Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Learrning First Look Inside
Part 2: How I Wrote This Song

First Look Inside was my first complete song that I wrote on the kalimba, and we'll be learning it here line by line in the coming weeks.

The intro/outro is a very simple, yet very compelling repeated phrase, which utilizes symmetry on several levels—but mostly it is a riff that sits on one side of the kalimba for a while before it moves to the other side. The riff sits long enough on each side to give the other thumb good access to the sound hole for the wah-wah effect. That is the heart of the song. This compelling phrase kept arising in my heart each morning when I woke, nagging at me to finish a song that was as good as the starting lines.

While First Look Inside is much more complicated than this technically (the song has about four different nested ideas), a single idea was the seed for this song.

So to write a song, aim for one good idea. Hopefully, it is memorable enough that you can play it the next day! If you are lucky, you will find an idea that you love playing day after day.