Hey all, Mike here, writing a song is a process, sometimes things come right away, and sometimes they don’t. I thought to illustrate I would present the journey I took to get “Not the Man” completed.
Remember at the beginning I am (or we) songwriters are searching for something interesting, most of the time things AREN’T interesting. There is a lot of waste. But among the waste you may find a gem. And it’s exciting and rewarding to work this stuff out, it’s problem solving done in a different way.
I have been looking back at my voice memos etc. and trying to pinpoint when I first conceived “Not The Man” to tracing it through it’s evolution to an actual song. I have ALOT of voice memos with song ideas, and every once in awhile I go through them, at first I thought this song began in August of 2022, but in retrospect it seems the very first voice memo I have was back on May 24th 2022.
May 24, 2022 file: “New Recording 154 im not the man – good” ***
Here it is:
You can see that it has a ways to go, I have a few different chord changes and song ideas in here, I am just trying to feel it out, and seeing if I get anything by improvising, etc. You can see that some of these chord changes weren’t pursued, but I think it’s safe to say I am happy that I recorded this and most importantly revisit it a couple of months later.
August 15, 2022 (my daughter’s birthday) file: “Not the man pt1 early urly urly chorus” ***
I must have gone through all of these voice memos in August (2022) because I revisited this and the next file I found chronologically was this:
Still working through the chorus, and chords, some more ideas that didn’t stick, just trying to get a verse here I think. I must have generally thought there was something here to explore.
August 23, 2022 file: “Not the man pr 2 reealy early”
This is me trying to workout the verse melody I think, I believe I woke up in the night and just sang into my phone, haha, not very coherent but I was able to decipher a verse melody out of this!
August 23, 2022 file “Not the man pt 3 early burly” ***
This is now becoming more like the verse. Not quite there, but still improvising /working it out. It has the higher register part, which was key for the verse.
August 24, 2022 file: “Not the man pt 4 first w chord mod”
I felt the 3 chords were just a bit too repetitive, so I came up with this change, even though it didn’t all stick it got me to take the song where I needed to. And the verse here is almost getting to its end state.
August 25, 2022 file: “Not the man pt 5 early ideas”
Still more of the same as the last one, but trying to work out the chord modification and vocal melody. Again it didn’t all stick.
September 9, 2022 file: “Not the man – pt 6 chorus/bridge idea”
Working out the bridge, just really improvising both vocally and musically. I like that I brought the chord modification into the bridge as well, it really fits. ***
September 19, 2022 file: “Not the man pt 7 bridge 1”
Still more work on the bridge, getting there, but not quite.
September 20, 2022 file: “Not the man pt 8 bridge – almost final”
More bridge work (hee hee), I don’t think I finalized it (the bridge) until later, and possibly finally worked it out with Nixon (Boyd).
October 25, 2022 First Demo – file: “I am Not the Man 2022-10-25 10:00AM”
This was a good demo, a demo doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should have all the important elements you will bringing into a song, it should give the producer a good idea about structure and melody and even instrumentation, sometimes though that can go all out the window.
So this demo is basically me adding instruments/vocals to programmed drums and jamming on guitar, lyrics are almost there, structure isn’t quite right yet as you can hear. And there was one more additional chord change that hadn’t been put in yet, you’ll hear it in the next demo, it’s the part that goes G – > F# -> Bmin -> A (hold) in the second verse. That A chord was a suggestion from Nixon and it is almost the last piece of the puzzle.
November 10, 2022 New Structure Demo (after discussion with Nixon Boyd) file: “I am Not the Man New STRUCTURE 2022-11-10-8:18”
Ya this one is almost exactly what we recorded, lyrics may have been slightly changed but the new outro vocals really lift the song. And as you have heard on the finished song the live drums really make a difference and give everything the feel it needs, along with the polished vocals and running bass lines.
Feb.8, 2023 Final Mixed Version Here is the final version (after mastering, and in video format)…