The Power of Vulnerability (In Writing Music)

by guitarkadia on December 23, 2010

in Blog

Inspired from a recent TedTalk by Brené Brown.

I’ll let you get to the video soon, but let me take a few moments of your time. The most visited blog post of all time on Guitarkadia has been this. Type in songwriting on Google and it will yield over 5 million results in a split second. Clearly, a lot of people are out there searching songwriting articles or posts, which is why so many results exist.

Here are some thoughts I had after watching the video that I’d like to share them with you. How these will help you write music is how accepting you are of my thoughts. Really.

Chances are, while reading the following  you will either: 1. make use of them in your own way, or 2: think of ways to tell yourself to tell me that I should have no business writing about music writing.

But if I gave a shit, I’d be devastated.

So, let’s move on.

1. We all look for formulas because it’s quick and dirty. We all look for directions, but it ends up being someone else pointing the way. Yes, the pointer is helping the pointee to a place the pointee needs to get to, but the pointee will never learn about the things the pointer did while looking for the destination. Therefore pointer will always point, and the pointee will always take the shortcut.

Pause. Reflect. Done.

2. Take a moment and go read, again, Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken‘. Nicely done, eh? This is someone reflecting on a road not taken. Frost chose to reflect on the journey and not the destination. Destination, upon reflection, was an excuse to live that experience. You want to go the destination of a Grammy with your music? That’s not even any road to take. That’s the mirage leading you astray.

Pause. Reflect. Done.

3. Write down on a piece of paper the top 5 songs you’ve always loved. Do you remember where you were when you fell in love with those songs? I mean, do you really remember the moments? Do you remember what your life was like at that moment when you discovered each of those songs? You don’t think you fell in love with them because they were just pretty, do you?

Try and remember, because you’ll realize you were vulnerable to them because of what was going on with your life. Just when you thought your favorite songs came to you…you will realize that you, my friend, went to them.

4. Why do heartbreak, rejection, and loss inspire the best material? Because they make us vulnerable and the way we react to them are pure. Besides, we are not programmed to feel guilt about them. But then, we try to write music with other people’s words or notes.

5. “I miss you” is more vulnerable than “I miss being with you”. I relate to ‘I Miss You’ I know exactly the feeling of missing someone, but I will find it hard to relate to “I miss being with you” because you’re making me wonder what it is that you did together that makes you miss him/her.

6. If you haven’t felt vulnerable recently, you’ve not been spending time with yourself. Spend some time and you’ll realize the body you and the mind you needed some catching up.

7.Finish this sentence: I want to ______________ for the first time – today. Are you surprised at what you wrote? Did you pick a safe thing to do or something that sorta scares you a little?

Pause. Reflect.

Previous post:

Next post: