INDIESONGWRITER.NET

Ideas and Advice for Real Songwriters (formerly songwright.co.uk)

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A February in Songwriting

So how was your February? Mine was not nearly as productive as I thought it was goiong to be. I signed up to Febraury Album Writing Month, got all geared up to write, and then what did I achieve?

Five songs, one of which wasn’t really new at all. In fact it wasn’t even a song.

Seven Curses

Seven Curses

Started life as an audio sketch this one. Beyond the initial chorus I had absolutely no inspiration, so I had to rely on songwriting ‘tricks’ instead. These included the key change in the verse, the rather banal horro-film lyrics, and throwing in a widdley-widdely guitar solo rather than thinking of a decent bridge.

Fill my head up

Fill My Head Up

This was an improvised recording – I threw together a couple of chord progressions, improvised a vocal part and recorded that. Half way through that recording I decided to change key – up a tone again, like I did with Seven Curses when I couldn’t think what else to do.

After that I recorded three takes of backing vocals, and a couple of guitar solos. Given that it only took twenty minutes, I’m quite pleased with this. In particular I like the B Major chord on thechorus line ‘Fill my head up’.

Light a Path

Light a Path

I came up with the refrain for this while noodling about between guitar lessons a few weeks ago. Lyrically it’s supposed to be from the point of view of a person of faith. Not of any faith in particular, just general faith in all sorts of crackpot ideas.

I think the melody works for a couple of reasons. One, I’ve used a mixture of voices, including a synth sound. I’ve recently become very partial to a good synth sound.

The other reason is the change in mode – halfway through the melody it changes from major to minor. Gary Ewer has recently written an article about this, and in this case I think it works well.

Two

Two

This is the second of three pieces I wrote for flute and guitar during my degree. Not having a flautist to hand, I decided to realise it with guitar and synth. I’m particularly pleased with some of the chords in this: I was trying to come with chords with semitone/compound semitones in them eg. an E and F at the same time or a G and G# at the same time:

– 1 –
– 0 –
– 2 –
– 2 –
– 0 –
– x –

or

– 4 –
– 0 –
– 0 –
– 2 –
– 2 –
– 0 –

Mechanism

Mechanism

This was an attempt to write a set of steampunk lyrics – I’m quite happy with them, and also with the dirty synth sound and the chord changes in the verse.

In Summary

I’m hoping to do better next year, and also over this summer’s 50/90 challenge, which I’ll probably have a go at. All told, in the last year I’ve written 15 songs over two FAWMs and 25 songs for 50/90, as well as recording 8 singles for We’ll Write (a total of about 24 tracks so far). That’s a pretty good output, seeing as there aren’t very many throw-away joke songs amongst that (I haven’t got the guts to post the comedy songs that other people do!)

But next time, I’ll actually hit that magic number 14!

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