Join the family & learn how to write better songs, in any style

We’re here to help you write better songs, and help you progress in your songwriting journey.

Every Tuesday, we talk to a songwriter from any style and from any ability level to explore techniques that will actually help you write better, more memorable and more successful songs. Since November 2013, we’ve talked to many songwriters, from beginners to professionals and everything in between and had a blast each and every show. Join us and get those songs moving!

Fresh Content

Show date:  Dec. 10, 2017

Vanessa, Phil, Bruce, Anthony, and Neel

We featured songs on this episode that use the unique “talk singing” technique. For the most part, we agreed that talk-singing meant that the singers were using short notes without too much melodic range, but still consciously in the key of the song.

We talked about:

  • how the ends of talk-singing musical lines work
  • the differences between rap and talk-singing
  • how talk-sung songs have interesting music beds
  • how you have a melody even when you’re speaking
  • how the late 70s and 80s saw a lot of talk-singing songs
  • our theme episode on Unconventional Singers

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Check out the songs

 

Show date:  Dec. 03, 2017

Neel, Phil, Vanessa, Bruce, and Anthony

You don’t necessarily need to have a fantastic voice to write or even perform songs well. We looked at some of our favorite songwriters with unusual voices and how they did it.

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We talked about

 

Show date:  Nov. 26, 2017

Neel, Bruce, Patrick, Phil, Vanessa, and Anthony

Popular guest co-host and guest on Song Talk Radio, Patrick Ballantyne dropped by the studio to share two of his favourite Canadian songs. “Help Me” by Joni Mitchell is a great example of her unique combination of melody, structure, and lyrics to evoke a casual conversational tone. Includes a great instrumental hook. Patrick’s other pick was a song by Ian and Sylvia, “The French Girl”, in a very unusual version recorded by Gene Clark. As we discussed the tunes, we talked about:

  • Patrick’s new album – “Calendar”
  • Hearing songs of yearning at the age of 13
  • Joni Mitchell’s unique vocal style
  • adding a 2/4 bar in a 4/4 song
  • When the root chord is a 7, it creates tension
  • Led Zeppelin

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Show date:  Nov. 20, 2017

Neel, Bruce, Andy, Vanessa. Phil, and Anthony

Andy De Rego, also known as Black Suit Devil, is a seductive blend of acoustic soul with thought provoking lyrics and heartfelt, soulful melodies. Andy has been a regular in Toronto’s rock, blues and metal music scenes for over twenty years, writing and performing across North America. Andy joined us to talk about:

  • stealing borrowing from Black Sabbath if you’re going to start a metal band
  • how Andy’s lyrics pull from the political, “fight the man” attitude of metal
  • Andy’s song Blind Man, a song about corporate control and injustice – download the lyrics
  • Short songs vs. long songs (hint: Andy writes long songs with a lot of tension)
  • the daily grind of being a full-time musician, and where to find good paying gigs
  • Andy’s song Fumbledownload the lyrics
  • how to separate the verse from the chorus
  • the great debate of enunciating every word in your vocal performance, or not

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Watch the live performance