March 7, 2017

February Album Writing Month, 2017 — “Ridin’ With My Baby”

Category: Music — jerry @ 10:37 am

If you’ve read the previous posts about my experience with FAWM, you know that I start things by picking 3 random songs to “constrain” my creative process and keep me focused.

For this song, my randomizing came up with “Baby, I Need Your Lovin'” to use for chords and structure, “On The Road Again” for arrangement, and my wild card to contribute lyric ideas with the first two ended up being “Comfortably Numb”. An interestingly eclectic group of songs. Willie’s arrangement meant this was going to be a country song, so I input the chords and structure to “Baby” into Band In A Box and selected some BIAB country styles to determine the music tracks that I wanted to use.

“BABY” and “ROAD” inspired a title of “Ridin’ With My Baby”. (Sorry, “NUMB”–I didn’t find much inspiration from you this time around. Good thing I pick three songs and not just two).

One of the things I worried about by “borrowing” chords and structure is that my final result would be suspiciously close to the original and folks might notice. I don’t think this ended up happening at all, though. I remember an experiment I read about somewhere where people were to tap out the rhythms to a very common song and see if someone listening could guess what it is. Try that with “Jingle Bells”, for instance. Tap out the rhythm and to you it will seem obvious–but nobody will get it. Seriously, try this out. Well…same thing happened with my methodology on these songs. To me, the original song’s influence frequently seemed to be there–in fact, you could generally sing the original song’s lyrics to my song comfortably–but it had been “mutated” too far from the source for folks to catch on. (Although there remained a song or two that I still worried about–I’ll comment on them as they come up).

Again, I wrote down some rhymes and phrases that I thought I might use when it would be time to write the song in a few days (usually about a week’s gap between the initial “pre-production” I’ve described above and writing the actual song).

When the day actually came around to write “Ridin’ With My Baby”, I again had the lyrics to “Baby, I Need Your Lovin'” in front of me to remind me of the meter of the verses I was going to have to come up with myself. Typically on these songs, I had lyrics pounded out in half an hour to 45 minutes. Rather than a rhyming dictionary I used software called Rhyme Genie to help me out of rhyming binds. This program is a bargain at about thirty bucks or so and I use it on everything. One of the features I liked was its “Intelligent Rhyme” mode where if you cannot find a “perfect rhyme” such as moon/June/spoon you can come up with a “close” rhyme that will work in the song. A real lifesaver–highly recommended.

Speaking of perfect rhymes, by the way, lyric-writing is very different from poetry writing. In music, you can “get away” with close rhymes and, as a matter of fact, too much perfect rhyming can be jarring. One song I’ve always hated the lyrics to is the otherwise fantastic song “Kiss And Say Goodbye” by The Manhattans. Check out these lyrics:

I had to meet you here today
There’s just so many things to say
Please don’t stop me till I’m through
This is something I hate to do
We’ve been meeting here so long
I guess what we done was wrong
Please, darling, don’t you cry
Let’s just kiss and say goodbye
Many months have passed us by
I’m gonna miss you I can’t lie
I’ve got ties and so do you
I just think this is the thing to do
It’s gonna hurt me I can’t lie
Maybe you’ll meet another guy
Understand me won’t you try, try, try
Let’s just kiss and say goodbye

Every time I hear those words sung, I want to puke. Otherwise, a great song though. Avoid too many perfect rhymes!!

Anyway, “Ridin’ With My Baby” is not my favorite effort. I like country music a little, but I’m not sure my heart is in the genre. You’re going to hear about three country songs in all in these posts and, to me, all three were my weakest efforts. Sorry, country fans.

Anyway, here’s “Riding With My Baby”. Again, all music tracks generated in BIAB, imported into SONAR for mixing (and lots of musical cuts so that there isn’t too much “going on” at once), vocals added–generally in one furious take–and then pitch corrected (poorly) in Melodyne–all as has been described in previous posts:

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. | TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML ( You can use these tags):
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> .