Let the frog sing for you! That will make it easy.
I accidentally posted the above comment as a status update on Facebook. It was intended as a follow-up to a status update my sister wrote about having a frog in her throat during a try-out for a musical. But taken out of context, it is even better.
“Let the frog sing for you! That will make it easy.”
I like the sound of that. It really encompasses my whole songwriting methodology. That is, I will often write all sorts of bad notes, songs, and lyrics before I write any good ones. The way I see it, there are all sorts of frogs covering up my good ideas. I need to let them loose before I can get at the good stuff that’s underneath.
For my band’s new record, Faraway Farm, I had 100 songs that I was working with at the get-go. Many of them suck. About 30 are of the “might be good enough for the album” quality. And only 14 are of a “good enough for the album AND fit the style of the album” quality. So, at the end of the day, only 14% of my songs are ready for prime-time. That seems like the right amount.
But that means that 86% of my stuff isn’t good. That is okay.
For every creative endeavor, there is a load of garbage to sift through.
My friend Dan says that in order to be an expert at something, you have to spend at least 10,000 hours doing it. He is right. I would add that most of the first 10,000 hours is spent toiling over garbage (though it doesn’t seem like garbage at the time).
I bet I wrote 100 songs before I wrote my first one that was worth a damn (called “Scent of a King” and on The Corrupt Senators’ sophomore release – I’ll try to dig that up for y’all in January). And I bet I spent 5,000 hours building websites before I built one that was any good.
There is only one way to do this thing. You’ve got to let your frogs sing!