Paul McCartney once said that even if a songwriting session didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, it was still valuable practice. And that is exactly how you hone a craft: remaining patient and persevering. Every songwriter needs ways to improve their writing. Robben Ford listened to many different songwriters throughout the years, and picked up little bits of influence from each along the way.
In his Purple House edition of SongCraft, Robben walks you through his creative writing process for six of the songs on his new record, Purple House.
Here is a song lesson from the course. For the full course, check out Robben Ford’s SongCraft: Purple House on Truefire!
Robben Ford Song Lesson – Bound For Glory: Overview
The next song is called “Bound for Glory”, which was not written on an acoustic guitar, actually written on an electric in the back lounge of a bus while on the road. It too is down a half-step; this theme throughout the record is because of my vocal range. This is a choice you can make, and should make if it’s going to suit you better!
Let’s listen through the song, then I’ll demonstrate each of the guitar parts for you.
Robben Ford Song Lesson – Bound For Glory: Lyrics & Conception
So, this song is basically about getting free from a relationship that’s uncomfortable…and being very happy about it, while wishing the other person well. Let’s run through the lyrics, then I’ll break down how this song came to be.
Robben Ford Song Lesson – Bound For Glory: The Tempo & Feel
I’m very fond of double-stops played on the low strings, and especially so when you can drone another string against it. So, there’s the feel of the song…with a nice march to move it along. The whole thing has a whole Exodus feeling to it, with the lyrics matching the mood.
Robben Ford Song Lesson – Bound For Glory: Chord Progressions & Voicings
As mentioned, the song opens with double-stops. We build off of that, and broaden them up to develop the chord voicings that follow. Let’s go through each of the voicings I chose for the progression here, and next up we’ll work through the electric guitar part that I’d play with a band.
Robben Ford Song Lesson – Bound For Glory: Electric Orchestration
I’m going to play for you now what you’d hear if catch us playing “Bound for Glory” live with a band. There are a couple secondary guitar parts that I’ll show you a little later, too. Let’s get to it!
Digging this free songwriting lesson? Check out Robben Ford’s full course, SongCraft: Purple House.