Tag: SAC (Page 2 of 2)

Challenge #3: Write a Song for Advertising

Another challenge that was totally out of my usual experience of music: Write a song for advertising that is “childlike, light and playful”.

Yay for co-writers! The songwriting part of this challenge was a breeze – thanks to Todd Wandio (the most fun I’ve had on Skype in while). Todd & I bounced ideas off each other, divided up the parts we worked on and came up with the 60 second song we were looking for. The real challenge for me became the logistics and technology – recording our ideas separately over 3000 km apart and across three time zones, updating software so it was compatible, figuring out how to share such large files. But we did it!

One big thing I’ve realized about this songwriting challenge is that the challenge doesn’t all lie in the songwriting itself. I’m learning a lot about tools I can us to facilitate writing, collaboration and recording. I am actively listening for specific musical characteristics that makes a song work (or not). This week’s learning curve successfully climbed – ready for the next challenge!

Challenge #2: Write a Top 40 Pop Song

I love how one of my fellow song challengers, David Keeble, describes the musical mood swing: from “a real visit from the song fairy” to “Nice music – but it’s a mystery to me why I thought it was so great last night.” I’ve certainly had those moments.

Maybe this is one role of the co-write: the initial enthusiasm and seed of an idea is expressed and then – just as you start to doubt its value – the baton is passed to a co-writer to add their layer of creativity and keep the songwriting momentum going. I was starting to get discouraged by the collaboration piece (or lack thereof) – it’s hard to know how to navigate a virtual room of over 100 individuals and guess who would be a good musical match. I forged ahead, writing on my own and (very bravely, I thought) posted a rough draft of a song for Challenge #1. Well, that helped. Suddenly, I feel less invisible, I got great feedback, and maybe there’s a co-write in my not-so-distant future. I even took the song out for a spin at an open mic in Toronto this weekend.

As for the Week Two Challenge – Write a Top 40 Pop Song for Rob Wells: “Think Selena Gomez.  Think Demi Lovato.  Think big.  Think hits.”  These singers are so outside my usual listening and playing spheres that it took a good deal of effort to steer my imagination in that direction. I did some listening but found I didn’t relate to the messages or the musicality of these songs. I had to think of pop artists I enjoy for inspiration (Katy Perry, Pink) for inspiration. What can I pull from the genre that I could use in my own song? My conclusion: Simple chord structure, catchy chorus, and a melody that showcases the singer’s skills. Oh yes, and remember to have fun!

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