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Real, no-nonsense songwriting info.

I’VE BEEN STUDYING TODAY’S TOP RADIO HITS AND SUCCESSFUL FILM & TV SONGS TO BRING YOU THE LATEST SONGWRITING TRENDS AND TOOLS.

My Song CoachThere are lots of HOW-TO TIPS, SONG STARTERS, and INFO you can use to powerfully express your ideas while giving your songs a REAL COMMERCIAL EDGE.

You’ll find plenty of lyric and melody writing Robin Fredericktools to help you rough out your ideas. Then use the ten-step list to develop your song.  I’ll even show you how to write songs if you don’t play an instrument. Plus there are ideas for launching your songwriting career and keeping it on track.  To study recent hit songs and pick up even more skills, visit RobinFrederick.com.

Have fun. Never stop. Let your songs flow.

~ Robin Frederick, MySongCoach.com 
Check out my books at Amazon.com

What Do Words Really Mean?

What do words mean? Well, the answer is obvious, isn’t it? We use words every day, all day long, and other people understand us, right? So, words mean what we think they mean. You can look in any dictionary to see what they mean.

But that’s not all there is to it. Words mean so much more than the dictionary definition. There are shades of meaning. There are emotional meanings. There are associations that every hearer will have based on their own experience. And it’s these additional meanings that songwriters and poets use to communicate things that are hard to say.

I want to know what you mean

Listeners are not mind readers. If you tell me your favorite color is blue, I don’t know what shade of blue you’re thinking of. Maybe you love royal blue but hate turquoise blue. You know what color you’re visualizing when you say “blue” but I don’t. So, what does the word “blue” really mean, then? I’ll understand you better if you tell me more about what shade of blue is in your mind.  Continue reading “What Do Words Really Mean?”

Song Starter: Say “YES”

Having trouble getting a song started? Try this idea: Just say “YES!” Here’s how.

Say YES!Imagine yourself…
Walking on the beach or…
Hugging someone you love or…
Dancing at a party or nightclub or…
Hanging out with friends or… anything you like.

Now, do these five things…

  1. Write a list of phrases describing how you feel. Say YES to every phrase.
  2. Choose four to six phrases and put them in any order. Say YES to the order.
  3. Play a groove on guitar or keyboard or just tap your foot and clap your hands. Say YES to the groove.
  4. Sing a melody to the beat using your phrases. Say YES to the melody.
  5. Add chords that go with your melody. Say YES to the chords.

Continue reading “Song Starter: Say “YES””

Be An Original In A Play-By-The-Rules World

An Original is a person living an authentic, creative life, one whose work expresses truth and emotion in a way that speaks to others. While a rebel breaks the rules, an Original bends them, plays with them, twists them around and reshapes them until the results are surprisingly unique and fresh.

To do that, you need to know what the rules are, then you can select which ones to play with and what you want to do with them. It’s kind of like having the coolest Lego set ever. Once you know what’s in the box and how it fits together, you can build something special and uniquely your own.

If I use song craft won’t I end up being UN-original?

No, you won’t be un-original because, even though you’re working with the same set of song crafting techniques as other songwriters, you’re going to use them in your own way.

Think of it like this: Shakespeare was undeniably original, but he followed the same rules of poetry and play writing as everyone else. In other words, he was playing with the same “Lego set” as the rest of us. It’s what you do with what you’ve got that counts.

Here are a few thoughts on writing authentically while using song craft.

So, let’s PLAY WITH OUR LEGOs.

No matter what level of songwriting you’re at, you can start playing with your songwriter’s Song craft is like a Lego set.Lego set right now. Here’s a list of ten song craft techniques you’re probably familiar with, followed by some suggestions for totally messing with them. Try a couple and see where they take you. I’ve included examples of successful songs so you can hear how it worked out for someone else.

There’s no need to write finished songs; this is just for the fun. But, of course, if you do happen to get something going that you like, by all means finish it. And don’t be afraid to bend a few more rules along the way.

  • Song craft technique #1 (Melody)

=> Increase the energy in your chorus by putting it in a higher note range than the verse.

Play with it: Write a verse and chorus melody or rewrite an old one. Put your chorus in a lower note range than your verse. What kind of lyric does the lower chorus melody suggest? What emotion?

Examples are “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon and “Maps” by Maroon 5  which has a pre-chorus and chorus in the same range, both are lower than the verse.

Or you can try putting both verse and chorus in the same note range. Create contrast by varying the rhythm or phrase lengths of the melody. Example: Dierks Bentley’s “Say You Do.” (See the song analysis below.) For an R&B example, check out “Truth Is” by Fantasia.  Continue reading “Be An Original In A Play-By-The-Rules World”