Saturday Songwriting: Seasons Greetings

I’m going to keep this one short. It’s Christmas Eve and ebbing towards Christmas as I’m typing.  Happy Holidays to you and yours. By the time I send the next email 2020 will be behind us. Here’s to the New Year!

The Prompt:

The Musical Idea:

Here’s a downloadable pdf of the worksheet above:

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Saturday Songwriting: After Cigarettes

Here’s a follow up to last week’s progression (called a line cliché) which changed from C to Cmaj7 to C7, (and so forth). The same thing can be done with a minor chord, and it sounds just as cool. Maybe cooler. The names of the chords get a little funky in this one, but the principle is exactly the same; simply lower a note one fret for each change. It’s easier to see than to describe, which is why there’s a little video talking through a couple different examples of this change. 

The Prompt:

Here’s a link to Martha Haversham’s Art

The Musical Idea:

Here’s a downloadable pdf of the worksheet above:

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Making Songwriting Tools and Opportunities Accessible

I’ve been hitting “publish” nearly daily for a little over six months. I’ve been happy to see each like that comes my way, and grateful to see readers occasionally moved to comment.   

It’s seems there have been a couple of arcs to what I’ve posted. In the summer, I was focused a lot on what self-care meant to me, and how to create space for discernment without self-judgment.  

Over the fall, I’ve gotten more interested in how focus my time and energy. On how and what to prioritize.  

And, dear reader, I imagine you can smell from this recap, some kind of announcement coming on, which is this: for next little bit, I’m abandoning the established five day a week schedule for the blog and focusing in on my project explaining the principles of music with BEAD Guides Chord Flow.  

I’ve come come to the conclusion it’s time to really focus on what I’ve wanted to be a priority for a long time, making songwriting tools and opportunities accessible for songwriters, (especially songwriter guitarists).   

The weekly prompts and musical ideas I’ve been posting each Friday will continue. I’m sure over time other things will begin to turn up here as well. It just won’t be on a regular schedule for a while.  

Be well, 

-Timmy 

Saturday Songwriting: Lost on the Air

Last week, we talked about weaving 7th chords. This week, I want to share a really cool sounding progression that uses some of those 7th chords. And because we did the work last week of learning how to weave those chords, you’ll have a chance to really see how this progression fits together: one note simply descends of fret at a time in each chord, sort of like walking down a stairway. 

This is known as a “line cliché” in music theory.   

You don’t have to remember that, but if you google it you’ll find a whole bunch of other chord changes like the one here today. (I’ll likely explore others sometime in the next few months).      

The Prompt:

Here’s a link to Virginia Mori’s Art

The Musical Idea:

Here’s a downloadable pdf of the worksheet above:

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Displaced Priorities

When I first started writing, I was told writers write. Everyday.   

I’ve been told the same thing about exercise and meditation—have a daily practice. My guitar teachers over the years have insisted on the same thing. Yoga and stretching as well. And so it is with any task of import: when I decide to commit, the commitment I decide to make is daily.  

But of course, I can’t do everything daily. I have time to really prioritize two daily practices, maybe three depending on the time they demand.   

So the point of writing this is simply to remind myself of that. To leave a mental Post-It: the next time I imagine I should make something a daily practice, remember, I can’t. It’s to remember I must choose my two, or maybe three priorities. To remember, any daily practice I add will displace a priority, so it better be more important. 

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