SAC Songwriting Challenge & Blog …WEEK 6

Good Luck to everybody who got to finish all 6 songs!  I, on the other hand never got much done for week 6….  I was so disappointed not to have a nice finished submission. (Had personal interruptions plus a injury to complicate things). I did get a rough draft finished on paper for Matt Dusk. I never got the opportunity to co-write or collaborate but I’m proud of what I accomplished for my first SAC Challenge:)  I have absolutely NO production skills but that can be a 2015 goal. This challenge was the best thing to happen for me for a number of reasons and I had a few of Lily’s email questions to sum up my experience:

What was the hardest challenge or hardest part of the challenge for you and why? 

For me, being all alone in my area didn’t help. Even though I submitted three new songs which I’m very proud of, I didn’t realize the production of our songs was so important for getting to any level of having them considered. But I understand why now.  The Radio Ad challenge was definitely a “unfinished” one.  As well, I could not keep up on all the posts…impossible due to my other committments. There were so many suggestions and helpful links that I wished I kept notes of to check out in the coming weeks and fortunately I spotted the latest Resources posting being compiled by our friends…Excellent idea. 

What did you enjoy most about participating in this experience?

Being a part of this SAC community was awesome.  The weekly challenges were all different & we got to witness some great songs and feedback from the community. I wish I knew more people to commute with and I was a little shy approaching for help, etc.  Hopefully in a years time, I will feel more confident in pursuing this challenge, given what I know now.

What is something significant that you learned from taking on this challenge? (It can be about yourself or about the challenge)

The challenges certainly made me think outside the box, and I verified for myself, that when the pressure is on as well as a time limit, it was amazing how I always came up with inspiration to make it work, on my level. However, I have new goals for this year regarding…..possibly pursuing the Berklee Music Production course, I’ve already started the Modern Music Specialization, with one course under my belt.  Secondly, I want to start a writers group in my hometown and I already consulted with SAC on that one. I want to grow  as a songwriter, but I need to utilize more tools so to take my submissions to a more professional level. 

Would you do this type of challenge again?  Why or why not?

I would love to!  I especially hope to have more production skills, etc.  Hopefully, I can get some new songwriter friends closer to home to come on board with me as members of the SAC….writers, a producer or two I know , or I can tackle more production on my songs. That would be so exciting for me. I will write regularly now, I do know that. I have definitely learned alot from our SAC facebook group…..The feedback given to the successful submissions in each challenge is beneficial to everybody.  We were all winners in my opinion simply for pursuing this 6 week challenge and openly sharing and bouncing ideas, opinions, etc.

A huge thank-you to Lily, Debra & James for your wonderful guidance & expertise the past 6 weeks. Also, it was great meeting all you wonderful songwriters and I would love to keep in touch via our Group Page, if it is being left active, or feel free to join each others FB page if we haven’t already. 

Good Luck to everybody;  Keep writing.

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SAC Songwriting Challenge & Blog …WEEK 5

Hi Everyone….This week was definitely a challenge I did not expect to complete. However, Friday night I listened to the songs listed in the challenge and read up on Christina Ricci’s role in Lizzie Borden Took an Ax movie. I was fascinated with this story. I also researched 19th Century Dexter. I attempted to put pen to paper, and “Gray Angel” was a title that seem to fit. I had fun writing this song…..As usual I self-recorded it to the best of my ability, no production or extra instruments available to me. I had a hard time trying to not sing the song to fast, so to keep with the challenge fit. Also, the bridge was slipped in the last minute, still wasn’t sure if it fit or not. However it seemed missing if not there. 

Here is my link to Week 5 submission:

 https://soundcloud.com/bevallen15/gray-angelmp3/s-5ACbx

Gray Angel

(by Bev Allen)

