5in5, Day 1

Yesterday began the songwriting challenge called “5in5”. The challenge? Write a song each day, start to finish, for 5 days. It’s grueling, heartbreaking, embarrassing, moving and encouraging. Writing a song and sharing it with others bares one’s soul to the world. It’s risky! People may not like it. It might be really bad! Or- almost worse- it might be mediocre! So why do it? As with most difficult things, it makes one stronger. It grows me every time I do it.

So, this time I thought I’d let you share in the 5in5 experience. I hope that this accomplishes two things: First, I hope this opens the conversation for constructive criticism. After all, what will I learn if I never hear your reactions? Second, I hope this encourages others to be bold and share their art.

Now, about my song. I called it “Good Teacher” because it is inspired by the passage in John 3 where Jesus teaches Nicodemus about being “born again”. I’ve always been intrigued by the word picture that Jesus draws about how the Spirit is like the wind- no one can tell from where it comes or to where it goes except those “born of the Spirit”. Here it is:

The good: I was able to use some of my new music theory knowledge in writing this song! The circle progressions in the last two lines of the verses, the secondary dominants in the chorus and the modulation in the bridge are all direct applications of techniques I learned in theory. It was very exciting to put my education to work!

The bad: I started out trying to emulate the wind with my guitar… but with limited time- 1 day!- it’s hard to bring all the ideas to fruition! Plus, it needs to be finished better. I think it ended abruptly… and I wish I’d had more time to write the last verse. Darn that time limit!

The ugly: Recording is hard! EQ’ing and mixing can be the downfall of an otherwise great song! Hopefully I will get better at this.

Have any advice? I’d love to hear it! Leave me a comment. Let’s have a conversation- whether you’re musically adept or a novice, your comments are welcome! Cheers!

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