Shows

The 1st Annual Holiday Gift Guide: Great Gifts for Songwriters

With the holiday season just around the corner, we decided to help you out with some great gift ideas for songwriters and musicians in your life. We put them into four categories:

  1. Stocking Stuffers ( 0 – $15)
  2. Small Gifts ($15 – $100)
  3. Good Gifts ($100 – $300)
  4. WOW! Gifts ($300+) (the, gee if I only had a super-generous someone who had money to burn…)

Our suggestions ran the gamut from a cool Christmas tree ornament (under $15) to a Bob Dylan model Gibson guitar (WAY over $300).

So have a listen. It’ll make your holiday shopping a happier tune.

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Neel, Mike MacInnes, Michael Proudfoot, Vanessa, Linda, Bruce, and Phil

5-Year Anniversary Spectacular!

For our 5-year anniversary, we visited moments past and our favourite bits. Song Talk Radio Superfan Mike MacInnes joined us (for the 5th time!)

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Some of our favourite theme shows:

Some of our favourite guest shows:

We talked about:

  • How to write lyrics that are specific but open enough to allow the listener in
  • The distance between being inspired to write a song and developing it with craft
  • What the heck is polytonality?
  • We’ve done 47 theme shows in that last five years! Thanks to Mike MacInnes for the research
  • The growing Song Talk Radio Team
Steven Taetz sharing jazz songwriting tips

Writing Jazz Standards: Songwriting Tips with Steven Taetz

Jazz songwriter Steven Taetz returns to talk about creating new “Jazz Standards”.

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Stuff we talked about:


The Great American Song Book Buy The Great American Song Book 

Charts for The Great American Songbook
A “Fake Book” with just a lead line and the charts for the songs.

 

Making the most of a three-chord song

On this program Bruce, Neel, and Phil, (and Linda) each brought a three-chord song to share. We looked at what each song needed to do (if anything) to compensate for the lack of chord diversity. We talked about:

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The lyrics

Download the chord/lyric sheets to follow along:

Ming-Tea-BBC

Now-You’re-Leaving_Lyrics

Radiohead-Street-Spirit

The-Joker

Bruce, Allister, Linda, and Phil

Songwriting App Review Show – Part 2

The Song Talk Team reviews songwriting apps, with special guest Allister Bradley, who went above the call of duty and showed up on crutches!

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We talked about:

  • MasterWriter – a lyric-writing app with built-in thesaurus and rhyming dictionary
  • Music Memos – like having a back up band in your pocket!
  • GuitarTuna – free app for tuning your guitar or uke
  • SmartClick – Allister’s handy metronome app of choice
  • Garage Band – y’all know what this is, but did you know you can use it to record a complete song on your phone?
  • OnSong – for cataloging your song, and as a teleprompter for your performances
  • Capo Touch -a great way to learn your favourite songs
  • iRealPro – for charting your songs
  • Liquid Notes – for helping your understand chords and growing your chord palette
  • RhymeGenie and Tunesmith – a fully-functional rhyming dictionary with all the nuances – Allister was very impressed, and keep track of all your collaborators and commercial pitches with Tunesmith
  • CBC Music
Writing a song without any inspiratin with the song talk radio team

Beginners’ Corner: Different ways to start to write a song when you have no inspiration

The team shares tips on the different ways you can start a song.

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Eric Walker, jazz/pop/blues fusion

Eric Walker is a singer/songwriter from Toronto and a member of the blakeley walker band. He was a founding member of the Toronto Songwriters Association which has met the second Saturday of the month for the past 17 years. We talked about:

  • playing Harry Belafonte songs on the ukulele
  • writing a song with 47 chords
  • master songwriting teacher Andy Krehm
  • composition teacher Gordon Dalimont
  • SONG – “Umbrella” – looking back at the beginnings of a relationship
  • SONG – “Renovations” – building and renovating love
  • short chorus – good or bad?
  • how the Toronto Songwriters Association events work

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songwriting tips

Marlon Chaplin on his new record, The Circle

Toronto native Marlon Chaplin returned to Song Talk Radio following the release of his new album, The Circle. He was joined by Sintja Baba for a live performance of Take Me There. Patrick Ballantyne filled in for Bruce – thanks Patrick!

We talked about:

  • The recording process, and pre-production
  • Starting a song with a simple melodic hook
  • Writing the lyrics last
  • Interesting chord choices
  • Changing the chords underneath the same melody (re-harmonizing)

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Download the lyrics:

Take Me There

A Single Drop

Watch the live performance:

Vanessa, Neel, Blair, Linda, Michael, and Phil

Canadian songwriters rock the nineties

Maybe you didn’t ask for it but we did it anyway – the 90’s song draft – this time with Canadian songwriters. Blair Packham sat in for a sick Bruce, Vanessa joined the gang for her song picks, and much fun was had. Of the many writers of the Great White North, here are a few highlights:

  • Alanis Morrisette
  • The Tragically Hip
  • Bruce Cockburn
  • Tal Bachman
  • The Odds

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Julian Taylor – dual roots and great songs

Julian Taylor is a Canadian singer-songwriter formerly with the band Staggered Crossing. His songs have appeared in television series including Degrassi: The Next Generation.  He now fronts the Julian Taylor Band. Julian dropped by the studio with his daughter Ella. We talked about:

  • Skookum Music Festival, Vancouver
  • Basic core band members together for 24 years!
  • Music first or lyrics first?
  • Finding a “treasure chest” of memorabilia in the attic
  • New album called Avalanche
  • Checking the quality of the melody – whistle
  • Sweeter – unusual song structure, lots of Canadian references
  • Love Connection – cool structure
  • started writing songs at age of 4
  • Mohawk/West Indian musical background

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