Indie Music Works News • Writers Wanted • Songwriting for the Novice • IMW Streaming Radio • The Puzzler • IMW Insights - Search Features • Than
Do you have the knack for writing stories or articles about music? Then we would like to hear from you!
We are always looking for articles and stories from our artists and listeners to include in our monthly newsletter. Almost anything music related is good - articles on recording technique, musical instruments, songwriting, personal experiences, music business advice, you name it. If it is something that you believe would be of interest to the artists and listeners here at IMW, then send in your article or story to email@example.com.
And a special note to our listeners - we are also looking for artist reviews. Is there an artist at IMW that is a favorite of yours? Write a review of the artist's music, telling us what you like about it - the songwriting, the instrumental virtuosity, the great voice. Let us know what moves you! We'd love to put it in the newsletter.
Songwriting for the Novice
by Frank Northcutt
Part 2 - What I did on my summer vacation
You sit at your desk, pull out paper and pen, or fire up the word processor. Then it strikes you – “What do I write about?” Sometimes finding that seed from which to grow a song is the hardest hurdle to overcome. Well, let’s look at the subtitle of this article. From that one phase you can start listing song topics based on that brief period of time - the walk on the beach at sunset, that party with friends, an unexpected conversation with a stranger, the food, the wildlife, the water, the mountains, the great weather, the lousy weather, the eventful trip home, the boring trip home. The list can be lengthy. And that only covers a week or two of your life!
Start by making a random list of possible subjects for a song. These subjects can be general or specific - love, paranoia, nature, loneliness, apathy, friendship, work, current events, overcoming obstacles, accomplishments and failures, and on and on. The most important rule at this point is – don’t censor yourself in any way. Keep a running list for future reference. Make a separate list of events that have occurred in your life. These can lead to very personal songs, or be transformed into fictional stories, based upon real life experiences.
“OK, I have a subject in mind. How do I start?” Songwriting is a fickle beast. There are times when the ideas flow unimpeded. Sometimes, it’s only a couple of lines at a time. My song “Montana Sky” was written this way. I had the idea, and managed to write a verse or two, and part of the chorus. At that point, I ran into a brick wall, and put it aside for months before completing it. Once completed, a song may end up in “rewrite” several times before you are completely satisfied with it.
Sometimes you won’t even be able to think of two lines to put together (maybe that’s just me). In that case, try a stream of consciousness exercise. Just write down random thoughts related to the subject of you’ve chosen. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or the fact that nothing rhymes. As before, don’t censor anything. You are the only one seeing this. Keep writing until you run out of ideas. Then put it aside. When you come back to it, in a day, a week, or a month, look for certain lines and phrases to jump out at you. Take these pieces and begin to mold them into verses; altering a word or phrase here and there to simplify, add emotion, be more expressive, or improve rhyme or meter. A particular phrase may be perfect building block for a repeated chorus. Visualize the story you are telling during this process, to make sure things like chronology, tense, and point of view remain intact.
You’re well on your way to creating a song. You chose an idea. You put that idea into words. You’ve molded those words into lines, and those lines into verses, choruses and bridges that give it the structure you are looking for. You may already have a title, or you may have left that until last; after reflection on the lyric. The next installment of this series will discuss merging lyrics and music.
IMW Radio is broadcasting 24/7, presenting music from IMW artists. Here's a quick link to IMW Radio, to add to your favorites. And, of course it is easily accessed by clicking the IMW Radio tab on the home page. In order to listen to the radio programs, download the free IMW Radio app. for your smart device. Go to your app store and search for "IMW Radio", download the free app and you're all set! It's as easy as that. Now you can listen when you want to!
The app will work for all Apple and Android devices so hurry and download today and start listening!
DJ Floridamusic brings his live radio show to you every Friday night at 8:00 PM EST; bringing you some of the best Indie music on the planet.
If you haven't had a chance to catch one of the live shows you really should check it out! And come join other IMW artists and listeners in the chat room during the radio shows! A great way to meet some of the other folks on the site.
Congratulations to Farrell Jackson, who got all the answers to last weeks Puzzler. Hope you enjoy the fame and fortune... well, the fame anyway. The answers were - piano, organ, note, echo, overdub, bass, sharp, piccolo.
