Week 3 - Enough

So, where to begin with this one? 

Well first and foremost, Number 3 didn’t start as Number 3.  It jumped the line.  I already had an idea in place for this week and was playing around with it last Saturday.  I sat down to develop it a little further when I started strumming what would become the main chord progression for Enough. It was just one of those things where I was having fun playing it with a choppy palm mute on the acoustic and soon I didn’t want to go back to work on the original idea.  I still had the week ahead of me, so I wasn’t too concerned about putting an already developed idea aside for a new one. 

As I began working with this new song idea, I quickly realized it was time to play around with the electric.  I don’t play the electric guitar much and I’ve never recorded it at home.  So there was a learning curve.  Fortunately, it was a fun learning curve.  Also, after Week 2’s debacle, I decided I needed to work out the music first, the lyrics could wait (although the words “never enough” were there almost from the start showing which direction the song would likely go).  But no question, my first mission was to get down a music track that was acceptable.

By Sunday or Monday night, I had drums, bass and rhythm guitars in place and I was comfortable enough with how it was sounding to keep going in that direction.  I also had an idea for a bridge that I liked and I recorded some music for that as well.  (The bridge in this case is the part where I sing in a higher register.)  Of course, I had no lyrics for it, so I’d just hum along with the simple melody idea that I had.  From the bridge music, I then had the song coming back into the minor key with a very abrupt ending, kind of reinforcing the angry idea of ‘I was never enough’. 

As I got into the week, the music seemed roughly in place and I began focusing on the lyrics.  I had the tone for the song and it was clearly a jilted lover reflecting on a past relationship.  (It’s fun to slip into these roles when you’re writing songs.)  But I still wasn’t sure what to do with the bridge.  I had the melody and I would just sit there and strum along, improvising words and phrases into my phone's voice recorder hoping something would stick.

At last, the phrase ‘I was enough’ popped.  It sounded right and (just as important to me) it was fun to sing.  It felt cathartic and it seemed like the way to go.  But it also felt like it no longer made sense going back to the angry part of the song.  I decided to end the song with this bridge idea making it more of a coda.  Once I committed to that direction, I had the thought that maybe the feel of the music should shift too, reflecting the shift in the singer.  And thus was born the slow transition to simple acoustic right before we fade out.     

And that my friends, is the backstory of Enough (which was to be called Never Enough until the bridge became the coda and the idea that the singer had found some resolution or transformation came into play).  I hope you enjoyed it. 

One last thing, this song has involved a lot of tweaking which could have gone on forever.  And these last few weeks have involved a great deal of tweaking too and this translates into a lot of time spent in my little home studio.  I would be remiss not give major thanks to my wife and family for being beyond patient with me as I’ve kicked off this 52 in 52 thing.  I couldn’t be doing it and managing my busy life without their help and support.  (End of Grammy acceptance speech.)

Thanks again for following along.  It’s on to number 4.  Have a great week!

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