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What is a songwriting workshop?

Brakn 28 May 11 - 07:07 AM
BobKnight 28 May 11 - 07:31 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 May 11 - 02:55 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 May 11 - 02:56 PM
Bernard 28 May 11 - 02:57 PM
Tattie Bogle 28 May 11 - 06:04 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 28 May 11 - 10:10 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 May 11 - 10:37 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 29 May 11 - 07:52 AM
Suegorgeous 29 May 11 - 08:41 PM
Brakn 30 May 11 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 30 May 11 - 07:13 AM
wysiwyg 30 May 11 - 07:39 AM
Suegorgeous 30 May 11 - 07:50 AM
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Subject: What is a songwriting workshop?
From: Brakn
Date: 28 May 11 - 07:07 AM

What is a songwriting workshop?


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Subject: RE: What is a songwriting workshop?
From: BobKnight
Date: 28 May 11 - 07:31 AM

This is a term that covers a lot of ground. Some are more a talk on "How I Write Songs," with a few tit-bits of information on how that person goes about his/her craft, accompanied by a few of their songs to illustrate what they do.

Others are a more of an encouragement to actually write songs, by perhaps giving a theme, or song title and getting everybody to jot down their thoughts, or as in one case, one person wrote a first verse and going round the folks there, they all wrote a verse, or contributed to a verse, until a song was complete.

So, generally speaking, it can be a talk, or a practical song writing exercise. No doubt other will know different approaches, but these are the ones I've seen so far.


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Subject: RE: What is a songwriting workshop?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 May 11 - 02:55 PM

I've led many songwriter's workshops, and they are very different fdrom songwriting workshops. I've never led a songwriting workshop and woulkd have to find a different mind-set to do it. I don't even think I could tell myself how to write songs. Some songwriters are intuitive and write when the spirit moves them. That's how I am. Others write religiously; or semi-religiously almost every day, whether the Spirit is moving or sound asleep. For them, songwriting is a discipline. Neither approach is inherently superior. Intutive songwriters still must hone their craft, and those who approach songwriting in a more regular, disciplined way still need to have something to say.

I've always found it interesting to hear other songwriters talk about the way they write songs, pulling out phrases and lines from songs they've written to illustrate their point. It's less a Songwriting For Dummies class than a mutual exploration of the mysterious process of writing songs.

If you want to write songs to make money, I'm not the man to talk to. Commercial songwriters have a different perspective and apporach.


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Subject: RE: What is a songwriting workshop?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 May 11 - 02:56 PM

The best thing about songwriting is there are no typos.


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Subject: RE: What is a songwriting workshop?
From: Bernard
Date: 28 May 11 - 02:57 PM

Ask George P - he's running one at Chester Folk Festival this weekend!


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Subject: RE: What is a songwriting workshop?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 May 11 - 06:04 PM

As BobKnight has suggested, they come in all shapes and sizes, from the didactic to the descriptive, to just dissecting one song, or "write a song to include the 4 words you've just pulled out of a hat": also the participants can vary from regular writers looking for new ideas to "never written one in my life".
While I tend to write my songs on my own, I would also acknowledge that some of my better songs have come out of workshops, maybe because I've been taken out of my usual thread of thought, or even comfort zone.


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Subject: RE: What is a songwriting workshop?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 28 May 11 - 10:10 PM

It is an avenue - for sorry, pitiful, tortured souls - to reveal their angst...to a world of uncaring, apathetic, burned-out .... wannabes.

Sinceerely,
Gargoyle

A red-white-blue USA ahead.


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Subject: RE: What is a songwriting workshop?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 May 11 - 10:37 PM

Which one are you, Gargoyle. :-)


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Subject: RE: What is a songwriting workshop?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 29 May 11 - 07:52 AM

I'm doing one at Weymouth this next weekend with Fraser Nimmo and (master of DADGAD) Paul Openshaw.

I can't tell you how to be a successful songwriter. Its a bit like getting navigation tips from the Captain of The Titanic. However with such pleasant company - I'm sure it will be a fun event.

Its a serious workshop though.......you'll need chisels, screwdrivers, nuts, bolts, washers and screws - sticky back plastic and used toilet roll holders.


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Subject: RE: What is a songwriting workshop?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 29 May 11 - 08:41 PM

You'll probably only really find out by going to one.


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Subject: RE: What is a songwriting workshop?
From: Brakn
Date: 30 May 11 - 03:51 AM

Point taken Sue and thanks for the other remarks.

I had visions of someone saying here are four chords, notes from a scale, mix them up and then get yourself a rhyming dictionary. I have heard plenty who IMO have done just that and then call themselves "songwriters". You wonder at their confidence as they trawl their "songs" around club after club. (That may be a bit simplistic.)

Analysing great songs/songwriters would be interesting but then again one man's "great songwriter" could be the next man's charlatan. (Don't start me on The Charlatans. ;-)

I'm not a songwriter.


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Subject: RE: What is a songwriting workshop?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 30 May 11 - 07:13 AM

Four chords...?

That's one more than I reckon to use.


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Subject: RE: What is a songwriting workshop?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 30 May 11 - 07:39 AM

It depends on the context. At one festival/school it might mean one thing and another at another. Each festival/school will mean it in much the way they mean most of their workshops.

~S~


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Subject: RE: What is a songwriting workshop?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 30 May 11 - 07:50 AM

They vary so enormously, depending on the facilitator, and his/her background and interests. Some start from theory, some are purely intuitive. For some you have to play an instrument (which excludes me).

I went to one run by Willy Russell, writing songs for musicals, and while I found the co-writing process very difficult, to my amazement I loved what I produced (not sung it since though!).

I did write one singable song from a workshop session based on word games, and while I like it, it's the least favourite of my songs.

I think it's worth trying a few different workshops, and see what approach works for you - that's very helpful in itself.


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