Sunday, 12 October 2014

Down time

What do you like to do when you are having some down time after finishing a project? This week I 'v been keeping myself busy, but not with music. I have been involved in writing and shooting a film with my older brother. You can read more about it here Down time week Hope you enjoy the read.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Writers block woes

You know how it is , you have just come up with a new guitar riff and it sounds amazing. You have soughted out how the chord progressions are going to go and now you want to write some lyrics. You pick up your pen and now the endless staring at your writing pad starts. This happened recently to me and I used some technics to help me through the blockage. Read about it here on "Writers block woes"

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Refreshing yourself musically

Heh folks, this is a link to my latest post, which is about refreshing your mind.There will be many times during your life's journey that you will need to take some time out from the rigors of life and everything it can dish out to you, so sit back and relax because this is what this post is all about and have a read and learn some ideas on how to refresh and recharge your mind.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Radio airplay anyone?

Heh folks this is a link to my latest post Radio airplay anyone? This is a post about a Brisbane based community radio station that truly supports local, national [Australian] and international artist.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Ready for Jammin

Heh folks this is my first E.P recording titled "Ready for Jammin", it spans 20 yrs LO-FI  homebaked recordings.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Timeless space

Heh folks, this is a short post, or more like a link to my latest song. It's called Timeless space. Lyrics were co-written with my girlfriend Estrel, who also did vocals with me. This song was originally written about her when we first met. I came home one night about 3am from being out in the clubs with her, and did a quick recording while it was still fresh on my mind, or more like before I crashed out and couldn't remember how it went. That's why you should always record your demos. I actually forgot I recorded a quick demo of this song until about 3 years after I did it. Despite all the hiss on the original demo, it sounded like a good song, so I went to town on it.

Just out of interest, the solo at the end of the song was done using the set up I explained in my last post here. I thought the sound was pretty good, for the setup.


Monday, 30 June 2014

Getting ready to record

This is a link to my latest blog on wordpress Getting ready to record. hope you like it.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The cost of keeping your hobby alive and my latest offering

Heh folks, I have struggled to find a name for my upcoming E.p. but it looks like I am settling on "Ready for Jammin", which I named after my website.  I am slowly building this site to help new people with guitar lessons to eventually helping more experienced musicians who still struggle to complete there songs.

I will also put forward some of my ways to keep the financial side of jamming and practicing and recording at home, down to a minimum, but still maintaining a reasonable standard of quality.

I feel this encompasses and conveys what I am trying to achieve, and that is to help others like myself, who have struggled at various stages in there musical journey "for what ever the reason", and need encouragement to continue there respective music journeys. 

I have placed a link here to my 4th song from this E.p. Seven colored rainbows, to show that with very little financial output, you can achieve results far beyond what money you put into it.

This song was originally recorded on my four track recorder some 15 years ago, I payed $300 for the machine.
My Yamaha acoustic guitar I bought at an auction, cost me $200, back in 1989. [I still think I payed to much].

I re-recorded it again about five years ago on my P.C. They were old computers people were throwing away, that weren't working, so I grabbed them and got them running again, another good way to save money. Another inportant point here is to learn how to be self-sufficient. It doesn't cost anything if you completely destroy a computer if it's already stuffed, but if you can get it running again, then that becomes priceless. The cost of PC repairs can quickly add up, so get tinkering on those golden oldies before dumping them. I have lashed out altogether on my computers over the past 7 yrs, is $125, which is that skeletal looking thing below in the pic. The one underneath it, is 15 yrs old and it spent 2 yrs by the seaside, and it still works. They don't make them like they used to.

I also did the Bass using my Yammy acoustic guitar, and dropping it one octave using "cool edit pro 2.0". [Most editing software including free ones "audacity" will have that option to drop or raise pitch]. It also allows you to remove unwanted noise hiss and clean your songs up.

Another thing I am doing is going through [Deal Extreme] to buy my guitar strings [$5], guitar winder and other accessories. They're cheap, but there is a wait involved. [about 3-4 weeks for shipping]. Worth checking out if money is a concern for you. I haven't received my guitar strings as yet, but the reviews indicate, that there not the greatest quality, but good enough to practice with and hopefully record. I will keep you posted on that one.

Though, doing everything on the cheap isn't for everyone, it is sometimes necessary if you don't have the initial finances to throw around. One thing it does do, is it makes you squeeze every bit of ability out of yourself to get the best possible results from your equipment.

