A note from the editor
Hello FNO Bands and Performers,
Corey Stewart recently
friend requested FNO on Myspace and I am glad he did! He has
great song writer resources. This month's article lays out his
recommendations for effective song writing practices. He is
from Australia, so if you have never heard the expression "just start
noodling..." that may be why...
Below, check out the FNO Performer of the Month Hale Baskin.
FNO's Myspace bands take $5.00 off a
membership! Let me know if you're interested.
FNO Marketing Chick
Festival Network Online
FRIEND REQUEST FNO!
|« Newsletters Archive - To view previous newsletters, check out our archives! We
publish 3 newsletters each month! Art/Craft, Food/Commercial,
|Songwriting Help… Bait the hook to get a bite
By Corey StewartWriting a song is like fishing. You have to bait the hook to get a bite.
I thought it was about time I put onto paper what I do to get my own songwriting ideas down.
If you ask me the question about what comes first, the music or the
lyrics I would say both. It depends on where the songwriting idea comes
from in the first place (I must say that more often than not I am
working on musical arrangement ideas).
I have different ways of generating both music and lyrical ideas but today I'll be dealing with the musical arrangement.
(For the purpose of this article I am assuming that you have some musical instrument knowledge).
1. Make sure that you have a tape recorder/dictaphone and notepad handy.
You are about to bait your hook and throw the line in so you better
have an audio and written recording device ready when that songwriting
idea bites your hook
2. Set aside some time to pick up the instrument of your choice and just start noodling.
Don't play anything in particular just play. Let your creative juices
start flowing. Don't worry if what you are playing sounds like
something else and don't worry if you are playing your favorite chords.
Just enjoy the moments between you and your instrument.
(You have just thrown the line into the sea of infinite songwriting ideas)
3. Tell your inner critic to relax and take a hike.
Almost always your inner critic will go to work on your ego and say
things like "what are you doing? This is a waste of time" or "that
sounds crap, you should quit while you're ahead". If this happens just
keep playing and work through it. Remember, enjoy the moment.
4. Pay attention to what you are playing. Be prepared to go off into tangents
As you start getting into your noodling you will notice that what seems
familiar will become less so. If there is a moment which you play
something and you say to yourself "ooh, that sounds nice", run with it,
explore it. This leads to the next step.
5. Stop noodling and start exploring
You have got a bite. A songwriting idea has taken your bait. Now
is the time to reel it in and make some sense of it. Play it over and
over again. What you want to be doing is formulating a skeleton
structure of the songwriting idea.
6. Put it onto tape and write down the chords on paper
If in your noodling you were singing some nonsensical gobbledigook at
the same time and some lyrical hook comes into mind then write that
down too. If anything, it will enable you to tell one songwriting idea
apart from another.
7. Leave it alone and start noodling again (go back to step 1)
What you have put onto tape is not meant to be a completed masterpiece.
It is the concrete beginnings of a songwriting idea. Put it down and go
onto the next one because the time to refine the idea is not now, it's
When you are fishing you don't catch a fish and then stop everything to
prepare it to be eaten (apologies to my vegetarian friends, I am
talking about metaphorical fish here). You store the fish and continue.
It's the same with songwriting ideas.
How long you want to keep fishing is totally up to you.
As I mentioned before this is the way I personally do things. It may
not work for everyone but it works for me. I would be interested what
people think of it so if you have any questions and/or feedback then
feel free to let me know.
And another thing, don't be concerned with getting a result. If you
start noodling and all you do is noodle then thats fine. You can always
try again next time. Practice makes perfect.
The most important thing is your songwriting process not the end result.
Until next time, happy writing.
|Featured FNO Performer - Hale Baskin
month's featured member is Hale Baskin, a jazz singer from
California. She has been a member of FNO for 4 years.
Endowed with a clear, beautiful voice, a sure sense of swing, and a
seemingly innate sense of the nuances of jazz phrasing, Hale Baskin is
certainly a singer of great promise. But more than that, Hale is
already a musician whose artistry can be enjoyed in the here and now.
Hale Baskin is not just a singer with a future. She's a singer with a
This young artist has accomplished a lot so far and has
plans to sing in Europe this summer. Check her out on
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