspired a Cool Songwriting Experiment
Last week I had an idea. I had just recorded my version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps and read how George Harrison came up with such an interesting title.
I hadn't written a song in a while and I honestly didn't feel like starting a new one. Yet, a crazy idea started circulating in my brain.
What if I could take George Harrison, John Lennon, and David Bowie's experiments with cut-up techniques and other weird songwriting approaches to the next level?
What if I could randomize the whole songwriting process?
After all, when you lack inspiration and the heat wave prevents you from working hard on your craft, it's time to find an alternative solution!
In the video down here, you can see how I came up with a sort of system to randomly pick (almost) all the decisions any songwriter needs to make whenever working on a new song.
The first step was to choose a key for my tune. To do that, I simply wrote down all the possible keys on some pieces of paper, then I bindly picked one, which happened to be C. To decide whether it was C major or C minor, I used a dice.
I used a dice to make other decisions too. How many chords do I need in the verse? How many in the chorus? Should I add a middle eight? Shall I compose this using my piano or my guitar?
I used a dice even to pick the meter for my song, getting 3/4.
The most interesting part of this experiment was using a modified version of the classic cut-up technique to write the lyrics. I sticked to some words taken from Patti Smith's Just Kids and Seneca's On The Shortness Of Life. Both books offered quite a lot of great material to work with, however I realized how tricky it is to find a sense to verses built this way!
What do you think of this experiment? Was it a fun video to watch? Let me know in the comments!
To listen to the final result, help me reach 150 YouTube subscribers. When I reach that goal, I am going to share a video with the completed song! Subscribe here. Thank you!