Do we overthink?

  If you read my last post you know my plan to release more songs in 2014. Here is something I have struggled as a musician and I am sure I am not alone in this, and I have decided to take it head on in 2014.

So imagine a this: You get an inspiration for a song, sit down and write it down. You feel great about it, it is your new baby! You play through the song few times and get this warm feeling inside you. The song really touches something in you, and you start to think it might do the same to other people. You record a quick demo on your phone, on your laptop, old four track, or what it is you use for this purpose. Then you sit down and do a proper demo, with multitrack. You edit and mix it nice, burn it to disc and play it on your stereo. You sit down and listen to it about five times and you feel like you have something great. Simple, but great. What’s next? You send it to record label or publisher? You bring it to your next band rehearsal? Play it with your band mates? Go out and play it at your localsinger/songwriter night? Wait for the magic fairy to pop up and hope for the best? Or you decide to put it on your next album that you are going to release yourself. But surely for the album you need to rerecord it in a proper studio with a full band… That is right where the chances of the song ending up in your magical “shoe-box of songs”. This box is the killer of the songs! It’s where you hardly ever look and when you do, you don’t remember how you felt when you wrote that song. All you hear is the negative stuff, your self doubt creeps in. You don’t think your song is not good enough anymore…

But here’s the thing, I’ve done this with loads of songs, songs that I played to other people and I could see that the song touched them, spoke to them or evoked emotion. So what’s stopping it doing the same thing again? Your self doubt! As a songwriters we are hopelessly unsure of ourselves. Ralph Murphy described in a lecture the profile a songwriter: “Physically, sexually, emotionally abused, from a broken home with an inability to communicate and desperate desire to be loved and marginally dyslexic. You don’t have to be all of the above, but at least one to be a songwriter.” These are all part of life and building blogs of a songwriter. But on the other hand they are also a great breeding ground for self doubt.

So do we overthink? I mean, yeah there is an element of over saturation in the market at the moment. Everybody seems to be putting out albums, releasing singles on iTunes and putting out videos of themselves singing the song in the shower… But should that stop us putting out our music? Sounds to me like another reason to put those songs into the shoe-box… Why not give the song a chance? If you have the resources and the money, find a studio that is free the next day, invite some musicians to play with you and record the song. If you don’t have the cash, record the best version you can at home in one day, and mix it the next day. I bet it will be much better than you think. And put it out there. Post it on SoundCloud, share it with your friends. What’s the worst thing that can happen? People don’t like it? It gets like five plays and is forgotten then? So what? As a songwriter you will try again tomorrow. Just for a while, try not to overthink and let the music flow out to the world 🙂



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