V1

Call me your angel, pure and white as snow

Faith in us I don’t know

I wanna believe I’m safe in your arms

Shine like a diamond, like the stars

But this white is fading dark

Can’t help my change of heart

These doubts, my fears, my pain

My guards up once again

Chorus

I will be your gray angel

I will be your gray angel

The perfect white you long to feel

The darkest dark I conceal

I will be your gray angel

I will be your gray angel

V2

Call me your angel, dark as night

Alone and lost, I run to hide

You wear your love upon your sleeve

As I ride out a fantasy

But the darkness fades to white

Something feels so right

I fight to not restrain

My guards back down again

Chorus

Bridge

Safe in the shade but I see your light

Gambling with my heart but it ain’t right

Chorus

SAC Songwriting Challenge & Blog …WEEK 4

Hard to believe Week 4 is finished. I had a business convention to attend until Thursday past. Not to mention an injury resulting in bruised ribs, etc!!  I’m proud to have still finished a song called “Seen and Done It”….It passed some criteria, not sure on “Edgy or Pop” , but country. Had a tough time working on a rough recording but managed to get the general idea across… I think it is a cute song!

I wish I had more time to hook up with somebody in our group. It didn’t happen so I’m totally solo again. There have been alot of helpful links throughout the past few weeks that I am committed to following up over the coming months. However, I am amazed at the talent and great songs coming out of this challenge!! After posting this to SAC feed, I changed the title to We Got The Song.

The link to my song and lyrics is here at:

 https://soundcloud.com/bevallen15/seen-and-done-itmp3

We Got The Song

(By Bev Allen)

V1

My honey and I can’t deny were quite a team

Eye to eye is something we don’t always see

In the past,  we’ve clashed and still got along

Oh we been there, seen and done it….we got the song

Chorus

Compare us to chalk and cheese, oh but were true

Like a pair of odd boots, we make it do,

Opinions in black and white, both been right or wrong

Oh we been there, seen and done it….we got the song

V2

Accepting all the little flaws is only half the fight

Compromise goes in hand, with sacrifice

It’s a fact odds attract and both gotta be strong

Oh we been there, seen and done it…. we got the song

Chorus

Bridge

Call us soulmates that strived on a spark

Joint love has taken root deep in our hearts

Accepting strife in our lives will never be gone

Oh we been there, seen and done it….we got the song

Chorus

Oh we been there, seen and done it…we got the song (2x)

SAC Songwriting Challenge & Blog…WEEK 3

Unfortunately I had a difficult time meeting this weeks challenge. First, time was not on my side for pure focus and when I did attempt to brainstorm idea’s on  “something child-like, light and playful, fun, capturing the moment and that captures the spirit of a child”, as an advertising spot, well nothing would flow on paper or my 12-stringy 😦

However, that being said, I attempted to follow up on some of our SAC group submissions and as usual the talent is phenomenal!! What amazing material and committment.

Though I have to travel to Orlando for business reasons until the latter part of next week, I will check in once settled in Sunday or Monday. Curious what Week 4 offers us.  Good Luck to everyone.

SAC Songwriting Challenge & Blog …WEEK 2

Very interesting week…..First I have to comment that this SAC challenge is the BEST THING that happened for my songwriting in a very long time!  No, I cannot be on and read every post or repost, though I wish I could because I feel I’m missing out.  The first week, when I had a full day to go through and comment, the valuable info put there by our group was phenomenal!! There are many helpful links to help  that I need to go back to when my schedule is on a “simmer” again:)

Once  I dug in for Matt’s challenge, had a few things coming to paper, then a few melodies….. I was more on John Legends style than Rock Mafias “The Big Bang”. That worked for me because I love that song & was attempting to learn it.  By Thursday, I had a peep into Rob Well’s challenge & followed up by studying a few of Selena Gomez tunes. I felt my incompleted “Matt Song” in the works fit more to “Rob’s Song” both lyrically and musically…..So I decided to pursue just that. After all, I still have 4 weeks to work on Matts song and I will get-er-done!

I finished the song yesterday, chords in place with my 12 stringy and a new “uptempo” straight underlying beat  from my Yamaha PSR 630. Though pop wasn’t my specialty by any means, oh yah, I shivered outside my comfort zone!  Getting my country strum not to dominate was a challenge, especially because I am completely solo recording the song. I am posting this song because even without the bells and whistles to lay the melody and my lyrics on, the essence will be seen and heard.  I think it does not need to sound better than the challenge singers/producers/etc because there’s enough space around the demo for them to imagine whoever singing/producing the song….or if it fits. If it doesn’t fit, here’s a fresh page to add to my “Book of Dreams”.  I hooked my Pocketrak recorder to my sound system, made like 100 recording takes, as I revised, revised and revised until I could revise no more. 

