Can You Feel It Posted by Eliot Houser December 11, 2010

This is a song that I wrote last Friday, December 3rd, with a little help from my friend, Rick Schell, during one of our speed writing sessions. Speed writing is a song development process that requires you to make decisions quickly (because they are usually right) and to move on to something else if you get bogged down or run into a wall. There are no lyrics yet but I have an idea for a chorus that uses the rather cliche refrain 'Can You Feel It?' Hey, if it's worked before, no need to reinvent the wheel--damn, there I go again.

In this very raw form, Rick is playing drums and I am playing guitar and bass. The process for writing this song involved me plugging into a loud amplifier and coming up with 3 or 4 complementary parts or riffs. It's a process that I use quite often. Once I've found something I like, I usually take the most compelling riff and then declare that one to be the chorus. All the while, I'm usually searching out melodies and lyrics that may or may not stick. A strong melody is important, but on a chorus it's essential. Then comes the arranging, which is taking the other parts and building them around the chorus in an interesting way. Sometimes it's cool to start a song on the chorus, as is happening in this arrangement. However, most of the time it doesn't work, and it makes a stronger statement to make the listener wait for the chorus.

So after coming up with an arrangement, I started to cut the electric guitar to a click (metronome) set at about 130 beats per minute. However, Rick suggested we speed it up, so I amped up the speed to 146 bpm. He was right--the faster tempo gave the song more urgency. After I recorded the guitar to the click, Rick recorded the drum track, and then we drank some more beer and started working on a new tune. Instead of losing momentum writing lyrics (which did not seem to be immediately forthcoming), we thought it would be more fun and productive to move onto composing another tune. So that's what we did...and the next post will include this other song and describe our process

Concerning 'Can You Feel It?', been working on the words and the next audio update will have at least a working draft of lyrics.


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