Are you interested in Songwriting? Writing my own music was what forced me into getting interested in singing decades ago. The only way for other people to hear the songs I wrote, was for me to find a way to actually SING them.
I started writing songs when I was about eleven years old. Like most songwriters, music became the way to express myself, and became the lens through which I viewed the rest of life.
I got a scholarship in college as a composition and piano major. Trouble is, I really didn’t feel comfortable singing by myself. But more about THAT in my next blog.
My friend in high school, Sean Doty, noticed that I had a love for songwriting, and he pushed me to do more of it. We were fortunate that our high school choir teacher (Tom Fettke) was a gifted arranger and music businessperson. Next thing I knew, Sean and I were sitting at Tom’s house and showing him our songs. I learned how to write out chord and melody charts, create piano accompaniments, (by hand!) and more importantly, create a solid song structure.
It is a passion that I still have, and you can easily get me side-tracked for hours on end if you bring in a song you’re writing!
One of my favorite books of all time is the book by Sheila Davis “The Craft of Lyric Writing” which is now in its 5th or 6th publication and is still available on Amazon. It takes everything that I learned about song structure from my choir teacher and outlines it in simple terms. I like her clear approach.
It originally was published in 1984 but has been in multiple reprints since then. Her discussion of “Hooks” and “song structure” are timeless.
It’s not free but it’s on Amazon here.
BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC:
Another resource through the years has been courses from Berklee College of Music in Boston.
If you’re self-motivated, you can even purchase some fabulous textbooks from their library here.
Or, if you’d like to sample some of their songwriting curriculum, take a moment and sign up for a free download from Berklee here.
It’s a cool little downloadable book that they send in exchange for your information. You’ll likely get some emails from the school, but that’s not so bad? I really liked the course I took on using FINALE software from them.
MUSICAL FUTURES INTERNATIONAL:
This is a group out of New Zealand, that has some cool free resources for songwriters as well. They ask that you follow them, and in return they offer access to what they call their “free tasters” which offers a substantial sampling of resources for songwriters.
Songwriting can be one of the most personal and liberating expressions of the human soul. If you’ve got that gift, fan it into flame!