It's easy as 1-4-5!
Songwriting can be lonely. It’s you, your guitar, a pad of paper and not much else (unless you count the waves of negative thoughts trying to drown your creative process). If music is such a beautiful collaborative experience, why is this part of it so miserable and isolated?
For over 15 years I've worked with songwriters to help them get past that lonely place to a more creative one. When you're feeling stuck, an outside perspective can make a big difference. I offer clinics for small groups and one-on-one coaching for individuals.
Clinics are a great way to kick-start slumbering creativity and reconnect with the joy that sometimes evaporates when you spend too much time alone. Each six-week session is built around a theme and offers new ways to approach the challenge of songwriting. This Milwaukee Journal Sentinel feature from a few years ago gives you an idea of what to expect.
Like everything, you get out of the clinic what you put in to it. If you do all of the assignments, you'll have 5 new songs at the end of the six-week session.
Use the form below to be notified about the next Songwriting Clinic.
My work with individuals tends to be more intense and project-oriented. When a writer is close to doing something with their songs, getting ready to perform or record, it's good to go over them with a fine tooth comb.
My critiques are gentle and constructive. The value of an outside perspective is enhanced when there's understanding that the work means a lot to the writer.
A couple of common areas we look at to make sure songs feel finished include are song structure and editing. Structure is emphasized for songs that may need some tightening up. Often a little riff or motif to tie things together is all that is needed. Other times we look at irregularities in the verses. Clarity is the main goal — I try to advocate for the average listener, who may not be getting your message.
Editing is the hardest part. We tend to clutch at the ideas we come up with and are very reluctant to toss them. Unfortunately, a torrent of information will send listeners scurrying away. If you have a strong idea, anything that wanders away or distracts weakens it. It's never a mistake to leave room for the imagination.
To discuss one-on-one song coaching, please contact me using the form below.