What results have you been able to achieve from your equipment and do you have any other good money saving tips?


Sunday, 15 June 2014

listening and Playing by ear

As I close in on finishing my 1st home recorded [lo-fi] E.p. I have one more song to finish off, and that will give me six songs all polished [or as polished as a home recording I can get] and ready to go, though I have been releasing one song at a time through Bandcamp.

The last song I am working on contains a guitar track I recorded over 10 yrs ago on my four track. When I recorded the track, it was only meant as a demo and the quality of my work was not important, as I planned to redo the track at a later date. Also the quality of my guitar strings weren't important either. They were quit rusty that day. This has proved to be a bit unfortunate as I now have struggled to hear clearly what I played. I haven't played that particular guitar piece since I recorded it, and I have forgotten most of how the track goes.

TIP- When recording, use new guitar strings, even for demo tracks.

I was always confident though of working out what I played, as I had spent years in my early guitar playing days working out guitar tracks [by ear] from my favorite bands, from tapes that were recorded off the original tapes,[pre CD days for me] sometimes second or third generation recordings, so some recordings were a bit muddy.

This practice of listening and playing by ear, helped sharpen my hearing ability over time and I was able to focus in on listening to one particular instrument at a time. [ Also helps with tuning your guitar].

This is a great skill to learn and you should try to practice listening to your favorite songs and working out what they are playing by ear. Using tablature is fine, as some music can be very difficult to work out, but learning to listen and play by ear is a useful skill in songwriting, as there is no tablature to guide you if you have forgotten a piece of your original music you recorded earlier. It will also help you when you write and record your own songs and you're piecing different tracks/instruments together.

Cheers Darryl.


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Business Before music pt 3 [update]

This post is an update from an earlier post on this subject. I decided to do updates of the M.B.P. I am working out with my friend.

One thing to remember is every band/soloist, musician and life situation is different from one another, so keep in mind, how my friend and I are working out our M.B.P. doesn’t mean what works for us will work for you, so versatility, flexibility, patience, understanding, trial and error and time are major components in achieving a successful Music Business Plan.


I'll give you a little bit of our history first, to give some insight, to where we are both at.

Our story in short is, my friend started the band in the 1989/90; I was the first person to join. We became the chief songwriters, the band came apart two years later, we continued writing together for years after that, but were never successful in putting a band together again for many reasons. After a lot of water under the bridge, we have sorted through many obstacles and have found ourselves wanting to finish a job we both started 20+ years ago.

What to do first?

When it comes to doing up a music business plan. The first question that might come to mind is “how do you start one?”

Here is the list [from my first post “Business before music”] of basic requirements to get your M.B.P. off and running.

  • STARTING A MUSIC BUSINESS PLANDiscussing with fellow band members the intention of starting and researching what is involved in organizing a successful M.B.P.
  • COMPANY SUMMARY - This section discusses registering your band as a company, whether it’s Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation or a LLC.
  • PRODUCTS AND SERVICES - This is where you can discuss what type of products your band plans to sell. E.g. digital downloads, merchandise, live shows, and CD’s.
  •  MARKETING - Identifying your target demographic, raising awareness of who you [band] are, and what type of music you intend to play. Price structures for your releases and where customers, can buy your goods and services.
  • MANAGEMENT - Here, we get to delegate responsibilities [bookings, receiving payments for gigs, Cd sales, etc.] to everyone who is in your group, now that might only be the member's in the band at the moment. But it is important everyone knows what their responsibilities are, in the group's business dealings. But you need someone first, to head this team!!
  • MONEY - Once you work out what you want to sell, you then need to work out where the money is coming from and who will pay for these upfront costs.
I’ve decided to add one extra step at the beginning, as this is very important to make sure every person is on board and agree with organizing the bands M.B.P.

Take your time

What I will do is go through the M.B.P. my friend and I are working through, but just to remind you, we’ve never had our own M.B.P. in the past, so we are taking our time with it and making sure we cover ourselves as a band and as people, learning as we go.

At this stage we haven’t covered a lot of ground due to the difficulties of our personal lives, so getting to the nitty gritty of what we want to do, is a slow process, but we are both determined people and will persevere until we have completed out tasks.

We have discussed registering our band name as a business, we haven’t got to do that yet, as again life intervened and slowed that process down. We did at first, plan to sit down together in person to discuss these matters, but because we live in different states, the process and plan we had organized, took a different turn for personal reasons and have left our discussions on hold for now.

