Song Switch Engage

I just auditioned for and got a spot in an awesome cover band. I'm totally psyched to be a part of this band, but I now have to learn about 40 songs in a month. I'm feeling a little bit of pressure, my personal songwriting time has vaporized, and I can't stop thinking like a songwriter. I'm a little stressed.

I wish there was some kind of musical switch that I could engage: Writing UP, Performing DOWN.

Learning covers is almost the exact opposite of writing original songs. Instead of prepping your brain to be creative and explore new possibilities, you instead have to memorize other artist's songs by rote. I'll admit I'm having a hard time adjusting to this new mentality. Every time I try to learn a new part, I instead start thinking of cool ways to harmonize or rearrange it.

It's kind of annoying.

Songwriting is the practice of capturing fleeting ideas surfacing for air, before they return to the depths of your musical ocean. It is short-term memory management. On the other hand, preparing to perform a song is more about committing it to your long term memory in a way that lets you recall it at will.

I'm finding it's really tough for me to flip the switch. I imagine it will get easier as I go along; the creative part of my brain will become dormant. Problem is, that scares me too. I don't it to shrivel up and die; stop working altogether. I'm going to have to find a balance I guess. If nothing else, learning all these cover tunes will give me plenty of "inspiration" for new songs of my own.

OK. Head down, shoulder to the wheel. I'm going to learn these 40 songs, and then we'll see where my brain is.

* photo by somegeekintn


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