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Songwriter’s Block

Like A Girl – Week 2 Challenge

Well, I had a rough week with this challenge.  As I’ve already stated, these are uncharted waters for me… My daughter just turned 13 so you think I might be hearing a lot of current music in the house, but God bless her soul, she listens to a lot of older tunes (her favourite – The Beatles).  I wrote one song (Waking Nightmare) base on Rehtaeh Parsons‘ tragic death after her attempted suicide.  I didn’t end up having time to record that one for this week, but I thought I’d put a line or two here:

I can’t fake that smile
It’s been a while
Since I wanted to anyway…
Why do I have to be strong?
When you know what’s right from what’s wrong

Not exactly light fare… Some of the lines in that song (and the working title) were right from Rehtaeh’s journal.  Very sad…

So, another song took hold later in the week inspired by the recent campaign that started earlier this month with a Super Bowl Ad –  the”Like A Girl” campaign. The campaign shows differences in how people perceive the phrase, “like a girl.”  And thus, the first verse is:

He meant it as a joke
When he spoke
But a little piece of me broke
Shattered my glass house world

The girl takes ownership of the phrase and wears it proudly.  I gave myself some wiggle room to be able to put it into the third person if need be, but my daughter helped me out with vocals on this one. Here it is:

May the Muse be with you… and can’t wait to see what Week 3 has in store (and still working on the Week 1 challenge!)

Songwriting Challenge No. 2

Boy, if I thought I was out of my element with the first week’s challenge (due in 5 weeks), this week’s challenge (due in a week) has me hyperventilating even more!  This challenge comes from Rob Wells who writes/produces with such artists as Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez, among others…  Here’s the gist of Mr. Wells’ “reverse” pitch:

I’m looking for strong female based Pop/Top 40 songs.  Think Selena Gomez.  Think Demi Lovato.  Think big.  Think hits.  Think target audience of 13-18 years old.

This challenge will NOT be easy… I’m really hoping the Muse will be with me…

Insider Secrets to Great Songwriting

nprlogo_138x46[1] For over 25 years, Diane Warren has written top ten hits for some of the greatest voices in the recording industry. She reveals her secrets to great songwriting. And Jack Perricone, chair of the songwriting department at the Berklee College of Music, talks about songwriting across musical genres.

You can listen to the NPR Talk of the Nation program from earlier this week right here:

Chris Martin Gets Songwriting Advice From Ian McCulloch

Chris Martin of Coldplay gets help writing his songs from Echo + The Bunnymen’s frontman Ian McCulloch, and the pair are often texting each other with ideas.

“I think Chris is great,” says McCulloch. “We text each other, like, ‘Hello Mac-o! How do you write lyrics that are good?’ I say, ‘Either you’ve got it or you haven’t. Do some crosswords, watch pornography.'”

McCulloch also revealed his input into the band’s music: “When Coldplay was doing their second album I walked into the studio in Liverpool, where they recorded it.”

“Chris said, ‘Hey Mac! We’re sampling The Cutter intro, but we’re having some difficulty making it not sound like the Bunnymen. I said, ‘Just f***ing use it.'”

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U2 – Stuck In A Songwriting Block Moment…

Even the best go through it… On U2’s website, you can catch this video which shows the band, and producer Daniel Lanois, deep in concentration in their songwriting process… staring at blank pieces of paper and clicking their laptops… man, that sounds familiar…

Oh well… something tells me that these guys eventually break the block and write something worthy… it would be nice if they showed us that part in the video, but it may just come down to the fact that the Muse is with them…

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