Thursday, October 20, 2011

Great Songwriting Blog

A few weeks ago I was looking for music and songwriting apps for the iPod Touch, and I found one called "Secrets of Songwriting" by Gary Ewer. Essentially an e-book formatted as an app, it was pretty expensive for an app ($16.99), but not so bad for a music book, and as a "multimedia" app, it was able to include examples of chord progressions and melodies as sound samples. So I bought it. Although I found a few interesting ideas, it was really too basic for me, and the app format (no search, no bookmarks, etc.) was frustrating.

The good news was Gary Ewer's songwriting blog, which I discovered through this app. "The Essential Secrets of Songwriting" is frequently updated with tips and with songwriting analyses of hit songs ("Rolling in the Deep" by Adele is a great recent example). Some tips are quite specific and musical (chord inversions, visualizing melodies, modal chord progressions, "making a MIDI orchestra sound real"). Others are more motivation and workflow oriented (identifying goals, dealing with writer's block, starting vs. finishing songs, writing better lyrics). There is a lot of excellent and thought-provoking material on songwriting here, with a huge archive of past articles. I'm taking notes and trying some of these ideas as I am now working on some new songs for my next recording project.

So now I'm happy to have bought Gary's app, supporting a musician/writer who is providing valuable educational material to songwriters everywhere for free through his blog.


CHC said...

Is there a way to subscribe to your blog?

FlyingSinger said...

There is now. I set up a Feedburner account (which is now owned by Google, as everything will be in the future, except for Apple and China). That allowed me to insert a new Follow by Email "gadget" which I am testing out with this comment. I subscribed to my own blog on another email account. I hope this is not a mistake since I do get a fair amount of spam even though I use Captcha checking on the comments. Spammers must have a way to defeat that. If I get an email every time a real person comments, cool. If I also get an email saying I have new spam, not so cool. We shall see how smart this "follow" thing is.

So short answer: yes!