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Acoustic Guitar Magazine Players Choice Awards 2014

Justin Guitar - Free Guitar Lessons

SO-000 • Songwriting Index Page

The Songwriting Lessons

You hum it, I'll play it...

Ohh the great mystery that is songwriting. I'm not sure you can learn how to do it, in fact I have always been against the idea of learning anything about writing and just doing it. But then, I guess I learnt a lot by hanging out with good writers, and writing a lot. Experience is often the best teacher.

But I have been talking about this with lots of other writers over the last year, and a few very interesting points have been made to me. The strongest is art school, people learn about painting, the technical aspects and study the masters, then go and make their own work. Visual art is also a medium that people express themselves from. Lots of great artists went to art school... But most of them joined bands and became musicians!! ;)

I don't know what I think any more! Can it be taught? Where do songs come from? I have no idea. But I am going to share some tips I learnt along the way, and I hope that they are useful for someone...

It's important to point out here that I don't consider myself an expert songwriter. I have one song that has done pretty well for me and got me a platinum disk (Turn To Tell) but that's it. I have my own album out , so I guess you can all be the judge of my writing ability. I love writing, more than playing guitar, more then anything else I get to do, so I am nothing if not passionate! But writing, like all art is subjective. I would never expect everyone to like what I do, because I don't like everything I hear. ;)

SO-010 - So you want to be a writer...
I love this poem and it expresses the way that I feel about writing.

SO-011 • Pete Cunnah on Bukowski
But one of my good mates and fantastic writer and producer, Pete Cunnah does not agree at all. So in this "lesson" he argues against the Bukowski poem with his own experience.

SO-012 • Songs You Love
The one thing I did early on, when I first started writing songs was to study the masters. Most of the good writers I know have used similar techniques, and if you have not tried this before (no matter how experienced you are) then give it a go. It will at least be interesting.

SO-013 • Starting Writing Songs
In this short text lesson I explain a method of stealing you might like to use if you are struggling to write your first song or have no idea where to start!!

Doing the Do

Forming your own label and actually getting your music out there is quite a lot more work than you anticipate. In this area I am going to put some guides to the industry, income streams, how to start a label and that kind of thing. I'm still going through that right now, but will be with you as soon as I have my album out and feel like I can give you some good advice.

Interview Tactics by Gayl Murphy (ebook)
One thing I have found really helpful is this eBook by Gall Murphy, who takes you through how to do a good interview. It's a lot harder than it looks when people fire questions at you and you have to give interesting and newsworthy answers. I found her book really useful and made me think a lot about talking to press and also made me evaluate my goals and motivations. Well worth a read if you are about to launch yourself or your band into the media jungle. Click the link above to go to her site and check it out! 

Random Music Biz Stuff

SO-111 • Music Business Quotes
I copied these quotes (with permission) from another web site I found years ago. If you are venturing into the music business you might find some truth here!