Writing Songs Just For The “Trill” Of It
You’re in the woods and hear a bird singing. It is a long, held out trill. What is it? Unless you have perfect memory or pitch, you may have to put a little thought into it.
What’s the best method for distinguishing the call of let’s say a Pine Warbler from a Chipping Sparrow, Worm-eating Warbler, Junco, or other birds that sometimes make a similar trill? Obviously, the easiest way to tell what you are hearing is to get eyes on the bird. But if you can’t get a visual ID, the next best thing to think of is LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION.
While there are subtle audible differences in these calls, I still find myself stumped sometimes. But I always think, “where am I?…where is the call coming from?…up in a tree?…from the ground?…what time year is it?…etc”
If you live in Indiana and you hear a trill coming from your front yard in January, it is most likely that you are hearing some type of Junco call. If it is April and you hear a trill coming from the ground, you might look for that rufous cap of a Chipping Sparrow. Early on during migration, if you hear it up high in a Pine tree… well, you see where I’m going with that.
So I decided to dive a little deeper into one of these birds calls. I chose the Pine Warbler. After countless listens, I noticed that the pitch was variating throughout its trill. Being me, this started to put a melody in my head. While I tend to write songs that cover multiple genres, I was hearing something Metal \m/! After a few minutes of noodling on my guitar and an hour or so in my basement studio later… I cranked out this little diddy…