Writing and Composing

When I write a song it almost always changes after I think it’s finished because I learn a lot by performing it, what words are not quite right, what phrases can be compacted, what words can be left out, and so on. If I compare the way I perform a song to the written version in my notebook I almost always find it has been smoothing out and improving.

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  1. Jimmy
    Posted January 30, 2010 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    I think a lot of people find this to be true, but you have to start with a good song to end up with a slightly better one. What you are describing could also be thought of as starting to perform a song before it’s really finished..

  2. Jimmy
    Posted January 30, 2010 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    Sure, but it could also be seen as the same process that gives some traditional ballads a kind of finished perfection. I think that the ballad process begins with performance and never really ends if the song continues to be performed. When we talk about folk music as distinct from other music, we’re overlooking the thing that happens when a performer makes a change or when anyone singing a song gets he words a little “wrong” or leaves out a verse.

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