Songwriting (part 3)

Today, I got the March/April issue of Worship Leader magazine in the mail. It’s a whole issue devoted to songwriting. How appropriate.

For quite a while, I was wanting to write a song about the “peace that surpasses all understanding” based on Philippians 4: 7. I spent a couple of months pondering this idea. Then one day, I experienced an incredible peace in a difficult circumstance. A few days later, the song “Peace” was written.

I wrote the lyrics before figuring out the music. In my head, it was a electric guitar-driven rock song. Kind of in the style of Creed. I sat down with my acoustic guitar to work out the music, and realized that it sounded really good as an acoustic song. I added some “nah-nah-nah’s” as placeholders for the lead guitar riff that was in my head. I ended up with a very nice acoustic song.

With this song, I began to notice that I try to cram a lot of words into each line. I also tend to have several words before the one-beat which makes it worse. When I was teaching the vocals to Mike, I had to show him where to breath. The verses had that many words in them! With the next few songs that I write, I’m going to make a deliberate effort to use as few words as possible.

When I played this song for the rest of Edge of Grace, they actually liked it! On December 16, 2007, we played it acoustic during the Sunday Morning Experience at GracePoint. The tempo was a little slower than I envisioned, but at least it didn’t drag. Chris had just bought an upright bass, which he played with a bow on this song. It was a nice touch.

You can listen to the live recording from that Sunday in our Virb music player here, if you’re interested.

Let me know what you think

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