The other day, I felt the dreariness of isolation. It wasn’t loneliness because I am lucky to social distance with my family. Fortune smiled on us because we like being around each other. The dreariness came from the rain and the new normal stretching on and on. Monotony comes from not knowing what is next and finding no guidance on how to proceed. Uncertainty undermines making plans.
In the midst of this bout of boredom, I picked up my ukulele. As I strummed through different chords, I thought about this moment and sang with the chords, “Looking around and wondering what’s next.” From there, several lines flowed together and seemed to land on the resonate point, “It’s a good day to be alive.”
For me, songwriting has always been a bit more perspiration than inspiration. A line or two, or a thought, comes in a flash. After than instant, writing the rest of a song is work. It’s joy-filled work. I love doing it. Since no one has ever paid me to do it, I write songs and play my guitar for fun. As an avocation, I can walk away at any moment. This might explain why I can remain focused on finishing a song or recording or video. There’s no external pressure. The work is gratifying and I do it for myself.
As “Good Day” came together, I decided to see how the ukulele would sound with a guitar. My son Dean played the ukulele while I strummed my 1978 Yamaha AE2000 archtop behind it. That didn’t work. The sounds didn’t match. Then, I tried my 2017 Martin D12X1AE 12-string guitar, and the two instruments complemented one another.
I recorded the ukulele first. I recorded my 1970s Univox Hi Flier bass next. Adding the 12-string, voice, and a lead part from the archtop filled out the song. Finally, I used a conga loop and GarageBand’s AI drummer Levi for percussion. I’m pleased with the result and hope you enjoy it.