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Sunday Songwriters Group - Year 6 - Thoughts?

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Joined: 16 years ago
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Hello to all

As the final two weeks of the Sunday Songwriters' Group sixth year wind down, I'd like to open up the floor to your general thoughts about how things went. Any ideas you especially liked? Any you thought were total duds?

Don't be bashful! All comments will go toward helping make the SSG even better for Year 7.


Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381

I can't say too much about this year because I didn't contribute at all. There were some really good songs coming out of here.

I know that you, (David) and I have spoken of this before, if only relating to my own musical and lyrical path, but I think some exercises that force the lyrical quality of lyrics might be helpful. For instance:

One week provide a backing track, guitar, drums, bass now write this weeks topic to that track.

Or, here is a progression for this week, write what it makes you feel. The next week switch it to the same basic progression, but switch it to minor and see how it changes your writing.

Do the same thing as above with a ballad tempo and up tempo, keeping the writing subject the same.

Using a backing track, take an existing set of lyrics that you have written and make them work with that backing track.

I see a couple of real benefits to this approach, well they were benefits for me. It forces you to write lyrically, not poetically. It makes you write to the form. It makes you choose your words more carefully. It changes the way you think about lyrics. It gives you a practically finished song at the end of the exercise.

I'm not suggesting you do this more than a couple of times in the year. Don't go changing to try and please me....don't change the color of your hair, assuming, unlike me you still have any.

Just a suggestion....

Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 23

I'm more of a lurker than an avid poster here. I usually check this forum every sunday and write something using the exercises but rarely get there punctually. I felt turned off by multi week projects.

I can't wait for someone to say something worth quoting here...

Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5342

I got back into songwriting here six years ago with the birth of the SSG, and just got back into it yet again after feeling humbled by all of David's students who not only wrote their own songs but were happy to put them up to public scrutiny at open mic nights.

I've never completed a multi-week assignment here before. Sometimes it'll work well and sometimes it'll fall flat on its face. Sometimes it's just not possible to commit to a three or four-week extended assignment when you've got to fit it in amongst work and normal life.

Some of Nick's ideas sound good. I notice this week's asssignment is based on some soundbites and I've got a few lines written down already.

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at:

Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2096

For my tuppence worth I think this year worked pretty well even though my involvement was not that much. I just counted that I only wrote 7 songs here this year 2 of which I like and 1 of those (Going Places) I like a lot. I think the collaborative assignments are excellent and would certainly miss them if they dissappeared, so David keep those. I agree with Nick's comments, but then I generally write the music first anyway. As for things that dont work so well hmmm. The only thing that comes to mind is, I think it would be good to have more comment on the mp3's that people produce as well as the lyrics. When I first came here there were hardly any mp3's produced and it was (and still is) not mandatory to record one. So I think if someone goes to the extra effort to record then we should respond with some feedback about the mp3 even if we have already commented on the lyrics.


Check out my Reverbnation page here

Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 392

Though i do not post here. i frequent this site to get ideas... For me the ideas here are very stretched and would be hard to make something marketable out of them.. The multi-week projects i agree turned me off... The last one though about pick some opening lines and go from there... Some of those had possibilities, but the ones that are just out there random things to write about didn't appeal to me.

I personally have to write from personal experiences, or life changing events more or less than just "a guest coming over" Now i know alot of great songs were wrote. Don't change just because of me.

No matter where you go.... There You are! Law of Location

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264

I personally have to write from personal experiences, or life changing events more or less

That was exactly how I used to feel before I tried the SSG. How can you write about what you don't know, or haven't experienced? Well - you could read up on the subject for starters, do some research - as if you were writing a novel. You could IMAGINE yourself in the position that the person in your story/song is in.

That's the whole point of the SSG - to stretch your mind, to hone your writing skills, to practise songwriting. That's what I've been doing for four years or so - now I can turn a song out on most subjects. I just have to imagine I'm writing about me, rather than actually write about me!

