This series asks songwriters to describe their writing process, and what influences them.

Here, Vancouver singer-songwriter Reid Jamieson:

"My song writing process usually goes down in one of two ways. The first being the lightning bolt method where I am struck with a melody or idea and the whole song just tumbles out, whole and perfect, and I am a happy man.

The second way takes a little more craft, creation and collaboration. I use this song immersion method I learned about from The Frustrated Songwriter's Handbook where I sequester myself for a full day, with no distractions, pre-prepared meals even, and then set myself the goal of writing 20 songs in one day. I don’t usually hit 20 songs, and they are often only a minute in length, but the nugget of inspiration, a lyrical hook, melody or even just a sound effect, these are the gems mined on that day. After that my wife/manager and musical partner combs through the results and begins the editing/magic mining process. She has a way with language that I aspire to.

Above: Reid Jamieson performs RAIL in his home studio.

She can take my raw inspiration and make it more poetic and substantial. Carolyn also has arrangement ideas that I may not have thought of. For instance, when Stuart Mclean wanted some train themed songs for a show he took me on with the Vinyl Cafe one year, she took a little guitar riff that came out of one of these sessions and just stood in front of me and streamed the lyrics to 'Rail' over top of it, and voila. 'Rail' went on to be placed in TV shows and contests and has brought us much joy. We have our own little music factory here in our home studio, that also comes with us wherever we go. This method produced half of my last record 'Staring Contest' and continues to work for me when the lightning bolt doesn’t strike first."

Reid Jamieson's latest album is Staring Contest


How I write: Kathryn Calder

How I write: Brad Barr (The Barr Brothers)

How I write: Jenn Grant

How I write: Dan Mangan

How I write: Wayne Petti (Cuff The Duke)


posted by Brad Frenette on Mar 14, 2012