Have fun learning how to write better songs, in any style!

A podcast where we share songwriting tips, techniques, and ideas, and share additional resources for songwriters. We're here to help you write better songs and help you along in your songwriting journey.

Every Tuesday evening at 7 PM EST, we explore tips and techniques from songwriting pros to amazing beginners so you can write better, more memorable songs easier. Since November 2013, we've talked to 100's of songwriters - every show is packed with tips, stories, and humour. Join us and get those songs moving! We even hold contests with great prizes!

Fresh Content

Show date:  Jun. 16, 2019

Phil, Richard, Ritah, Micah, Michael, and Neel

Toronto-base Saxophonist Richard Underhill talks about his work with Blue Rodeo, and how horns work within a song.

We talked about:

 

Show date:  Jun. 10, 2019

Join us Tuesday, June 11th as Jazz Saxophonist extraordinaire and main Shuffle Demon, Richard Underhill stops by to talk Jazz, horns and shuffling I guess. Live on CJRU1280AM Toronto or listen to the live stream at https://songtalk.ca

Richard Underhill’s warm alto sound, great writing and arranging skills and in-from-the-outside soloing make him one of Canada’s most distinctive jazz performers. His new project is ‘Free Spirit’, a critically acclaimed Live DVD/Studio CD set that features Lincoln Center Jazz trombonist Ron Westray and some of Toronto’s finest jazz players.

Richard was awarded the Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition in 2008 for his contribution to Toronto musical and artistic community. He won a 2003 Juno Award for his jazz debut ‘Tales from the Blue Lounge’ and was nominated for the Prix du Jazz at the 2003 Montreal Jazz Festival. His debut video ‘The Old Guys’ climbed to No.1 on the Bravo! video chart and won a 2004 SOCAN Number 1 award. His latest album ‘Kensington Suite’ has garnered significant critical acclaim and was nominated for a 2008 Juno Award and his 2nd album ‘Moment in Time’ was also nominated for a Juno Award in 2007. He also took home 2nd place in the International Songwriting Competition in 2008.

Download the lyrics:

Sell Me This

The Shuffle Demons – Spadina Bus lyrics

Show date: 

Vanessa, Micah, Neel, and Phil

We talked tips and tricks for beginner songwriters. Our producer Vanessa and techie Micah also joined in the conversation. Some of the stuff we covered included:

  • Our Rocketman movie pre-screening contest
  • How Phil and Neel got started on songwriting, and the challenges they faced
  • Get yourself a decent guitar to start on (or a ukulele!)
  • Basic melody development
  • The benefits of collaboration
  • Writing from a title, or a poem
  • How to take apart your favourite songs
  • How practice makes perfect better
  • How to finish songs
  • Writing a bad first draft, because you won’t be awesome right away
  • Vanessa’s post about stuff she’s learned on the show
  • We won a spot on FeedSpot’s Top 20 Songwriting Podcasts!

Listen to the show

Show date:  Jun. 02, 2019

This week SongTalk welcomed Matthew Reid to our studio. Matthew is a critically acclaimed, award winning composer for film, television, games and theatre. His funny songs have delighted almost a million people during his tenure as composer for Toronto’s world famous Second City comedy theatre. His comedic musical, The Second City Guide to the Symphony was has been performed by top orchestras across North America since 2014.

As a film composer, he recently won several awards as a composer collaborating with Tim Burton’s producer, Derek Frey on the multiple award-winning film, Green Lake.

Currently he’s completing the score for the 9/11 feature doc, No Responders Left Behind, constantly creating production music tracks and finding a little time to compose classical chamber music.

We talked with Matthew about:

  • being SecondCity’s musical director
  • ways to challenge yourself as a composer
  • what is involved in scoring a film
  • how to take a new approach to classical music
  • making recorded music samples sound realistic

Show date:  May. 31, 2019

the STR Gang and winners of the Elton John biopic Rocketman ticket contest infront of the movie poster

We had a blast at the prescreening of the new Elton John bio-pic Rocketman on Wednesday! The winners of our Rocketman Free Ticket Contest and the gang met at a pub before hand and then went to the theatre to catch the invite only event. They had a male chorus singing RocketMan which was pretty cool. Much thanks to the awesome folks at Paramount Pictures for helping us put this together!

Keep an eye open when we do a special “Rocketman Movie” show all about this movie where we all share what we loved about this film (spoiler: everyone actually really liked it – even Michael!)

A great movie and well worth seeing. Get your tickets here:

https://tickets.rocketman.movie/