Wednesday, November 10, 2010

5♠ Garbage in, beauty out

5♠ Five of Spades in The Rock Songwriter’s Deck: 52 Ways to Write a Song

The Five of Spades believes you can make a beautiful song out of any set of materials, even garbage. You can take your inspiration from the visual artists who create unique sculptures out of things that they find in the trash.

You don't have to actually go dumpster diving, but find some way to gather a collection of random or happenstance element, just a pile of unrelated bits. (One quick, simple technique is to flip through books, drop your finger on a page, and take whatever phrase or sentence you happen to hit. Another technique is to do Google searches for a group of four or five randomly-chosen words, and use whatever happens to be in the middle of the page on the website that you find through your search.)

Once you've gathered your "pile of junk," start working with the pieces. Play with them, rearrange them, sort them, shuffle them. Eventually you will find them starting to fall into meaningful and interesting patterns. Keep working with your materials until you've molded them into a coherent song.

Believe it or not, this is the final card in The Rock Songwriter's Deck! I hope these exercises have helped you shake up your songwriting process and create some interesting new songs. You can review the entire deck by clicking the link for the "deck" tag on this blog.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

8♣ Meet Captain Sledgehammer

8♣ Eight of Clubs in The Rock Songwriter’s Deck: 52 Ways to Write a Song

The Eight of Clubs asks you to invent a colorful, interesting character, someone very different from yourself. Give your character a name, a history, habits, goals, values, and a cultural context.

When you've developed a clear and vivid picture of your character, write a song that would be a perfect expression of that character's motivations or personality.