My Favorite Ax is a Pencil

a pencilGuitarists have their Fender Strats, sax players have their favorite horns and so on. But a songwriter’s ax is his pencil.

There’s some comfort in knowing that as songwriters, we don’t have to go to the ends of the earth to find the perfect instrument, the killer amp, the right microphone, etc.

I’m not a purist. I do use the technology, including Band-in-a-Box, Lyricist, Sonar, eVirtualStudio, MasterWriter, Garageband, Audacity (free) and others. I don’t use these things exclusively, but many times the technology is helpful.

Other times it’s great to write a song the way they did back in Shakespeare’s time. OK, maybe they had quill pens instead of pencils. But they didn’t need a laptop, they didn’t need electricity. All they needed was a candle for light, a piece of parchment, pen and ink and their own wits.

It gives us the freedom to write anytime, anywhere, like while waiting in line at the motor vehicles bureau or walking the dog. You can write on a bus, in a boring class or meeting, in church, lying under a shade tree, while jogging on a treadmill, vacuuming, showering, commuting, etc.

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One Response to “My Favorite Ax is a Pencil”

  1. Corinne C. Says:

    Oh having a pad and pen (sorry – pencils break too easily) is imperative! Once I’ve scribbled enough stuff, it’s transfered over to Word, and I’ll print out the page, and scribble some more on that, going back and forth, refining and moving things around a bit until I’m satisfied – and done.

    As for the music – I don’t always have access to my Cakewalk program while I’m strumming or singing (in the bedroom, away from the computer) so I’ll rely upon that piece of paper to write down the notes (never was very good at using lined manuscript paper) and a hand held Olympus tape recorder.

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