SAC Songwriters’ Challenge: Throwing down the gauntlet…or throwing down the beats?

I am fortunate to be part of the cross Canada 2015 Songwriting and Blogging Challenge sponsored by the SAC (Songwriters Association of Canada). There are 117 of us, so there are at least 117 ways to think about songwriting. Although reading through all the posts,  one may distill two over-arching themes to the craft. It has helped me to think about songwriting within these two themes. The first theme seems to be what I call the traditional craft and tools of songwriting. So, there are those that approach songwriting listening to and for the harmonic progressions, how the tones /sounds move through time; resolution of tension, etc. How lyrics work with, or deliberately against, the melody. Rhyming scheme and kinds of rhymes. Cadence, etc. This is the approach I typically take, and the one in which I certainly feel most comfortable.

The second theme seems to be entering into songwriting endeavours via sounds, via contrasting and layering rhythms; in this way one does not throw down the gauntlet as much as one throws down beats. This latter method seems to have emerged from many creative uses of technology. Of course, it goes without saying that effective, evocative songwriting may easily embrace both approaches, and in many cases does. And it also goes without saying, that these approaches are not fundamentally different from one another, in my view they are merely different entry points into songwriting.

The challenge for me will be to write at least one of the songs somehow embracing this second method; approaching songwriting using technology kind of at the forefront. I am not sure what this will look like or to what extent musical technology may enter into my creative processes, but it is certainly an area of possibility for me.

It has been a pleasure virtually meeting all of my online and very creative colleagues, and I look forward to learning more throwing down beats, rhythms, melodies, harmonies, chords…

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