Review: Songwriters Share Their Experiences at TAXI Road Rally at Orange County Songsalive! Showcase
Coming to the end of a (let's face it) crazy year like 2016, it was good to gather together with friends and fellow songwriters to have dinner and listen to some good new music -- written by us! That's what six of us did on Saturday November 26th as Songsalive Orange County held our last Songwriting Workshop & Critique of 2016. Getting right into it, Craig Smetana started us off with an out-and-out disco song in a decidedly 80's style that was full of life and brains at the same time. Joyce Melton (helped by Bob Winter) presented a timely song (with both humor and heart) about a convicted criminal who's missing his loved one at Christmas. Bob Winter on his own came next, giving as a very deep and heart-felt song about learning to live with life's disappointments. Kip Corley was next, with another heart-felt song about the passing of his mother -- and the emotional echoes that leaves. And finally, Kate Albright presented a haunting 3/4-time song about the unnecessary cruelty (or at least apathy) of the Internet and major media. Powerful stuff all around.
After dinner, we sat down and discussed some of what several of us had learned attending the TAXI Road Rally in Los Angeles earlier this month. In particular, a great presentation by Jai Josephs called The Songwriter's Blueprint. Speaking about lyrical structure, he talked about an important "middle step" between brainstorming (or "talking to the muse" as he called it) and actually writing a song: That is, laying out a blueprint for what the song will entail. He said that all songs "with lyrics that count" (that is, not silly songs) should answer four questions: 1) What is the relate-able premise of my song? The universal truth. 2) How does the lyrical hook of my song support that premise? Where does the hook fit in my chorus? 3) How does the first verse support that lyric hook? What about the second verse? And 4) if there is a bridge and/or a third verse, how do THEY support the lyric hook in the chorus? See how it works? It gave us all some great exercises to try, both with songs we have written before and songs currently in progress. And with that, off we went into the night. We'll see you all next year! -Rod O’Riley
NAME OF NEXT EVENT: Songsalive! Orange County Songwriter Showcase
DATE OF NEXT EVENT: January 10th, 2017
TIME: 7:30 pm
LOCATION: Sam Ash Music Store, 14200 Beach Blvd, Westminster, CA 92683
SHOWCASE ARTISTS: TBA
For more information on events, visit www.songsalive.org/calendar
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