Starting Songwriting Somewhere

Just DO IT! – Shia LaBeouf

We all start somewhere. And we are all not that great when we do. I started actually really late. I have had songs on the radio a few times which got me Socan membership here in Canada but I certainly didn’t start at 8. Not real songs anyways…

My first instrument was bass which is still to this day my strongest instrument and the thing I get hired for the most. I presently play in the celtic band Cookeilidh which I’ve been in (when I wrote this anyways) as of about 2006. Nobody is actually sure. We started so gradually and went through a few changes so nobody really knows exactly.

Anyways who’d write it down? Wierd…

Songwriting always seemed like lead guitar to me, something that was like “super talented genius” types only. But being a bass player I think slowly introduced me to how it actually was pretty reachable. And oh yeah, at first everything was pretty clunky and simple. That one on the top was one of my earlier, but that was one of the good ones. I think the first one was called Passages and it was described once as a “Car on square wheels”. Not really complimentary. I did have one song called Take Me Higher though which is now on my first album that I wrote back then in about 96 and it worked. My production of it wasn’t amazing but it was my nineties open stage winner at the time. How did I write it? It was lyrics first, it was guitar chords that seemed to work in church and other than that it was so simple and basic I though it obviously wasn’t any good.

Lots of songwriters I’ve played bass for are like that by the way. Everyone discredits their best songs because I think of how easily it comes out.

Playing guitar for came from a bass teacher who said I should use a chord instrument of some kind and my mom had this discarded classical guitar so I learned all the basic chords from a book. The church thing came when my first thing of playing bass for them switched when the guitarist left and i was thrust in front of the congregation. They were forgiving (hehe) but it got me to learn the basic open chords and basic fingerstyle fast.

The main thing is to just start. The story of famous musicians who literally learned on the job is almost a cliche and as a bassist I can give you multiple accounts of proof that you are never to old to try. Songs are great fun and have the effect of being like a sound and words version of a diary like “where I was then.”

I have just tapes and tapes (autocorrect fought me on that. Yes, tapes!) of my music from back then. These days people are using more computer software to mix songs but I still use a Zoom L12 multitrack which is just the digital upgrade from how I used a four track tape recorder. You had to use the good tapes to get the full four tracks and you heard stuff backwards when you flipped it over which was wierd but fun.

Anyways I got to get ready for work and I’m totally pushing it. I’m going to see how these posts go. Thank you for reading!

Cheers!

Tom

Keep the content going!

Since I posted that other one about “Content Creators” I have been doing a post a day on Instagram and now Tik Tok. I haven’t been on here as much as it is more the hub for my thoughts and what I do but I may bring them over here more regularly as well.

On Instagram I got as tompogsonmusic and it has been one or more songs a day for the two months now which I am proud of.

This one i did as a request and since I was compared to Simply Red long ago.

Cheers,

Tom

#MondayMotivation

This will be a blog on the move.

I practice music every morning, and did so this morning for a short period but we planner to head out to my parents and that means time to travel. Traveling makes me think because, well, most of the time you are stuck with that.

In some situations you can play music on ferries or busses, and I have, but to me writing works better. It’s like you are already doing something so anything you add is a bonus. And you’re stuck there for a while so don’t worry about being too keen.

What I want is to perform more, which was recently inspired by the story of Ed Sheeran. Now I have performed lots already, but I want to do more especially with my keyboard which is fast becoming my second primary instrument. I learned guitar as a early bass teacher told me I should learn a chord instrument and my mom’s nylon string was around so I started learning, accelerated when I told the church choir I had started and then the guitarist quit, putting me alone in front of a congregation (along with singers). They were a forgiving audience 😏 but it did help to get me ability to play and change chords fast happening.

Even with all that though, and being a bassist, I could never really get into crazy levels of playing, or taking it seriously. I wanted to because I knew I should but it was like a less comfortable bass to me so soloing and really fine playing has never really happened.

Playing keys really didn’t become a thing until almost a year ago now (I had one around for multitrack attempts, a la Depeche Mode) but never actually tried to play a song solo and sing. Naturally I knew C major. Not altogether hard to find, that one.

More recently I have fallen into a once a day pattern of putting something out there. I’m still on the bus as we speak and between parent’s and work I imagine this will be today’s.

Kind of fits with the sleepless one before. What would you like to try? Take some time when you are next stuck in traffic of any kind. Note apps are just amazing for this.

“You dream of something and it’s a thought. You write it down and take action on it and it’s real” Anthony Robbins

Today’s music will be this one I just rediscovered of Scott Walker of the Walker Brothers. I think last time was Scott as well but I thought I would add his hit.

Click here!

Cheers!

Tom

☺️

The triumph of impossible things

“There is no today or tomorrow. It’s all one day.” Janis Joplin.

Here we are on the first day of spring, one of our four months. It is 8:25 in the morning here on March 20th and even the temperature is something I could probably acquire with little to no effort. As we grow up, becoming the “tall child holding a beer” to quote comedian Dylan Moran, we increasingly are swamped with rules that make everything like a intricately functioning clock. Some, and myself included try to escape these inevitable rules through different things like skipping sleep or allowing the day to wander without a watch or device in sight. I swear that here in Victoria there is increasing wackiness amongst the Thursday to Saturday night party crowds as if they could wacky the realities away. The question is are they like the contemporary idea of zombies during the fun, or next morning? This isn’t the escape to impossible. Neither is me going “stuff it” and leaving the so-called “smartphone” (which leaves you stranded when dead as we’ve come allow it to memorize phone numbers, show you what people near you are eating and has you watching a person watching their screen, along with 4000 other people because they may do something soon. But hate to bite the hand.)

When you drive up the malahat, there are power linea that swing over Finlayson arm and up the hill. I’ve wanted to zip line them before that was a thing. I’m aware it would kill me via falling, high voltage or a mix of both but that’s not the point. I’d love to go rooffop to rooftop in town like some kind of Parisian bandit. Id love to find a portal to other worlds just under that table in the living room.

Now you. Take a moment to think of something that’s impossible that would be great fun. Allow it to just happen and really visualize it as hard as you can. You don’t need special training or years of plowing through libraries. Just give your day a break from being that tiringly exact, all grown up day.

Enjoy!