singer-songwriter

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

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

 

Sonja with the team

Doing that country thang with Sonja Seiler

The uber-talented Sonja Seiler brings her own brand of passionate, emotional songs to Song Talk Radio for the second time, this time with a country twist.

Stuff we talked about:

  • transitioning from writing on piano to guitar
  • letting an idea percolate for a while before writing
  • the power of imagery
  • what’s the right tempo for your song?
  • titles with brackets
  • extending a metaphor
  • Sonja’s previous appearance on Song Talk Radio

New standards by Steven Taetz

Multi-talented singer songwriter Steven Taetz turned the Song Talk studio into a smoky nightclub with his perfect renditions of his own songs. Waiting for Wishes (co-written with Emma-Lee) had so many “hooks” we lost count (listen for pre-chorus one and two, and the first chorus!). Lately (co-written with Gavin Bradley) had us enraptured as Steven delivered the plaintive lyrics of a man who fears his lover may have strayed. Listen to the awesome bridge!

Listen to the entire show here!

Lucas Bozzo and the wisdom of repetition, repetition, repetition

On this engaging program with Lucas Bozzo we delved into the sometimes heated debate of variety versus repetition in songwriting. Lucas performed two songs in the studio; “If” and “How Beautiful You Are”. We discussed:

  • legato vocals over staccato guitar
  • powerful lyrics over a repetitive musical form
  • the balance of the simple and the practical
  • chord substitutions
  • dynamic vocal changes
  • “da-da-da” as a break from dense lyrical sections
  • the power of a full stop (tacet)
  • the influence of classical training on the writing of popular songs
  • TAB chords

John Glover keeps it simple and engaging

On this highly informative and entertaining show, we talked with John Glover:

  • how John adapted his guitar playing after a hand injury
  • the difference between “cathartic creativity” and the hard work of writing songs
  • Justin Rutledge‘s songwriting workshop
  • lyrics versus poetry
  • playing with Willie P. Bennett
  • starting the writing of a song with a melody and a chord progression
  • Object writing” as a songwriting exercise to build sensory awareness
  • Secret Agent Man” as inspiration
Bruce with the team

Keeping it real with Bruce Harrott

A very special show with Song Talk Radio’s co-host and co-creator Bruce Harrott, showcasing and discussing the process behind some of his best songs. We talked about:

  • Bruce’s traditional approach with writing lyrics first, and trying a different approach now
  • working with different producers
  • The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
  • writing about real experiences (“staying true to the story”)
  • using different melody/chords in bridge vs. verses
  • chord substitutions

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.

 

Bob Guido serves up some ambient vibes

The awesomely talented former recording engineer Bob Guido shared some absolutely mesmerizing sounds with the Song Talk Radio audience. With his guitar and effects he played Letting Go, a dreamy instrumental which showcased Bob’s mastery of melody and form. His second tune Wake Up Call featured Bob’s vocals and lyrics in a haunting arrangement that called for more love in the world. Some of the topics that came up included:

www.bobguido.bandcamp.com

www.bobguido.com

Giving yourself a deadline to get stuff done: Janice Ho

Our very own Tweeting SongBird, Janice moved to the other side of the mic. We talked about her having Opera training and her natural bluesy style.

Some stuff we talked about: