The Challenge – Week 6 – Collaboration

Congratulations you’ve made it to the sixth challenge.   Most of you know that no songwriter is an island.  Collaboration is not just a buzzword.  You would have a hard time finding any top 10 songs with only one songwriter.  In fact, some songs have over 10 names attached to its creation.  Furthermore, collaborating is also an important part of building your network.  Please watch the video below to find out the collaboration story behind a song that was eventually recorded by the Backstreet Boys.

This week’s challenge:
By now you’ve gotten the opportunity to listen to songs from the other participants in the challenge.  Connect with those whom you feel compliment your skills and style.  In groups of 2 or more, collaborate on a song.   You can decide if you will do it in real time via Skype or by sending tracks and lyrics to each other via email.  Please blog about your experience, the highlights and the challenges.
Deadline:  April 1st (it’s not a joke).
Please post the following:
1.  The names of the people with whom you collaborated.
2.  A link to a blog about your experience.
3.  SoundCloud link to your song.


The Challenge – Week 5 – Trusting the subconscious

Are you ready for Week 5?  Only 2 more challenges to go.  This week we will explore trusting the subconscious.

Every writer has had the experience of coming up with a good idea and having no idea where it came from. We might try to recapture the magic by wearing the lucky t-shirt or using the magic pen, but is there a way to tap into that vast reservoir of ideas that live below the surface of the conscious? You can try stream-of-consciousness writing where you write, without stopping, judging or editing until you run out of ideas or your hand gets tired.

This week’s challenge:
Watch the video below.  Then, for the next five days, spend at least 10 minutes (or until your hands get tired) writing from your stream of consciousness.  At the end of the week, review what you have written and look for at least 5 ideas that could become songs.  Choose one to bring to fruition.

Deadline:  Tuesday, March 25
Please post the following:
1.  The theme you chose to write about.
2.  Your blog link.
3.  Your SoundCloud Link.

The Challenge – Week 4 – Rock The Cliché

How did it feel to leave your familiar structures and move your songwriting to uncharted territory?  Hopefully last week’s challenge broadened your approach.  This week we’re going to look inside the box by examining how to Rock The Cliché.

Songwriters are a restless lot. We get bored easily and sometimes abandon things too quickly, perhaps leaving behind some good ideas. We also have a love/hate relationship with clichés. They can sound tired and shopworn or tried and true, depending on the circumstances and how lazy we feel. In this segment, one of the best-loved songwriters of all time weighs in on not avoiding the obvious.
Watch the following video, then pick 10 cliches and brainstorm ways each could be interpreted from a different perspective.

Pick one to expand into a song.

Deadline: March 17
Please post the following:
1. Which cliche you chose to use.
2. A link to your blog.
3. A link to your song.