Dec '06 songwriter of the month - earthman buck

Guitar Tricks Forum > Newsletter Articles > Dec '06 songwriter of the month - earthman buck

acapella

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Joined: 12/08/05

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Earthman Buck, or Brendon as many of us know him, is a well known contributor to the GT forums and guitarist of the well known (on GT :D ) band, The Greasy Knots. This month he shares some of his songwriting knowledge with us.

How long have you been song writing, and how did you get your start?

I guess in terms of music I’ve been writing ever since I started playing guitar, just making little melodies up and whatnot. I didn’t really start putting words to the music until a couple of my friends and I decided to form a band. Even then, it took me a while to come up with words I liked. The first song I ever wrote was just awful. I threw it out not long after I wrote it. The first song I completed and liked enough to keep is called “Death Row Summer,” and it can be found in the songwriting forum here on GT.

How have you improved since you first started writing?

Now that I know what kind of words I like in songs, it’s a lot easier to edit myself. When I first started, it would usually take me a couple days just to decide whether I liked a certain line or not, but now I can usually block out the crappy ones before they even make it onto paper. I’ve started keeping a little notebook by my bed too, so I don’t forget those middle-of-the-night lines that I think are genius.

Are there any special techniques you use in your song writing?

Well, I like to think I’m fairly poetic in most of my songs. I don’t much care for songs with lyrics that sound like a conversation with your average Joe. I think interesting word choice is the most important aspect to good lyric writing. They should make you think, you know? All my songs follow a pretty strict rhyme and rhythm scheme as well, because free verse poetry is something I will never understand.

What are some of your favorite subjects to write about?

I just write about things that are on my mind. Mostly my philosophies about life and observations of things and events that made me mad and stuff. I don’t really write about typical song subjects unless I’m sure I can make them vague enough that they could mean anything. Usually when I’m done writing a song, I reread it and find that even to me it means about eight totally different things. That’s when I think I’ve done a good job.

Do you have any advice for people who want to start writing songs?

Um….do it more often than me. And don’t write break-up songs. Please.
You go outside and practice screaming. We'll play music while you're gone.

#1

Earthman Buck, or Brendon as many of us know him, is a well known contributor to the GT forums and guitarist of the well known (on GT :D ) band, The Greasy Knots. This month he shares some of his songwriting knowledge with us.

How long have you been song writing, and how did you get your start?

I guess in terms of music I’ve been writing ever since I started playing guitar, just making little melodies up and whatnot. I didn’t really start putting words to the music until a couple of my friends and I decided to form a band. Even then, it took me a while to come up with words I liked. The first song I ever wrote was just awful. I threw it out not long after I wrote it. The first song I completed and liked enough to keep is called “Death Row Summer,” and it can be found in the songwriting forum here on GT.

How have you improved since you first started writing?

Now that I know what kind of words I like in songs, it’s a lot easier to edit myself. When I first started, it would usually take me a couple days just to decide whether I liked a certain line or not, but now I can usually block out the crappy ones before they even make it onto paper. I’ve started keeping a little notebook by my bed too, so I don’t forget those middle-of-the-night lines that I think are genius.

Are there any special techniques you use in your song writing?

Well, I like to think I’m fairly poetic in most of my songs. I don’t much care for songs with lyrics that sound like a conversation with your average Joe. I think interesting word choice is the most important aspect to good lyric writing. They should make you think, you know? All my songs follow a pretty strict rhyme and rhythm scheme as well, because free verse poetry is something I will never understand.

What are some of your favorite subjects to write about?

I just write about things that are on my mind. Mostly my philosophies about life and observations of things and events that made me mad and stuff. I don’t really write about typical song subjects unless I’m sure I can make them vague enough that they could mean anything. Usually when I’m done writing a song, I reread it and find that even to me it means about eight totally different things. That’s when I think I’ve done a good job.

Do you have any advice for people who want to start writing songs?

Um….do it more often than me. And don’t write break-up songs. Please.
You go outside and practice screaming. We'll play music while you're gone.