Saturday, June 26, 2010

Swipe Files for Songwriters

What's a Swipe File? A Swipe file is a file, folder or box that you store good ideas in. It can be a physical thing, or something you keep on your computer or on line. Writers commonly keep files like this, to look back over ideas that peaked their curiosity, were interesting, or had useful information.

You can keep anything you want in your swipe file. Pictures that made you look, titles that made you think, ideas that grabbed you. When you're feeling like you want to compose but don't know where to start, all you have to do is look through the file you saved. It will help you get some inspiration for your own original work.

Using Google Notebooks to keep a swipe file can be useful, because you can access it from any computer that is connected to the Internet. You can also easily share it with other folks you might be working with.

Every day there are articles, videos, songs, and phrases that catch your attention. By recording some of the best ones, you'll have a lot of food for thought when you need it. It will also help you to analyze what about a title, opening line, or idea made it interesting.  Studying what fascinates you, and try to figure out why. Then you have a shot at understanding what catches peoples attention, and how to make your own work more catchy and appealing.

If you'd like to hear more about the idea of creating a swipe file, read this post in my freelance writing blog:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Blogger has some new features, and I'm playing with them....

Give a cat a ball of string and see what happens.

Excuse the virtual dust of my renovations here. Blogger has some new features that I' having fun playing with. The page may take an extra second to load, but I think the new design templates make it prettier and sleeker.

There is also the option of adding extra pages now, which was the one feature I liked better about word press. Now I'll be able to take some of the theory notes in this page and make them easier to find, and put some of the video's and tutorials together in a more organized way.

I see that a lot of people do stumble through here from the numbers, but only once in a while do things get interactive. I'd like to see more of that, and may integrate this into a webbs site so I can add a forum for discussions on music related topics. I'd love to hear from some of you readers- what would be helpful to you to see more of?


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Having nothing to do wih music...

This is fun.

I do a lot of research on line, which frequently involves lot's of searches. Last month I joined Swagbucks and started doing my searches through their toolbar. They get their results from Google and, and the results seem virtually the same. The difference is that you randomly win points that can be exchanged for fun prizes; including amazon gift certificates, camera's, t-shirts, and a lot of other things. I've been playing with it just long enough to say it's legit, and I haven't gotten any spam as a result. If you're blogging, or doing lot's of work and research on line, why not? If you want to play with it too, :-) click here:

Search & Win

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It was fun to play piano the other day...

I had a really fun musical moment a few days ago. You know, it's really great to just sit down and play, especially if you have a few minutes to play all by yourself with no one listening. It's usually during those moments that you find some little inspiration and dare to explore it.

I haven't gotten to play piano in a while, even though I technically own several. By "awhile" I mean a couple of years, at least on any regular basis. Although I do occasionally steal a piano whenever I see one. If you enjoy playing with piano or guitar, you may understand the deep need to grab an instrument and play it.

Wow. It just occurred to me that I almost never post about myself in this blog. In fact, I'm not sure I've even ever actually introduced myself in this little missive about music that I've been keeping. I post informative notes on some very rudimentary music theory; links to video tutorials, interviews with composers, and random bits of things that interest me.

Most of it has been about what I think might be useful or entertaining for other musicians, especially people just learning to write songs or play an instrument. Then again we're all 'just learning', every day, I hope. I enjoy writing a lot, and write in a few places about different things. Some of it is related. For instance, I wrote an article about the New Orleans Blues Musician, Coco Robicheaux on Associated Content. After I started writing there, I added a few of the basic music theory tutorials I posted here.

Why Scales Are Important if You Want To Learn Music is something I wrote to answer a question. Many people don't play an instrument, but want to. Many others actually do play something with no formal music training, and some of them quite well. They usually wonder why scales are important, and this is a simple explanation of how it's useful.

The other article I got out of a post that was written here was How a Musical Scale if Built . None of this is rocket science, it's really very simple. It is however useful to the random person who stumbles into a piano and wants to figure out how to play it. Or perhaps someone trying to understand how chords might work together in a song they're writing with a guitar.

But back to making music. I was sitting at my piano for the first time in years. It's been stored at my Grandmother's house, and I happened to stop by while she was out. I couldn't resist siting down and playing it for awhile. It's an antique, a very tall upright, and has a very rich and full sound. I was just playing around with what I remember of a song I wrote a long time ago. Almost by accident I discovered that my camera has a record button, and got myself playing around on tape. Err... recorded in digital, from a fifty dollar camera. heheh! I'm out of practice, but it's really not too bad considering I was just playing around with sound.

Anyway, Peace to whoever stumbles through here, more soon....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Something Chewy" is a great MP3 Blog!

I was looking for a few good songs to listen to this afternoon while I was cleaning houe. "Cells" by the Servant had been in my head, along with "Gamemaster" by Lost Tribe, and some other electronic and trance club music. I managed to find a great EP with good versions of Game Master on Amazon, which was worth six bucks for me to just download.

Then I hunted for Cells, and found here for download, on a blog called "Something Chewie". Not only did our web host Steve 'Chewbacca' have the song I wanted to hear,  he also has collection of great music in different styles with interesting commentary about the artists and their music. It's definitely worth checking out.

Download Cells by the Servant

                                    Check out Something Chewy here:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Moulin Rogue

I really love the whole soundtrack from this movie, which you can get here:  Moulin Rouge

Download "Like I Said, Yeah, U Rite" by Coco Robicheaux

I was excited tonight, when I realized that I could get Coco on Amazon. Coco Robicheaux is a genuine New Orleans Legend. His music embodies the spirit of the blues that is so rich there, you can taste the sound almost as much as listen to it. I was missing New Orleans, and remembering a performance of him singing a song called 'Home'.

What was super awesome is that even though I don't buy stuff online much, I managed to find it on Amazon and download an MP3 of the album with "Home" on it. You can get the actual album, or download it for instant musical gratification at $8.99. Coco Robicheaux is one of my favorite musicians from NOLA , and sometimes when I get homesick I remember him performing Leonard Cohen's 'Suzanne' and going into this hurricane inspired song of Home. I downloaded it, and I almost feel like I'm sitting in that bar again on a funky Saturday night.

If you haven't heard his music, or you want to find a touch of the real New Orleans flavor, I'd strongly recommend this. Add a mixed drink, dancing, and some good chicken gumbo for maximum effect. ;-)

New Music Articles

It's time to start adding to this blog again, although if you're just stumbling in I'm sure you'll find some interesting things in the earlier posts. Recently I started to post some music related articles and other things on Associated Content- please check them out. If there are things you'd like to see me talk about more in these articles or this blog, feel free to leave me a message with questions and ideas. In the mean time, check out the new articles here:

How a Musical Scale is Built

Why Scales are Important if You Want to Learn Music

Classical Sheet Music DownloadsSearch for Classical Sheet Music
to download instantly!