The Beatles “Nowhere Man”: Let the Song Speak

This is the third and final entry in a series examining a song from four different dimensions: songwriting, arrangement, performance, and production.  This post examines the latter two. So what do you do when you have such great material that don’t require a lot of decoration?  You get out of the …

The Beatles “Nowhere Man”: Arranging a Lean, Mean Impact Machine

This is the second in a series examining a song from four different dimensions: songwriting, arrangement, performance, and production.  This post focuses on the oft-overlooked aspect of music: arrangement. In the previous post we examined how John Lennon wrote an efficient little pop gem using two well-matched chord progressions and repetitive …

The Beatles “Nowhere Man”: How to Write a Song about Insecurity

This is a first in a series examining a song from four different dimensions: songwriting, arrangement, performance, and production. “Nowhere Man” from Rubber Soul is a brilliant little pop gem with biting commentary on humanity’s tendency to to stick to her/his comfort zones.  The impactfulness of the song is perfectly orchestrated by …

The Higher Purpose of Music

The other day there was a question asked in a group for musicians. What’s the higher purpose of your music? Someone like Elizabeth Gilbert, whose book Big Magic I adore, would take issues with that statement.  She encourages creatives to do it simply for the fun of it.  Don’t overburden yourself …

Songwriting Analysis: Why We Don’t Get Tired of Jimi Hendrix “Little Wing”

If you study jazz, you start with the standards.  But in my opinion standards also exist in the rock guitar lexicon as well — and this Jimi Hendrix gem is definitely one of them.  It’s a seemingly simple tune which repeats just one verse progression over and over.  Where does its …