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I’m both a computer geek and a musician, I’m on the lookout for songwriting software that can assist me. Now that I have lyrics for a first song my next hurdle is learning how to writing music. I’ll be exploring a couple of songwriting software programs in the next few days.

I’ve had a little music theory but not enough to make this an easy task. One suggestion was to find someone else to write the music, but I really want to try this myself. I am slowly learning piano, but I was looking for something that would speed up my understanding of chord progressions and therefore music writing.

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Songwriting is apparently not a linear process. In my last post I talked about starting by creating a list of possible titles and ideas. I did that but didn’t come up with anything inspiring. I got stuck again!

I Asked for Help!

I realized that I just needed a little help to get me started. The target date for writing my first song was fast approaching. (Tomorrow to be exact!) I decided to reach out and ask for help from someone I had not met before but was known to me as a professional songwriter who started later in life, just I am.

Last week I called Rosemarie Ashley of ‘Tude Vox on http://www.SassyAlternativeMusic.com. After reading about her journey on her website I realized that she transformed her self from a non-songwriting singer to a singer-songwriter and she is now writing professionally. I related to her desire to create meaningful and inspirational music because that is what I am working for too.

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Part of my daily practice (See Day 3 on Daily Practice Leading to Songs to Write) in addition to practicing piano skills is to work through a section of the Amy Appleby book, You Can Write a Song. I love doing this because it feels to me that I have a songwriting mentor. It probably doesn’t matter what book I use as long as I do it consistently a little bit every day.

Today’s topic is Song Titles. Many songwriters start with a title they believe in and build from there. Others will create the song title after the song is written or in progress. Song titles should give an idea of the subject of the song. Some are more obvious and others are more indirect and allow the listener to discover the true meaning. A catchy or memorable song title is good to strive for in writing pop music.

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After a short break I’m back to posting about my songwriting project. My intension was to work on this every day of 2010. Julia Cameron calls it a “Creative U-Turns.” I just didn’t expect to have one on Day 4! Was it fear of success?

I am committed to at least doing my daily practice around my music. Writing every day may be unrealistic right now. The most important part is to establish a habit or discipline around my music.

Today’s focus is on choosing a theme for a song. Amy Appleby notes in her, You Can Write a Song, that there are only a handful of themes out there. The trick is to take a tried and true theme and present it in a fresh and updated way.

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Yesterday I talked about the tools I’ve been collecting and using to begin this year long songwriting project. I don’t expect to sit down immediately and start churning out songs, especially since this is new to me.  I have friends who tell me of spontaneously having songs come to them in dreams, both sleeping and day time dreams, but they where active in the practice of music on a daily basis.  I believe the practice must come first to prime the pump of creativity.

Here’s how I’m priming the pump…

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Welcome to Day 2 of the Songs to Write Project. Yesterday I set out on this big journey (for me) to fulfill a life-long dream. I’ve been setting up my tool kit and my processes to ensure my success.

My intention is to learn to play piano well enough use it to compose at first. To create melodies I know I will need to learn a bit more about harmony and chords than I do now. Songs need to have melodies that follow certain conventions, of course, in order to be appealing and pleasing to the ear. I’ve learned that creative genius comes from being prepared with the fundamentals first. Learning chord structures and chord progressions is a great place to start.

To me, song lyrics should be singable, interesting and ideally have meaning. I like lyrics that have some surprises. What to write about seems to be a common dilemma with new songwriters. One suggestion I’ve heard is look at your every day experience for inspiration. Write about what you know and what moves you in your daily life.

References

I’ve done a lot of research to find songwriting and piano instruction books to help me along. For now I’ve chosen two simple books by the same author that are very easy to follow. The author is Amy Appleby and the books are You Can Play Piano and You Can Write a Song.

I have a small electronic keyboard that I’ve had for years. It’s a Yamaha PSR-270 with a midi hook up for my computer. The midi is useful for learning as well as for recording.

I discovered a shareware computer game called PianoHead that is very helpful for learning notes, scales and intervals on the piano. When I hook my keyboard to my laptop I can improve my skill easily and in a fun way. I read music but I’ve played solo instruments all my life and only learned the Treble clef.  Harmony and chords are a whole new world. PianoHead is helping me learn to hear notes, intervals and to read the Bass clef.

Becoming a songwriter in fun, but it’s also serious business as an adult. It requires learning and changes in habits. As with any major goal I’ve achieved in my life, I will need to find a process that includes daily activities. One doesn’t learn to play piano or become an accomplished songwriter over night.  We can accomplish amazing things just chipping away at it even 15 minutes a day. Tomorrow I’ll share more about the daily practices, routines and disciplines that I’ll be putting in place.

How about you? What practices and disciplines do you use to accomplish your goals? What daily activities are important for your songwriting. I’d love to know so please comment below.

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Today is the official Day 1 of what I’m calling “The Songs to Write Project.” My dream and ambition when I was a teen was to write songs and sing. That was a very long time ago. (And I’m not going to say just HOW long!)

Over the years I’ve started and stopped the process of songwriting before I even got one song committed to paper or recorded. Was it lack of courage or lack of the right support and resources? Possibly both. I was recently cleaning out clothes (an excellent thing to do to spark change in one’s life, by the way) and I found a notebook with lyric ideas and fragments I started over 10 years ago!  Then last year I started this blog only to let it sit idle.

I’ve never lost my passion and desire to make music, though. I just haven’t put all the pieces together to make it happen – yet. 2010 is the year. I promise.

I am making a promise to myself to put together the pieces and produce. Produce songs, bad songs and good songs, it doesn’t really matter. As Julie Cameron says in her book, The Artist Way, “Take care of the quantity and the Universe will take care of the quality.”

I also promise you, the reader (whoever you are and for whatever reason you are reading this blog – whether it’s because you have your own buried desire to write songs or you just want to see me possibly make a spectacle of myself), I promise to write about what it’s like to go from a complete beginner as a songwriter to creating a body of work, recording and actually performing that work. I promise to write every day to share my resources, the pieces I’ve found to help me. I’ll share the challenges I’m facing, too.

How about you? Have you had a desire to start writing songs? What’s stopping you? Please comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

Tomorrow I’ll share the process I’m using and the resources I’m using.

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I’m showing you how I write songs and to maybe inspire you to write your own:)

Duration : 0:6:20

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Rikky Rooksby - How To Write Songs On Guitar: A Guitar-Playing And Songwriting Course

Karaoke CDs – Holiday & Patriotic Karaoke CDs – Disney Karaoke CDs – Childrens Karaoke CDs – Love & Wedding Karaoke CDs – Inspirational Karaoke CDs – TV & Movies Karaoke CDs – Country Karaoke CDs – Jazz Karaoke CDs – Popular – Mixed Collection Karaoke CDs – Popular – Artist Collection Item Number:

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I have written 2 songs and the tones are in my head. What do I do? I really want to sing them with music.

Sing the song into your computer or tape recorder. A decent musician should be able to figure out your melody. Once that is done, it's pretty easy to figure out the chords and arrange the background music. I've done it plenty of times for people who can sing but can't play an instrument.

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