If you’re spending more time than you'd like on setlist headaches like cutting and pasting changes in word docs or spreadsheets with last minute changes, or have had a show cut short because of setlist time inaccuracies, Setlistic can help you plan and manage your setlists like a PRO, so you can spend more time writing songs and marketing shows — and less time dealing with setlist headaches!
There is a lot that goes into making a good song that listeners will consider worth their time. Forward-thinking songwriters should understand that it’s more than putting catchy rhymes and lyrics together.
For starters, you need to impose your own personality and experiences into your lyrics to make them unique and more effective. How do you do this? There are a number of specific routines and ideas you can follow, which, overtime, will help your body and mind to be more in sync during the songwriting process.
Taking note of the practices and attitudes of songwriters who have managed to make a mark in the industry – as well as how they maximize on their abilities – is one good idea. In addition, there are a number of things you need to remember to do that are critical to the continuous improvement of your skills. Being human, these are things you may often forget, but which can have a positive affect on the quality of your work if you remember to do them.
Here are four of them...
Every singer can attest to this: the day before you are singing like an angel and probably even getting praises about how lovely your pipes are, then the following day, you open your mouth to sing and it’s all croaks.
Before you go panicking or start doubting whether your voice is as good as you think it is, it's important to note that this is a problem that affects all singers. There are several explanations, including your health (mental and physical), your diet, lack of rest or enough sleep, your current mood, and even your overall mental attitude. However, left unchecked, your voice could eventually lose its edge and ruin your chances of knowing what it feels like to sing a chart-topping single or even a song worth remembering.
In order to prevent it from happening too often, especially when you have public performances, you need to start by acknowledging that your voice is just like any other instrument you use to make music…and instruments need maintenance too.
To further put things into perspective and help you out, Tunedly picked the brains of some singers on their team to find out how they ensure their voices are kept in tip-top shape. In all, they got six solutions for you to use for those voice-gone days.
Read more HERE.
Entering into the world of being a singer-songwriter nowadays is pretty easy. In fact, you can get into it without much practice or initiation, much unlike training to be a doctor or for most other professions.
Here’s how simple it is: technology – computers and music recording software – make it easier than ever to create rough work tapes before even considering a professional music recording studio. And social media simplifies building a fan base.
So easy it is to get started that people can begin their singing-songwriting careers in just a few weeks! And if things go according to plan, you could have a hit on the charts within a few months. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves because stories like those are more the exception than the norm.
Being easy doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be good at it, especially if you don’t continue to keep in mind all the good tips that can so easily be forgotten if not constantly put into practice. Good thing Tunedly always has your back. They’ve put together three obvious (but often forgotten) tips for becoming a good or better songwriter. Here goes…
No matter where you are on your songwriting journey, there will always be room for improvement. It could be you have a problem with creating effective hooks. Or it could be that your vocab is not broad enough to develop killer rhymes. It could even be that you have difficulties coming up with good songwriting ideas.
Whatever the case, it doesn’t have to be a blot on your songwriting career. The good thing about writing songs is that the more you do it, the better you will get. At the moment, you probably already have a good idea as to where you’re at in your career, which means you understand/know your strengths.
As such, becoming better might mean paying attention to what your weaknesses are as it relates to writing songs that listeners will appreciate. You may also just need to plug into the right information and practices, which when applied to your life, will make all the difference.
With that said, check out these songwriting tips that are bound to help make you a better songwriter, once applied. By the way, number three is a kicker!
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As seasoned musicians, West Coast Sessions (WCS) believes that songwriters of any level deserve to be heard. Whether you are a professional songwriter or just starting out, WCS provides top level talent for anyone interested in creating music. And this is all done entirely online. Songwriters send their full songs or partial ideas to WCS, and the team gets to work diligently building each part of the vision in their personal recording studios in Los Angeles. After the songwriter is completely happy, all tracks or songs are sent back for a lifetime of enjoyment! It’s that easy.
