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Join us for this month's exclusive content featuring tips from music industry insiders, exercises you can do at home, and more!
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OCTOBER 2018: WRITING FOR POP AND CHRISTIAN GENRES
This month we will be spotlighting content focused on the songwriting craft and business of writing for Pop and Christian genres! Hear from industry professionals and songwriters on their advice for this topic.
 

STRUCTURE AND STORYTELLING OF THE POP GENRE



SONG STUDY WITH SHELLY PEIKEN
In this Song Study, Shelly walks us through the structure and inspiration behind the following hit pop songs:
"Bitch" (Writers: Meredith Brooks and Shelly Peiken); "Who You Are" (Writers: Jessie J, Toby Gad and Shelly Peiken); "What A Girl Wants" (Writers: Shelly Peiken and Guy Roche)

ELEMENTS OF THE POP GENRE WITH SHELLY PEIKEN
In this pop-focused interview, songwriter Shelly Peiken walks us through the elements of the pop genre, what's changed about it and how writers can keep up with the trends. Additionally, she shares the difference between hard and soft rhymes and the structure of a clever chorus that will keep the listener engaged with your story.


ELEMENTS OF THE POP GENRE WITH CLAUDE KELLY
In this video, pop writer Claude Kelly share his experience writing for pop, and what he feels to be the characteristics of an "earworm" pop track. Claude also share 3 tips for writing pop, how a writer can challenge themselves to think futuristic in terms of melody and more!

 

EXERCISES: GET INSPIRED TO CREATE ON THE GO

1.    Take a walk. Or a drive. Get AWAY from your screen, your journal, your piano or your guitar. This is so important when you are overwhelmed with anything in your life, not just songwriting. Sometimes when you are trying to force something out of your mind and onto paper, it comes out feeling just that: forced. Inspiration isn’t a magical dust that settles over a writer room you have reserved every Monday and Thursday. It isn’t always there when you have an appointment to write. Just as in journalism, there are deadlines for publishers and new material that we can’t wait for inspiration to complete. Get away from what is putting you in a box. Have you written the same hook a dozen times and can’t think of a chorus to write around it to save your life? Toss it in the “Do This Later” pile and move on to your next idea. Don’t force yourself to write around a hook just because you think it is commercial or what a specific artist wants at the moment. The best songs are literally from the heart as cliché as it sounds. Take a mental break and do something you enjoy to get you back on your game.  
 
2.    Feeling uneasy at a co-write for a new genre?
In the words of Shelly Peiken, “Excuse yourself for a bathroom break. Get in there and shut the door. Sometimes when we’re alone and not feeling self-conscious about being on our game (especially in a room with writers we understandably want to impress), a line or melody may come more naturally.” Writing for pop when you are used to writing for country can be intimidating because it’s a completely different song structure than you are used to. Pop writing can be a release for so many, but for structured writers, it may be tough to break your very specific writing routines to follow your own rules on a fun pop song. Think of this co-write as a writing exercise instead of a deadline. Something great or something forced can come from this write. Take everything lightly and just go with the flow! You may end up loving pop (or any new genre you may try) more than you like the style you have always written in. 

 

PRO-SPEAKER WORKSHOP WITH SHERRILL BLACKMAN

Catch up on our Thursday night workshop with Sherrill Blackman here.

PRO-SPEAKER WORKSHOP: SHERRILL BLACKMAN                                    
Blackman, a Dudley, North Carolina native, arrived in Nashville in 1980 and graduated from Belmont University, with a Music Business degree in 1982. Since then, his many jobs have included a one year stint as production coordinator with American Image Productions, six years on staff at The Nashville Songwriters Association, and four years as general manager for Buckhorn Music. Founded in 1994, his sdb music group, a publishing and independent songplugging company, has secured recordings in Country, Pop, Rock, Gospel, Bluegrass, Blues, Jazz, and Polka, resulting in various radio hits, as well as Gold, Platinum, and Multi-Platinum certifications, several Grammy and IBMA nominations and one Dove award winner.

 

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