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Resources for songwriting

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GUEST,RobDale 05 Jul 01 - 11:38 PM
GUEST,KingBrilliant 06 Jul 01 - 05:56 AM
Amergin 06 Jul 01 - 06:02 AM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Jul 01 - 06:29 AM
SharonA 06 Jul 01 - 08:43 AM
MMario 06 Jul 01 - 08:45 AM
MMario 06 Jul 01 - 08:58 AM
GUEST,Robdale 07 Jul 01 - 04:17 PM
Clinton Hammond 07 Jul 01 - 04:24 PM
Amos 07 Jul 01 - 04:32 PM
Amergin 07 Jul 01 - 04:38 PM
SharonA 24 Oct 01 - 04:32 PM
Mr Red 24 Oct 01 - 05:23 PM
pattyClink 25 Oct 01 - 02:05 PM
SharonA 25 Oct 01 - 06:08 PM
pattyClink 26 Oct 01 - 09:28 AM
John Hardly 26 Oct 01 - 10:10 AM
SharonA 26 Oct 01 - 12:27 PM
SharonA 26 Oct 01 - 12:32 PM
SharonA 26 Oct 01 - 12:37 PM
Bennet Zurofsky 26 Oct 01 - 02:20 PM
Mark Cohen 27 Oct 01 - 04:55 AM
Cappuccino 28 Oct 01 - 04:36 AM
GUEST,Future Mix Publications 12 Nov 03 - 05:13 PM
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Subject: Resources for songwriting
From: GUEST,RobDale
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 11:38 PM

I'm sure a lot of you folks know a lot more than me about this topic. THese resources have helped me a lot.

From Song CHALLENGE 58, SharonA asked me to start a thread listing the recources I have been using to learn to write songs. While I have read literally dozens of books, articles and websites on the topic. I keep going back to the same two books both of which have been invaluable.

Songwriting and the Creative Process by Steve Gillette and Acoustic Guitar magazine's private lessons. I bought both books but you can get much of the information for free from the following websites.

http://www.acousticguitar.com/lessons/

http://www.sover.net/~gillette/


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: GUEST,KingBrilliant
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 05:56 AM

Cheers RobDale - here's some clickables...

click for acousticguitar.com/lessons
click for sover.net/~gillette

Kris


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: Amergin
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 06:02 AM

I think there's a permathread floating about on this subject....


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 06:29 AM

Resources for songwriting?

Everything.


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: SharonA
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 08:43 AM

Thanks, Rob! I was going to suggest the Gillette book but you beat me to it!

Also, Bob Franke runs some EXCELLENT songwriting seminars; I urge everybody out there to sign up for them whenever you can! Check out his teaching schedule on the "Teaching" page of his website, www.bobfranke.com

SharonA


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: MMario
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 08:45 AM

As the challenges have shown - yes, just about anything can be a resource and inspiration for a song.


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: MMario
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 08:58 AM

sorry - got interupted - d*ng job!

What I meant to add was that while all the world is a resource as inspiration - there is considerably less of the world that helps develop the skills in lyric writing and song composition. And I need all the help I can get!


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: GUEST,Robdale
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 04:17 PM

Well put MMario!

Eventually, through trial and error, we would discover music theory, rhyme and rythm on our own. These resources are a shortcut.


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 04:24 PM

Song-writing musts...

A really good thesaurus and a damn good rhyming dictionary are invaluable!

;-)


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 04:32 PM

Recommended: an intensive study of the best poetry you can find from Elizabethan times forward, including Shakespeare, including Dylan Thomas, and even including Bob Dylan -- with a close eye on the subtle matters of word choice, "coloring" of meaning, and rhthms of morphemes as they relate to the rhtyhms of phonemes.

A


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: Amergin
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 04:38 PM

click here


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: SharonA
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 04:32 PM

*refresh*

We've had several new members since July, so perhaps it's time to raise this question again. Anybody know of more good resources – books, websites, articles, etc. – on the subject of songwriting and how to do it effectively? Lyrics, in and of themselves, are fine as examples, but the original thought I expressed to RobDale was to list sources of instructional information, commentary from songwriters about their techniques and inspirations, and so forth. So what's out there?


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: Mr Red
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 05:23 PM

I bought a book called "How to be a Successful Songwrite" in Toronto in 1986. It was a series of interviews with Neil Sedaka, the Sherman Bros, and names that were unfamiliar but their songs were legion. It is out of print now, but get an archive copy through your library service - it will pay dividends. The two recurrent themes amongst writers were 1) While on a long boring car journey (mindspace) 2) what I called TWIST - Tested Words In Substitute Tune - write new tune to familiar song (or new words to established tune) and when knocked into shape change the old words/tune into a new one.
there were other gems like watching Soap Operas ie full of trite lusting, sack hopping and unrequited longing - cf 95% of popular song.
Another book to go for (published 1977 ish) is "Creative Dreaming" by Dr Paticia Garfield PhD - all about marshalling the sleeping hours for creativity, basically immerse yourself in the facts, concentrate on them as you fall asleep and have a notepad and pencil (or pocket memo) by your bedside at all times (and in the first hour, at least, of the day in my experience).


