Monday, 3 March 2014

Only Losers Play on the Downbeat

What a good start to a new week. I spent the weekend with Sonia here in Bath so we could co-write a song together with Farhan and perform it for Monday's collaboration class. Which went well :) Important topics of the day included signing up with a performing rights society such as ASCAP, BMI, or PRS and constructive ways to write songs by formulating the title first. The task for this week was to create a song title that contains the DNA of the song first. This is always a strange method for me because my writing style is usually concept first, but it worked and the three of us received awesome feedback!

March 3rd, 2014

How is it already March? 

Last Friday, the three of us spent the day at Newton Park writing our title stimulus song from the bottom up. No pre-written lyrics, melodies, chord progressions, or ideas entered the room because we wanted to attempt a collaboration that involved all three of us equally. I think it was a huge success. Our title is Mine To Throw Away and Joe suggested that it be in our portfolios! He liked the harmonic rhythm (I paid a lot of attention to that) as well as our use of melody and lyric. YAY

Some of the other titles that were generated for this assignment included:
  • Lesley & Alex - Life's Hard When You're Stupid
  • Esther - Let Me Love You
  • John & Farhan - Immediately
  • Rosey - Playing Indians
  • Tami - Never Wear 3D Glasses
  • Leeza - I Can't Love You Anymore
  • Maxine - Pictures of You
  • Bethany & Chris - Love Trees
  • Will & Kirsty - First Time/Don't Show Me Tell Me
  • Lesley & Bianca - Flowers Grow from a Rainy Day
  • Owain & Jamie - The Girl From Out of Town
If you haven't heard the new single (#12 on UK iTunes Singer/Songwriter list) from Bare Knuckle Parade, take a listen now on iTunes!

"Born on the cobbled streets of Bath, Bare Knuckle Parade brings together five musicians who share a love of 'sing until your jaw is broken' drinking songs. Since forming the boys have quickly gained a reputation for raucous, frantic and memorable live performances. The band fuse traditional Celtic-folk with rock and punk undertones. This is represented by their debut single Star Of Dundee. So if you love to sing, laugh, dance and drink then come to see Bare Knuckle Parade"

Featuring talented classmate and collaborator, Owain Coleman (accordion, keys, and vocals), our class is very excited for this group's inevitable success! I have had the pleasure of meeting most of the band members including Jamie Beale (vocals and banjo), Tom Cory (guitar and vocals), Callum Moloney (drums and vocals), and Rob Kyle (bass and vocals).

I should probably call them, I think they need vocals...

Good job friends, looking forward to more shows and music! Moving on.

During class, we made a list of factors in songwriting that can make the music boring. Monotony. With monotony of any of the following comes risk if not compensated for.

  • Lack of harmonic variation
  • Too much talk singing
  • Lack of melodic shape
  • Cliches
  • Chord loops
  • Lack of harmonic rhythm
  • Stack melodies
  • Lack of dynamics
  • Over-repetition
  • Lack of texture
A lot of songs have these instances, but the trick is balance. If you have monotonous harmonic rhythm (frequency of chord changes), use a vocal melody with movement so that it compliments the simple chord changes, etc. 


Next week's task is writing from the melody. THIS IS MY FAVORITE TASK.

I have a lot to get done in the next month and need to start hammering out collaborations and research! 

Tomorrow I am meeting with Farhan and Alex all day to collaborate and write a massive hit. It will happen.

Writing from your heart and writing for yourself are two different things. I want more than an audience of one.

Bianca Obino is a badass, Brazilian singer/songwriter/guitarist who has been nominated for Best Guitarist in the Brazilian Style award this year in Brazil. Only losers play on the downbeat.

~ SR

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