…hee hee, that means two things!
I’m referring specifically to ‘Taking Notes,’ like you do in school, but…you know…it’s different when it’s not in school. Not a teacher saying something and you writing it down, but instead…your brain saying something…and you desperately ‘recording’ it somewhere…somehow…
…so you don’t forget it!
I have a hard time with ‘musical notes.’ I’m horrible with lyrics (I have NO skill writing a good lyric) but when one comes to mind that doesn’t make me puke in my mouth a bit, I try to get it down. On anything. A scrap, a business card…I once scraped the first word with my nail into my arm so I’d leave a little red reminder.
…I can’t remember what lyric that was. I guess the system isn’t that great.
Lyrics aren’t a problem to document anymore. Most people have a cell phone that at the very least lets you text yourself the lyrics so they’re down and safe. ‘Normal’ people keep a notebook on them at all times. I like notebooks, though I’m bad at the whole ‘Going back through what I wrote‘ thing.
What about melodies? The ‘song.’ Any songwriter or musician has experienced the pain of having a song pass through their head and thinking “It’s so good, there’s NO way I’ll forget it!”
…and it’s gone within the hour.
I used to guestimate key, and even draw lines, like a line graph, to represent the flow of the melody. It actually worked! When I’d get home I could figure out what I had heard, and record it on tape.
…I mean on my L33T COMPUTOR! Yes…I’m super young and fresh! I’ve never recorded on tape!
That’s a painful way to do things though. I highly suggest the following:
- Pick up a cheap-ass digital recorder…you can get them for as little as $50 and if it’s only to grab songs snippets then it’s worth it
- Have a smart phone? Try Evernote! You can take snapshots, text notes, AND voice notes and accessthem from your phone, a website, or even an app for your computer! I use it tosing ideas, and also jot lyrics in the same note. And yes, I’m being whorish…this is my favourite app. Evar.
- Also for smart phone you can use an internal voice memo, a recording program (I used Voxie before Evernote)
- No smart phone? Leave yourself a voice message if it’s really important…call your line, leave a message with the song!
Do you have any interesting ways you take note of song snippets, riffs, lyrics or melodies? What are they?