Original Song: Different By Design

It feels like forever since the last monthly song – I guess that’s the curse of getting the previous one’s take out early in the month. Anyway, here it is: Different By Design is the original song for March. There’s a different feel to this, and the song hasn’t turned out at all like I thought it originally would, but I guess that’s how these things roll

The process of pulling this together was pretty cool. The lyrics were written in about 20minutes one morning as I was having a coffee before a meeting. That night I somehow decided that I wanted it to be in the key of G# minor, and a quick look at the chords that would work resulted in strangely quick melody emerging. The only part that took a while was the recording of it. Originally I wanted to play it with more of a rock feel than usual (I’m desperate to write a good rock song, but I find it incredibly hard). But it started to sound better when played with an acoustic. At that point I thought I may end up just playing and singing it into a single mic, but over the weekend I started mucking around with more of a reggae feel, and here’s the result!

The lyrics are somewhat autobiographical and come from the fact I do find myself often taking a slightly left field approach to things… most people ride a surfboard, I like kneeboards; I’ve always preferred bass to guitar; I dabbled in mono skis; I liked single speed cycling (before it became hipster cool) etc etc.

For the technically interested, it’s a Garageband hi-hop drum loop that I’ve tweaked a bit; the rhythm guitar is my trusty Taylor T5 but heavily chopped up and rearranged; bass is a Fender Jazz 62 reissue; and the lead guitar is the T5 run through a Garageband funk patch. Nothing too special, but I quite like the result.


©2013 Chuck Smeeton

A wave is always overhead
When you’re riding on your knees
It may not be the norm,
But I’m doing what I please

I play a bass, not guitar,
I ride a single speed
Alternative is my chosen path
To meet my every need

Different by design,
Doing it my own way
Take the other path,
A mantra that will stay

A pencil and a fountain pen
Both tools that do the task
It’s what you do not what you say
It’s the questions that you ask

Hand tools will complete the job
Craftsmen not machines
Speed is not the goal
Satisfaction reigns supreme


It’s all about the journey
The end does not define the means
It’s not about where you go
It’s about what you have seen


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