Ep.51 NaNoWriMo, Songwriting and Reading the Classics w/ Brett Randell
Original article from: http://darkenthepage.com/051/
Brett Randell and I met several years ago at a songwriting workshop and funny enough, I had no idea he wrote novels until we talked about him being on the show. I really enjoy his songwriting and it was great to hear about his book and story writing as well.
We talk about NaNoWriMo, which for those of you who aren’t familiar stands for National Novel Writing Month, where thousands of writers from around the world commit to writing 50,000 words in 30 days. Brett is currently writing 1750 words a day and we talk about how he’s doing that and how he balances a careers as a musician with his writing.
The song in the introduction is one of Brett’s and throughout the episode I’ll be playing songs from his new album which I’ll link to in the show notes, darkenthepage.com/051. He’ll also be playing a segment of one of his new songs live in the middle of the episode.
Brett’s new album “Rise” on iTunes
Daily Rituals by Mason Currey
Taylor Swift takes home namesake gong at BMI Pop Awards
Original article from: http://www.music-news.com/news/UK/97379/Taylor-Swift-takes-home-namesake-gong-at-BMI-Pop-Awards
Taylor Swift accepted her namesake award and took home the gong for Pop Songwriter of the Year in a hugely successful evening at the BMI Pop Awards on Tuesday night (10May16).
Lessons Learned Writing One Article Per Week in 2015 & Show Updates
Original article from: http://darkenthepage.com/lessons/
I’m back after a short break. This is a mini-episode where I talk about some lessons learned from successfully blogging once a week for all of 2015 and more.
3 Ideas for Finishing a Verse That Feels Stuck in the Mud
Original article from: http://www.secretsofsongwriting.com/2016/05/09/3-ideas-for-finishing-a-verse-that-feels-stuck-in-the-mud/
It’s amazing how much music you can write with so few ideas. Here’s what I mean: A typical song will have a verse and a chorus, with the possibility of some other optional section, like a bridge. Each of those sections are usually constructed on one main idea, with other related ones.
So that means that most good songs use a lot of repetition. Just pick a random hit, like perhaps Pink’s “Just Give Me a Reason,” and consider how many times you hear something repeating either exactly, or even just approximately. In this particular song, the melody and chords for the first entire phrase is repeated for the second.
Even the second half of the verse, which represents a new musical idea (“Now you’ve been talking in your sleep”), which is repeated twice is itself linked to the original melodic idea.
The chorus then takes a descending musical motif, and repeats it several times in an approximate way, adding in new ideas mainly as connectors to join the repeating ideas together.
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The fact is, the more original ideas you add to a song, the harder it is for people to remember it, hum it, or ultimately enjoy it.
You can use that important principle of songwriting as you try to finish a verse that feels stuck in the mud. You’ve got, let’s say, a chorus, but you can’t get the verse working for you. Here are 3 tips that might help:
- Try a 2-part verse. “Just Give Me a Reason” does this. If you’ve got a good idea to base your verse on, but can’t seem to keep it going through to the chorus, just consider it as Part 1 of a 2-part verse. Try creating a second part that borrows ideas from the first one. By doing this, you have the freedom to create something that, while borrowing ideas from the first part, can stand on its own without having to refer back to the first part. Some advice: make part 2 of your verse higher than part 1.
- Move a verse idea higher. Let’s say you’ve created the first 2 lines of a verse, but don’t where to go from there. Try repeating the chord progression while bumping the melody a 3rd higher. You’ll be surprised that it often works.
- Try changing the key. Australian singer-songwriter Sia does this in “Soon We’ll Be Found“, starting the verse in C minor, and then switching to a brighter key of Eb major for the second half of the verse.
For whatever you do to get your verse working, remember that it needs to connect smoothly to the chorus. In that regard, creating a pre-chorus — a short section that is placed between the verse and chorus — might be the best connector of all.
The difference between a 2-part verse and a verse-pre-chorus design is that the second part of a 2-part verse is a necessity. It needs to be there to complete the verse. The pre-chorus, however, doesn’t complete the verse that happens before it. The verse in a song that has a pre-chorus should be a complete section that could otherwise move directly to the chorus.
Probably the best advice to take from all of this when trying to complete a verse is this: when in doubt, find something you can repeat in either an exact or approximate way.
Written by Gary Ewer. Follow Gary on Twitter
Is your songwriting grinding to a halt? Do you feel that you’ve got ideas, but don’t know what to do to get them working for you?
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Prince the songwriting genius
From his début album, Prince proved to the world that he was a force to be reckoned with. His ability to capture the minds of listeners with his lyrics, melodies and music was unmatched to anyone at that time. He was a brilliant musician, artist, songwriter and performer. As a musician he was fluent on