Monday, November 8, 2010


I want to start writing about my music! I would like to share with you the writing, creating and recording processes of my songs. And as I record new songs I will be posting the step by step process that I go through. (For example right now I have guitar and vocals recorded for this particular song. I plan on doing more to the song and as I do I will let you know what was added so you can listen and hear the difference from the beginning to the end.)

The first song I am going to write about is the most recent song I have been working on. It is called When. It can be found at so you can listen to it before or after you learn about it! :)
(If for some reason that link doesn't take you to the right place go to, click on music, then click on unreleased tracks, and that should take you to the right place!)

Writing and Creating of When
When I was writing this song, I had a particular progression of chords that I had been messing around with and I really wanted to use them in a song. I was trying a lot of different strumming and picking patterns and in the midst of messing around ended up making up my own pick pattern. Fancy! I know! :)

I had the pick pattern and strum patterns that I wanted but didn't know what to sing about. Here is a secret for you...I have a hard time writing lyrics to songs! I am not much of a poet...I don't think...but sometimes I swear it is just a moment of inspiration and then it is gone! It is amazing! And sometimes I am really surprised at the lyrics that come out.

When figuring out what I want to sing about I will often think of other peoples experiences I have watched or heard about, or I will make up a fictional experience that I am sure has happened to someone or I imagine happening to someone (if that makes any sense at all), OR...yes I know this is crazy!...I will write from my own personal experiences!

On this particular song, I wrote from my personal experience combined with some fictional feelings that are maybe a little more dramatic than what I would generally feel. In other words...sometimes my songs come out more dramatic than what I am really feeling... :)

I met someone kind of unexpectedly once and a relationship began to blossom pretty quickly. It had been a while since I had felt the feelings you get when you start a new relationship. So the song portrays someone who has been lonely and someone else comes in and takes that loneliness away kind of by surprise. So you get the lyrics, 'when did the sun shine again, when did the clouds part and penetrate my heart? When did I smile again?'

I find that being single for a long time makes a person put up more walls, or doubt the possibility of a relationship lasting. I don't mean to sound negative, but the reality is (in my opinion)...the longer you are single, the more times you get to deal with heartache! The reason I tell you this is to explain the part of the song that says, 'when will someone else be replacing me.' And there is another part where it says, 'can I let this happen again, can I open my heart and let you do your part? Dare I face the fear that love is? Can I?'

If you ask me, it is scary to open the relationship doors again and again! Especially when you have been hurt before. is something we have to do, and we have to do it confidently or those doors can close again really fast merely because of your lack of willingness to try, your insecurities or fears.

In case you can't tell, I really do think a lot when I write lyrics to my songs. They all have deep meanings to me. I will try to keep up on posting new songs and old songs, including the reasons why I wrote them and their particular process of recording. Which brings us to our next subject!

Recording When

I record with Ryan Tilby and I like recording with him because he is fast and does a great job! He is great at editing while we go along, and I have found myself to be kind of an impatient recorder! ha ha!  I want things moving and done quickly but I want them done well too!

For this song I recorded the guitar part alone and then recorded the vocal track on top of that. I like doing the  parts separately because then you have a lot more control over the different parts. So if there is a spot where the guitar track needs to be softer then it doesn't effect the vocal part when you lower the volume on the guitar part. Stuff like that...if you know what I mean! :)

Once we have a rough recording Ryan gives it to me to listen to so I can pick at it. I usually find a few places that I want to fix, whether it is a spot where the guitar sounds funny, my vocal sounds funny or flat (I hate being flat!) or if I don't like the way I said a word...that happens sometimes...etc... Another thing I like to do is figure out if I am going to do back up vocals and where I am going to put them in the song. We decided that this particular song needed a lot of back up vocals so I listened to it a lot and came up with a lot of different ideas to try out.

Back in the studio we fixed all the little things that were bothering me, and then we started recording the back ups. Back ups are one of my favorite things to record!  I love harmonizing! I love coming up with new lines and melodies! And let me just tell you...sometimes miracles happen in the studio. Harmonies you never thought of...guitar parts that you have never played but accidentally come out and sound awesome, so you keep them! I love it! In this particular case, we ended up layering a lot of harmonies on top of each other and you may not realize it but there are a few parts where there are four different parts being sung at the same time! It is awesome!!

Whew! I hope you made it through all that! If not, I hope you at least listened to the song! :) Now...if you haven't already should definitely go listen now! Especially if you took the time to read my giant entry!... here is the link again!

I hope I helped you understand my song a little better!!

1 comment:

  1. Kat! you are so talented! Thank you for sharing. What you have to say is helpful to so many people so thank you for having the guts to voice it in more ways than one.