First in a new Songwriting Series: How do I even know what to write about? Featuring Susan, new songwriter.Read More
Hello musicians and musicians-to-be,
We had a wonderful songwriting group last night at the studio! 5 of us shared our goals, work thus far, tips, and got started on the group prompts. These are assignments we all do and the results are always really fun and inspiring to others. These serve a couple purposes:
- The prompts are songwriting exercises, so the pressure is off. Having a place to start means you don't tie yourself in knots trying to write The Great Song. As a result, things flow and often surprising things come out of it - like melodies, lyrics, or even whole songs you can use.
- When everyone writes from the same starting point, every result is different. You get to see what other people in the group did with the same prompt (chords, lyrics, or more to start from) and those things you didn't think of inform your writing next time.
Here are the prompts and also at right - yes, they were posted before the last class; we got them started and they're "due" next time. Ask if you have questions or need help - no experience is required here.
Next class: Saturday September 12, 3-4:30pm. Space is limited - please RSVP at Facebook; class is usually 5-8 people and consists of a group chat about progress and roadblocks; advice and technique; sharing recordings / playing songs on guitar or piano (past work is great, or new songs since last time); and looking at the prompts / group exercises, which Bobby creates and shares with you.
First class: FREE / $20 donation after. Snacks and swimming provided! RSVP on Facebook please! >>
Hi everyone, it's August already - somehow! It may not seem like it, but this is the busiest time of year for everyone, kids or not.
LA United starts school on August 18 and Glendale even sooner - August 10! – so please be sure to reach out to schedule your child if you haven't already. And if you don't have children and are thinking about piano or vocal coaching for yourself, the sooner the better - I only have a couple prime slots left, and they'll fill fast.
A few new items and dates:
- Studio pool party this Sunday, August 9. If you're an adult piano, voice, or songwriting student, please RSVP and come swim! You probably walk by the pool many times and now's your chance to take advantage as well as hang out socially with other students (and me, the conversation is scintillating, not to brag).
- First songwriting group of the fall is Saturday, August 22, 3pm!
- Don't forget classes begin again the week of August 17 for kids!
- Lastly, I'm often told how beautiful the studio is and other teachers mention they would love to us it. Check out the new page: the studio is available a couple days a week when I'm not teaching to rent for out-of-towners or LA residents who want access to a grand piano in a quiet, private space. Studio rentals for rehearsals and teaching
- Coming this fall: Living Room concert series. I'm talking to a incredibly talented local singer-songwriters about coming to the studio to perform poolside.
Thanks, and happy August!
Hello, songwriters! I'm happy to announce the group is returning after a break for a couple months. I hope you're having a great summer!
We start up again for the fall on
Saturday, August 15 Friday August 21 - date has changed! It's a great collection of people at different levels sharing new music and giving feedback.
Saturday, August 15, 2015, 3 to 4:30pm Friday August 21, 7-8:30pm -- free this month!
What: Songwriters Group Class for any level
Why: To share your work and get inspired to keep writing, get started, or collaborate!
RSVP for the August 21 class >>
In the past I've given a new assignment for classes every 3 weeks; this fall, I'm giving 2-4 assignments for the whole month, and you can pick which ones to complete, knowing that I may give you an individual assignment to guide your progress. This will enable you to work on assignments for your lessons to get feedback before the group!
These aren't due at the August class but you're encouraged to get started on at least one. You can present your work at the next class if needed.
Your choices are 2 or more of the following:
1. LYRIC-FIRST WRITING WITH A LYRIC EVERYONE KNOWS: Take the lyrics for Yesterday by the Beatles. Write a new song with them with different chords and melody and even instrumentation. This is a challenge because you'll hear the original melody in your head. Change to minor key, come up with chords first, or hum a melody into your phone's recorder. Improv is key or start with a stock progression (a good idea for songwriting any day) using Autochords or a similar app. Another tip: try altering the pacing of the lyrics; don’t pause in the same places. You can expand the lyrics as well - add a verse!
2. CHORD, MELODY FIRST WRITING: RE-WRITING LYRICS TO AN EXISTING SONG. You may alter the melody as you see fit, but keep the general chords, rhythm, and feel of the original song, which is TBA (stayed tuned or RSVP for more).
3. LYRIC-FIRST WRITING AND SWAPPING: Write an original lyric on an index card (single side only, the quicker the better); set it to music, it should be less than 120 seconds long. Record it quickly without editing and share it with me. You'll trade lyrics with a partner, who will make a new song from your lyrics without hearing your recorded version. You'll make a new song from that person (or another's) lyrics. We'll share both recorded versions of yours and your partners' songs at group class.
4. CHORDS-FIRST WRITING: Write a song of any length based on the chords given. They can't be changed. :)
At the class please try to bring one assignment in, even if it's just a partial.
You can also bring material you've been working on (recorded, or play for us!) and we'll do a structured feedback loop. You're always welcome to just attend and observe as well. If you need help getting started with songwriting (chords, lyrics, freewriting, object writing are several approaches), just holler! It's OK to come even if you've never written a song before.
Class is usually $30 but free for August 21. Snacks and drinks provided. Please RSVP and you'll get the full assignments, thanks!