What we have been able to achieve from our last conversation is agreeing verbally on our percentage ratio for ownership of our songs. Basically from our early days in the early 1990s when we started the band, we always had a 50%/50% share in the ownership of our songs. So, we have continued with that agreement. I then asked my friend if we could only focus on the songs recorded on four track. Reason for this is, a lot of work musically has already been done, and this will save time and effort, and give us a good start to focus on what we need to spend time on.[completing our songs.] Instead of writing new songs from scratch. We can do that later as we rebuild confidence musically between ourselves.

The next stage will be to make up a list of songs from the early four track recordings. We will pick out six songs from that list, which hopefully, we both agree, would be a good starting point to continue with our work. We will then write out that list on paper, make two copies of the agreement and sign both copies for our own records, with our percentage agreements on both.

Once we have some songs to work on, I will register them with APRA/AMCOS. This is a performance collection agency, which means that, if you are playing in a club, or if one of your song plays on a radio, etc. Apra will collect royalties on your behalf and distribute the payments to each person, whose name’s are registered on each song and the percentage splits that is agreed upon. This is an important part in your M.B.P. as this register's and protects you, and adds proof of ownership to your songs.

"At this stage we have only worked on the 2nd stage of the list above,

·        COMPANY SUMMARY - This section discusses registering your band as a company, whether it’s Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation or a LLC. I will also add in here, registering your songs with a royalty collection service. E.g. Apra/amcos.

You may have to do a search for your countries own music royalties collection services business."

Today, my job is to write a list of our four track recordings with my preferred six songs to start with, and email that list to my friend and see what his preferred six songs are, and we'll go from there.

Cheers Darryl

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Heh Folks, this is a link to my latest post. I hope you find it of some value. Thanks for reading and don't forget to share.
Thank you Darryl

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Heh folks, short post this week. Thought I'd put my 3rd song up here instead. It''s Called "I". It is a, back to basic style of music.. Clean electric guitar with rhythm and lead and a bit of funk thrown in for good measure. Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Pod-cast, UN.radio | Spreaker - Be Heard

Heh folks, I want to dedicate this post to UN.radio | Spreaker - Be Heard. This is a pod cast website that releases downloadable music pod cast.

These folks were good enough to except one of my songs onto their pod cast recently, which can be found on the link above. It is track No9 “Something tells me that you are the one.”[band-camp link]

As an indie musician, getting airplay is what being a musician is all about. It is hard work just to put a song together sometimes when there is so much going on in life.

Having to get up in the morning and work on a mushroom farm is not the glamorous life I envisaged for myself at the age of 44, but that is my realty and I will confront it each morning I wake up.

That is why when I heard the announcer saying my song and name on this pod cast; I felt an overwhelming feeling of pride. That is my hard work that people are going to get a chance to listen to. That truly made my day.

Please have a listen to this pod cast and support [financially if you can] your indie musician. We all work damn hard on our art and we love to share it with you.

Thank you UN.radio | Spreaker - Be Heard, I truly appreciate this opportunity, to have my song on your pod cast.

Darryl Steele


Sunday, 11 May 2014

My first E.P

Hi Folks I'v just posted a new post on my wordpress site, titled my first E.P. You can catch a read of it here, through this link. My first E.P.

Thanks for reading. Please share if you like it. Thanks again.
Darryl Steele

Monday, 5 May 2014

Internet radio

Heh folks, today I want to write about sending your songs out there, for people [fans] to hear them. If you are playing gigs around town then that it is a great place to have people hear your music.

Then there's the internet. The last 2-3 months I have been searching for places to upload my songs to. There are so many places on the internet you can upload music to, some you have to pay and some you don't. I am going to show you the ones that I have currently uploaded some songs to, that don't have a fee attached to them.

This list is in no particular order.






















This last link introduced me to another half a dozen new possibilities for me to look into, so if you are interested in uploading your music and finding new fans, then I recommend going through this list and see if any of them are of worth to you.

For me, since I uploaded 2 of my songs, I had my first song "Vintage 69" added to a mixed tape through this link http://coast2coastmixtapes.com/mixtapes/mixtapedetail.aspx/makinmoves-mixtape-vol-92

I had a DJ from Germany add Vintage 69 song to her internet radio show. Unfortunately I don't have any details as when my song will be played.

