“Save your time” – podcast episode #4, Blank Page – Songwriting

Here’s a new episode of my other podcast : Blank Page – SONGWRITING.

It’s about how you can save your time when writing songs.

You can listen to the episode on iTunes or here :

http://blankpagesongwriting.podomatic.com/entry/2011-11-02T09_51_25-07_00

And here’s the transcript.

Enjoy! Marta

****

Hello! This is Marta Innocenti, welcome to Blank Page – Songwriting. Get over your blank page syndrome and write your own songs! Ready? Let’s go.

Today I’m going to help you SAVE YOUR PRECIOUS TIME. You know, it may take a long time to write a good song. So, my advice to you is this : don’t waste your time overproducing a lame song in order to make it sound good, it’s not worth it. FIRST OFF FOCUS ON THE MAIN STRUCTURE OF THE SONG AND THE MELODY AND KEEP FIXING IT UNTIL IT REALLY WORKS, forget about the rest.

Now think of the magic of the unplugged concerts, it’s taking the songs back to their true nature, that way the songwriting is naked -so to say-, and you can tell if it’s a great song or not.
Do you remember when Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi performed “Livin’ on a prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive” with acoustic guitars only at the VMA’s in 1989 ? it was a sort of slap in the face to decades of electric bass and guitars and powerful drums and multi million dollar productions.
If the song is written well enough, you can take all the other instruments away, perform it with acoustic guitar only and it will stand alone. Otherwise it means something is wrong.

That’s it: when you write a song, put it immediately to the test by playing it with acoustic guitar only, or with keyboard only. DON’T WASTE TOO MUCH TIME ON THE LYRICS UNTIL THE MELODY IS FIXED. FAKE ENGLISH WILL DO. KEEP ADJUSTING THE SONG STRUCTURE, CHORDS AND MELODY UNTIL IT REALLY WORKS.
A song works when teenagers can play it on the beach with their friends, or everybody sings it loud while driving. When people hum your song under the shower it has to make sense.
What is more : if you write a song this way, well, the sound or the production of your song can become old-fashioned in time, but the core of it, the melody, probably won’t. Just like people are still humming “Living on a prayer” when taking a shower nowadays.
Do you know what I mean?

So, be honest with yourself : focus on the core of your song until it really works.
FAKE ENGLISH AND ACOUSTIC GUITARS WILL SAVE YOU A LOT OF TIME! ALWAYS!
After that, only after that, get into a recording studio and produce your song, adding all the instruments and backing vocals that you need.

For example, I wrote the lyrics for the song “Women on the edge” included in the second record of (available on iTunes).
There’s a great emotional impact due to the topic and to how the song is beautifully sung and it’s far from being performed with acoustic guitars only here. But, it could be performed with acoustic guitars only. And it would stand alone. So, now listen to it once or twice and wait for the next time you take a shower. I’m sure you will be humming along…!
Ok, that’s it for now. Thanks for listening to this 4th episode of Blank Page – SONGWRITING, come visit my website www.martainnocenti.com and now, enjoy my song. I’ll talk to you soon! Bye bye!

****

The lyrics:
WOMEN ON THE EDGE – by Rezophonic ( www.rezophonic.com )
music by O.Riva/M.Zanotti/M.Riso – lyrics by Marta Innocenti

I’m working twice as hard as any man that I have met
and the beating of my heart is an earthquake in my chest
I got children to protect it’s a never ending task
walking to the moon and back every time they cry for help

love can transform lonely drops into waterfalls
oh Women on the edge for love oh Women on the edge for love

I’m no fairy, I’m no saint, Just a mother, just a wife
but it’s miracles I make in my ordinary life
all the magic that I need is in Mother Nature’s hands
hiding aces up my sleeve every time I cry for help

love can transform lonely drops into waterfalls
oh Women on the edge for love oh Women on the edge for love

far from the spotlight, women accomplish on time the “mission impossible” of life
far from the spotlight, women can always provide gallons of water under a desert sky
oh Women on the edge for love oh Women on the edge for love
just because of love.

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2 Responses

  1. Marta, you should be very proud of this lyrics… it’s amazing!!
    And it really makes you think about the efforts many women make everyday for their own families!!!
    I adore this song!!

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