Sunday, January 18, 2009

Filling me up with your rule...

For the past couple of years I've been focusing, in my own songwriting, on praise and worship music. I'd like to see P&W music be more... exciting as an art form. Exiting in a Radiohead way... not a snake handling way. :-) Along the way I've gathered lots of rules (from others and from my own personal convictions). Rules like:

  • Avoid overused cliche's

  • Try not to make Jesus your girlfriend

  • Make the melodies singable (2-3 notes)

  • Needs to be something people want to sing (to God)

  • Needs to convey some manner of truth

  • ...but not to much (we don't want hymns, after all)

  • No wierd chords or wierd meters

  • Try to stay away from G-C-D-Em

I'm finding that under the weight of all these rules... I'm really not enjoying songwriting. I'm finding myself following perfectionist tendencies. I'm not producing as many new songs as I should be. Ideas that I'm excited about become neutered under the weight of all these rules that I have to navigate.


I'm just going to write songs that please me. If it happens to be a worship song... cool. If not, still cool. I'll let you know how it goes.

So... what are the rules that you need to break? What's got you in writer's block? (Whether it's songwriting or prose or poetry or what...)


nourtney said...

Beautiful. Here, here!

I think all of those "don'ts" can be very stifling. I've been there myself and it's gross. I still want to be creative and use new ideas, but I think that all the rules can cause you to just want to give up entirely.

My rules are don't use cliche progressions--even for jazz haha. But I'm not too worried--as I have little time to write right now...

mike said...

I just picked up the book "the war of art", it's a great little guide to getting past writers block or worse. check it out, i wrote a couple new songs the day i got it just because i felt so inspired.

janessica said...

Yeah, I got the Linux Eee. I LOVE it. And that happens to answer your question in this blog: writing on the train has opened up this whole writing thing that I didn't know I had. It's important to have the right tools. Ever since I got my computer I've been so excited to write, and stuff just comes out.