Just recently, my second song "something tells me that you are the one" was accepted onto a Podcast which is being aired on the 15 May. http://www.spreaker.com/user/unsungradio

These have been some inroads for me into the internet world and hopefully just the beginning.

Hope some of this info helps you about a bit.

Cheers Darryl

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Words and music, Verses Influence

Heh folks this is a link to my latest blog. This is sought of a continuation on, from my "business before music" blogs. I hope you find it useful.

Words and music, Verses Influence

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Business before music, Pt 2, sorting out a [% ratio] agreement

Before I started this post, my plan was to write a continuation, from my first post "Business before music." As I stated in my first "Business before music" post, I didn't have a "Music business plan," but I decided to change this post to an example of why I want a "music business plan" in place.

Just like most original songwriting musicians. Writing songs in the beginning was the priority. "It's the only thing you think that's important, when it comes to playing music".

As I blissfully continued with my part in the writing and arranging department, I would present new material to the singer for us to work on. We usually had a verbal 50% agreement on all/most of the songs.

Who wrote what?

For the most part, I did the music and the singer did the lyrics. I would also pen some songs myself, and they would be added to our list of increasing songs. All songs were still regarded, as a verbal [50%] agreement. I was happy with that because "I was guitarist in a band ". Sound familiar?

Later on, I found myself writing more songs on my own and my friend would come to my place and he would add some lyrics to my songs that were either missing a line or maybe a verse. Again, this was no problem, the idea was to complete a song, so we could play them.

I was eventually, writing more songs from start to finish, on my own. This felt like a natural progression for me and something I felt I needed to do, as I was enjoying the freedom and the expansion of writing songs, without having to involve other people in the writing process. "Selfish I know, but constant growth as a musician was becoming a vital ingredient in my musical makeup, at that time."

Selling your music

Finally I arrived where I could put a price on a song and sell it. That's when things got exciting for me. I spent some time working out, what will be my first release. Once I decided, I then went ahead and put my first song on the market through "Band-camp" for $1 per download.

Now it's time to get to what this post, is all about, and why a "business music plan" is so important to everyone who is, or will become involved in the process of writing songs for your band, or songs you write on your own.

I will focus the rest of this post on the song I had originally released "name withheld".


After about one week I realized I hadn't divided the song into a [% ratio] between my friend, who had contributed to the song and myself. I decided to pull the song from sale, and I contacted him r/e to working out a fair [% split] of the song between us. I then decided to go through our back catalog of songs that we had written, and started dividing them up as well, so we can register them with Apra/Amcos.[Australasian Performing Right Association.]

At this stage, all is going in a positive direction. We have discussed registering our songs and that is still on the cards with no issues. We haven't made any more progress since our original discussion. But we do live in different states and we are both busy people. We are determined to have our songs registered, when we can get the proper paper work done and agreed to by both parties. We realize though, that this going to take some time for us.

Write it on paper

Make sure all agreements are written down on paper and signed by everyone involved in the writing of a song. This will save a lot of stress for everyone down the track if you ever start making money from your music.

In the meantime, I have my 100% owned, original material that I can find avenues to sell without having to work out agreements with friends, co writers and contributors. This is very important to me as I can continue to push myself and promote my music, that helps me with my musical growth, without having to sort out agreements that should of been done years ago.

That's why it is so important to have a "music business plan" in action from the beginning. Once you start writing songs in a band or have friends contributing to your songs. You need to seek out an agreement per song as they're written, with each co-writer or contributor, agreeing to there share of the split. This allows you then to, play your songs when and where you wish, as everyone has agreed to the terms of the [% ratio,] of your/those songs.

Working out a [% ratio]

We worked out a basic [% ratio]of [50%each, 70%-30%, and 85%-15%,] with the flexibility to add or take away [5%] here or there depending on the input and influence someone has towards, the development of a song.

The main message is to set up some [% ratio] guidelines for everyone in your band to follow and agree to, and be flexible with those guidelines, as songwriting scenarios can change and develop.

How many great songs, will we never get to hear because a [% ratio] agreement had never been sorted out between band members, co-writers or contributors, and the ongoing squabble of ownership rages on for years and years, and sometimes in court?

Cheers and good luck.

Darryl Steele.
http://readyforjammin.com/ [beginners guitar lessons]

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Business Before Music

OK folks, this is something as musos we all need to focus on. [A music business plan]. I know what you're thinking; "I'll leave that to my manager," Which is probably OK, "if you got one of course". But understanding about the business side of any business, is your key to failure or success.

