All About Songwriting

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Month: April 2012

The Making Of “Bohemian Rhapsody”

I want to thank Chris Foster for turning me on to this video

Bohemian Rhapsody is an amazing song, Queen is an amazing band and Freddie Mercury is a musical genius but this video shows that even the most complex songs have to start from somewhere.

Lady Antebellum – Writing Songs While On The Road

Lady Antebellum was a band I had not heard of before however, after discovering their Webicode Wednesday series of videos on YouTube, I was most impressed by this video of some of the band members demonstrating their songwriting process while on tour.

I really love their inventiveness and the simplicity of their recording setup plus, watch out for the bass amp that’s used in the recording. I want one of those.

Oh, and they use Macs too… What more can I say.

Until next time, keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting

Michael Stipe On His Songwriting Process

This is a really interesting video of part of an interview with Michael Stipe from REM, regarding his songwriting process and how he sees the role of his lyrics in the song and to the listener.

While watching the video there were three points about Michael Stipe that jumped out at me

1. He loves technology with his iPhone being the device of choice.

He says in the video that “…my notepad is my iPhone.” I can certainly relate to as the voice memo function on my iPhone is full of my own songwriting ideas waiting to be expanded upon.

2. He writes his song lyrics based on what he hears.

In the video Michael explains that his lyrics are determined by the “landscape” that the music produces as he is listening to it.

He says in the video (in regards to writing his lyrics) “if I hear a songs that’s kind of watery then i’ll write… ‘I’ll Take The Rain’ it can sometimes be stupidly literal”

3. He prefers the audience to work out the meaning of the lyrics for themselves rather than having to explain what his lyrics are about.

What did you get out of this video? Let me know what you think.

Until next time, keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting

Rob Thomas On His Songwriting Process

Here is a video of Rob Thomas from Matchbox 20 (and in more recent times, as a successful solo artist) talking about how he writes songs.

Love them or hate them, you can’t deny that Matchbox 20 have an impressive track record when it comes to record sales.

The band has sold more than 45 million albums worldwide.

Now this could be attributed to smart record company marketing, good looking band members or a gruelling touring schedule but when you think about it, Matchbox 20 (or any band for that matter) would not exist if it wasn’t for the songs they write, record and play live.

Rob, the band’s main songwriter, takes his songwriting and the process of writing songs very seriously as you’ll see in this video

From the very start of the video I was most impressed by Rob’s honesty and his candid style.

When asked about why he got into music and songwriting he says “I didn’t know anything about sports or cars, so my only hope to ever get laid was to play piano.”

He then goes on to mention in the video that…

  • He loves the process of coming up with something out of nowhere.
  • Songwriting is a charge, a good release, a cathartic experience, a way to get out onto paper what is goes on in his head, to get things out in the open.
  • There’s a songwriting language of nondescript vowel sounds that he uses as he’s noodling on a song idea and that he waits for a set of words or a whole line to stand out from all of the noise.
  • He is very particular about his lyric writing. He says that “the lyric is everything.”
  • Sometimes a song just pours out of him and sometimes it can take months and months to get a song just right.

For me, all of the above points sound familiar because in my own songwriting process I go through the very same things myself.

I’m sure you do too. What process do you go through when you write songs? Is it similar to what Rob has mentioned in the above video or, is it something completely different?

I’m convinced that no matter where we are as a songwriter, we all share the same experiences when we work on our songwriting process.

It can be best described as a mixture of pure joy and pure frustration. The perfect blend of Heaven and Hell all rolled into one.

What do you think about Rob’s songwriting process? Let me know what you think because topics like this make for great discussion.

Until next time, keep on writing

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting