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SSG 6 / SCW 1 - Who and Why?

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33 Users
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4472
Topic starter  

Since we're all going to be hanging around discussing songwriting, it certainly helps to know who you're talking with. So consider this a mini "Meet and Greet" for the SSG and SCW forums.

I'm David and I've been writing songs pretty much since I started playing guitar. It's funny (and probably very typical) that even though I'd played other instruments before taking up the guitar, I didn't get the bug about writing until having a guitar regularly in hand. Even during periods of my life when I wasn't playing guitar all that much, I still wrote songs.

My songwriting, like my playing, has evolved over the past (way too many) years - going from the stereotypical "all thirty-two verses of this song are essential and not a single word can be changed" to very minimalist lyrics. And I like to try all different styles of music, not to mention reworking old songs in different formats.

I write music to be played - not only by myself but also by others. Nothing thrills me more than to hear that someone is performing one of my songs in his or her repertoire. It's very cool to find out that something you wrote ages ago is still moving someone enough to play it and share it with others. And it's also important to me that my songs can be arranged for almost any type of setting, from the single singer/songwriter to a fifteen piece jam band.

My reason for initially taking part in these forums was to try to get more disciplined and varied in my writing. Thanks to Bob, Nick and Ryan, I've written some of my best stuff for these assignments and even when I didn't get a complete song, I often came up with ideas and germs of ideas that have panned out later in time. Being disciplined enough to make writing an everyday event is why I'm still here.

Be seeing you on the boards.


Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1468

Hi David. I know you!

I'm Jane and I'm here because I want to write songs. May seem obvious enough but I never seem to do too much of it and I think of this place as my "class." I'm in and out of this forum but now that it's a new year here, my resolution is to be here on a regular basis even if I don't complete an entire song.

I started out in guitar five years ago because I wanted to write songs. I always say that if I knew that guitar was so difficult I would have bought a keyboard! My advice to anyone reading this is that if you want to write songs then just do it. I made the mistake of trying to get "good enough" on the guitar before starting to write. Well, I'll never be "good enough" on the guitar. In fact, I'll probably never even be good but I'm not going to let that stop me!

I think I'm the opposite of David described above. I like songs that are minimal. In fact my quest is to write a song that sounds like nothing, if that's posible. I don't think I'd ever have the problem of having too many lines, or too many verses. I want a few well chosen words to do a whole lot. For songwriters i like Joni Mitchell, whoever writes Norah Jones's songs, Dylan of course. My favorite band is the Red Hot Chili Peppers whose lyrics don't make much sense most of the time. I'm looking forward to buying some new CDs particularly the new AlisonKraus/Robert Plant collab. I've also started voice lessons so that I can sing these great new songs once I have them written!

Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1259

I've always flirted with the idea of joining the SSG. I've posted a couple songs here, and a few more on the other Songwriting subforum, but never anything consistent.

I found that alot of why I didn't write songs was that I had no way to record them. Now I have a mic and Line6 Toneport to help me out. Also I never had a whole lot of things worth writing about really, but I figure that SSG can help me because of all the ideas bouncing around.

So hopefully I'll get writing soon, and recording. When I do, I'll be posting here alot.


Vacate is the word...Vengance has no place on me or her...Cannot find a comfort in this world.

Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 123

I'm Ray. I've been playing piano and guitar since the 60s and writing songs since the 80s.

I get to play quite regularly as there is a thriving music scene in Malvern, my home town, and since retiring early last year I now play semi-pro, though that is 98% covers.

I like rich, complex material á la Peter Gabriel / Sting / Joni Mitchell and look on writing as an artistic outlet and therapy!

The forum is great for stepping up the writing pace and having themes to write about. I'm looking forward to the new music-focused workshop.

Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 121

Hi all,
I want to write songs because I believe somewhere inside me I have a platinum selling song waiting to come out. When Ive written it ill sell it to a superband and retire. 8)
. . . but failing that Id just like to be able to understand more about the theory and practice of creating music. Im a beginner at guitar (getting towards intermediate - what ever that is) and have no musical education. I believe that writing and composing should be part of the learning process. It also gives one new insights into the music one knows and likes.
I like the discipline of having to complete an assignment - I like targets.
So i look forward to hanging around here creating, critiquing and being critiqued.

“Poetry and Hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you. And all you can do is go where they can find you.” - Winnie the Pooh

Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 418

Hello all.
I'm Martin, and I'm 25 - I think that makes me a bit younger than many of the regulars here, no? :lol:
I've been guitaring for 4.5 years and writing for 2 of those now.

I used to write and post songs here semi-regularly in 2005-2006. Then one day the creative juices simply dried up.
I've kept playing and writing sporadically, but now is the time for me to get back into the groove!
I need to get into the mentality that these SSG assignments are simply exercises, and there's more to be gained from completing the song every week, than submitting just 2 or 3 masterpieces in the whole year.
I also need to record more of what I write - improving your recording skills makes you more confident at trying different arrangements and composing in many genres, which has got to be good for your songwriting skills.

See you around in the SSG!

Prominent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 686

"Hello, I'm Kathy and I'm a songwriter. " (and the rest of the 12 step group shouts "hi Kathy" )
I wrote my first song in the fifth grade, so that would be what, age 10? I started playing guitar so I could accompany myself. Like all the rest of us, I go from weeks of frustrating nothing to writing a song in 5 minutes. Some of my best songs came about that way, and I've found if I have to re work a song too much it's usually not any good in the end. I have found the SSG both a bane and a blessing. since some weeks I can't get my head around the topic at all, and others it's just the push I need to unlock the muse.
Like David, I am blown away when I hear others perform my songs, and love it when people sing along as well. At least I know people are listening. My goal this year is to try and do more up tempo , lighter writing. I seem to be getting a bit bogged down in drama!

