The Challenge – Week 2 – Grow your antennae!

Image used under Creative Commons License.  Some rights reserved by twicepix
Image used under Creative Commons License. Some rights reserved by twicepix

by Christopher Ward

Hope you enjoyed week 1 of the S.A.C. Songwriting & Blogging Challenge 2014.  I look forward to hearing some of the songs that were written.  Let’s move on to week 2 which is about growing a songwriter’s antennae.

The best lyricists are the most observant ones. No matter what they’re doing – riding the bus, eating breakfast, reading the paper – their writer brains are always ticking and when an idea presents itself, they don’t let it get away. As an assignment in honing your powers of observation, head out into the day with your antennae up – on your own, cell phone out of sight – and let an idea find you. It could be a sign in a window, a bit of overheard conversation, a headline.

After watching the video below, spend 10 minutes a day for the next 5 days in 5 different places, i.e. subway, take-out counter, coffee shop, etc., and turn on your antennae.  Jot down some song ideas based on each of those 10 minutes.  Then, at the end of the week, choose your favourite and write a song.

Deadline is March 3 – Please post the following in the comments below:
1.  Link to your blog
2.  SoundCloud recording of your song.


80 thoughts on “The Challenge – Week 2 – Grow your antennae!

  1. Great post – i find i get a ton of ideas from listening to great phrases. I also have a funky uncle that can rattle all kinds of them – then i like to create a story around them. I think it was T Bone Burnett that said – that there are only 3 kinds of songs – songs about love, songs about sex and songs about war. GIven that i am co-writing with my 11 yr old – that kind of leaves those topics off the table – ha ha


    1. Funny stuff! But the love could be about-swimming or the love for Kitkats, the sex-well-girl or boy jazz (gender ideas) and the war could easily be whether a bath is in order(11 year olds usually have something to say about that-Cookies for breakfast?Homework?-so many different kinds of wars!-Your comment inspired me-Thanks!


      1. Too funny – I hadnt really thought about it that way either – Wow – you are so right – I will see if I can weave that thinking into the next few weeks projects!! thanks a bunch


  2. Christopher has such an amazing timbre in his voice that invokes a nurturing response, I am in appreciation for the inspiration and guidance he is providing! Paul isn’t too bad either! Looking forward to feeling inspired in this deep freezer!


  3. So there’s nothing like a deadline to push you to complete a project, excited that the lyrics are done until i re-write them over and over again, ah hah. The songs in my head but I cant make a demo on my own so I do an accapella version for my producer to decorate. This is how I write, cant wait to hear what he does with it.

    All About You


      1. Thank you so much Christopher. I appreciate you taking the time to do this. It’s great to work the songwriting muscles 🙂 The song itself was a product of ideas I’ve collected over the last little while. Things I’ve heard on TV, heard in songs, read in books ect. I did take notice of a rose at the grocery store the week of the assignment. That rose wasn’t the root of this song but it did find it’s way into the lyric. I find in most cases my songs are the result of several observations colliding together. Thanks again for the kind words 🙂


  4. Ahhh, I’m very happy with week 2. I discovered something about myself. I’ve always known that when I’m reading, I get distracted by the sounds around me. Little did I know how useful that would be, sitting in Tim Horton’s and leaving myself open to the conversations going on around me…

    Nonetheless, my song inspiration came from the quickest glimpse at a commercial I was skipping on my PVR. Three days of working on the song, and a few hours to get it recorded, and here we are.


      1. Thanks Christopher,

        Pretty cool thing you are doing here, and it is great to see so many songwriters not only participating, but keeping up with the challenge. Thanks for your comments. They mean allot.


  5. So I had thought I would have gotten to my blog by now and typed up my notes .. just so emotionally and physically exhausted .. really worked this exercise to the core .. coming up with a song for my friend and neighbour and her family who have just last saturday lost their 23 year old son/brother to suicide. So, I will get to it over the next couple days though. So for now here is the song and I have since added a little opening/closer and posting the video of that too. My timeline was different as I started the exercise on the day he passed (Saturday) but luckily the exercise is much the same as I always do .. smiles…


  6. Laird Wayne Rose

    Made it, by the skin of my teeth again!

    Here’s my material for Week 2.

    Link to my blog, with song and lyrics:

    Link to piano track on Soundcloud (melody, but no lyrics):

    Doing my best to keep up with the work everyone is doing. Man, writing at this intensity is time consuming. Kinda like being a pro! 🙂


  7. Hi All … still trying to get the hang of this 🙂 I thought the Facebook group was the gathering point but I guess there’s two! I posted my SoundCloud link there on Sunday but I guess to be on the playlist I have to post here too … so here it is 🙂

    Davy Ferguson – A Better Man


  8. Pingback: Grow your antennae! and One-sided conversations – Week 2 | Robert Campbell

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