Hello all... I have a few comments and then a question...

First, a few words so you know where I'm coming from. I've just recently started recording and songwriting. But I've been playing music for a long time. What may be interesting to you is that I also come from the fine arts side where I have had to deal with oil painting composition - an art that shares a lot of problems with songwriting.

Here's the problem that I've had so far: just as in art, I find that I have a lot of ideas. Few of them have anything to do wtih one another, though. I'll come up with a guitar riff or drum line that I really like... but then I have nothing to go along with it. When I paint, it's like having one or two objects that work really well together... but no background for the painting. It's frustrating.

One more thing: I agree that artistic composition comes primarily undiluted from inspiration. Trying to intellectualize the process of creativity tends to silence it. But that said, I know there are techniques in art that one can use to "jump start" the creative process, if you will, and get things going again with a particular idea... even if it's after a period of weeks or months.

So now the question ... Does anyone know of a decent way of channeling the inspiration in songwriting in a way that tends to produce *complete* songs, rather than just snippets?

With painting, it feels a bit easier to me to "see" the idea in toto in my head... Since you can't really hear an entire song at once.... it seems more difficult.

Any ideas?
What I do is record a whole backing track and then record some leads over that. Once thats done i'll have a better idea of where the songs going and then i'll most likely re-record the whole thing with what I want. Moral of the story is complete something even if its garbage and then redo it. Masterpieces aren't created on the first go around!

*edit - check out my song on my profile....if you notice the two solo things are exactly the same....i just put that together to get it done and now I have to rework it.

Basically for me... When I'm writing, I make sure that I get something down... all the way to the end. Even if it isn't what I really want it to be around, I just kind of channel my ideas and write where ever they lead... then I let it sit for at least a night, so I kind of lose the train of thought I was on when I was writing it... then I go back and re-read it a day or two later, and from there I can really start to tweak/re-write the parts I want in order to make it what I want it to be.

You just have to let it go and not worry about it going where you want the first time, and then re-work it later. Unlike art... you can cross out lines on this... so its definitely a strong way to go.

peace and coconuts,