The quest to write, record, produce and release a song a week. To read why I’m doing such a thing as well as being a full-time producer and musician for others, check out the first ‘A Song A Week’ blog post HERE.
Welcome to Week 8 of the A Song A Week blog. I’m going to dive straight in with how ‘Korvatunturi’ came to be in the space of just 2 days…
If you don’t have Spotify to stream whilst you’re reading, then you can buy the song on Google Play, iTunes and Amazon, or better even still, for the same price and supporting the blog, podcast and the song itself you can get the song directly from me at the amazing PATREON.
It’s also available on all major streaming and music stores across the internet, just search for ‘Tom B. Cooper Korvatunturi’ on your preferred service and it’ll show up!
The ‘Seinfeld Strategy’
8 weeks! Can you believe it?! Me either.
I’ve had an absolutely mad one this week. I’ve been non stop and as such my song this week wasn’t given the 2 day treatment the rest of the songs have been given. In fact, it hasn’t even been given the 2 hour treatment.
I recorded the guitar and the vocal (all that appear in this track) in 1 take. I can tell you that including setting the microphones up and finding the sweet spot and a couple of false starts to recording the song itself, it took me exactly 23 minutes.
“BUT HOW DID YOU WRITE AN ENTIRE SONG AND RECORD IT IN JUST 23 MINUTES, TOM?!”
I’ve barely had enough time to breathe, so when it came to doing this weeks song, I’ll admit, for the first time since I started, I was worrying about what I was going to do.
But, after a bit of reasoned thought, I decided that rather than try to write and record a brand new song song in the space of hours, I’d think of a simpler song of mine, already in existence. So that’s exactly what I did with Korvatunturi.
Want to know something else? I didn’t even write the lyrics. They were knocking about from a co-writing session that I had with my great pal Carly from Pipe & Tabor (they’re ace, you should check them out right HERE) all the way back in 2011!
“BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT THE REST OF THE SONGS HAVE BEEN LIKE SO FAR, TOM!”
Correct. But this is my project and I make the rules! So there!
This post could’ve easily gone along the lines of ‘Hey guys, I’m really sorry but I’ve just been sooooooooo busy this week, so I’ll be resuming A Song A Week next week. Thanks. Bye bye!’ but that would’ve just been rubbish, I’m sure you’ll agree. So instead I got this pretty little guitar line and lovely lyric and melody and I recorded them and released Korvatunturi.
“SO WHAT THE HELL HAS THIS GOT TO DO WITH SEINFELD, TOM, YOU MAD MAN?!”
I’m going to share with you an extract (quite a large one, but it’s worth it) from a post at jamesclear.com, put onto me by a good friend. You can read it in full HERE (I highly recommend you do – very well written for anyone that struggles with procrastination in any walk of life, not just us lazy crazy songwriters!)
Jerry Seinfeld is one of the most successful comedians of all time.
However, what is most impressive about Seinfeld’s career isn’t the awards, the earnings, or the special moments — it’s the remarkable consistency of it all. Show after show, year after year, he performs, creates, and entertains at an incredibly high standard. Jerry Seinfeld produces with a level of consistency that most of us wish we could bring to our daily work.
Compare his results to where you and I often find ourselves. We want to create, but struggle to do so. We want to exercise, but fail to find motivation. Wanting to achieve our goals, but — for some reason or another — we still procrastinate on them.
What’s the difference? What strategies does Jerry Seinfeld use to beat procrastination and consistently produce quality work? What does he do each day that most people don’t?
I’m not sure about all of his strategies, but I recently discovered a story that revealed one of the secrets behind Seinfeld’s incredible productivity, performance, and consistency.
Let’s talk about that what he does and how you can use the “Seinfeld Strategy” to eliminate procrastination and actually achieve your goals.
Brad Isaac was a young comedian starting out on the comedy circuit. One fateful night, he found himself in a club where Jerry Seinfeld was performing. In an interview on Lifehacker, Isaac shared what happened when he caught Seinfeld backstage and asked if he had “any tips for a young comic.”