Once I was satisfied with the “final” draft, I replayed and replayed and then wished time was in my corner to hire a full production to really give this song the wings it deserved. But, I’ll leave that decision for the challenger(s). One fact remains, I found myself humming the chorus over and over, so it got something memorable.  My 21 year old daughter swears it fits the glove….lol….She’s also my biggest fan. Here’s the link to my “Never Skipped A Beat” for the week 2 challenge.

One nugget of gold I also realized. This challenge is or I should say DID drag me back to what I love doing most in this world, outside of the “Large Stones in my Jar of Life”. Music/songwriting filled it in so to speak……Thanks Debra Alexander for that wonderful link to:

 http://sechangersoi.be/EN/5ENTales/StonesPebblesSand.htm

So, I did put a few hints in to our group community for a co-writer, etc…..had to disappear and reappear over the days…. I know I’m alittle shy about actually approaching one of our group. Maybe when you hear my Week 2 submission,  “Never Skipped A Beat” , if anybody feels the connection in some way to collaborate, please tell me. Afterall, we have 4 more weeks left to this SAC challenge.

Well, enough said already, as you can tell I am pumped after this week! I’m anxious now to get at Matts song and await the Week 3 surprise. Feel my innerchild rubbing her hands together lol…..

Please have a listen to my Week 2 song & lyrics for Rob Wells Challenge below.

Until next week guys, good luck with all our submissions….Cheers!!

https://soundcloud.com/bevallen15/neverskippedabeatmp3

 Never Skipped A Beat
Written by: Bev Allen
Intro
No oh oh, No oh oh, No oh oh
V1
You cut me from your life, hear my inner voice
Time to move on
Feeling confused, mislead and used,
But now your gone

Prechorus
Yes my heart is bruised and scarred
It had my back, It’s been on guard

Chorus
So proud of this heart, never skipped a beat,
never skipped a beat, no
Been burnt and played, but never skipped a beat,
never skipped a beat, no
From my chest to my feet
It pounds out were quite a team
So proud of this heart….never skipped a beat, no

V2
Despite you leaving me, I’m healing
Forgetting you
The stars will align, a new love I’ll find
No longer your fool

Prechorus
Yes my hearts is bruised and scarred
It had my back, It’s been on guard

Chorus
Bridge
My souls been shattered, I will survive
You turned your back but my heart had mine
Chorus
Ending
So proud of this heart, never skipped a beat (2X)

 

SAC Songwriting Challenge & Blog …WEEK 1

Wow! My first blog & posting….Major breakthrough….I am so excited to be apart of the SAC Challenge 2015. First thing was to turn off my critic & open my soul. Most of the past week was spent playing catch-up, after losing internet for 2 days, stomach flu another day, LOL!  In between all this, I did manage to read some of the SAC Facebook postings while taking notes on shared links I felt will be so helpful as will as names of a few I would like to approach in co-writing/collaborating. As I only gave a brief intro of myself, I did get this blog started, and some files uploaded to my new soundcloud account today: https://soundcloud.com/bevallen15

Right after hearing the Week 1 Challenge with Matt Dusk, I was wowed by his talent, style & music! I then listened to music by Foster the people, Rock Mafia, Daft Punk & Lana Del Rey……I could connect with Matt’s interest in these artists. The last cover song I was learning a few weeks ago was John Legends “All Of Me”!! To funny 🙂 My latest fav’s been  Adeles “Rollin In The Deep” & Trains “Drops of Jupiter”. I learn & sing cover songs that connect with me & which suit my lower register raspy voice. My writing in the past 25 years was mostly country & new country/rock, a couple pop & a new world song, most recorded on 2 albums to date. However, when performing live, I tackle just about anything I like.

In front of me, scribbles “n” notebooks, gelpens, MacBook and Yamaha Pocketrak. At my side, two ole faithfuls, my Yamaha FG-420 12 string and Yamaha PSR 630 midi keyboard (beatmachine)……This been the set-up during the birth of every original the past 24 years……As my creativity is nudging, between now and next weeks blog, I will play with Lyrics, Chords, Rhythm & Melodies and hope to find the muse creeps in once again!  It always pulls through…..Until next blog…..Happy writing!