Author: alexander

Song Assessment & Feedback Exercise (SAFE)

A 5-step process for songwriter learning groups Songwriters can often work without much idea of how to develop song ideas, complete songs, or write better songs. They may not have many ideas on how to identify in a song what

Songwriting group etiquette, ground rules & ethos

For group meetings, it is good to agree some ground rules so that songwriters can feel confident to experiment, and share ideas, questions and their material in meetings. It is also useful to have values that can inspire our songwriting

Songwriting group meeting format

A songwriting group should be fun, educational, and a space for mutual support and trust. It’s worth experimenting with different formats to find what works well for you. Nothing has to be set in stone. If the group feels ready

Writing better lyrics (notes on Pattison’s book)

This blog entry is a set of notes that I made on the book: Pattison, Pat (2009) Writing better lyrics: the essential guide to powerful songwriting, Writers Digest Books, Cincinnati. I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand,

If You Want To Write (notes on Ueland’s book)

Brenda Ueland (1891-1985) was a journalist, editor, freelance writer and teacher of writing. She seems to have been a highly creative, generous-hearted, free spirit. Amongst her accomplishments, she was knighted by the King of Norway, and set an international swimming

The Escaped Lyric (Radio 4 series)

5 episodes of 11 minutes each – www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b082bk15/episodes/guide From teenage alienation to middle-aged loss and regret, lyrics from popular music can escape their song to become an anthem of our youth or a lifeline through loss and solitude. Nick Berkeley

Melody 01: Melody writing made simple(r)

7:15-9:30pm, Wednesday 26 October 2016 Sign up here. In these sessions, we’re rotating a number of core topics on songwriting. This is our first on writing melody. We’ll look at: the musical properties and potential of different scales, intervals and

Finding A ‘Big Idea’ To Focus Your Song

Starting in August 2016, about once a month, I have been leading an evening workshop for Oxford Songwriters Meetup. We are gradually working through some of the main topics in my Oxford Songwriting Syllabus. The meeting on 25 Sept 2016

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Analysis of ‘And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda’ (Eric Bogle)

Analysing other people’s songs can teach us a lot This is the second song analysis to be posted on this blog. As I said I have said elsewhere, a song does not have to be good, or one we like,

Analysis of ‘Hell No’ (Ingrid Michaelson)

Why should we study other people’s songs? We can learn a lot about songwriting through close study of other people’s songs. It doesn’t matter whether the song is ‘great’, mediocre or terrible; a song will always teach us something about

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