conventions

Getting (not so) personal with Faaria

Faaria was one of our first guests on Song Talk Radio (check out her first episode) and she joined us once again with new songs about relationships, where none of them are autobiographical (or so she claims).

Stuff we talked about:

  • writing from different point-of-views
  • relationship songs
  • how practicing songwriting can affect the enjoyment of listening to other songs
  • progressing the story or idea from verse to verse
  • spicing up chords using the Circle of Fifths
  • the value of collaboration and playing around with songwriting suggestions

Download the lyrics for Faaria’s songs.

Listen to the full episode:

Watch the performances:

 

Blair Packham packs emotional power

From the moment Blair Packham started to speak, we knew we were in for some great lessons from a master songwriter and experienced teacher. If You Were Mine featured a great bridge and instrumental break. In Her Dreams started out as a story of a woman in a call centre and moved to a daughter caring for an ailing mother. In our wide-ranging conversation we also touched on the following:

  • who are you writing for?
  • does the song connect emotionally with the listener?
  • collaboration is good
  • ask for feedback and use it
  • write from your creativity
  • the new singer-songwriter accent (Shawn Mendes song Stitches for example)
  • song-writing workshops (songstudio.ca)

Listen to the full episode

Exploring poetic lyrics with Liz Jaremyn

The ever talented Liz Jaremyn returned with two great songs. Here’s some stuff we talked about:

Listen to the whole show:

Talkin ’bout song structures

Bruce, Neel, Phil and Janice spent most of an hour on the subject of song structures with 4 different examples. We talked about:

  • the prologue verse (I Left my Heart in San Francisco)
  • writing for musical theatre (My Funny Valentine)
  • the connection between segment style and lyrical content (Band on the Run)
  • Sloan’s song with its many sections and its Beatles influence (Fading into Obscurity)

All in all, a fun and informative show. Thanks for the tweets Tony!

Further Reading:

Arranging Songs: How to Put the Parts Together

Scott Neary – Tools, tips, and some very cool things

Seasoned professional guitarist, singer-songwriter, and all-around nice guy Scott Neary shares some of his best kept songwriting secrets. Scott also accompanied the talented jazz songwriter Steven Teatz for his appearance on Song Talk Radio. We talked about:

  • The great chorus debate – to repeat it verbatim or not?
  • Why you should whistle your melody
  • Why, sometimes, you need to ask, “Why does there have to be a chord?”
  • Why you should re-harmonize your chords after you develop a great melody on conventional chords
  • Symmetry, or lack thereof

 

Adding musical interest with chord subsitutions

Have a listen to an informative and lively discussion on chord substitutions. In this show we talked about:

Blues lite with Peter Light

What a delight to have Peter Light in the studio and hear some down-to-earth songwriting. I Let Her Go was a unique take on “the one that got away”. Charlie’s Playin’ the Blues was a cool tongue in cheek visit to the world of traditional blues – done with great craft and artistry.

 

How to write songs for other artists with Braeden Mitchell

The always brilliant Braeden Mitchell returns to Song Talk Radio to talk about co-writing, writing songs for other artists and getting back into the songwriting groove after taking a bit of a break.

Some stuff we talked about:

  • How to write songs for other artists
  • SAC Songwriters Challenge
  • Keeping a list of song titles
  • place the strongest words or keywords on strongest beats (so in 4/4, beats 2 & 4)
  • Madhatters Pub
  • Braeden’s first appearance on Song Talk Radio

Read more

OITC with the team

Get loaded on songwriting ammo with One in the Chamber

One in the Chamber (Mike Baise – vocals, rhythm guitar, Cecil Eugene – lead guitar, vocals, Christian Dotto – bass, Gerrod Harris – percussion) join us to discuss their songwriting process as a band.  We talked about:

  • bringing a song to the band to be fleshed out
  • singing lead vocals with lyrics written by a bandmate
  • to be or not to be wordy
  • abstract lyrics
  • rock and roll

With influences streaming in from all eras of rock, One In The Chamber is a unique, modern rock outfit. Driven by roaring vocals, slinky guitar work, and fueled by driving bass lines and tight, deep grooves, One In The Chamber are able to bring together elements from the 60’s to present day into one tasteful flavour. Hailing from Mississauga, Markham, and Richmond Hill, One In The Chamber can proudly call Toronto and the surrounding cities home, and are excited to perform at your next big event. Be it Friday night in the club, a summer festival, or your block party. Drawing inspiration from the past, while keeping things fresh, One In The Chamber is your new favorite band.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oitcband/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/oitcband

Instagram: https://instagram.com/oneinthechamberofficial/

Exploring the art-rock strangeness that could only be Frank Horvat

Frank dropped by Song Talk Radio again, this time with songs from his recent release, Strange Machine.  We talked about:

  • using wikiloops for free backing tracks
  • unconventional time signatures, and unusual uses of 4/4
  • the differences between art songs and pop songs
  • a modern twist on the protest song
  • Frank’s experimental writing process using Logic

Listen to the show:

About Frank Horvat

With a Broken Social Scene-like attitude, Toronto’s ambient-edged art rock band, The Frank Horvat Band, uses a colourful canvas to create songs for a dynamic and intoxicating aural experience. Their latest album, Strange Machine, was crafted more like a playlist than an album with 10 songs, 5 singers and 13 musicians taking part. But the constants were producer Jean Martin who was part of the team for Tanya Tagaq’s 2014 Polaris win, and songwriter and pianist, Frank Horvat, with his own brand of protest songs.

Frank’s links