Some Tunes

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Toys to Organize

I used to spend hours upon hours hand writing out musical lead sheets; which is one way I now know how dang old I really am. Just recently I decided to do a Google search for songwriting tools and found a program that really is going to fit the bill for me - Finale Songwriter 2010.
The picture here shows on the right the handwritten lead sheet from the 80's. On the left, my first attempt with the new software. I'll bet I spent about 6 hours getting this noted down, this includes the fact that I haven't done this stuff for many years and I didn't have much of a clue as to how to use the software. Very cool.
I've still got a lot to learn with this new organizational tool, as I've just scratched the surface, but man, so far I love it. I figure a package to put together to submit to publishers needs to include a professional looking lead sheet along with a clean recording (not elaborate, just clean enough to get the song across and not distract) and a lyric sheet.
I'm learning from many sources, but a book that I'm finding helpful to get me into gear and hopefully in the right direction is "Songwriter's Market" 2009 edition that I bought on Amazon. I'm sure I'll get the 2010 soon to get up-to-date source information.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Kicking it off - Some history

I thought that this would either be interesting some day or just really bad-ass-boring, but if my music songwriting career takes off, maybe at least a glimpse into how it can be done, even when you're really past your supposed prime. Well I'm past my prime, certainly in some respects, but after years of musical non-activity, I finally felt like I had some things to say and just gradually got excited again about writing, singing and recording (modestly). So here I go, kicking it off.

Here's a little history:

I have had some musical involvement just about since I could walk. I was given piano lessons from about age 5, took up guitar on my own when in around the 6th grade. I sang in choir in junior high and high school. Went to college for a couple years and studied voice and composition. I left college to pursue playing in rock and roll bands as well as acoustic smaller groups - 13 over the years. Some were working bands, some took a studio approach with strictly original material. All of them had their tasty parts. I learned to love group efforts - but they could be double edged swords. (This pictures shows 3 out of the 4 in the group Finale; I'm the one in middle with the acoustic guitar - Jay "Bird" on my left and Rik to my right - I had hair back then.)

During all this I started a family. Having a wife and two kids to support made the decision making a bit different. At one point, I felt I needed to turn down an offer from Motown to be a staff writer due to the low initial pay. Maybe not the best choice, but the road I have taken to this point has had great personal rewards, which is really what motivates me now. Toward the end of my active playing days I really started burning out on all of it, including the politics in the LA music scene. I really just wanted to be "normal" and spent a number of years since that time going in that direction.

Recently, I've decided I'm not "normal" and actually like it. I don't fit in the corporate world as you can tell by my Work Redefined Blog. So much of it irritates the crap out of me and I know its my take on that lifestyle, not the lifestyle itself.

Anyway on we go. I plan to document some of my adventures along whatever the path is that I've stepped onto. We'll see . . .