This weekend I checked out Tom Hank’s latest flick, Sully.
This shouldn’t be a spoil alert if you pay attention to the news much.
If not, can’t help you there.
Stop reading here if you want the movie to continue to be a mystery after all these years…
But, there’s a good songwriting lesson coming out of it whether you read on or not.
Here we go…
Back in 2009, After Sully dropped his commercial flight airplane straight into the Hudson River, there was a big investigation.
To some he became an immediate hero, to others, he was blame for losing a multi-million dollar plane and risking 155 souls aboard.
Many flight sims showed he could have made it to more than one air strip.
He stood by his gut feeling he did what needed doing based off how the plane felt.
He even asked for flight sims taking human error into account.
They asked, “Are you really sure you want to do that?”
It’d kind of be pilot suicide if they showed the same results as the other simulations.
He was, and they did.
Streaming live in front of the entire investigative review board, they too showed he could have made it to an air strip.
He stood by his gut feeling, said both engines were gone, and no thrust could be gotten.
The data collected from the plane showed one engine was still operable.
He said it was gone, they said it was not.
Finally, he told the investigative board to quit pissing around and account for human decision time in the flight sims. They allowed 35 seconds.
Not much, but he took it.
Every simulation failed to return the plane to an airstrip.
Then to kick it off, they retrieved the engine in question…
It was indeed trashed and out of commission.
Despite the data…
Despite all the technical flight simulations…
His gut was right.
How does this fit into your songwriting?
Sometimes you have to follow your gut on what a song needs or doesn’t need.
Maybe you need a second bridge…
Maybe you need to start with the chorus not a verse…
Maybe you need to abandon a rhyme scheme altogether…
Maybe you need a whole separate intro section which happens just once in the song…
I don’t know what it is for you and your song.
But sometime, you might need to skip the flight instructions and fly by your experience for a safe landing.
Warning. Sully knew the rules…
He knew the procedures…
He aborted them only when he knew it was needed.
99% of the time, he follows the proven instruction.
For good reason.
Songwriting is same.
Don’t just buck the guidelines just to be different.
That’s just being egotistical.
Your listeners have established the songwriting rules we follow, but sometimes the writer knows best.
If you abandon the rules, be sure it’s the only way there is to bring your message in safe and sound.
Get some proven ways to lift your song off the runway with this month’s Tune Booster. https://www.tunesmithtips.com/newsletter/