Read a great Review of It's About Time at The Muse's Muse

Read a new interview with journalist Michael Manning:
part 1 - part 2 - part 3

Read a fantastic CD REVIEW and INTERVIEW
Read this Bud Buckley interview with Kid Mercury's ActoGuitar Blog. HERE
Read this Bud Buckley interview with Journalist Michael Manning. HERE
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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Writer's Viagra

Writer's block, lack of motivation, depression, general funkiness. All very bad words to use. I know that it's true that if you say them out loud, especially applying them to yourself, you're stuck with them. They are all the same slippery slope. Put two feet on that slope and there's no way off until you hit the bottom. I don't intend to find out what it's like to get off the bottom.

I won't go more than three days without something to write about. If it doesn't just pop into my head and out of my fingertips, I dive into anything around me and write about it. Just to keep the muscle from becoming flaccid. Welcome to my dive. It's like Writer's Viagra.

I'm impressed with the writing of John Mayer and Matthew Sweet. I like them for different reasons.

Mayer is a sensitive lyricist and I love the way he constructs his lines with plenty of air around them without ever relying on cliches. Cliche is my mortal enemy.

Sweet is the master of the hook. He does it with cool guitar parts, interesting melodies and in the case of the Thorns, he does it with harmonies. He sometimes has to rely on studio mixes to hookify an otherwise average song but there's plenty to be learned there too.

My goal is to write songs with that air around the phrases like John Mayer. To find ways to say what I want with fewer words. To use the spaces for hooks like Matthew Sweet. Overriding all of this though, I want to write songs that will stand on their own with just one voice and one acoustic guitar. If it's good like that, it'll be good with full production. I'm not there yet but goals are everything in my life.

I tried to supply a link here to the iTunes samples but none appears to be available. I'm NOT gonna risk putting stuff up myself without permission. But if you go to iTunes and search for John Mayer, you'll find lots of samples of what I'm talking about on nearly any song. Not Real World, though. His CD Heavier Things is a perfect example but the songs on his acoustic EP are also good. He'll sing a phrase that may stop on beat three to give a beat or even two of music in between. Sometimes he'll start on beat two or three to put the "air" on the other end. This is a perfect device for his airy vocals which are best produced by inhaling deeply before the lines.

Matthew Sweet is extremely prolific. The CD I'm most familiar with is 100% Fun. You can hear excellent examples of his interesting melodies in I Almost Forgot, Not When I Need It and Everything Changes. His guitar and harmony hooks can be heard everywhere.

I have a body of work I'm committed to now for my next CD. Doesn't mean I can't rewrite although I won't be doing a heavy rewrite. At this stage when I'm still crafting the tunes onto work tapes. I keep the Matthew Sweet approach way in the back of my mind. That way I can leave plenty of room for yet unwritten hooks and unconceived harmonies. But the John Mayer approach will leave the room needed for those things.

In the next posts I'll start putting up a few samples of my songs and show you where I think I'm getting it and where I need more work.

posted by Bud @ 5:33 AM

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