Archive for November, 2009

Which comes first, music or lyrics?

November 19, 2009

Q: Could you give me some advice on how to structure lyrics – is it a question of writing lyrics in repect to the rhythm or write the lyrics and construct the chords and rhythm around them?


For better or worse, there are no hard and fast rules in songwriting.

Many many successful, professional songwriters write the lyrics first or add music to lyrics already written by a co-writer.

And many many just as successful songwriters do it the other way around. They write the lyrics first and then the music.

Then there are those who do both at the same time.

I heard an interesting concept the other day. The idea is that the music is IN the words and the words are IN the music. Certainly the music conveys a mood and informs the writer what sort of lyrics to write.

Likewise, when you write lyrics first, they make it clear whether it should be a sad, happy or bittersweet song. Should it be uptempo, slow or something in between?

Good luck. I hope I’ve given you something to think about.

3 tips to beat writer’s block

November 13, 2009
  • 1 Try this first.  Keep a journal. You can find books on journaling in your public library or at any bookstore, online or otherwise.The idea in a nutshell is to discipline yourself to write in the journal every day. It might start out as a commitment to write for 15 minutes every day. I think you’ll find that it’s easy to go on for longer. The important thing is that you do it every day.

    Another important element to journalling is that you write whatever comes into your head, without censoring it, editing it or worrying about grammar, spelling, what your mother might think. It’s amazing how freeing this is. And it amazes me how this opens up the creative flow.

  • 2 As an exercise, try another art form. Any art form will do, especially if you have no experience with it. If you never did sculpture, try that.  Make a collage, get out the watercolors. Work with childrens’ clay or crayons.   It doesn’t matter.The idea is to give over your attention to this endeavor 100 per cent and with no expectations. You don’t have to finish it, because this is just an exercise.   It doesn’t need to be a masterpiece because this isn’t your medium. I don’t know why it works, but it frequently does.
  • 3 Play. Take off your adult hat and become a child again. Play any childrens games you like, including physical games like hop scotch, jump rope and catch. Play a board game. Do not watch TV.You need interactive play by yourself or better yet with children. At its best, children’s play is always creative. Don’t worry or even think about songwriting or creativity. Just play and have fun.

Beatles remasters to be packaged as USB

November 4, 2009

Beatles USB

The recently remastered Beatles catalog is being offered on a limited edition apple-shaped USB drive. This is the first time Beatles catalog has officially been sold as digital files separate from the CDs.

Limited to 30,000 units, the 16MB USB features 14 Beatles stereo releases as well as all of the re-mastered CDs’ visual elements, including 13 mini-documentary films about the studio albums, replicated original U.K. album art, rare photos and expanded liner notes.

A specially designed Flash interface has been installed, and audio and visual contents will be provided in FLAC 44.1 Khz 24 bit and MP3 320 Kbps formats. The content is fully compatible with Mac and PC.

Pre-order it here.