writing

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

Do you write songs from the heart or from the head?

Often on Song Talk Radio, this question arises.  Sometimes, it’s fun for the hosts to try and guess.  “Your song sounds very cerebral,” or “Your song sounds very intuitive.”  The guests themselves tell us how well considered every decision in their songwriting process is, or tell us “It just came to me.”  This question of process in creative endeavour is as old as the creative endeavours themselves. On Blair Packham’s show, he talked about his own journey on both the intuitive and the cerebral roads.

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Mark Martyre writes melodic word pictures

Mark Martyre is a Canadian writer and musician. His prolific song writing has produced 3 full-length studio albums since 2012: Down, Record (2012), London (2013), and Red Letters (2014), as well as several live records, and bootlegs. His music and lyrics have garnered critical acclaim and attention both nationally and internationally. Mark is currently working on his fourth full-length studio album, as well as a book of poems and short stories, to be released in 2016. On December 8 he filled our studio with a laid back set of three tunes. With “I know What It’s Like” he plays with simile very effectively… – “like a story”, “like an old deck of cards”, like a movie”. His lyrics flow in an almost spoken style on top of solid rhythmic guitar work. On “Long Goodbye” listen for surprising images (“sleepy trees”), tasty harmonica fills, and  cool bridge. “I Never Knew” traces the musician’s process and resonates for anyone who ever set out to play gigs only to discover it was a lot harder than they thought. Mark is an accomplished songwriter worth checking out at any of the links listed!

SOCIAL MEDIA

www.markmartyre.com

www.markmartyre.bandcamp.com

www.facebook.com/markmartyre

www.youtube.com/markmartyre

www.twitter.com/markmartyre

 

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/

Songwriting Apps Review: Rhyme Genie, TuneSmith & Chordmate

In our first Apps Review Show, we take a look at Idolumic’s Rhyme Genie and Harmonic Sense’s Chordmate Apps.

First up was Idolumic’s Rhyme Genie a fully cross platform (PC, Mac & iOS) program that boasts over 330,000 rhymes and more rhyme types than you’ve ever heard of. The desktop versions are brilliant and much better than any online rhyme services I’ve found (it even give you Feminine Pararhymes – so you know, there you go).

A great interface too. It lets you select “similarity of sound” of the rhymes, gives you filters for adverbs, adjectives, nouns, verbs, etc, and lets you select how many syllables the rhymes have.

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What does it mean to be an “amateur” songwriter?

On Song Talk Radio we have a wonderful variety of guests and songwriters, and one way to group them is whether they are professional or amateur songwriters. Often, when we refer to amateur, there’s a negative connotation that implies a less polished, unsophisticated, or otherwise lesser craft. When we talk about being professional, it implies a polished, well-considered, or elevated craft.

However, if we consider the word amateur and its inherent meaning, there’s a better way to look at it.  Amateur is derived from the Latin amatorem, which means “lover of.” So, if you love writing songs, you’re an amateur. This doesn’t say anything about the quality of your writing. Surely, many guests on Song Talk Radio, both amateur and professional, are superb songwriters.

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Jeff with the team

He sang us good songs, he’s the piano man – Jeff Alan Greenway

Jeff Alan Greenway, backed by Cheryl Beatty on guitar and vocals, rocked our little studio with some powerful piano chops and heartfelt sounds. With a background in piano, jazz improvisation, cover and original bands, Jeff draws on his relationships to inspire his song writing. Whether it’s a call for closeness (Open These Doors), an on-again, off-again affair (No More Hellos), or a bitter missive to a friendship that always ends up in conflict (Eye for an Eye), Jeff’s songs grab you by the heart and won’t let go. Have a listen!

Website: http://www.jeffalangreenway.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jeffalangreenwaymusic

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/jeffalangreenway

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jeffalangreen

Soundcloud: http://www.soundcloud.com/jeffalangreenway

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/jeff-alan-greenway/id370523776

Super girl with a heart of armor – Jules

Singer songwriter Jules delivers three powerful tunes live in the studio. She’s just 14 and yet is well on her way along the road as a professional. Jules has been writing songs since she was 10. Some stuff we talked about:

Melanie with the Song Talk Radio team

Melanie Peterson, aka Mary Poppins with a broken heart

Melanie treats the team to two live performances, talks about duality and contradictions in her songs, and asks the ultimate Facebook quiz question, “Is your guy good on paper?”

We also talked about:

  • Pat Pattison’s songwriting seminar on youTube
  • writing from a title
  • crowdfunding for your album on indiegogo