George Shepherd
George Shepherd

Day after Saint Patrick's day

By georgeshep, 2008-03-17

Wow! I got on today and saw comments from FP, Rapster, and WHP folllowing blog posts! Thanks!!!

Today-- continued working out another song. Then started thinking about what it takes to compose music.

Some say Mozart "saw" entire compositions at once. Doesn't work that way for me. However, pieces of compositions come out of thin air for me. I save 'em up and then see if I can put them together.

Sometimes a part will seem to lead naturally to a second. However, most of the time I have to play and play and play and play before something pops up. Other times I have to play and play and play and play, then put the instrument down. When I pick the instrument backup-- there's the piece in full glory.

I can draw many comparisons between writing words and writing music. Many times, it's a drafting process. That is, go full steam for a while and come up with a structure. Then set it aside for a day or a week-- then pick it up again, and it's obvious what parts need to be cleaned up.

In my early days of trying to write songs, if it didn't come right out-- I'd just give up. One thing I've learned is that it's VERY worthwhile to keep pieces around-- record them or whatever. Also it's worthwhile to stick with a piece, even if it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. I think there's a marinating process that goes on-- and it gets especially active while what you're playing seems to be getting you nowhere. The juice is permeating the meat (as it were) and then you get something really delicious when it's done.

Anyway-- thanks for reading this. Let me know what you do to compose.


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Monday evening

By georgeshep, 2008-03-17

Finished my book project for MSPress and the pile of complimentary books just came.

And now onto making more music.

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Saturday Afternoon

By georgeshep, 2006-09-08

Today I found some old photos. One from as far back as 9th or 10th grade. I was in Bye Bye Birdie-- my first big guitar stage experience. What fun that was!

I posted this in the "Vocalist" section of the Forum, but I don't know how many people visit there. So I put it here, too.

This morning I revisited a book I read about 6 years ago named "Uncommon Genius". It's a great interesting book about the creative process.

In "Uncommon Genius", Denise Shekerjian interviewed 40 different people about their creative processes. The yardstick she used was that they were all winners of the McArthur award.

In the book she distilled 8 points she found in common with all the winners:

1) Find your talent
2) commit to it and make it shine
3) Don't be afraid of risk or failure (the game is really never over). Seen the the proper light, risk and failure bring both insight and opportunity.
4) Find courage by looking to something stronger and better than your puny vulnerable self.
5) Noo lusting after quick resolutions. Relax. Stay loose
6) Get to know yourself; understand your needs and the specific conditions you favor.
7) Respect, too, your culture. We can't, any of us, escape the twentieth (now twenty-first) century. It's tucked up around our collective chin as snugly and as firmly as the bedsheet.
Then, finally, break free from the seductive pull of book training and research and the million other preparatory steps that could delay for the entire span of a life and immerse yourself in DOING IT NOW.

Great great great book. I loved these 8 points she makes. The last one is the most important, to be sure.

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