Sunday, 2 May 2010

New songs and songwriting

Hi there, my first post on a new blog. I decided I needed somewhere to write about my songs and the processes I use to write them.

I play guitar and sing, most of the recordings on here will be home made ( very home  made!) and are to give a feel of the song rather than being a demo standard.

OK, having got that out of the way what do I want to say? I have been writing songs since I was about 15 years old, mostly to a simple guitar accompaniment. I have always been interested in the so-called song-writing programs and techniques / tutors but have never found them to be any use at all. If you listen to music with half an ear, it is usually quite obvious how they are stuctured and what they are about. Simply using the basic you pick up by listening to a song is most of the battle. Of course, rudiments of music are helpful but very few modern songwriters are versed in any theory and most bash out a melody on gtuitar or keyboard. Then use this to develop a set of lyrics. In my experience very few work up a lyric and then add the melody. It can be done but that is where the difficulty lies. Where lyrics come first you do need a good appreciation of music or a high level of skill on an instrument with a well-founded feeling for music.

I am ready to be shot down in flames on these opinions, but we are all entitled to hold an opinion; my own processes seem to be based on a musical idea or developing lyrics and music together.

I hope to be able to provide links to other sites and blogs, and review what the authors have to say. And most importantly wether it will help you to write better songs. the most important use of techniques is to make it easier to get stuff together, and complete songs. So many good ideaas do not lead to a completed song and that is a real shame. Half-a-song is of no use whatsoever! Always try to complete a song and the more you complete the better is your chance of coming up with a decent combination of melody and lyrics.

I will take you thru the process and provide a few hints and tips, which I feel certain are already on the web but will bear repeating again and again. I have recorded songs at home in the past but never taken the step of trying to get them published. Why you may ask? Well it's not easy to give an answer but lack of confidence is ertainly one of the key issues. I have played/sang them at parties and get-togethers with friends and they have usually gone down well but baulked at that next step. As a non-performer, options are not easy. It can be done and there are routes to follow but I have to admit I did not have that something which said, " I nned to get my songs known".

Recently, a very close cousin of my own age was taken with cancer and this provoked me to post a couple of videos on YouTube. I had meant to add to this small collection but the project lapsed because of pressures from so many other things. I hope to start/finish this project now that I have started this blog. OK, that's more than enough talkin', I leave you with a chance to see one of these recordings.