SONGWRITING TIPS: When starting a new song just go with the creative flow, don’t try to intellectualize it, says Beth Nielsen Chapman
When you start working on a new song don’t think about what you’re doing intellectually, just go with the creative flow and have fun, urges Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman. She calls it “creative flow songwriting”.
Beth recently told PRS for Music’s ‘M’ magazine: “The creative flow is just like oxygen flowing everywhere and people absorb different amounts of it depending on their capacity. I believe it’s where the best stuff comes through.
“One of the things I do when I teach a songwriting workshop is to encourage everybody to become more of a sponge for that creative flow.”
It’s an approach that has certainly worked well for Beth. She has written hits for artists such as Elton John, Neil Diamond, Emmylou Harris, Bette Midler, Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, Roberta Flack, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. Her songs have also been featured in countless movies and TV shows.
“Of course it’s important to learn all of the technical skills of how to tighten up a song and how to recognize when a song could be better,” she told ‘M’, “but when I’m writing – especially when I’m starting the process of writing – I’m not looking at it intellectually. On the front end, I don’t want my brain driving the car.”
She added: ”I follow that creative flow blindly until something pops through, and it’s so much fun. I’ve learnt to trust it and I think that’s how the greatest songs are written.”
Here’s Beth Nielsen Chapman’s full interview with ‘M’ magazine…
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Songwriting Hall of Fame 2013 inductees to include Aerosmith, Foreigner, Tony Hatch, Holly Knight and JD Souther
The Songwriting Hall of Fame has announced the inductees for its 44th annual awards this year.
They include English songwriter Tony Hatch, Mick Jones and Lou Gramm of Foreigner, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith (pictured), Holly Knight, and JD Souther. They will join previous legendary recipients such as Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Sam Cooke and John Lennon.
“Each of our 2013 inductees has been responsible for captivating the world with their creativity for decades, serving up a rich variety of songs for our global soundtrack,” said Hall of Fame chairman Jimmy Webb. “We are looking forward to celebrating their contributions at our Annual Awards Gala.”
The ceremony will be held on June 13 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Manhattan.
Steven Tyler and Joe Perry co-founded Aerosmith in 1970 with guitarist Ray Tabano, bassist Tom Hamilton and drummer Joey Kramer. In addition to the Songwriters Hall of Fame induction, Tyler and Perry were recently announced as the next recipients of ASCAP’s Founders Award.
Tony Hatch will be honored for his 53-year career during which he has written many memorable hits, including ‘Downtown’ and ‘Don’t Sleep In The Subway’ for Petula Clark and ‘Sugar and Spice’ for The Searchers.
Foreigner co-founders Mick Jones and Lou Gramm are being recognized for classic songs such as ‘Feels Like the First Time’ and ‘I Want to Know What Love Is’.
Holly Knight’s 36-year career has seen her work with artists like Chaka Khan, Pat Benatar, Aerosmith, KISS, Tina Turner and Cheap Trick.
JD Souther had ten of his songs recorded by Linda Ronstadt, as well as co-writing several Eagles songs, including ‘Victim of Love’.
In addition to the annual inductees, the Songwriters Hall of Fame will be announcing a number of special awards, including the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award, the Towering Song Award, the Towering Performance Award and the Hal David Starlight Award.
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