Falling in love is like learning to play the guitar; first you learn to follow the rules, then you learn to play with your heart.

Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2096

Hi all, I'm Paul and I've been frequenting the SSG forum since Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:11 pm according to GuitarNoise. I've written over 50 songs during my time here, some of them I really like but all of them have been valuable to me in terms of learning. I've used this forum to experiment with different styles of song, from story telling to minimalism. I like to try different things and step out of the comfort zone, sometimes pursuing an out of the ordinary line in an assignment, just to see if I can do it. I can always rewrite it later if it doesn't work. My personal goals in 2007 were more about live performance than song writing so I haven't been as active here during Year 5 as I would have liked but the songs that I wrote here certainly got a good airing, Year 6 who knows ?. I've got know the different styles of the regular contributors as well as watched in absolute amazement as people have developed into credible songwriters. I like to think that I have been a part of that process in some way.


Check out my Reverbnation page here

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921

I'm Tom. Looks like quite a 12 step group we have going :)

I play guitar reasonably well - I've been making a living at it for quite a few years now. I also play piano and percussion (my principal instrument in college) and I've been known to dabble with bass, harmonica, flute, etc.

I've written a lot of songs, and a few "serious" compositions. I'm looking forward to SCW, because like David I'd like to be more disciplined in my writing habits. I'd love to get creative feedback from others, and I'll try to give my share if I have suggestions.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264

Vic here. Joined the SSG one boring Sunday evening about 3.5 years ago, written over 80 songs following SSG topics since. Prior to that, I'd written a few songs, but with nothing like the same regularity. I think my writing's improved a lot over the past 3.5 years, and I'm looking forward to our new Composer's Forum to see if my musical skills (?) improve in the same manner.

I don't think I've got a definable style as such, but I can tell from the songs I've recorded who they were influenced by!

I play electric and acoustic guitars, slide on both - usually in open G, but sometimes in standard tuning - bass, harmonica, dabble with keyboards, and I'm currently learning how to programme a drum machine I've bought.

:D :D :D


"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)

Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2801

Hey Hoe, Jim here. I am kind of like fall in Oklahoma with the SSG. Hot and Cold. I have written a few songs from SSG, cant remember exact numbers. Been playing guitar for about three years now.

Had a melt down yesterday because frankly I've kind of lost direction with the guitar and writing. I need a project and something to keep me motivated. So, thought I would try to make SSG more of a committment for a while.


“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” - David Russell (Scottish classical Guitarist. b.1942)

Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2171

I'm David and I admit to being a closet composer!

I've been a music nut since I can remember, and when I was young, I was good enough to get studio and pit gigs. A rather unfortunate mishap in a neighborhood pick-up basketball game sent me from being a rising star to not playing for decades. I finally had a mid-life crisis and picked the guitar up again.

In the meantime, I've always read about music to understand it, and have a fairly good grasp of theory and history. I've done a few gigs again, and have a few students. I'm not "professional" in the sense that I don't really make a living at this, but I have more than a passing interest.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST

Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1704

Hi, my name is Matt. Bought my first guitar over 25 years ago, learned a few chords and joined a band. Since I was the only one who was not afraid to step up to the mic, I was automagically dubbed the lead singer. Not that I can sing mind you, I was just the least paranoid about it. Essentially, I never got to play my guitar with the band. I didn't realize it at the time, but those circumstances would be a major contributor in keeping me from playing the guitar for the next few decades. So about 1 year ago I decided to pick up my old acoustic guitar and actually learn how to play.

I wrote my first song a few months ago for a light hearted song writing competition here on GN and was blown away by the talent of the songwriters on the site! Based on the experience, I've written a few more songs and continue to learn so much from everyone here.

Feedback is a huge part of why I'm interested in this forum. I've never had lessons and don't know how to read music. From a creative perspective, I do not have anyone I can bounce things off of. I've officially participated in a jam session 4 times. So to have the opportunity for someone to say, “I like what you've done here but have you considered this?.. or “Hey, that stinks, where are you going with that?” would be invaluable to me.

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.

Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454

Hi all,

I'm pretty much still a beginner at guitar and music in general. I didn't start trying to learn guitar until my late 50s (about 3 years ago). I have spent most of the time since just mucking around in a very unsystematic way. In other words I never did get around to organising such a thing as a Practice Schedule. :wink:

Thanks mostly to joining in here at the SSG a few weeks ago, I have recently been attempting to learn on a slightly more regular basis. I haven't written many song lyrics – just a handful for the SSG, but I've had a fair bit of experience at other forms of writing. I've not done any music composition before.

I'll probably get off to a slow start and miss some of the first few weeks, as this is a very busy time of year for me right now. But I'm very much looking forward to participating as soon as I get a bit of free time again.



Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2241

I'm Sara. Played guitar for a few years in my teens, and have just taken it up again.

I started writing songs before playing guitar, having some v. weak keyboard skills and a v. strong desire to show off. :lol:

I'm hoping to participate in both SSG and SCW ona regular basis, but particularly the latter as I have a great ability for procastination in music-writing which I'm hoping it might counteract. I've written a few instrumental pieces, but generally for school requirements when I was studying music (3 consecutive years of having to submit compositions as part of my course).

I'm also brushing up on theory and trying to develop my abilities in jazz - so I'm hoping I can channel any new-found knowledge into the weekly assignments. :mrgreen:

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

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