Hal Leonard has released Rikki Rooksby’s The Songwriting Sourcebook, a book which reveals how to turn chords into great songs.
Originally published in 2003, and now revised and updated, The Songwriting Sourcebook is the latest entry in Rooksby’s bestselling How to Write Songs series. This easy-to-use book is designed to help musicians write better songs by explaining the art of writing effective chord sequences.
In The Songwriting Sourcebook’s 10 sections, Rooksby shows how three and four chords can lay the foundation for a simple song, and how to move on to progressions using five and six chords. He shows how to give chord sequences additional color by adding chords that are not strictly in key, as well as taking progressions into new territories by changing key. He shows how to write in major and minor keys and how to fine-tune the color of chords by understanding the emotional potential of sevenths, sixths and ninths.
The Songwriting Sourcebook can be read sequentially for musicians new to the craft of songwriting or used as a reference or to inspire new ideas for those already writing their own songs. Rooksby’s presents songwriting concepts in a relaxed, easy to understand writing style. These concepts are further enhanced by the use of many chord progression graphics and accompanying guitar chord fingering charts, which allow the reader to play the given examples and experiment with presented concept. Also, an accompanying 20-track audio CD features original recordings that illustrate some of the points made in the book.
The Songwriting Sourcebook is available to purchase for $24.99 USD.
More information: Hal Leonard
Groove 3 has released Songwriting Theory Explained, a new video tutorial series.
Eli’s back with another awesome music theory based series! In this collection Eli reveals the mechanics and creativeness behind modern songwriting. Learn popular chord sequences and cadences as well as analyze the chord progressions of some of the most famous songs ever written.
Songwriting Theory Explained features
- 20 Tutorials / Over 2.5 Hours Total Runtime.
- For intermediate to advanced musicians, producers and writers.
- NOTE: You should have a solid foundation in the skills taught in Music Theory Explained.
- Tutorials written by musical instructor Eli Krantzberg.
- Simple to use video control interface for Mac & PC.
- Viewing Options: Online, Download, Disc, iDevice Streaming.
Songwriting Theory Explained is available to purchase for $18.99 USD (30-days watch online), $39.99 USD (download), $44.99 USD (DVD+download).
More information: Groove 3 / Songwriting Theory Explained
Indaba Music has announced the Blue Microphones Songwriting Competition.
Purchasing a membership to Indaba Music is always a great idea, but the next two weeks will be the perfect time to join the state-of-the-art online music community. From January 10th through January 24th, Blue Microphones is proud to offer new and renewing Indaba members some of their innovative products. Blue Microphones will provide a free Icicle ($59 value)—a stylish new USB converter and mic preamp combo — with the purchase of a $50 Indaba “Pro” yearly membership. Those who purchase a $250 “Platinum” Indaba yearly membership will receive a free Yeti ($149 value) — the most advanced and versatile multi-pattern USB microphone available anywhere – plus, an Icicle. Both Indaba memberships also include free shipping, with no tax.
By joining Indaba, members also have the opportunity to enter the site’s latest original songwriting contest. Sponsored by Blue Microphones and beginning on January 10th through February 7th, artists can submit songs in any style featuring vocals for the chance to earn a Grand Prize that includes a round-trip flight to Los Angeles, two nights in a hotel, a day recording at Blue Microphones’ state-of-the-art studio and $1,000 cash.
IndabaMusic.com currently enables over 550,000 musicians from over 200 countries and territories to network and utilize professional recording, music lessons, artistic collaborations, and other career-making opportunities at its recently launched Opportunity Marketplace. Multi-platinum recording artist Rivers Cuomo of Weezer said, “Indaba opens the door for a giant population of musicians.”
In addition to receiving an Icicle, the annual ($50/year) Indaba “Pro” membership includes:
- Unlimited submissions to opportunities like major label record releases, remix competitions, music licensing, and jobs.
- Distribution of 15 songs to iTunes.
- An embeddable direct-to-consumer store.
- 15% off purchases of digital sheet music and video lessons.
- Discounts from Connect by Hertz, Sweetwater and Electronic Musician and more (a value of more than $200).
In addition to receiving a Yeti and an Icicle, the annual ($250/year) Indaba “Platinum” membership includes all the benefits of a “Pro” membership plus:
- Distribution of 50 songs to iTunes.
- 30% off purchases of digital sheet music and video lessons.
More information: Indaba Music / Blue Microphones Songwriting Competition
FAWM.org has released The Muse, a collection of free online songwriting tools.
This is a collection of small experiments in “computational songwriting inspiration.”
They were originally conceived to assist participants in the FAWM.ORG challenge, for whom writing 14 songs in 28 days sometimes requires a little assistance.
The Muse includes:
- Plot Spline — Framing device for helping you devise plot and setting constraints for your song.
- Struxxure — tool for uncovering possible out-of-the-box song structures.
- LyriCloud — Creates a randomized cloud of semantically-correlated words to spark your creativity.
- Titular — Generates several (potentially awkward) song titles for you to interpret and write about.
More information: FAWM.org / The Muse
(via The Redfaux Transmission)
Tanager AudioWorks has released SongFrame, a song development toolkit designed to provide songwriters and recording musicians an integrated and comprehensive set of tools for writing and refining songs.
In addition to serving as an overall notebook for a songwriter’s ideas, SongFrame allows the user to construct songs using drag & drop icons representing song structure elements and then fully develop every aspect of the song within these. SongFrame is used before the songwriter ever fires up his or her Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) recording or sequencing software. As the name implies – SongFrame creates the framework, foundation and superstructure of a song prior to the recording, arrangement and production process. Think of SongFrame as a “pre-DAW” or a songwriting front-end to your existing recording or sequencing setup.
- Develop complete songs, including chords, chord progressions, melodies, lyrics, rhythms and song structures.
- Import all Guide Tracks and Markers showing every song section and chord change into any Digital Audio Workstation recording or sequencing tool.
- Audible Chord Library with 70 Chords per Key, find chord substitutes by shared notes and get suggestions based on surrounding chords and desired mood.
- Thousands of real chord progressions in every key to boost your inspiration – filter by musical genre, era, complexity and root movement. Just drag and drop right onto the chord track!
- Choose from over 500 drum patterns for each song section, or have SongFrame build the entire drum track for you with one click.
- Quickly record ideas using audio or MIDI.
- Highlight vocal or instrument ranges directly on the MIDI track or display the scale tones of almost 150 musical scales.
- Store SongBits in a dynamic Notebook – drop any past idea into your current song, or share ideas with collaborators.
SongFrame is available for Windows PC and costs $179.99 USD. A demo version is available for download from the product page.
Visit Tanager AudioWorks for more information.