Sunday, July 4, 2010

Songwriting Tips From Last Night's "Guitar Pull"

I had the opportunity to meet with some of those involved with the songwriter's website last night. We had a good time talking, sharing beer and barbeque, and of course later out came the guitars. Marc-Alan Barnette, a singer-songwriter from Nashville performed some of his fun, upbeat country songs. He is a seasoned performer and a superb guitarist, and the lyrics of his songs were captivating and often full of wit. Mark and some of my friends from the Cartersville Songwriters Exchange who were also there traded stories about performing at various open mics in Nashville. Mark gave us some good tips regarding the art of songwriting. I think the key one was keep the listener wanting more by throwing in variation musically or by telling a story that makes the listener curious about how it will end. He suggested that lyrics should have a conversational feel about them that draws you in. Mark also suggested staying away from some things that people may be trying to escape from - such as depressing topical news events such as how bad the economy has been lately or the oil spill. Too many of the people at Nashville open mics according to Mark go on and on about some topic in a preachy kind of manner or seem to only be able to write depressing songs. Then we had the opportunity to play some of our songs and get feedback. I'd like to thank Denise for inviting me and Jules for being such a wonderful hostess and sharing her beautiful home with us for a few hours. And also for the wonderful Brunswick stew and barbeque. Pictures of the event are posted in my Flickr slideshow below.


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