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Songwriting Tips and Tricks Volume 3

The Human Mind

A million super computers in a million years couldn't do what the human mind can do...

Feel emotion.

Emotion is everything in music.

Jimmy Page said " I don't deal in techniques... I deal in emotions"

While it remains a controversial debate some scientists believe

emotions are unique to the human psyche.

Music has the particular ability to trigger emotional states .

When I was young my family and I were gathered around the TV. There was a variety show on and a young girl was singing "Somewhere over the rainbow"

It was so beautiful that after the first chorus my little brother started to cry! I never forgot that.

Because of the limited attention span of humans though today's music more often than not is devoid of emotions .

The mind is so powerful that you can literally give it any set of parameters and it will give you a solution. In fact your mind is working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year controlling trillions of chemical reactions in billions of cells. Which means that your mind can do anything you tell it to do...a skyscraper? no problem... analyze the stock market? no problem... artificial intelligence...sure...hold my beer...given enough time you can do anything.

In Genesis God , seeing the tower of Babel said whatever human beings put their collective mind to they can accomplish.

This of course applies to music.

Whenever I want to write a song in a certain vein I tell myself " what do I want it to sound like"?

I give myself the parameters of the outcome I want and then pretend that I have already have the solution. My mind goes to work gathering data, extrapolating the information and producing a result.

Incredible ! A lot of times my mind will be working on music during my sleep and wake me up with a melody.

This is the way artists create. First the general idea. - the first parameter.

Then the rough sketch- the second parameter... then after a few adjustments a final project emerges.

There is one caveat...all creative thought occurs in the subconscious part of the mind.

Think about the time you were stressed out because of a looming deadline and the harder you tried to come up with a solution the less it became apparent. The best way to access the creative mind is to relax and let the solution come naturally.

When we stress over a problem the frontal cortex of the mind is active .

What we really want is the subconscious to deal with the problem...

An important tool to have around is a note pad or a note pad app on your cellphone. Also your cellphone has a sound recorder built in. As you go through your day record any random ideas that come into mind. I often will be in front of the television set and I'll be brainstorming about different projects I'm working on. It's a great way to help your mind synthesize ideas.

Sometimes I'll do a thought bubble technique where I'll have a diagram of a large main idea and then all the related ideas no matter how trivial come off it as smaller bubbles.

This is a highly effective method of seeing possibilities that weren't otherwise obvious.

See the end result in your mind...even if the idea is rough and watch your brain fill in the details...!

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