Sunday, May 26, 2013

How Do You Write Songs?

When I ask other songwriters how they approach the craft of songwriting, I get a lot of answers. Many
get inspiration, write the lyrics and then add the melody.
My wife Jilda and I begin with the melody. I have a recorder app on my iPhone and often in the mornings during coffee, I'll pull out my guitar and play melodies. Some of them stick, and some don't. When I get something that has interesting pieces, I'll record it and save it for later.
Then when we sit down to do a songwriting session (which isn't often enough), I pull out the iPhone and listen to the melodies I've saved.
More often than not, when I play the piece over and over, I'll begin to sing non-sense words to the melody.
Then one of us will say, "This feels like this." We'll come up with a hook phrase and start cobbling together verses, a chorus, and sometimes a bridge.
Several months ago we did a session with our friends Fred Miller, Jonathan and Diana Mayhall. We used the process described above and within an hour, we'd written a song called Tattoo'd Soul.
Here's a link to the song on our website.
Tattoo'd Soul

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Another great resource for Songwriters

I came across this blog and I've found a ton of great info for musicians. Anything from recording mics, software, and other helpful information.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Coursera Songwriting Course

I recently completed a songwriting course from It was taught by Pat Pattison from the Berkeley College of Music.
I went in not sure what to expect, but I really enjoyed the class. The downside was that the coursework was evaluated by other class members.
Some of the evaluators left helpful comments, but others bordered on rude. I managed to take that part in stride, and found the video modules which you can watch over and over, were excellent.
The section on rhyming I've watched several times.
Here is a link to the course archive which, I think, will give you access to the videos. It's worth a try.
Happy songwriting.

Acoustic Guitar Help Requested

I have a Taylor 814CE guitar that I play through our soundboard. I've never been happy with the sound
of this guitar when played through a sound system.
I've had several recommendations but one that looks interesting to me is the Fishman Aura Spectrum DI.
Has anyone else had any experience with this device?
I'm just looking for a fuller sound with clarity and a good bottom end.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Home Recording Tips for Singer Songwriters

I just came across this article that is helpful for those of us that do home recordings.

Singer/Songwriter Tools ~ My First Post

My wife Jilda and I started performing together in 1969 while we were still dating. We've played music
in California, New York City, all across the southern United States, and in Ireland.
The more I learn about performing and writing songs, the more I realize I don't know squat.
I've worked with computers for over 30 years, but I still don't consider myself a tech geek.
My aim with this blog is to talk about tools, software, and equipment to help singer/songwriters. I hope to provide reviews and links to information to help us all on our journey.