Sunday, January 15, 2012

So, how's that 'songwriting' thing going?

Well - got some notes here from an evening more than a year ago, and some news . . . first, the old notes:

Hooted last night at The Merion with Deb, Mike Kearns, Glenn, Barry T, Barry and Elaine, George and Vickie. Seriously enjoyed myself despite throwing numerous clams. I sang "Killing the Blues" earnestly and artlessly. That's my net assessment as of early this morning. I'm finding out more about what it takes to perform music. Whether or not I ultimately think of myself as a performer, it is still important for me to learn this.
I've hung with Gordon a little and talked to Geo M about recording - told both Gordon and George that my current goal is to be able to produce a demo of three or four songs this year in time to submit it for application to SSCM '11.
My current assessment of my strengths/weaknesses is as follows: I have a nice, if not particularly interesting, voice. My guitar playing skills are fair within a rather narrow comfort range. My knowledge of music is scant, but I'm working on that (in a slacker manner).
I think that my most exploitable skill lies in lyric writing. There seems to be a part of my brain that runs all day long on a kind of side rail, simultaneously with the 'getting-work-done' part of the brain. I've been writing more things down in the past year with the explicit intention that they might be song lyrics. In other words, some degree of rhyming, a few themes, an effort to make these little things arc over a few minutes and make some kind of point - a profound point would be great, any old kind of point is acceptable and of course preferable to pointlessness. Okay?

Soooo . . . I've kept at it, actually finished a few songs last year. I decided not to apply for SSCM in 2011 - a couple of songwriters that I knew were applying and I felt (rightly) that I was nowhere near ready. They had plenty of material, and they had been working at the craft for years. I felt that somehow it would be disrespectful to elbow my way into that scene. That, and the fact that I need a deadline to make me get things done. I guess I never really resolved to get the material together in time.
A year isn't all that long these days - it flew by and I did resolve to apply this year - which meant having some kind of recorded versions of some tunes. In the last month or so I joined the Songwriter's Guild of America and registered with BMI. I applied to SSCM 2012 last week and was accepted - which means that I'm going to have to finish about 8 of my unfinished tunes if I'm going to have enough material to do a 30 minute set. Yikes!

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