I went to a GREAT NSAI workshop last night.
Featured speaker: Jason Blume.
It was sooooo informative. I'm not sure I can explain it.
From a songwriting perspective...it helped me feel like I'm on the right track.
The topic of his workshop was writing good melodies. Jason gave us several "tools" to writing a "hit" song.
Interestingly enough, Jason (a platinum selling songwriter) isn't good at writing with an instrument. (Just like me.) He sings into a tape recorder. JB recommended that you don't limit your writing to your limitations on any instrument. That is how songs start sounding alike and uninteresting. (For the record, my friend Donna who is a full-time songwriter told me this very thing a year or so ago. It is just nice to hear it from another writer as well.)
He also said the key to creating a song that people will sing as they walk down the street is repetition. Repetition in the phrasing, the rhythm and the melody.
And, the kicker...don't try to write a hit song. If you write songs from the heart and have something to say, while applying the tools of course, you'll have success. Jason said that if he is trying to write a hit song, he can't do it. While he may end up with a song that is structurally perfect, the song has no soul.
Because of the workshop, I've been thinking about rewrites on songs I thought were done.