Write Better Songs By Knowing How Your Body Works

If you’ve ever struggled to finish all the song ideas that you have, you’re in the right place.

Last week I introduced Ari Meisel’s concept of the external brain. It’s an effective way to capture and organize all your song ideas.

However, once you create your external brain you may realize that your ideas aren’t turning into songs.

It doesn’t matter how many songwriting ideas you have if none of them actually become songs.

So this week you’re going to learn:

  • How to sort through your ideas and decide which ones are worth pursuing.
  • How to take them from idea to execution.

The first thing you need to understand is how your body works. More specifically,

What’s Your Chronotype?

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary:

Chronotype is the internal body clock of an individual that influences the cycle of sleep and activity in a 24-hour period.

In other words, your Chronotype dictates when should you work on:

  • tasks that need focus.
  • tasks that need you to be open-minded and creative.
  • mindless tasks.

Here’s how it plays out for me: I’m a morning person.

In the morning I wake up fast (it drives my wife nuts!) After brushing my teeth and making a cup of coffee, I’m awake and ready to go.

I have tons of energy, focus, and vigilance. I’m able to shut everything out and focus on tasks that need my full brain power.

Then, after about 90-120 minutes, I start to fade…

…I move into a slump period. Eating lunch is the nail in the coffin. Nothing useful is going to happen for the next few hours. During this time I do mindless tasks such as checking email, tidying up, bookkeeping, etc.

Often, I just call it in the afternoon and take a power nap.

Then, later in the evening, I move into a second wind. What’s different about this phase from the first phase is that my vigilance is gone. I’m unable to shut everything out.

Because of this, I’m much more open to creative ideas. So this is the part of the day that I review the ideas I captured in my external brain.

You might not be a morning person, that’s okay.

What is important is that you identify the three periods of your day.

The times when you’re vigilant, in a slump or experiencing a second wind.

The best way to figure out your peak time is by taking a tap test every hour for a few days. You’ll start to notice that there is a 2 hr. window when your scores are generally higher.

That’s your vigilant time or peak time.

You probably already have a good idea of your slump time. And by knowing those two, you’ve now identified your second wind.

Once you’ve identified your second wind, set up IFTTT to send you a digest of your “On-The-Go” ideas during that time.

This is when you review your ideas. You’re going to notice some of them aren’t that great, but a few have potential.

Upon realizing that an idea has potential, the question then becomes: what are you going to do with it?

I’ll discuss how to actually complete your songs in the third and final blog post of this series.

Stay tuned!

Chris

Testimonials

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It is no exaggeration to say that without Chris Jacobie we wouldn’t be a band today. He has been with us since we were playing for 6 people in Austin & was there a few nights ago when we played for 1,000.

Penny & Sparrow

Austin, TX & Florence, AL
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“Chris has some of the best ears and ideas in the business! Plus, he makes an artist feel at ease and welcome in a studio environment.”

Decca Recording Artist: Jarrod Dickenson

Nashville, TN
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As a producer, Chris just gets the big picture of where you are coming from and where you want to go. He helps protect the sound you want while at the same time exploring new ideas. We cannot wait to go back!”

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Lexington, KY
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"The questions Chris asked and the challenges he posed along the way broadened my understanding of myself as a songwriter, and of the craft itself.”

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St. Louis, MO
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“I don't know enough about sound and audio to say why, but I know that when I work with Chris, I can trust that he knows what I want. And that's totally kickass!”

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Nashville, TN
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“We love Chris's creativity in the studio. Working with him is like a360-degreee musical experience. It's AWESOME!”

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Fredericksburg, TX

Chris Jacobie

Hi, my name is Chris Jacobie. I'm a music producer from San Antonio, TX. I help musicians make better records ...even if they don't have much money.

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