Friday, April 13, 2012
Some important things to keep in mind as you start the journey to become a songwriter.
YOUR PERSPECTIVE IS ESSENTIAL.
Although feelings tend to be where most songs start out, feelings aren't enough to make a good song happen.
Good songwriting joins a strong emotion with a unique idea or perspective on the emotional situation. Once you have that worked out your songs perspective on the situation presented in your material then your song has been born.
FORGET ABOUT BEING CLEVER. BE HONEST.
A word of advice to the fledgling songwriter.
Try making being honest rather than clever as your goal.
Being clever is for beginners. When we start we are up in our heads trying to figure out how to be unique.
But using complex language or ideas for the sake of being smart isn't what music is about. GREAT writer/artists like Dylan or Joni started out real simple, have a listen to their first few albums. And they ended up changing the world of songwriting forever!
DON'T SWEAT BEING 'UNIQUE"
Your unique "take" on life is something you don't have to over think ..it just is a fact of your existence. No two people ever think alike or have the same exact perspective so you're "take" on an emotional situation will end up being unique.
Your Emotions plus your Perspective are already unique. Develop THAT equation and keep writing you'll eventually find your identity as a songwriter.
Monday, April 9, 2012
Wanting to get going but don't know where to begin with Songwriting? It actually doesn't take much.
A willingness to get honest and write about your feelings is the most important key to making a start.
Songs come from human experiences and emotions. Someone made you feel bad. You want something very much. You are scared of something. Every big simple feeling we have as human beings are the start of a song.
STAYING HONEST AND SIMPLE!
Boiling your ideas down to very large and clear feelings is harder than it seems.That can often be the largest stumbling block for the beginner. We tend to be very thinky and work very hard to try and be unique or clever in our writing early in the game. Being truly honest with ourselves is a challenge for most of us in daily life, so it takes practice to be willing to declare our true emotions.
But developing songwriters soon learn that songs are primarily made of feelings. Big simple feelings that every human has experienced or can imagine experiencing. Thats the basic element that makes every good song work.
PRACTICALS: START A "LYRIC BOOK" AND KEEP IT HANDY!
Strong intense feelings are where most songs start. Bad day? Argument with a loved one? Excited about a possibility in your life?
Write down a few lines to describe the feelings you are having, I recommend a "lyric book" that you keep handy and fill with little snatches of lyric over time. (You'll refer back to it many times as you move forward as a songwriter).
Get good at putting pen to paper or fingers on the keys or frets when you are feeling something intensely. What you write doesn't have to be "good". Just honest. When I feel tears coming on I have learned to strap myself to the piano. 9 times out of 10 a song will be born.
The songs ask for honesty and demand that we get better at declaring our true emotional response to life. Thats something songwriting gives us. A greater understanding of ourselves and our reaction to the world.
PART 3 FINDING THE CO-WRITERS TO HELP YOU FINISH YOUR SONG IDEAS!
Please do log onto our SINGERS PLAYGROUND FACE BOOK GROUP for updates on upcoming workshops in your area http://www.facebook.com/groups/5584062509
ALSO have a look at THE BASICS OF SINGING clips. These Video's are a series designed to bring the viewer at home closer to vocal health and a good solid warm up until they can work one on one with a coach. http://www.youtube.com/MicahBarnes
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Focusing your Artist Identity through Songwriting is One Of The Ways Singers Empower themselves and Create Career Longevity.
I've had the opportunity to work with up and coming songwriters in seminars recently and it's been a pleasure to work one on one with emerging artists all of my coaching career (including J.P. Saxe pictured here when he was much younger)
When singers I am working with are ambitious for real success in the music industry one of the key factors I ask them to consider is always whether they could learn to write their own material.
Why? Songwriters get more chances at making a viable career. It's a fact of the Music Industry. Think of the net worth of Adele, Lady Gaga or Katie Perry? Would they be as powerful in pop if they were singing songs written by other people?
VERY few artists stay at the top singing other people's songs.
Being able to develop your own material broadens your profit stream, your longevity and your "reach" in this industry...
ALSO Your songs carry and express your identity In the marketplace. (Which means if you don't like your branding YOU have the power to change it). If YOU"VE had a hand in developing your material then you are much more likely to be in charge of your image and marketing.
Being the songwriter means having more power in your career. It's worth figuring out how to learn the basics of songwriting!
I'll be chatting through some of the basics in the next few blog postings as I think through the elements that a newbie should know as they tackle the process of learning how to write songs.