: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.)

Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1247

Hi everyone :D

Firstly - I thought that this years SSG was a resounding success!!!!

And mostly for me precisely because I felt the same way that leear felt.
I didn't really think it was possible to write about anything other than personal experiences;
at the same time, I was SO BORED of writing about myself.... and when that happens,
just imagine how your audience feels!

So, thru SSG, I was able to stretch and break that mold.

To be honest though.... writing about subjects other than yourself, you're STILL writing about yourself!
All of what you have to say on any subject, or pretending to be someone else or seeing things from another's perspective....
You still color it with what YOU know and think and feel.

So don't be afraid to try it :wink:

And personally, I'd like to thank David - for all his time and wisdom.
Much Appreciated! :D
I don't think any of us can really thank you enough.

As for what I'd like to see.... I don't know if this would be possible, and seems to fly in the face with Nicks wonderful
Though it seems to me that what is sorely needed is some sort of, well - A composition class of some sort.

There are certain elements that go together to make up a good story.
There are certain elements of writing that work specifically for lyric writing, for poetry, for story lines.
And I think that those need to be addressed and explored more.

You've all heard me go on a rant about the whole view of thinking that songs are 4 line verses
with two of the last words rhyming....
There's a lot more to it than that.
Sentence structures, and verse structures can be way more complicated, or way more simple.

I don't know who would be qualified to lead us thru that kind of thing, I would really like to see something like that tho.

There's a thread in the regular songwriter's forum that asks the question - How do you guys write songs?
And I really think that there are people searching for compositional help.

It's akin to playing lead guitar.... Okay; You know the proper scale and how to play it in the proper key for the song....
You could play any note in that scale/key and NOT BE WRONG.... BUT - There's alot more to BUILDING a GOOD solo
than that.

Some of you might see that as a move toward 'more poetic writing' instead of songwriting....
Well - If you CAN write using those structures, when you do make the leap into letting your mind go
and putting words to melody - those more advanced forms of writing will just appear without thinking (Zen :wink: ).
Just like practicing all the boring things that go into good soloing - When it comes time to improvise - it's there!



"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles

Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1282


Thank you for a great year, David :D
I don't agree on the topic of the multi-week assignments. I wouldn't like to have one every month, but I do think they are fun and I love the way they force you to collaborate with people - I think you can learn a lot in those weeks.
Nick's ideas sound good and I must say I was very happy about the last assignment- for someone like me, who finds it hard to compose music herself and, consequently, very rarely records anything, this was perfect. The music was already there, providing me with the most difficult part of songwriting, and helped me get a more or less whole song done. Because, it's true, it would be nice to have more mp3s (and more comments on the mp3s that do get posted), but making mp3s mandatory would result in far less writing (from me at least).

So, I'd like to see more music-related assignments (e.g. giving us a track to write to), wouldn't cut out the multi-week assignments, but otherwise am totally pleased with the effect that SSG has been having on my writing :D


"oh, eventually it will break your heart" - anders wendin

Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2717

I'm with Straycat on all her points.
Thanks for the time and effort you put in, DH.
If I had the time I would have written lyrics to #2.
In fact I would have stolen her lines, changed a word or two and posted them as mine.
Seriously, I'm almost tempted to buy a mike . . . nah . . . I wouldn't do that to you all.


It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.

Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 2649

Good Year.

I didn't participate as much as would of like but then again I never do.

I like the assignments that push us out of our usual styles and the occasional multi - week
collaboration. Nick puts forth some good ideas maybe we could dedicate one month to this.


My SoundClick Page


" It's easier than waiting around to die" Townes Van Zandt

Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 392

My studio is almost complete (20x20) real studio isolated rooms and all. I'm proud of it. So I hope to start my quest to become a singer songwriter, Having said that I can't wait for Year 7 when does it start?

No matter where you go.... There You are! Law of Location