Songwriting and the creative process

Posted on Sep 30, 2014

Thought I would take a departure from a purely vocal topic in this post and discuss songwriting. Included here in the link below is a fascinating approach to song composition and the creative process from Jazz composer, Kenny Wheeler who died recently at the age of 84.

A lot of theories and ideas have been bandied about in regard to the songwriting process, both in terms of song structure, as well as the ways in which creativity might best flourish; The question often raised is, what comes first in song composition, the melody, the lyrics or the melody accompaniment (chord structure)?

Historically, songs have been created at the keyboard or guitar, and for many writers the chord structure comes first and then the melody and lyrics follow. But many a song was born with the melody or the lyrics first. So this “song structure” in reality is wide open and dependent on the songwriter and their training, experience and musical/artistic influences.

But what about the creative process? Is it purely serendipitous, or is there some tangible, yet magical process where creativity flows like an open faucet? For me, as a songwriter some of my most fruitful outcomes have occurred when I’ve had a strong feeling about a given topic that I then channeled into song. Of course, it’s different for every writer, but that’s part of what makes the study of music and song composition such a joy.

Click through the link and follow the short article from my friend, Deni Kasrel, and how she happened upon this great story, as told by Mr. Wheeler on how the creative process happens for him. Enjoy!

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Hey all, just wanted to share that I have expanded the “Resources” page here at Rick Gabe dot com recently with some web links that I believe you will find useful and rewarding. I will continue to add web links to this page in time, and will continue to include blog posts on topics that help singers and musicians, as we progress on our own unique musical journeys.

Click through the “resources’ button at the top of any page.


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