“What’s in your songwriting toolbox?” with Johnsmith

What tools do we have available to us in our writing? How about these: rhyme schemes; storytelling; 1st, 2nd, 3rd person; telling our truth; using metaphor? We will explore all of these and more to hone our songwriting craft.

  • • Verse.
  • • Chorus.
  • • Channel.
  • • Bridge.
  • • Rule of two, use Kickin’ This Stone. Keep it interesting.
  • • Prosody – marriage of words and music. What’s the feel? Where are you going? Words need to match the feel.
  • • Is our song a Journey? Does it tell a story? Does it evolve and hold listener? Are we just repeating our first verse?
  • • Object writing.
  • • Use of metaphor.
  • • Journaling , do we journal daily? Use it to flush a song already started when stuck. Also try writing our song idea as a letter to someone, even ourselves?
  • • Write our song idea in prose to find more fodder.
  • • Are we telling OUR truth? What matters to us, are we genuine?
  • • Show me; don’t’ tell me. Paint a picture. Show the Thesaurus.
  • • Rhyming hard, soft, and inner rhymes.
  • • 1st, 2nd, 3rd person.
  • • Dynamics: soft, loud, fast, slow.
  • • Mix it Up. Try bridges and channels, similes, prosody, use of dynamics loud/soft, different keys, different chord fingerings, tunings, instruments, banjo, uke? Try fun genres –reggae, blues, country, bluegrass, gospel.
  • • The Zen knife. Gradually become lean in our writing and phrasing. What small words can be carved away? Defragging our song.
  • • Getting Started. Sometimes a question is good. What if? Try writing a letter to someone.
  • • Write about what you care about, passionate about. Birds, the earth, changes, spirituality, politics, etc.