Most musicians want to play music, and fair enough, that's why we pick up our guitars and keyboards, drums, [in the first place], isn't it? But what happens when you start to earn some money? "We'll split it between the band members." Well, that all sounds good in theory. But there are some things to consider first. Let's have a look at a made up scenario.

[We'll go with the assumption that this is an all originals 4-piece band]. So, the first question is "who wrote the songs?" [Again, we'll go on the assumption that the singer and guitarist wrote the first drafts of the songs, having a 50% equal share, in the ownership of the songs, and the rest of the members came in with their contributions later on.]

Now, we'll go down the track a bit, and you have played a couple of awesome shows and sold a truck load of home-made Cd's. You all go back to your practice area, and there is your profit sitting on the coffee table. $1000. You beauty.

Drummer and bass player pipe up and ask for there $250 each for their efforts, as originally and verbally agreed upon in the beginning. But, guitarist, mumbles to the singer and says, "but we wrote all the songs!"

Question is, where do we go from here? The drummer and Bass player are within their rights to ask for what was, verbally agreed. Remember, [We'll split it 4 ways]. "But the singer and guitarist are the rightful owners of all the songs that the band is playing, and deserve to have the lion's share of the profit." RIGHT??

This is when, a business plan in the beginning, would help set up a payment system within the band before there were any profits to divide.

What elements then, do we need to look at, to start a music business plan?

  • COMPANY SUMMARY - This section discusses registering your band as a company, whether it’s Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation or an LLC.
  •  PRODUCTS AND SERVICES - This is where you can discuss what type of products your band plans to sell. E.g. digital downloads, merchandise, live shows, and CD’s.
  •  MARKETING - Identifying your target demographic, raising awareness of who you[band] are, and what type of music you intend to play. Price structures for your releases and where customers, can buy your goods and services.
  • MANAGEMENT - Here, we get to delegate responsibilities [bookings, receiving payments for gigs, Cd sales, etc.] to everyone who is in your group, now that might only be the member's in the band at the moment. But it is important everyone knows what their responsibilities are, in the group's business dealings. But you need someone first, to head this team!!
  • MONEY - Once you work out what you want to sell, you then need to work out where the money is coming from and who will pay for these upfront costs.
This is a basic outline for a music business plan. You need to go deeper into understanding each section and what you need to do, to fulfill those areas, so that you all come away from each band meeting, with a positive and clear outcome.

How you do business with your fellow band mates, will decide if your band can survive the hills and valleys that it will go through, so take your time in these areas and make sure everyone understands what is happening, and their requirements and responsibilities. It will save a lot of heartache, time and stress.

[Hi everyone, my name is Darryl Steele and I am going to fill you in on my own music business plan. "I don't have a music business plan". I am now 44, and after 25 years since the first band I was in, it is now that I am looking into a music business plan with the original singer from that band.
We aren't even at section 1. COMPANY SUMMARY. We have discussed it [COMPANY SUMMARY] and agreed that this is what we need to do. But, a more important detail has occurred to me than the steps mentioned above. "It is probably more important than just a detail." Its communication, and the time needed to transfer and to understand all the relevant information between each person/member of your band/team. Communicating in a respectful manner is vital at this stage, and that all parties involved are on the same playing field, and not relegating a band member, a "less important person" because they don't understand all the details as quickly as everyone else. Patience is the key here.
"Just to let you know, I'm not very clued up on business thinking, so when I talk business, I like to take my time to understand each part of that business conversation, and that I'm happy with what transpired at the end of the meeting/conversation, before I can move on, to what is next." Hopefully jamming!

Cheers Darryl

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Hi everyone, this is a link to a blog I wrote on WordPress.com last night. its about band collaborations and some problems that occur and possible solution to get yourselves out it and back to what you all love doing.
how to write a song, again

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Heh folks, this is an old song I recorded 15 years ago on a 4 track recorder and later transferred to my PC. This is a LO-FI home recording. No studio equipment involved here. hope you enjoy. visit my blog at link below
how to write a song, again.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

songwriters time and space

OK songwriters and especially new writers, a little thought towards your setup before you get stuck into that new song. You have just come up with a new idea for a tune. You're writing down as many of those ideas as they're flowing through your head. You have your guitar/keyboard close to you; ready for it to take its part in the next step of the writing process. You also know that the stream of inspiration is probably going to dry up at any stage. But that's OK, that's just how it works, you're ready to get stuck into the hard work when its time.