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The Sound Connector #7in7Challenge Presented by Songsalive! - Day 7: Using a Recurring Chord Progression
Radiohead’s iconic song “Creep” repeats the same chord pattern (G Bmaj Cmaj Cmin) throughout the whole song. Yet the song doesn’t sound boring. How exactly did they make the song that exciting without from its progression?
First off let’s look at the verses: they have longest lines. Structurally this means more information and notes can fit in each line. However it also means there’s less room in each breath for pauses or held notes at the end of each verse.
“When you were here before
couldn’t look you in the eyes
your just like an angel
your skin makes me cry”
Then in the chorus Thom shortens the line lengths. This gives him the opportunity him to hold out some of the lines. However it also lessons the information that can be delivered. Here it’s the emphasis on “I’m a creep” that is essential to the song.
“I’m a creep (notice the vocal space)
I’m a weirdo [hold note]
what the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here.” (notice the space)
And finally: during the bridge the lines are very short. However, this allows Thom Yorke showoff his range and let his vocals ring.
running out again
she’s running out
she runs, runs, runs” (high note into the guitar solo section)
Even though the chord sequence is static, the way the song is dressed causes each section to be easily identifiable. So the range and metrical lines define each section of the song he utilizes. The verse has the lowest range, the chorus is his middle range, and the bridge pushes his iconic falsetto.
Today write a song that uses the same chords throughout. Play around with your range and your line length to create easily identifiable sections. Look for ways you can use your knowledge and songwriting to create
Thank you for participating in The Sound Connector #7in7Challenge Presented by Songsalive!
The Sound Connector #7in7Challenge Presented by Songsalive! - Day 6: Ryan Adams and the Stacks Method
It’s an understatement to call Ryan Adams a prolific songwriter. With over 15 albums of material, in addition to serving as a producer and founder his record label Pax-Am, it’s hard to imagine how he keeps the songwriting fresh. Luckily in a recent interview Ryan Adams shared one of his tricks—he called it “Stacks”—that he uses to jumpstart his inspiration.
1) Place one book on the left and the other book on the right of your preferred writing area (pad of paper, screen, typewriter).
2) Without looking, flip to a random page in the reference book. You can either write down the line verbatim or play with it until it makes sense
3) Repeat step 2 with the fiction book.
4) write a unique line relating to your lines from steps 2 and 3
4) Alternate between steps 2, 3, 4
5) Once you have your lyrics written out, pick up a musical instrument and turn your words into a song.
One common worry is that this work isn’t really written by you because of how this is all by chance it is. Ryan Adams explains The reason that “Stacks” works, I believe, if you can teach yourself to write this way—is like Mad Libs—the ego will always come out to play if you can get the id to tell it to. [. . .] it will force me to fill in the blanks. Meaning that even though these might not seem about you, your brain wants to put you at the center of its experiences. Even though his song starts out as nonsense he concedes “[this song] instantly reminds me of somebody I know”. “Stacks” is a great way to start a song and test the limits of your imagination.
Hank Williams III is eponymous with the honky-tonk shuffle of “Whiskey, Weed, & Women”. It’s heralded as one of Hank’s cornerstone songs. Part of this reason this song is strong is because these are telling images. They open up the song to the listener’s imagination. And they allow Hank Williams III to expand his narrative. “Whiskey, Weed, & Women / had the upper hand”. This presents the opportunity to expand the song and discuss why exactly the narrator feels this way.
And it’s a surprisingly efficient way to drive a story. Susto’s song “Cigarettes, Whiskey, and Wine” uses the chorus to expand on the narrative where the speaker is searching “for their baby”. It helps the song get to the point and provides additional characterization. No wonder artists like Bob Dylan (“Lily, Rosemary, and The Jack of Hearts”,) mewithoutYou (“The Fox, The Crow, and The Cookie”,) and Brandy Clark’s “Drinkin’, Smokin’, Cheatin,” all rely on this repetition.
Write a song that uses a list of three concrete images as its title. Make sure that your concrete images relate to your song. Here’s an example:
It’s wood, steel, and strings
and the song you’ve brought to sing.
But the crowd can’t hear
the mix isn’t clear
It’s all wood, and steel, and strings
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