We’re chefs, right? Taking ingredients, even complete dishes, and combining them or adding a twist to produce something fresh and inspiring. As chefs we can’t go back to Freddy’s for the ribs every day. Or to Campagnola for the pasta. We need to be experimenting – yes, but we risk experimenting with the same old stuff if we don’t feed ourselves with the new stuff.
If we’re open-minded, read lots of things, talk to people, practice and experiment then eventually we’ll have new ideas. Maybe. But we can jumpstart the process of finding new ways – our own ways. Travelling the world – yes we need to do that; but can’t always do it daily. Checking out the work of other chefs – yes, and if we can get recommendations and reviews all the better.
Here are a few SongExpresso resources for having an idea that you didn’t wake up with:
Just to lurk or to converse. SongExpresso doens’t really go for the posters who put up songs saying “please critique my work”. But good luck to them – actually it’s pretty brave (especially on Reddit where critiques tend to range from scathing to mildly abrasive). But check out the following. If you follow these subReddits you are sure to see something that you hadn’t thought of before:
http://www.reddit.com/r/WritingPrompts/ (personal favorite – nothing directly to do with songwriting)
http://www.reddit.com/r/writingprompt/ (not sure why we need two of these but this one is more down to earth and less mind boggling) (or not)
http://www.reddit.com/r/SongwritingPrompts/ (if really stuck why not? Also good for free writing or object wriing)
http://www.reddit.com/r/WriteDaily/ (a bit like object writing but with more accessible themes)
http://www.reddit.com/r/POETRYPrompts/ (kind of the same but with a tendency to more obscure themes).
2. Juxtaposing stuff
http://www.Poets.org/poetsorg/poem-day great selection of emotive modern poems – you can read one a day right? SongExpresso thinks you should – and will return to this.
http://literaryjukebox.brainpickings.org/ a bold venture – the great brainpickings.org will never run out of thought-provoking material. SongExpresso finds the songs generally on the soft and folky side – but that’s a taste thing. In common they have quality and emotion (perhaps inevitably in order to be selected to be part of a literary project). No matter. Come here and see two things that didn’t together before and think about each element and their combined effect.
3. New Music
We used to have to wait for a particular new music DJ on the radio; now we can create our own station.
http://www.stereogum.com/ There are a million music websites and blogs out there. This one is perhaps a bit edgier than most – SongExpresso guarantees you won’t have already heard everything on here.
https://www.kexp.org/live/ There are a million music stations and podcasts out there. But SongExpresso has never been bored by these short live performances.
http://www.soundopinions.org/ There are a m… you know. This one’s a keeper (a few too many sponsorship messages for SongExpresso’s liking, but someone needs to pay the royalties).
http://grantland.com/contributors/brian-koppelman/ Not just about music. And sometimes a teeny bit mutually self-congratulatory? But BK does like to ask probing questions about motivation and what it’s really like to be the artist.
Do you use any of these or any other ones? Recommendations (but not spam) always welcome and SongExpresso will review the worthwhile ones here.
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