Time and space

So time, and another co-ordinate. "Space" also needs to come into play. Without these two vital ingredients, the struggles we have to go through to get our songs finished are suddenly put under more pressure to complete. Unless you are a paid professional who writes songs for an employer and has to write under 'I would imagine" much more difficult conditions on a daily basis. [I tip my hat off to you folk, you are truly inspirational for your skills and devotion and ability to work/write and create under those work environments]. People like myself have to rely on organizing our lives to a point where we have to give ourselves a lot of time to act upon the thoughts and ideas that flow through our minds when they materialize, so we can then work on them later.

Space is the other ingredient that is vital in songwriting. You need that place where you can relax and allow yourself to go where you need to go.


Once you have time and space at your disposal, you only need to worry about your creativity ability. But to have those two ingredients at your disposal, another element sometimes comes into the equation. Support. Either from, who you live with, be it your partner or family or housemates. Giving you that support or freedom to create in an unobtrusive environment helps with the creative processes required to complete a project once you've started it and the first burst of inspiration starts to flounder.


Setting aside 5/6 hours of uninterrupted time and space is a great feeling, knowing you have what you need now, to go into your creative zone. Even if it's just lying on your bed staring at the ceiling for an hour while your thoughts slowly form into words, which you can then write on paper. At this stage you don't want someone interrupting you, questioning what you're doing, or you haven't done all those household chores yet, [always a good idea to get that stuff out the way if it bothers you] then of course, there's, someone telling you, "We have to go out". "That's not my favorite thing to hear". [Not unless it's important of course] But after all, it is only songwriting and it's not the most important thing in the world. But it's just the most enjoyable.

What happens if these elements [Time and Space] are not at your disposal? Is this when potentially great songs are left half-finished because you have fallen victim to someone Else's time management requirements for your life. This is a great time to sit down by yourself and have a good look around to see if you have those elements in place in your life. Not just for songwriting expeditions, but just your life in general.

Half finished songs 

You don't want your half-finished master pieces only coming out momentarily when friends are around for a few drinks, or you play part of your song to some other muso for their opinion, "Yeah that sounds fantastic, but where's the rest of it," at least you get what sounds like a compliment.

Seriously though, I think the "time and space" requirement is more of a life issue than a songwriting necessity. But if you have those elements organized and functioning in your life, then your chances of developing your songwriting skill increases by as much time that you want to spend on it. Plus, only you are accountable for it. Good luck and good time management. Have fun writing.


Saturday, 8 March 2014

LOST AT SEA song used for beginners songwriting

I wrote this easy song as part of a tutorial in my "howtostartasong.com" website. If you want to learn some beginners songwriting idea's, than I recommend you have a look and read your way through the tutorial and watch the video. Have a awesome day.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Series [1] 1of 5 guitar lessons:- Introduction

Hi every one, thanks for visiting my blog. the main focus I have on this blog is to help people who want to write there own songs.

If song writing is something you have done a lot of, then feel free to add some of your experiences to help other people who get stuck with there song writing.

We know what that can be like when writers block kicks in and you can't find those last few words to finish off a great song, or even trying to work out how to start a song, that can be just as frustrating if you aren't Shaw how to get those opening words on paper.

To help you along a bit, I have placed a link to my website that I hope you will visit and say hello and see if there is anything there that will help you through those beginners problem.

This is a link to my site."howtostartasong.com"

If by chance you are looking to start some guitar lessons first, then I have a introductory video that will get you started on your guitar lessons.

The link for my guitar lessons is "readyforjammin.com"

Thank-you very much and best of luck with your songwriting.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

First Time Holding a Beat on the Drums

Playing the Drums

howtostartasong.comWhen I was about seven years old, I remember walking past this music shop and seeing this dark blue pearl drum kit. I didn't know what it was then, but man it looked cool.

Since then, I always had a liking for drums and the sounds they make. I never got to play the drums as I was growing up, they just seemed too far-out of reach, as far as having any capability goes. I ended up playing the guitar instead, which also became a fascination for me.

As I started practicing cover songs, I bought myself a drum machine and would work out all the drums required for the songs we were playing, in the band I was in. That helped me later to write out drum patterns for future original songs.

