Writing Beyond My Means

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Writing Beyond My Means

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    03-11-2011, 06:37 AM
Writing Beyond My Means

Some people live beyond their means. I write beyond my means. What Iím saying is that I write songs that are sometimes too complicated for me to easily perform.

I recently went into the studio with a really accomplished pianist, Marilyn Lerner. She was my first ever piano player, just a kid fresh out of music school, but whoíd been taking piano lessons since she was teeny. She went on to get into jazz and improvisational and new music and all sorts of far-out stuff.

But me, well, Iím not a schooled musician. Had three years of violin as a kid, but my parents were both tone deaf so my musical education soon fell by the wayside. Then I learned guitar from chord books and ended up in a folky band, but eventually took a summer course at the Royal Conservatory for grade 1 & 2 theory Ė I figured it would improve my songwriting.

But in the band we mostly did stuff by ear, and all that theory just went out the window. So a few years later I took piano lessons. I wrote some pretty cool songs on the piano, but I couldnít play the thing worth a **** because Iím about as coordinated as a jellyfish.

Now for me itís all about the lyrics, and I often write complex songs with irregular structures and throw in extra bars and chords and whatever the words and story dictate. But then when it comes time to perform the suckers, well, I canít count beats worth a ****, especially while Iím singing.

So recording with someone like Marilyn who can sight read and whoís got a chart (written out by my producer, because if I canít read music, I sure as heck canít write it either), while I have only a lyric sheet with little chicken tracks in pen on it, the tracks representing the number of beats between lines or places where the words are actually a pickup, or need to be stressed Ė well, it can get embarrassing when I screw up. Which I did fairly often the other night, in part because the song is also very new, so itís not burned into my brain yet.

So thatís what I mean by writing beyond my means. The only thing that saves me is that Marilyn and other fabulous schooled musicians Iíve worked with really like those complicated, quirky songs of mine, and seem to find the patience to deal with my musical ignorance. And for that, like others who live beyond their means, I owe them a huge debt.
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    03-12-2011, 12:51 PM
    03-12-2011, 01:12 PM
Riding, writing, yeah I get them mixed up the whole time as well.
    03-12-2011, 07:52 PM
Errr.... what is this about?
    03-12-2011, 08:14 PM
Thanks for sharing??? :O
    03-12-2011, 09:32 PM
Red face Writing/Riding

Apologies folks for the post about music. It's a long story how that happened - but again I'm sorry!
I AM a rider who is also a writer/songwriter, by the way, and I'm new to this forum...trying to find some online horse communities, one reason being that I'm working on a new CD that will be all original horse songs I've written. Sometimes I need to do bits of research because I like my songs to be accurate as well as musical and catchy.
So there may be times when I'll be asking questions about horse stuff. That music post was meant for a music website...again, sorry!
    03-13-2011, 12:29 AM
Um, I don't think this topic belongs in this part of the forum...
    03-13-2011, 03:27 AM
OK, I understand. I'm still finding my way around this site. Next time I promise to post something about riding!
    03-13-2011, 08:52 PM
There's some non-horsey sections of the forum so next time you have a thread like this just pick one of those! . A mod can probably switch this thread to another section.
    03-14-2011, 12:20 PM
It's sort of funny though. Not your problem... but that you posted it here.

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