Hey! I've got two more months before I start hitting the road! Literally. I'm going to start busking in August and am working on my repertoire in the meantime. I've finished Tiny Dancer and will record a video of it in a week or two and send it to you. I like to give songs a few weeks to settle in once I've learned them. I find that they start sounding a lot more natural after I've given them a break.
Until then, I'm working on my next cover, Piano Man by Billy Joel. I've decided to start learning more songs by ear so that I improve my aural skills. I've been doing this with Piano Man and my inner music nerd is tickled pink. I can already see how its bolstering my own songwriting chops.
As I figure the music out, I also get to see how the song is put together. I read a story that Bach, Beethoven, Mozart etc all used to copy out other composers' music and that this helped them immensely to absorb different techniques. So I want to do the same.
It's quite slow, but I think it'll pay off in the end. You can see, in the image attached, that I work out which lyrics fall on the strong beats and then I start working out the rhythm (in music notation).
I've also gotten back into writing Too Many Pieces. I've finished writing the lyrics and vocal melody and am starting to write the piano section. Songs take me a while to write because I treat them like compositions. I like to learn and apply new techniques and also give my ideas a chance to develop.
I completed a songwriting course earlier this year, which has been so useful to me for thinking about how to write good harmony. I'm applying what I learned in that course to TMP. In fact, with each new song, I want to focus on learning something new and then apply that to my song.
I know I've been a bit quiet of late. I went to South Africa in April and it was divine. I really needed a break. In fact, I completely underestimated how much I need to take regular breaks and also just change up my scenery. Even though I didn't end up completely relaxing (in the Karoo), I did just enough to feel so creatively charged again. I'm already planning my next trip home. This time, to the Karoo!
I'll keep you updated on how my busking and new music goes!