If you are in a band, you probably spend a lot of time putting together your songs in the hope that the right tune or chord progression could be the thing that sends your act into the big time. From the first version of the song originating in your bedroom to the version that gets re-written in the studio, how long do you spend on average pulling a track together?
However long it is, you are spending far too much time on it! If you want to be the best song-writer, you would be advised to take the advice of the best song-writers and regardless of your opinion on the man or his music; it is hard to argue against the output of Sir Paul McCartney.
Would you listen to a song called Scrambled Eggs?
If you listened to Paul McCartney, ‘Yesterday’ came to him in a dream and the first thing he did that morning was to write down the melody and some lyrics before he forgot the song. The first draft of the song contained the lyrics “scrambled eggs, oh baby I love your legs” so it didn’t come out fully formed but the genesis of a good song was there.
Of course, Paul McCartney understands the benefits of a good story and who is to say that this song was genuinely a gift from Macca’s subconscious? It may have been something that McCartney had worked on before or perhaps he unknowingly borrowed it from somewhere else.
Keith got some sleep and some satisfaction!
The same sort story was offered by Keith Richards when asked to describe how the world-famous riff of ‘Satisfaction’ came to him. Many guitarists have spent a lifetime failing to come up with something that memorable and yet if you believe Richards, he awoke and had the riff rolling around his head. We won’t speculate on the general condition that Richards would wake up in during the 1960s but on this morning (or afternoon or early evening), he penned one of the greatest guitar lines of all time.
Of course, there are not too many people like Paul McCartney or Keith Richards. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones stand above all other acts but perhaps there is something about relaxing and letting the music come to you. Writers block is a terrible thing when you are trying to be creative but becoming anxious about it only manages to make it worse. If you are in the recording studio and the clock is ticking, you need to have something to work on and that’s when trouble begins.
If you are struggling to write the big hit that will propel your band into the big time perhaps you are spending too much time living up to the ideals of rock n roll. Too many late nights partying will ensure you have very little sleep and what you get is poor quality. Why don’t you take the advice of McCartney and Richards, pour yourself a nice big mug of Horlicks and settle down for an early night and let some new songs come to you!