Songwriting, The Song Well, Tunesday

Tunesday: Dec 1st: Gravity

Every Tunesday I post a boldly imperfect, one-take song draft of a song. This was written during a weekly song meet up on Zoom in May. The prompt was, “Gravity” (You can receive a new prompt most Fridays and find out more about the Fearless Songwriting Challenge by signing up for my mailing list here).

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It feels out of Control
Buckshot in a Fairy Tale
Wrapping lemon rinds round a spool
Martinis on the way to jail

Outside is all turning green
Might as well be a magazine

Gravity will have it’s way with you
Every plot twisted and cruel

The river rubs off on stones
Like Daisy Buchanan’s comb
Mumbling complaints out loud
Filling up leather tomes

Pressed to this plot of earth
Selling a pawn shop mirth

Gravity will have it’s way with you
Every plot twisted and cruel
It’s cruel world

A frame Stuck on the silver screen
aWhere they refused the wedding ring

Music Theory, Songwriting, The Muse, Writing

Saturday Songwriting: Scrape the Sun

The three major chords in a scale are amazing. I feel like I overlook them sometimes. I want to do more than write just another three chord song. But a solid melody and three chords is more than enough to write a great song.  

This week’s musical idea is taking a look at a connection between the three major chords and the scale they come from, which is that those three chords together hold all the notes of the major scale. That means any melody that sticks to a major scale could be harmonize with just those three chords.   

I was blown away the first time I heard that. I still kind of am.  


The Prompt:

Here’s a link to Christopher Bucklow’s Art

The Musical Idea:

Here’s a downloadable pdf of the worksheet above:

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The Bird of Intent

The other day I wrote about starting intentionally (and stopping intentionally as well).

Today, I read this from Seth Godin’s Blog

Standing at my desk this summer, it had just turned 10 am, and I realized that I’d already:

Heard from an old friend, engaged with three team members on two continents, read 28 blogs across the spectrum AND found out about the weather and the news around the world.

Half my life ago, in a similar morning spent in a similar office, not one of those things would have been true.

The incoming (and our ability to create more outgoing) is probably the single biggest shift that computers have created in our work lives. Sometimes, we subscribe or go and fetch the information, and sometimes it comes to us, unbidden and unfiltered. But it’s there and it’s compounding.

One option is to simply cope with the deluge, to be a victim of the firehose.

Another is to make the problem worse by adding more noise and spam to the open networks that we depend on.

A third might be, just for an hour, to turn it off. All of it. To sit alone and create the new thing, the thing worth seeking out, the thing that will cause a positive change.

As I finished reading this, I flashed on the thought “That thing could be a song.” That’s when the magpies in my head started piping up singing; “Songs add to the noise!  Aren’t there enough songs already?” 

They’re right of course. There are too many songs in the world, a daunting desultory deluge of ditties. But one worth seeking out? One that will cause a positive change? That takes intent.   

Likely more than an hour of intent. But much like Anne Lamott’s famously bother had to work his project bird by bird, the hours of my intent have to perch themselves one after another to write a song which worth another’s seeking.

A song which will make a change requires intent.

Music Theory, Songwriting, The Muse, Writing

Saturday Songwriting: Caged Lioness

A few days ago, I was checking out Jake Lizzio’s video (from Signals Music Studio) looking at the chord progression of Bruno Mars’s “When I Was Your Man.” It’s a cool video, and the song has some great changes to explore. And like pretty much all music theory, it can be a little intimidating if you don’t know the jargon.   The cool thing is, BEAD Guides Chord Flow can show the principles guiding the song, no jargon needed.  

The Prompt:

Here’s a link to Stefano Bonazzi’s Art

The Musical Idea:

Jake Lizzio explains “When I Was Your Man.”

Here’s a downloadable pdf of the worksheet above:

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