I really love to write songs. And I've done it for over 20 years. I've recorded several albums, toured all over and even won the odd award or two. But some of the twists in my musical journey have been absolute cul-de-sacs, right royal dead ends. I've often felt dissatisfied with lots of my songs and thought they should have done better, but for the market. They should have done better, but the style wasn't popular. They should have done better if I'd had more money to throw at production, at marketing, at music videos. The labels are sexist! The record stores closed! Internet's killed radio!
Arghhh! Whatever, whiney mc-whineface!
It's taken years of a career to figure out why lots of my music never made it. The songs just didn't cut it. They didn't speak strongly enough to enough people. And why? Simple!
I hadn't written them well enough!!
What I figured out
What I do now
Mid 1999 I was invited to write some articles for a really cool magazine called New Zealand Musician and I wrote about songwriting. I had to sit down and figure out how to describe what I did. It made me read the limited number of books then available about songwriting and talk to other songwriters, and I quickly realised there wasn't a lot of material that people could really connect with. As the web's influence grew, this began to change. The NZ Music Commission was born and began to shoulder tap professional musicians (including me) to offer blocks of 5 workshops in high schools around the country to students who might actually want to learn about songwriting. This was an opportunity to work in my favourite sphere with teenagers who loved songs and wanted to learn more, fast. Most of the music departments I went to had absolutely no idea how to teach songwriting, or even that they could. So gradually, I started to put into practice what I'd written about.
Over the last decade or so, I've worked with hundreds of folks, from school kids to seniors, helping them fix the songs that are broken, learning how to diagnose song sickness, maladies of melodies, lameness of lyrics, and helping them heal up! And like any physician, I've had to learn to heal myself!
Let me help you get better at writing your songs.
Let me help you write better songs.