Saturday, October 14, 2006

Oct. songwriting group

Our songwriting group met last night. At the end of the session, I left with the general wow factor, how much this group keeps improving. The same thing that's exciting is also a little depressing, there's so many good songwriters!

A few things that became apparent last night:

1) The groove - Since I'm looking for this, I noticed a big difference between the groove in our songwriting session and the open stage the night before. The groove was so much better in our songwriting group. My ankle is a little tried from all the toe tapping I did.

2) Writing for your audience - A few in our group play at loud bars and therefore their music is more in your face (i.e. faster, louder, less dense lyrics and hook repeated more...). Most of my songs wouldn't work in a loud bar.

3) Song length - After my performance class, I'm very conscious of song length and keep bringing this up with others in the group. I typically don't get a good response, but hopefully I'm planting a seed. Songwriters (myself included) sing and play music that we love. We always want to give so much more. It's like having a teacher that wants you to learn everything that they know in one day. The best teacher is the one that gives you only what you can absorb. Less is more!

4) Music vs. lyrics - As time goes on our group is commenting more on the music. In the past lyrics got 90% of the attention. This time around it was about 50:50 or maybe even 60% music. In light of our discussions of loud bars where people really don't hear the words this seems appropriate.

5) Listener perspective - Last night we had a non-musician attend our group. He doesn't write songs or play anything but the radio, yet his insights were as valuable as any in the room.

My goal for next month is to focus on the groove and write a song appropriate for a loud bar.


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