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Michael Jackson on Songwriting

June 27, 2009

Like much of the world,  I’ve been tuned into Michael Jackson as of late.

As per the suggestion of JL, we thought we could do a week of Michael Jackson posts in respect to his passing.

I recently watched the made for TV “Life with Michael Jackson” bio where a reporter gets an exclusive insight into the life of Jackson.  In an early part of the documentary, Michael goes into his songwriting and dancing process. The reporter eagerly wanted to know his secret.  Jackson simply said that an artist should get out of the way. Thinking is the worst thing you can do. It’s all about feeling.

How often have you mulled over a song to only not finish or find something great? How often have you just been playing around on your guitar or whatever with no real goal, and then some magic happens? It could be a lyric that really strikes you or a riff that blows your own mind. You weren’t consciously trying to create something great, but subconsciously something was brewing, and was released.

Stay open to letting things happen when you’re writing.  Riffs, lines, ideas, will come out of nowhere when you’re not focusing on trying to find an idea.

The takeaway: Don’t force out a song.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 27, 2009 11:13 pm

    That’s why the best ideas/songs often come when one is driving. The ‘critic’ is occupied with the road and the artist is free to explore without getting backhanded into thinking that something is stupid. Thank God for the mini recorder capabilities of phones these days…

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