Today’s Song Tip Tuesday is: Record your songs as many times as possible. These recordings will become an aid to your songwriting process. Think of each recording as a photograph, as an image of the song at that moment.
No, this does not mean a fully orchestrated studio demo for every new song idea, it simply means, to record your very basic song ideas multiple times during the writing process. These recordings will allow you to listen back to each stage of the writing of your song.
In my early songwriting years, I developed the habit of demoing all of my songs. I admit that I was obsessive, even then, about songwriting. I made full demos of songs that weren’t finished, and yes, these recordings are difficult for me to listen to today. My enthusiasm for new songs overtook my really knowing that my song wasn’t complete. But in hindsight, I had created my own invaluable way of learning from my songs. I learned to listen to incomplete and very very rough demos of my songs. It allowed me to listen to my process of writing. I also built a library of recordings that I can go back to at any time. You may think, why go back to an older draft? In early recordings of a song is where you will usually find where the original spark of inspiration is hidden. Finding the spark allows you to hear the reason you wanted to write the song in the first place.
A song starts off as a simple idea and then it expands. Listening to your recordings informs your writing.
The art of writing is rewriting.