Songwriting Club

Club Updates

7/26/21 – Canceled due to summer scheduling conflicts.

7/19/21 – Group brainstorming for future sessions. Topics: Sing-alongs, anthems, happy songs, ballads built off of randomized pieces, groovy/dance songs, everyone write a different song off of the same beat. Members: Invite guest songwriters to contribute. If we get more people, we can keep our work to ourselves a bit more.

7/5/21 – There will be no songwriting club on Monday, 7/12/21.

6/21/21 – The first club meeting was at 6:00 PM. I announced meeting information too late for all members to attend, but Isis and I benefited from a one-on-one writing session. The next meeting will be held via Google Meets at 6:00 PM on Monday, June 28. Four of us are planning to attend, which leaves room for two or three additional writers. Please send me a photo, a short bio, and your links for the member directory.

Click here to pay club dues online.

Meeting Log

Organized with the most recent session information at the top of the page. Sessions will be archived quarterly.


8/1/21

Members present:

Guests present:
James Barrett

Sharing | Review songs written this week or an older tune that might benefit from workshopping.

  • Before sharing, go ahead and add your lyrics to our shared folder for more productive listening and feedback.
  • Share whatever you’ve got. Could be a follow-up from last week’s wedding song prompt or anything else.
  • Discuss the process and results.

Prompt | Sing-Along Song (Part 1 of 2)

  • This article by Jason Blume for BMI will serve as our guide to writing songs that are fun to listen to and to sing. It outlines the following key elements for a “fun” song: nonsense syllables, quirky rhythms, upbeat lyrics, repetition, group vocals, and easy-to-sing melodies.
  • After discussing the article, let’s focus on our choruses this week. Process: Brainstorm ideas together, establish a direction, incorporate 2+ elements from the article into your writing, draft 2-3 different versions of this chorus, break to share between writing sessions.
  • Next week, we’ll dig into developing the rest of the song (additional stanzas and song structure).

7/19/21

Members present:
Sally
Isis
Nolan
Maddi

Sharing | Review songs written this week or an older tune that might benefit from workshopping.

  • Before sharing, go ahead and add your lyrics to our shared folder for more productive listening and feedback.
  • Share whatever you’ve got. Could be a follow-up from the collaboration challenge last week or anything else.
  • Discuss the process and results.

Prompt | Wedding Songs

  • The U.S. wedding industry has an estimated worth of $51.2 billion this year (2021) according to IBISWorld. The U.S. music industry was worth $8 billion in 2020 according to Statista. Seems like there’s an opportunity for musicians to get our piece of that wedding cake. Plenty of big pop artists write songs with the intention of capitalizing on the precious “wedding song.” Here’s a list of 272 “wedding songs” from The Knot.
  • As the concept of marriage changes, I think there’s a lot of room for mixing up the wedding song genre. Maybe your wedding song is for LGBTQ+ folks. Maybe your wedding song is for folks just getting married to make the business side of life a little simpler. Maybe your wedding song is for folks who’ve been married before. Maybe your song is for folks who were widowed. Maybe your wedding song is for folks in a polyamorous or open arrangement. Maybe your song is for folks who are uncertain that monogamy can last forever, but they’re willing to just give it a shot and enjoy the now. Maybe your wedding song is for folks who aren’t getting legally married, but want to commit to each other anyway.
  • You can write this however you want to. There’s no wrong method here. Just keep in mind that wedding songs normally try to illicit the feelings folks crave on a wedding day: love, nostalgia, wonder, connection, significance, etc.

7/5/21

Members present:
Isis
Nolan
Sally
Maddi

Sharing | Review songs written this week.

  • Before sharing, go ahead and add your lyrics to our shared folder for more productive listening and feedback.
  • Share whatever you wrote this week. Could be the finished I-V-vi-IV song from last week’s prompt or anything else you came up with.
  • Discuss the process and results.

Prompt | Collaboration Challenge

  • Using the wheel of names, assign each of us someone else’s song.
  • In the first timed interval, write 1-3 additional stanzas for your assigned song. Try to match tone, meter, and context as much as possible.
  • Share what you’ve written with the group, improving the lines based off of feedback from the original artist and from the group.
  • During the second interval, you’ll practice singing and playing along with the additional lyrics to your own song.
  • Finally, we’ll share and discuss the results.

6/23/21

Members present:
Isis
Nolan
Sally
Maddi

Introductions | Tell us who you are and share a song.

Discussion | Productivity before, during, and after quarantine. Some questions to consider:

  • Were you in a groove before COVID-19?
  • Did you have music goals for quarantine? Did you achieve those goals?
  • Now that quarantine is over, do you feel you have more or less time to write? More or less motivation?
  • What are your fresh objectives?

Prompt | I-V-vi-IV, Elevating The Basics

  • Start this song with a I-V-vi-IV progression. You can rotate the order of those chords for variation: V-vi-IV-I, vi-IV-I-V, IV-I-V-vi. For reference or inspiration, here’s a list of popular songs that use this progression. With the chords squared away, you can focus more of your creativity on writing lyrics and melodies.
  • We’ll do timed synchronized writing and then share a stanza or two.

6/21/21

Members present:
Maddi
Isis

Discussion | Writing many songs about a single concept. Some questions we considered:

  • When there’s not much happening externally, can you find inspiration internally?
  • How many different answers can you find for a single question?

Prompt | 1 to 20

  • Write one line that summarizes a thought/feeling/experience you’ve been mulling over frequently lately.
  • Write 10-20 unconnected lines that say the same thing in different ways.
  • Sift through those lines, drawing connections and restructuring the content into song parts.