Anatomy of a Song

I've been asked before how I write music. Truthfully, inspiration comes from lots of places. Sometimes the music writes itself first, sometimes the lyrics, sometime it all comes at once.

Today, as I was on the treadmill, I was listening to Deni's music. As a side note, can I say that her music is just blowing my socks off. I was getting very inspired just listening. I knew that when I was done, I had to sit down with the guitar and try to write. As I was finishing on the treadmill, an idea came to me.

There's a part of the Mass, just before Communion, where we say "Lord, I'm not worthy to recieve you, but only say the word and I shall be healed". This is a very powerful and personal statement for me. I thought it would be a good idea to write around that. So I sat down with my guitar and some paper, and wrote that at the top of the page. Then I started playing.

A chord progression came to me. So I began playing it over and over while looking at the lines. That's when the germ of an idea came to me. A single line to go with the chords. I kept playing, seeing if I could come up with more. After a bit, I had a full refrain. Now I needed a verse. I also needed more than just the chords for the refrain or the song would be boring.

Nothing was coming up, so I did something completely different, I started playing the riff to Deni's "Too Much Fun". Why that song? It was the last one I'd listened to, so why not? Anyway, it got me into a different grove. So I tried some of the chords in the refrain more in the new groove I was getting into. And "Presto!", I now have the music to the whole song!

Of course, I don't have any lyrics for the verses yet. What I usually do at this point is just keep playing the verse music over and over and letting the song mull in my head until the concept hits me. Usually, at some point, I figure out what the song is about, and the verses start to write themselves. Unfortunately, I don't have that yet. That's why I'm posting. Need to take a little break from it. I'll pick it up again until it hits me. Then it goes to the band to work out the full arrangement. But I have a title, "I Am Healed". Hopefully, soon, I'll have a whole song!


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