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: pattyClink
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 02:05 PM

Add to your list of resources: whenever Robbie O'Connell teaches a short course on the subject, TAKE IT! He's awfully good at the doing and the teaching.


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: SharonA
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 06:08 PM

Ooh! Patty, does Robbie O'Connell have a website with a schedule of his courses?


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: pattyClink
Date: 26 Oct 01 - 09:28 AM

Sharon, I doubt it. It's not like he runs a school. I just happened to catch him at an Augusta Irish Week thing long ago.

Maybe that's another approach, find any courses offered in association with those kinds of things. I forget what the name of the similar thing offered in New York State, and I guess there's a few on the west coast. Maybe somebody has links.


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: John Hardly
Date: 26 Oct 01 - 10:10 AM

A book: Writing Better Lyrics --Pat Pattison, Writer's Digest Books 1995

A link: On line songwriter's rhyming dictionary


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: SharonA
Date: 26 Oct 01 - 12:27 PM

Patty: Is this the program in New York state to which you are referring?

SummerSongs


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: SharonA
Date: 26 Oct 01 - 12:32 PM

Here's a West Coast guitar workshop that includes sessions on songwriting:


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: SharonA
Date: 26 Oct 01 - 12:37 PM

Okay, I don' t know why my blueclickey didn't show up on the thread. Let's try again. HERE's a West Coast guitar workshop that includes sessions on songwriting:

Puget Sound Guitar Workshop in Washington state


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Subject: Peggy Seeger's approach
From: Bennet Zurofsky
Date: 26 Oct 01 - 02:20 PM

I had the pleasure of hosting a house concert with Peggy Seeger this past weekend and, in the course of her performance, she spoke a bit about song-writing and had a lot of good things to say.

Principal among these was her practice of writing songs based upon lengthy interviews that she tape records. Many of her songs include phrases, modes of expression and points of view that are not her own (although she may agree with them) but which come from her informants. Her informants are sometimes particular people that she wants to write about, but they also include ordinary people who are involved in particular vocations or issues. For example, in writing a song about battered women she will interview women who have had that unfortunate experience, or who have provided professional assistance to such women, so that she may accurately convey the subject matter.

This, of course, was the basic method that Peggy began to use back in the i950's when she worked with Ewan MacColl and Charles Parker on the Radio Ballads, which produced such gems as "Shoals of Herring" and "Freeborn Man." But while Peggy may have been using this method for a long time, few others seem to employ this resource.

The problem with too many songs is that the composer has limited experience of the world and therefore little to offer in the way of insight. Thus, people may write songs that protest wife-beating because they think wife-beating is bad, but the songs are ineffective because the composer really does not know anything real about the subject. One can expand upon one's own limitations, however, by drawing upon the experiences and insights of others. Particularly for those aspiring to write "folksongs," Peggy's field-work approach to inspiration seems preferable to resorting to a rhyming dictionary or to the tin pan alley conventions espoused by the Neil Sedaka's and Sherman Brothers of the world.


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 27 Oct 01 - 04:55 AM

The Puget Sound Guitar Workshop is outstanding, not just for songwriters, but for acoustic folk/blues/swing musicians of all sorts. Highly recommended!

I also recommend a book by Natalie Goldberg called Writing Down the Bones, published by Shambhala. Natalie's method is what she calls "writing practice": give yourself 10 or 30 or 60 minutes to write, write anything, keep your hand moving, don't edit while you're writing, stay with original detail rather than abstractions, forget your self, just write, just write. Then go back and find the gems, or take that energy and jump right into your song or novel or poem or whatever. I've been reading that book over and over since 1987, and I never get tired of it.

Another gem from Natalie: "When you sit down to write something, give yourself permission to write the worst junk in the world." You have an infinite amount of words and music in you: if you don't like what comes out this time, keep writing and you'll find something else.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: Cappuccino
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 04:36 AM

Sharon, that Summer Songs one is, I think, run by Penny Nichols, who also runs a very good series of singing-lesson tapes and videos. Her workshops seem to be pretty high-quality... as I recall her backing guitarist was a certain Mr. Traum!!!

- Ian B


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Subject: RE: Resources for songwriting
From: GUEST,Future Mix Publications
Date: 12 Nov 03 - 05:13 PM

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P.O. Box 181356
Memphis, TN 38181


THIS WILL BE A HOT HOLIDAY GIFT ITEM FOR ASPIRING RECORDING ARTISTS!!!


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