This post reflects the opinions of its author only, in an attempt to help you prepare for attending SongStudio.
How Many Songs Should I Bring to SongStudio?
You can attend SongStudio and gain valuable experience and knowledge even if you have never written a song. Having said that, you will get more value from the workshop if you have songs for which you could use a little help from our professional songwriting faculty.
You will be workshopping your song(s) with four different faculty members over four days. You may wish to bring the same song each day to a different faculty member. You will likely get very different ideas from each mentor, leaving you with choices on how to continue writing the song. However, you will likely benefit far more by bringing several songs to SongStudio, even a different song each day. Imagine getting professional songwriting help on a handful of your songs!
There are also many opportunities to perform your songs at SongStudio – nightly open mics, jamming in the lounge, and daytime live performance sessions. Every time you perform live in front of an audience, it is a chance to measure how well the song is delivering the idea and emotion you intended, and getting feedback from other songwriters is incredibly useful in measuring why your song might need a change or two to maximize its power. Again, imagine getting live audience feedback for a handful of your songs! Note that our SongStudio participants have proven, year after year, to be an incredibly warm and supportive audience, far better than your typical open mic crowd!
One more consideration – SongStudio is a wonderful opportunity for you to meet collaborators. Show the other writers what you’ve written, and you will find potential co-writers, other artists with whom to play gigs, and new friends as a result!
So, which of my songs do I bring for workshopping?
Here’s the thing – you have an opportunity to benefit from the skill and wisdom of professional songwriters who want to help you take your songs to a new level. Chances are, they will be able to offer significant advice on how to improve your song. For this reason, I would emphatically suggest that you bring songs that you have “finished” with; by that, I mean that you have taken the song as far as you can take it, so that you either consider it “done” (but would accept revision advice) or “stuck” (and you need help in order to move on). If you bring a song that only has one verse, you will certainly be given great suggestions on what the other sections of the song might contain. If you bring a song that already contains all of its parts, our mentors will be able to help you strengthen those parts and help the parts work together. The best choice of songs to workshop will be songs that you have made as strong as you know how to make them.
You will not benefit from workshopping a song that you refuse to change. There’s no harm in performing your best song to measure the reaction from a professional songwriter, but we guarantee that our mentors will make suggestions to make your song stronger. You should be open to their advice, even though we give you permission to ignore it.
I hope SongStudio will exceed your hopes and expectations!
Allister Bradley, Technical Director