Over the past 20 years of writing original drum patterns on my drum machine; I have put together a long list of drum patterns that I can use to help me to "practice my drumming".

I bought my first kit

About seven years ago, I think the year was about 2006-07; I bought my first ever drum kit. No big deal I guess, but for me, it was!

I am now 44 years old and last week, when I was at my friend's place. "This is where I leave my kit". While I was having a quick bash on them I was able to hold a drum beat for the first time. That was exciting for me!

I have to thank my friend's 12 year old nephew. It was through him while he was in England visiting over Christmas, he was teaching him [my friend] a basic drumming lesson.

When he [my friend] arrived back in Australia, he then showed me what his nephew had taught him and from there I was able to play and hold my first ever drum beat.

Thank you for that lesson young man. I'm sure you will go on and rock the world!

It is amazing where and how you can learn something new and from who you can learn it from.

Self taught

Being a self-taught musician, the prospects learning to play the drums are a tantalizing thought. I know I will probably develop some bad habits, learning this way, but at this stage of life, I feel carefree enough not worry about those possible outcomes. "I'm not planning to undertake any major concert tours just yet, but maybe next year might be different. Mmmmm."

Anyway, if you are anything like me and you want to play an instrument that you have always wanted to learn, then I say find a way to get started and have fun with it.

Professionally taught

I do however highly recommend having professionally taught lessons if you want to learn how to play to the best of your abilities. Professionally taught lessons will teach you to play correctly and fix any bad habits that you may pick up and develop before they get out of hand, and hinders your playing.

If professional lessons is the way you want to go, then give yourself at least one hour per day to put towards honest practice, meaning, "practice diligently with what you have been taught". After all, you are paying someone to teach you, and you don't want to waste your money or your teachers time.

Good luck with what instrument you decide to pick up and "learn,learn,learn".


Monday, 10 February 2014

Writing a new song

Getting started

http://howtostartasong.com/designs.htmlHow to start a new song is sometimes tricky, especially if it's your first attempt at it, or even your one hundredth or one thousandth attempt.

Why can it be difficult for somebody who has written 10, 100, 1000+ songs, to then struggle to write another new song, despite all that experience behind them?

We can understand what a new songwriter goes through with their first attempt, as songwriters, we have all been there before. You remember! What do I write about? How do I start the lyric writing Process? Then, there's the music. How should it sound or what style of music should I play E.T.C?

Normal question's, a new songwriter will probably ask themselves at some stage, during their early development.

What does the experienced musician suffer from with writing a new song? 

Many things can affect the long time songwriter. It will usually depend on their lives and how things have unfolded for them, as far as the amount of success or failure they have experienced, from their push for success.

How then, do we use success and failure from our past experiences, and the effects those two elements can have on us in regard to our future enthusiasm towards continuing with our passions, not just in our chosen field, but any other field that we as human beings, have an interest in.

I guess the easy way of saying it is, "how do we stay fresh and excited after 25, 30 years of following our interest?"

I don't believe you can ever go back to the days of when you started out as a songwriter and recapture the enthusiasm and excitement and drive you had when you first started out. Getting older and life's forever changing and challenging scenarios tend to knock those early days into another dimension after a few years or decades.

What is the secret then, to writing a new song?

Back to basics is the key!

  • A dream
  • Desire
  • Excitement/enthusiasm
  • Passion
If you dream for the first time or 1000th time to have your song listened to by friend"s family or fans, then that gives you the desire, to either reach the masses, or just listening to your own creative abilities, or, what ever it is.

Then your enthusiasm for the project takes over to start the writing processes,[music, lyrics, arrangements, composing, E.T.C]

Then there's passion. If you lack passion for what-ever you are doing, then you will probably never finish what you start. Passion, I believe is the driving force between success and failure. When you need to put in the hard yards to get a project finished, it's your passion, that will drive you to the finish line.

There is one more thing on the list above that requires it to stand-alone. That is PROTECTION.
Protect your dreams, desires, enthusiasm and your passions.

 They are the most important ingredients in writing your first or 1000th song. Nothing happens without them. Always be on guard, and protect yourself from anyone who may not see things, the way you may see the world. Remember, negativity is a destroyer and it can come from different areas in your life. Friends, family, other band members, a boss,partner, or worse place of all, YOURSELF!

So friends, be happy, be honest with yourself, and keep writing. The world is waiting!!