One thing that I’ve always been fascinated by is the progression of a song.
I’ll often go through my old music folders and click on some random song that I’ve collaborated on. Then I listen to the very first track where it all began. It truly baffles my mind when I hear the before and after tracks. Kind of reminds me of Beauty and the Beast…but more like Beast then the Beauty!
In all fairness, the first few tracks of a potential masterpiece usually are a bit rough, and I really enjoy reminiscing once the song is completed. It reminds me of how much fun I had during the process. The ups and sometimes the downs, but nonetheless the experience that goes along with collaborating.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and listen to some of my favorite song progressions.
First up is a song called Your Guide. I’ll spare you the weird details of where I was when I thought of the initial idea. It was the very first song that I wrote without being inspired by a piece of music. That was pretty rare, I usually need to hear a music track before writing a melody or lyrics – but for this song, it was opposite. I wrote the melody & lyrics first.
This was my initial Acapella idea.
I shipped it off to Lee and the next day he sent back an acoustic guitar track that seemed to fit like a glove.
I was super excited to record a rough draft of my vocals, and just as expected, the vocals & guitar blended beautifully.
Still, I felt it needed something else. I added some background vocals but thought it would be even better if Lee added some as well. Yeah, that worked out beautifully.
A few tweaks later, properly recorded vocals & lots of lurve – we finally got it done.
Here is the finished version of Your Guide.
This next song is called Love’s Philosophy. I was in a weird kind of mood when I wrote this. I was humming a melody in my head all day while thinking about the components that make up love.
This was my poorly played idea.
I sent it to Lee and he really liked it, again, the next day he sent me a rough guitar track.
Over the next few days I finished writing the lyrics and recorded a very rough draft to see if the verses would work.
With a few tweaks and some background vocals added, we got the last draft done. Lee wanted to keep it raw and organic so he didn’t want to add anymore instruments…or so he thought!
I properly recorded my vocals, Lee recorded his guitar – but he felt the song was still missing something. Bongos! He actually bought a set of bongos to add some flavor to the song. Yeppers, that’s devotion!
Here is the finished version of Love’s Philosophy.
The last song is called Addicted. It took us over a year to complete! Lee had an idea for an eighties inspired rock song, and I was stoked when I heard it!
I quickly came up with a melody & lyrics and recorded a rough draft. But something was definitely lacking, but we couldn’t quite figure it out. Lee thought it might be the bridge, or lack of it – but I felt it was my vocals that were coming up short.
We wound up putting the song on the back burner, but every now and again we’d talk about it and would try to somehow get motivated to continue were we left off. About 6 months later, Lee sent me an acoustic version in hopes we’d get enthusiastic about recording it again. So I figured I’d give it a shot…it didn’t work though.
Neither of us wanted it to be an acoustic song, so we went back to the Rock idea. Lee wrote and recorded a new bridge for the song, and I was inspired to give it another shot. I also decided to record background vocals this time, which really beefed up the pre-chorus.
A few days later, we finally got it done. Halleluiah! It was definitely an experience that I’ll remember, and I really appreciate the fact that Lee didn’t give up on the song.
Here is the finished version of Addicted.
All in all, each collaboration that I am a part of is a special one. I love that I am able to recapture all the fun and sometimes crazy moments by listening to each track in its different stages. The good, the bad, and the ugly – they’re all beautiful to me.
Do you have a crazy or special collaboration experience? Share it below!