Well, well, well…the end of Week 12. I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey so far. It’s been a lot of work. But it’s been fun. And I’m learning. This week’s song will give you a sense of where my heart and mind have been lately. C’mon spring, I’m ready to put winter behind us.
It’s Gonna Come was a fun little song for me. It started with what’s become my time tested starting point of plucking away at the acoustic guitar. I played around with a few ideas last weekend and soon settled on the simple picking pattern that forms the basis of the song. From there, I started improvising some melody and lyrics over it. The first one to stick was ‘It’s gonna come.’ I liked it. The hopeful feel of the melody and words seemed to work well with the feel of the simple guitar pattern. I decided to go with it.
From that point, it didn’t take long to figure out what the song was going to be about, what the singer might be expectantly awaiting. And the snow storm that hit earlier this week cinched it. I’m ready for spring. No more snow. Please.
For such a straightforward song, I did spend a considerable amount of time on the lyrics. In fact, I was working on them right up through Saturday morning. I really could have kept tweaking but the clock (mercifully?) does run out. The biggest challenge was the bridge. It was very much like solving a puzzle which - to be honest - is probably the best way I can think of to describe the craft side of songwriting. I knew I wanted the melody of the first line of the bridge to repeat a couple of times and then start building as the bass line moved up in steps. Getting the final lines to work in terms of both rhythm and rhyme were tricky. It was even tough recording it. It wasn’t flowing. I imagine that once I’ve played it through enough times it will sound like it was always meant to be.
That touches on what has been one of the bigger challenges for me this year. I don’t have much time to live with these songs before they’re recorded and sent off to the world. I’ve had to stop some of my vocal recording takes to go back and check my phone’s voice recorder to see how I had sung it a few days earlier when first writing it. It’s been interesting and I know it’s unique to this 52 in 52 process. In a normal songwriting workflow, I’d be tweaking the lyrics for weeks as I play a song more and more trying to get a feel for how the words and music are flowing together.
As for the song’s arrangement, I knew I wanted to keep it simple. However, the basic picking pattern I started with was a little too simple. I worked on adding a few embellishments with the acoustic. I’m the farthest thing from a talented studio musician, so that took some trial and error. But it was fun trying to find simple little lines that would enhance the feel of the song.
That’s it. I hope you enjoyed It’s Gonna Come. And I hope you're enjoying (or soon will be) the first taste of spring. Thanks for following along and I’ll see you next week with lucky #13. Until then, have a great week!