Last week I did two workshops for Sweetwater in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. If you're not familiar with Sweetwater, they are the largest internet-based music retailer in the world with a campus that rivals Google's. Just a mind-blowing facility and great people. Mike Ross has invited me a few times over the years to hold workshops and seminars for songwriters from around the country.
On Thursday, June 16 I did an all-day workshop and on Saturday the 18th a much larger one-hour workshop for over 200 during their annual Gearfest event. Sweetwater hosted a ton of vendors, experts in tons of fields and had around 12,000 total in attendance.
So, with only one hour to talk to writers on Saturday I decided to get outside the box and go over a list of about twenty "toolbox tips". Not the stuff you would ordinarily get from a full workshop, but more random things I've picked up over the years. I had so much fun with this and had the best reception of any workshop I've done so far!
Since I got back to Nashville I've been getting more and more emails about how helpful these tips have been for the attendees. So, this is the first in a series of blogs that will share a few of these tips.
Two of 20!
The first of two cover the value of giving yourself an assignment, as if you've been asked to write for a specific artist. I do have a disclaimer here: I wrote a blog awhile back about the fact that some of the best cuts I've ever gotten are when I didn't try to write for an artist but rather just wrote what I felt like on a given day. The truth is, that was later in my career. Learning to give myself an assignment was a great way to develop my writing early on.
The second toolbox tip is simply using drum loops during your writing session. I still love this technique for the reasons I mention here.
Here's a clip to give you a feel for the kind of info I shared.
Hope these are helpful. 18 more to come in future blogs!
P.S. As the clip runs out I started to mention a Pat Pattison tip. Here's a link to him, check out any of his books, good stuff!
June 21. 2016
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About Mark Cawley
Mark Cawley is a hit U.S. songwriter and musician who coaches other writers and artists to reach their creative and professional goals. During his decades in the music business he has procured a long list of cuts with legendary artists ranging from Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Chaka Khan and Diana Ross to Wynonna Judd, Kathy Mattea, Russ Taff, Paul Carrack, Will Downing, Tom Scott, Billie Piper, Pop Idol winners and The Spice Girls. To date his songs have been on more than 16 million records. Mark’s resume includes hits on the Pop, Country, R&B, Jazz, and Rock charts and several publishing deals with the likes of Virgin, Windswept Pacific, and Steelworks/Universal. Mark calls on his decades of experience in the publishing world, as an artist on major labels, co-writer with everyone from Eliot Kennedy and Burt Bacharach to Simon Climie and Kye Fleming, composing, and recording to mentor clients around the globe with iDoCoach. He is also a judge for the UK Songwriting Contest, Nashville Rising Star, a contributing author to USA Songwriting, Songwriter Magazine, , sponsor for the ASA, judge for Belmont University's Commercial Music program and West Coast Songwriter events , a popular blogger and, from time to time, conducts his own workshops.Born and raised in Syracuse, NY, Mark has also lived in Boston, L.A., Indianapolis, London, and the last 20 years in Nashville, TN.