This month let's try a word find. In the matrix are the names of 10 musical instruments. They can be left to right, up to down, or diagonal left to right. Find all 10, send your list to firstname.lastname@example.org, and next month your name will be emblazoned here in the world renowned IMW Newsletter! Well, your fellow members will see it anyway.
IMW Insights - Search Features
From time to time we'd like to present an article to help our new members maximize their experience at Indie Music Works. This month we'd like to touch on a few search features on the home page.
The top row of tabs on the home page will direct you to a number of areas on the site. 'Search' allows you to find a particular artist. Just part of the name is enough to narrow it down. If you click on the 'Artists' tab it provides a list of all the artists on the site. The default is newest artists first. If you are new to the site, you can select a page at the bottom, to visit artists who are veterans of the site. Want to find artists who live in a certain location? Just click on an artist's location, and you will get an appropriate list. Click on your location to find artists who live near you. You can do the same with our loyal listeners. Just click the 'Listeners' tab on the home page to search.
If you click on the 'Songs' tab on the home page, it will provide a list of all the songs on the site, newest songs first. You can find popular songs by clicking 'Songs by Plays'. What I find interesting if clicking the 'Genres' tab. Then select a genre to get a list. It can be interesting to explore a genre that you don't often listen to. You can sort through videos in a similar manner.
Under the 'Community' tab you will find pictures that our members have posted, and a collection of artist interviews from IMW Live Radio shows. There are also links to back issues of this newsletter, personal radio station players created by our members, and other areas to explore.
These are just some basic tools to get you started. Watch for more tips in future editions of the newsletter. Explore... and enjoy the site!
Thanks for the Donations!
We would like to send out a big 'Thank you' to all our members who recently donated to IMW. Membership is free, but as a non-commercial site, it is contributions from our members who can afford to do so that keeps the music playing. See "How Can I Help IMW?' below for details.
KOR, Ricky, Peter Tamdog, Del Hudson
IMW welcomes our newest members. Thanks for joining us! Hope you enjoy the site.
Artists - Hit Maker528, Weekend Warriors, Javon Davis Daweed, Ace Da Moor, Judd Hamilton, Shimei Empress, Markus Meo, Tim Curran, Mercy White, rahsin
Listeners - drrutkoski
There are many ways for members to contribute to the continued success of Indie Music Works.
Financial contributions - Membership is always free at IMW, but donations to the site in any amount are always appreciated. We're a non-commercial site. We don't clutter our pages with advertising. Therefore, donations from our members who can afford to do so, are what pays the bills. See the "Donate" buttons throughout the site to use PayPal. You can make a single donation, or to set up a recurring, monthly donation. You can also donate by sending a check to;
P.O. Box 320573
Tampa, Florida 33679-2573
Be sure to use the zip+4
Article writing - Have a knack for writing? We're always looking for articles about various aspects of music and the music biz, for the newsletter. Check out some of the back issues (posted on the home page) to see what we mean. Contact any of the admins with your ideas.
CD donations - Have you recorded a CD of your original music? Consider donating a few to the site, to be used as prizes on our live radio contests. It's a great way to get a little promotion for you and your music, on IMW radio. Just send them to the same address shown above. Be sure to let us know, so we watch for them, and let you know when they arrive.
Create a radio promo - Record a radio spot for IMW Radio; a simple "Hi, this is... and you're listening to...", or something more creative. It can be a general promo, or specific to one of the DJs. If you are a listener, we can provide background music. Contact one of the administrators for details.
Getting involved - Attending radio shows in the chat room, posting comments on artist pages, and engaging with other members on the site help IMW remain a vibrant and entertaining community for all of us.
Listener Comments - We want our listeners to let us know what they like. Just send a few sentences, telling us why you enjoy a particular artist or song, to email@example.com. We will post them in the next newsletter
Tell your friends - If you're enjoying Indie Music Works, tell your friends. They'll be glad you did. Subscribing to this newsletter is one way to introduce them to IMW. They can sign up to receive it HERE. We don't advertise, so word of mouth is what feeds our success!
Thanks... and enjoy the site!
~ The IMW Team ~