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Monday, April 8, 2013

Song Swap

Very few of us will ever have one of our original songs 'covered' by anyone. It's a shame, because hearing somebody else's spin on your tune can be very cool indeed!

Why not trade songs with a friend? You learn their song and they learn yours.

Go to an open mic and play the songs 'live.' Bring friends that are familiar with your song.

It's a lot of fun. Try it this week!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Open With A Cover

Whether you're playing out at an open mic or at a paid gig, always open with a cover song.

Choose a song that really showcases your talents.

People are judging you. If you play something that they know, and you do a 'killer' version of it, you'll win their attention and their hearts.

You don't have to, 'sound like the record.' People love it when you take a popular song and 'make it your own.'

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Songwriter's Block - Can't Find That Rhyme?

It happens to all songwriters. You've got a great story going, but the line just doesn't rhyme. You ponder, you think, you sleep on it, but nothing comes to you.

I recently found a site that provides a great deal of help with this very situation. It's called,

I provides pure rhymes, end rhymes, and near rhymes.

The next time you get 'stuck,' go to this site and watch your troubles fade away.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Play-out 'On The Road'

The next time you travel, for business or for pleasure, why not pre-plan to play-out an open mic?

It's a great way to meet fellow-musicians in other cities.

I have made some of my best memories from open mic experiences 'on the road.' Once, I was in Lucerne, Switzerland with my Swiss wife, Claudia. We found an open mic at which to perform. Upon arrival, we discovered that it was a rowdy venue, full of exuberant teens. With trepidation, I signed up. When I broke-out my 'Classic American Rock' covers, the place went nuts. They wouldn't let me off the stage. Good times.

Use the OpenMic.US Network to find an open mic in your next destination.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Writing For A 'Niche' Market

Most songwriters are trying to reach a very broad audience, and thus, they often write about things that are common to most people. Writing about emotions like love, regret, happiness, and pain are common place.

A different approach, used to great success by some writers, is 'niche' writing. That is, pick a specific market and write songs specifically for that market.

An example would be songs about pets. These tunes cab then be marketed to pet lovers through pet stores, online pet blogs, etc.

Pick a topic, write the song, and throw it out there.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Writing From A Different Perspective

I first learned the songwriting technique of trying different perspectives from a class that I took a number of years ago with an amazing songwriter, Steve Seskin.

Most songs are written in the 'first person.' The idea is when you're crafting a new tune, just try it in the 'second person,' and 'third person,' points of view.

See the difference that is made when the three points-of-view are applied to this line:

First Person: "I was a great man, living in an amazing time."
Second Person: "You were a great man, living in an amazing time."
Third Person: "He was a great man, living in an amazing time."

Apply all three to every song you write. Occasionally, you find one way fits better than your original idea.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Listen To Different Music Genres

When I get 'writers block,' one method that has proven very effective in getting unstuck, is to listen to a wide variety of music genres.

Regardless of what genre in which I'm trying to write, I surf the radio and the Net, looking for inspiration. The wider the difference in genres, the better.

Give it a try.