Here’s how Isaac described the interaction with Seinfeld…
He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day.
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker. He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day.
“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”
You’ll notice that Seinfeld didn’t say a single thing about results.
It didn’t matter if he was motivated or not. It didn’t matter if he was writing great jokes or not. It didn’t matter if what he was working on would ever make it into a show. All that mattered was “not breaking the chain.”
And that’s one of the simple secrets behind Seinfeld’s remarkable productivity and consistency. For years, the comedian simply focused on “not breaking the chain.”
I really liked that idea that A Song A Week is a chain and I’ll be damned if only 8 weeks in I was going to break that chain.
Releasing Korvatunturi Was Scarier Than Jumping Out Of A Moving Plane
I’ve jumped out a moving plane at 20,000 feet. I’ve also jumped off a 216 metre high bridge. Before you call the authorities, I’m fine. I’ve done a sky dive and a bungee jump and I can tell you that when I published Korvatunturi I felt more nervous doing that than when I did either of those things.
If you’ve been following me from the start (or you know me as Kuqi), you’ll know that I’m often ramming my songs with different instruments and harmonies and funny rhythms and anything else I can cram in there.
But Korvatunturi is just me and an acoustic guitar.
I’ve done more gigs than you can shake a stick at of just me with an acoustic guitar and I absolutely love it. But performing Mr Brightside to a crowd of enthusiastic drunkards is a far more natural thing for me to do than to release a sweet little love song like Korvatunturi, exposed and raw and everything in between.
But as well as wanting to write more music (something I’ve failed to do this week, obviously) I also know that I want to challenge myself. Fair enough, I haven’t flexed my songwriting muscles this week, but you wouldn’t believe how hard I found it to actually hit the submit button. I had a bizarre mixture of what felt like butterflies and bricks in the pit of my stomach.
But, hey… I did it! I released another new song.
If I’m being totally honest with myself too, then I probably rely on production and the fact I can play a few instruments to a half decent level a little too much. I should be able to present all my songs as just me with an acoustic guitar and if the songs good enough, it’ll stand up, so the fact I’m comfortable with presenting this AT ALL as it is must mean that it’s alright!
A Lovely Message
I had a message from someone on Twitter the other day and it simply said
Your podcast inspired me to finally lose weight and stick to it. Your songs inspire me when I’m finding it tough. Thank you.
That’s all it said and it’s one of the most touching compliments I’ve had from my humble little project (for want of a better word)
Firstly, the person that messaged me isn’t a songwriter and secondly, they really get why I’m doing this.
They haven’t said ‘Your podcast inspired me to lose 5kg’s’ they’ve said that they’ve just done something about it and that’s perfect.
Whether you just read the blog or listen to the podcast for the insight, or you like to find little nuggets of wisdom from the ramblings of the aforementioned madman, or if you simply just like listening to the song then I hope you take something away from A Song A Week.
Oh and by the way, Korvatunturi is a place in Finland and Carly and I both agreed at the time, it just sounded cool.
Thank you so much for reading. I hugely appreciate it. The absolute best way you can support me and this blog is by listening to and sharing ‘Korvatunturi’. So you can…
Stream on Spotify
It’s available on all major streaming and music stores across the internet, just search for ‘Tom B. Cooper Korvatunturi’ and it’ll show up!
I absolutely love doing these, but they take up a lot of my own time and money, which as a self-employed musician, I don’t have a lot of either of those things! So you can also show your support on Patreon by clicking the image below, or by clicking right HERE. (If you haven’t heard of Patreon, it’s absolutely awesome for people like me, so go go go!)
I also do a weekly podcast to go with the A Song A Week blog, which I actually record as I go, so it’s really like you’re there with me as the song goes from idea to fully finished. To listen and subscribe to the A Song A Week Podcast, click the image below or right HERE. (If you’re on iTunes, otherwise just search for ‘Tom B. Cooper A Song A Week’ in your preferred podcast service and it’ll show up!)
Peace and happy music making.
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