Songs Writing With Jampaw

August 16th, 2011

So Jon’s got a new job which means this blog has suffered a bit. So we’ve all added a little bit to this slightly disjointed but highly interesting edition of the Jampaw blog. Before we start, you may remember that we ran a competition to win some Jampaw ‘stuff’ back in June. The only criteria that had to be filled was to follow us on Twitter, simples right? So once we’d removed some of the obvious businesses who would delete us in the next week or so, we put all of the names into a hat and Jon pulled out the winning name. The winner was a very beautiful young lady named Leah Hackett who just so happened to be a former Hollyoaks actress. So congratulations Leah we hope you enjoy your goodies. Hopefully we’ll have a picture soon. Now we know what you’re thinking, but it really was a coincidence that a celebrity won the competition, and we argued quite a lot about it, but it’s done now.

So what have we been up to?? Not much to be honest. We’ve been writing loads but seem to be having a little trouble finishing songs at the moment. The good news is that we’re lining up the rest of the album, so Stop, Rewind, Paws should be available in its entirety soon.

With that in mind, we thought that we’d take this opportunity to explain to you guys how we go about writing our songs. It’s not always a pretty process and mostly consists of us calling each other dicks and telling each other to f*ck off, but it all works out in the end.

Every time we start to put together a piece of music we seem to go through a similar journey. The initial rush of excitement when we come up with an idea and lay down the first melody/chord sequence/beat, a period of frustration as we try to develop the idea into a complete song, and the difficult final stages of polishing and mastering, ending in an emotional farewell as the song is released and uploaded. To be honest at the end of writing each song we’re always amazed it happened at all.

Matt teaches music in a local secondary school and part of his role there is to teach students how to compose music and he often reassures us that, anyone who’s tried it will know there’s no ‘correct’ or formulaic way of writing a piece of music, if you manage to do a half-decent job of expressing an emotion or idea to someone else it has to be considered a success.

The song writing process is different every time, it adapts and evolves alongside circumstance and inspiration. A song may start out as a chord sequence or a melody and from this it is possible to experiment with things like instrumentation, harmony and texture. It is during this experimentation that the main body of the song takes form. The initial idea might take the form of a chord sequence, a simple melody or even a sequenced drum beat, but it is from this idea that the rest of the piece grows. The three of us usually go through this process together, and being able to give and receive (mostly) constructive criticism is a valuable resource for us to have.

Lyrics always come last for us. We consider ourselves to be musicians, rather than lyricists or poets, therefore find it infinitely easier to generate expression through music and not words. The lyrics writing process always takes place when the three of us meet for our weekly recording sessions every Wednesday.

So that’s really how we muddle through getting our songs down, it tends to be a drunken blur of beats and chords, but at the moment it seems to be working. Of course we hope you guys enjoy the slightly different sound we’ve formed in this latest album. As always we want to hear your views and opinions, just drop us an e-mail (jampaw@live.co.uk) and we’ll try and get back to you. Keep spreading the love.

Jon, Joe and Matt
JAMPAW

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