Lots of people do it, maybe you do too: avoid learning a song because it requires barre chords, or limiting your songwriting vocabulary because you struggle with them and it’s easier to just avoid them. I’m not going to suggest that barre chords aren’t a challenge, for most people they are at least in the beginning. But here are some things you can do to make the learning process easier.
I talk here and on other forums about all things music, and questions always come up with people, "HOW DO I MAKE MONEY AT THIS?" Invariably, people want to know where is the money. In far too many things music, IT'S NOT THERE. We are entering our second decade, since the end of the 90's, where most music went FREE. As people, most notably college students, figured out ways to download whatever they wanted to, when it got totally easy to put things immediately on I-phones and I pods, and having limitless choices in music selections, for free, there was just nothing to be done.
"Imagination running wild ever since I was a kid
I could tell you crazy stories about things I never did
Spinning tires, breathing fire, dancing on thin ice
You'd have thought I'd done it all and seen most places twice..."
When people enter the world of Nashville, and in fact pretty much all of music these days, particularly if you are trying to “up the level of your odds”, by expanding your chances, they find themselves in a co-writing session. It is not easy, songwriting is a very internal art form, and yet you are trying to exist in a very extroverted world. Many don’t really understand etiquette, or even how to approach it. So here, I’ve tried to list a few things you might think of before the appointment, to make it go a little faster, and easier.
It happens a good deal. An old friend of mine contacted me about helping her with a song written by her husband, who passed away some time ago. It is a "Military" type song, and while I have not heard it yet, I am sure it is a very special song. She wanted me to help her get it "out there" and while I will do what I can, the reality is that it is difficult to get any song "out there" in any fashion, particularly, one that is from a while back.
Last week, I posted five guidelines I share with people I work with about the demo (recording) process. For those of you interested, having children, relatives, friends, taking the plunge along the musical Yellow Brick Road, this might give you some things to think about.
Feel free to post comments or ask questions. I don't know it all, but I DO KNOW PEOPLE WHO DO!
It used to be that every writer would write songs, do rudimentary, work tapes, with an acoustic guitar, or piano, and be able to wander around the vaunted halls of publishing offices, playing either live, or their “tapes” (that’s how long ago that was), and artists, producers, or labels would hear the song, take in the studio, and BINGO, magic happened. HIT SONGS!!! Well, yes and no. In some cases, in the very early days, that happened.
My first paying gig was when I was 15. Sitting outside of a pawn shop, on a stool playing a guitar. Drawing people inside, back in 1967. I got 5 bucks an hour, a pack of Winston cigaretts, and could play any of the guitars he had in the shop.
Nashville Ear awards the Best of the Best honor to the songwriter that we feel stood out with exceptional songwriting and performances. Please join us in congratulating this years award winner Chris Gantry.