Join us each week for songwriting tips and techniques, and the occasional gumbo recipe. But seriously, take a listen! You’ll have so much fun, you won’t know you’re learning stuff.

Fresh Content

Show date:  Jan. 23, 2022

Neel, Phil, Mike, and Chad

Chad Shank is a songwriter and music producer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has been writing and recording his own music since middle school, heavily influenced by artists that made the “Minneapolis Sound” famous like Prince, Janet Jackson, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and The Time.

As an adult Chad worked in radio for many years, and operated his own independent record label.

Since then Chad has discovered that he has a true passion for the craft of songwriting and after studying songwriting with Berklee College of Music, he started sharing his experience and songwriting knowledge with other songwriters through The Minnesota Association of Songwriters (MAS), and his own YouTube Channel and Meetup Group “At Home Songwriting.” Chad leads monthly online songwriting workshops for both groups and released weekly songwriting videos on YouTube.

Chad also had released over 300 of his own songs online.

We talked about:

Show date:  Dec. 21, 2021

Described by UK critics as “one of the most innovative of their era” and that “even to this day they sound brave and fresh”, Martha and the Muffins emerged from the early punk/new wave/art pop scene in 1977 – which was centered around various clubs along Toronto’s Queen Street West and the Ontario College of Art.

The band was the first Canadian band to sign to a UK label and recorded their first album, Metro Music at The Manor Studio near Oxford, England. After “Echo Beach” became a top ten single around the world in 1980 and earned them a JUNO for Single of the Year, Martha and the Muffins toured extensively in Britain, Europe and North America. Since then, the band has released 9 studio albums, three of which they co-produced with Daniel Lanois (U2, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel). Their newest release is ‘Marthology: In And Outtakes’.

We talked about:

  • working with producers for their new release Marthology
  • exploring different musical styles in your writing
  • giving long-time fans what they want and something new

Show date:  Dec. 17, 2021

Mike, Neel, Phil, and Greg

This week SongTalk welcomed Pop-rock artist Greg Wyard – a singer-songwriter, guitarist and bass player who has been diligently working at his craft since he was ten years old. Greg moved to Canada from his native England at age 13 and settled in Toronto, earning a reputation as one of its most hardworking solo performers. Greg has a music degree from McGill University, and released three original CDs from which his songs “Something I Made Up” and “What Are You Trying to Prove” both placed in the Standard Radio National songwriting competition. An international performer, he has toured the United States, England, Malta, Australia, Norway and most recently Goa.

Unapologetically melodic in his writing, Greg’s songs can’t escape the influences of the music that shaped him – The Beatles, Crowded House, Squeeze – and he loves to write pop songs that surprise you with an intricate little guitar line here or an unexpected key change there.

As a cover performer, Greg has an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music. Known for his faithful reproductions of intricate classic rock songs such as Bohemian Rhapsody and Baba O’Reilly using just his voice and guitar, he can play any one of a thousand songs off the top of his head.

He released his third CD entitled Encore in 2014 and is currently writing songs for his fourth album and performing around Canada and the rest of the world.

For us, Greg brought in his new song – Working Like A Charm. Lyrics here.

Aside from playing his song live, we also talked about topics like:

  • the role of cover songs for an artist
  • how to write a song for streaming
  • how re-working is the key to a complete song
  • tricks for getting over writers block

Website: gregwyard.com

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Show date:  Dec. 01, 2021

Neel, Phil, and Mike

On this special episode, we decode the ins and outs of the Circle of Fifths and how to use it to create interesting chord progressions.

image showing the circle of 5ths

We talked about:

  • Why the fifth is so important in music
  • What does diatonic mean?
  • How to expand your musical palette
  • Which chord is your “home” chord

Samples songs we used in this episode (follow along):

Some related articles and videos:

The Perfection of the Perfect Fifth – Song Talk Radio

Show date:  Nov. 25, 2021

Gather ’round kiddies for our Annual Holiday Gift Guide! with Special Guest Mike MacInnes!

Full of stocking stuffers, friendly little gifts and great big wowsa! gifts. Buy them for the songwriter/musician in your life – or get yourself something nice, ’cause you deserve it.

Is there anything that you’re hoping to find under your holiday-appropriate gift-finding place?

Let us know in the comments.

These are affiliate links – we get a small commission for anything sold here and it doesn’t affect the price you pay – neat huh?

Prices are in Canadian ’cause we’re in Canada.

Stocking Stuffers (0 – $15):

Dunlop Electric Variety Pack Guitar Picks (PVP113)

1Password Password Manager: Apple, Windows & Android

Music Playing Cards $13.00

Blank Music Journals $8.99

 

 

Small Gifts ($16 – 100):

Hamee Otamatone $39.99
An odd Japanese touch instrument – you need to see it to get it.

Earasers Musician’s Hifi Earplug $49.99

Planet Waves Elastic Cable Ties, 10-pack $13.49

Kazoo Solutions SKAZ-P1E Electric w/Pickup $44.26

G7th Performance Capos NewportPartial#3 6 String Guitar Capo $50.33

Peterson Strobe Tuner $98.99

Pocket DJ Mixer $133.00

2-in-1 Water Bottle+Bluetooth Speaker $64.44

 

WoWSA! Gifts ($100+)

E-BOW – E-Bow Plus – Hand Held Electronic Guitar Bow $134.22

Season Tickets to Mirvish Productions (Toronto) $160+

Season Tickets to Toronto Symphony Orchestra $100+

GatorCases: Super light, super strong guitar cases +$100

Zoom H1n Handy Recorder $239.75

Moog Theremini $479.00

Casio CT-X700 PPK Premium Keyboard Pack with Power Supply, Stand, and Headphones $580.34

Epiphone Inspired by Gibson Series $700+

Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus 120-Watt Guitar Amplifier with Two 12-Inch Speakers $1,449.99