Riff week

Riff week wrap up

A couple of weeks ago I completed ‘riff week’. During riff week, I came up with a total of 7 ‘riffs’ and shared them on this website.

In total, it took me an average of 20 minutes for each riff from sitting down with the guitar to uploading it to the website. That means I’ve spent 2 hours and 10 minutes or so being creative over the week.

But riff week is only the beginning.

I spent riff week smashing out all my ideas as soon as I had them.

In the next week, I’m going to churn on those ideas, and make whole collections of related ideas and lyrics. I’ll churn for at least 20 minutes every day on the 7 riffs I came up with last week.

The experiment: churning

In the context I’m using it, churning is a process of going over and over the ideas so that I can come up with and record all the ideas and directions possible. The idea is that I will do this at the start, and decide on a direction for the riff at the start, rather than trying to work out the direction the whole way through the idea development.

If, after the churn process happens, I come up with other ideas, then they will be written down/recorded as stand alone new ideas.

The Result

The result I’m trying to achieve will be 7 riffs with fully developed ideas surrounding them that I can work on in the future. I won’t necessarily be posting any of this ‘churn’ to the Tom thing, but see if I can figure out a way to record progress.

Be it

I made it!

This is the last 'riff' post in riff week. That doesn’t mean I’ll never post a ‘riff’ again, but it does bring to a close my little project on creativity.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the output. I started the project last Monday on a whim even though I knew last week would be an extremely busy week at work (I had long meetings all day every day last week, as well as a work dinner on Wednesday night that meant I was out of the house from 07:00 to 22:00 that day). I figured I’d had the idea, why not go for it right now - I couldn’t wait for the ‘right time’ to come and bite me on the arse.

And so here are the fruits of my labor. A scratchily recorded, but meaningful chord collection asking you to ‘Be it’.

Be it


I've often wanted to write a song about Ghosts.

I think today's 'riff' would be the rhythm guitar background (I'm aware that by definition, this rhythm guitar piece isn't a riff, but what the hell!).

This guitar would appear with a steady beat, but with an erratic bass drum.

Unfortunately, the recording shows the limitations of the equipment I am using - the chords sound very tinny.


A third person view

I was a little late with this one!

I'll be uploading my 'riff' for today at the normal time (in a few hours) - in the meantime, I enjoyed writing this one.

With this one, I started thinking about the concept of viewing your life from a third person view. We spend a lot of time worrying about what that 'third person' thinks about what we are doing, but in reality don't really see what they see. We are making assumptions about what they see and, usually, projecting them as worse than they are.

Maybe I'll have lyrics before the end of the week.

A third person view

Progressive loading

I'm still surprised by how easily this is coming out.

I've been telling people for about 2 years that I've had "creative block ever since the band broke up", and yet, here I am coming up with a new idea every day.

Sure, it's lo-fi, sure it's the first take and okay, the ideas might all sound similar so far (bassy guitar riffs). But it's already more than I've done on this in 2 years.

And it's taking me 10 minutes a day!

Progressive loading

To weird

Today's 'riff' isn't so much a riff.

It's a little longer, with a varying parts.

That said, like each of the other riffs, this was recorded in one take. So the main reason it ended up longer is because I started playing and what you hear here is what came out.

Weird how that happens!

To weird


In doing this project, it has become clear to me that I need to slightly re structure my website to fit the content better.

You'll now see that the Writing thing is hosting Riff week content. This is because I feel that it is unneccesary and confusing to seperate the content on theTomthing in this way. I have thought of a new place for the Sound thing, and I look forward to sharing that in the future.

In the meantime, I have transferred Riff week over to the Writing thing, which means that all the posts now appear as though they were first published today. Sorry for the confusion!