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Tag Archives | songwriting

Fog obscures details of Vancouver's downtown

Loving penguins and Pooh Bear makes EDGY difficult

SAC Challenge Week 4 – well, it was time to be EDGY and I failed miserably because I’m just too snuggly and friendly. Oh well!  Why change a good thing?  After being on the receiving end of some pretty intense corporate litigation for way too many years, I was eventually free of that constant irritant, and I […]

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1974 Yamaha Baby Grand Piano (thanks for the inspiration, Elton).

SAC Challenge 2015 Week 1

It’s February again, and that means it’s time for the Songwriter’s Association of Canada Challenge 2015. This year, the SAC Challenge is all about giving writers a chance to feel some of the pressure and time demands of the real world of professional songwriting and includes an opportunity to pitch songs to an established Canadian […]

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  Here are a few really cool things you can do with synths to spice up your songs.   I’m including plug-in virtual instruments and sample-playback-based instruments in this description. Remember that there’s no magic formula to making music.  With synths, there are gazillions of quadrillions of things you can do with them.  Do your […]

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The incredible Little Richard at my keyboard :-)


  Bless my soul! MIDI is extremely helpful in songwriting workflows.  You don’t have to be recording yet to make good use of it.  In pre-production, MIDI is a godsend for many of us. Using MIDI, you can generate sounds all the way up to entire backing tracks to sing over while writing a lyric […]

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Sony DMX R-100 digital audio console (partial view)


Production is a journey of many steps.  Take them one at a time if it gets overwhelming! Producing yourself at home for your own songs is a tough challenge and an incredible joy every time you get it right.  Taking a song from the writing process to a deliberately produced recording requires a lot to […]

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Cone flowers


  Just like a beautiful flower, strive for a place in the sun for your music. That will mean taking care of a number of details ahead of recording.  That’s the essence of pre-production.  Plan and be prepared to record. You’ll want to decide how fast a song should be, and what key suits the […]

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Michael Holland of Wiggly Toes Music Productions

RECORDING AT HOME – Introduction & TOC

  You love songs.  You write songs.  You want to present your songs in the best possible light with a top-notch recording, but you want to do it at home. Look no further.  This blog series is for you! I offer a special welcome to my fellow members of the Songwriters Association of Canada.  Together, […]

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Week 6 Six Feet Under and Gone 2nd DEMO

  Well it’s here… the end of the coursera.org course on Songwriting.  It was an excellent experience.  I ran out of time,  naturally, so I didn’t quite nail it, but it was close… I posted the song with two minutes to spare. This week we had to decide how to weight our vocal lines – […]

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SAC Blogging Challenge 2013 End of Week 5: A protest song for 2013

It’s blogging time again!   I’ve been hard at work on the assignment for Week 5 of the ongoing songwriting course from coursera this week. Both the thesaurus and the rhyming dictionary got a serious workout this week, as required for the assignment.  I decided to protest this week!  Time for a week off from songs about […]

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Michael Holland of Wiggly Toes Music Productions

SAC Blogging Challenge 2013 Week 4 – “I’M 2 USED 2 THIS”

I hope you all enjoy my song “I’m 2 Used 2 This”. It’s on Soundcloud at  http://snd.sc/YNQBvs Four weeks into the coursera.org online songwriting course and we’ve covered an amazing amount of ground in a short space of time.   This week’s lessons focused on the stressing of syllables in rhythmic patterns that would preserve the […]

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flowers in spring

SAC Blogging Challenge 2013: End of Week 3

  Spring is here at last…  Well, we used the rhyming dictionary and the thesaurus a fair bit this week. I wanted another way to say “luminous”.  For such a task, a thesaurus is very handy. OK, it doesn’t always help.  If I called a lady luminous, she might well be flattered, but I’m concerned […]

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End of Week 2 SAC Blogging Challenge: Stability & Instability

There are buildings that stand and buildings that have crumbled in the Roman Forum, pictured above. Stability and Instability. Yes, it does sound like an episode of the English TV comedy Blackadder, or perhaps an undiscovered Jane Austen romance, but, in fact, stability and instability is serious business for a songwriter. This is not just […]

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CM Labs CM64 programmable recallable analog patchbays

Recording song ideas quickly

La la la la… that’s it! My sure-fire global viral hit. I can’t let this idea slip away through my fingers! What really counts at these moments is the preservation of the inspiration, not the quality of the recording. We’re not all recording engineers. When inspiration strikes and you want to capture that idea, time […]

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The Fantastic Voyage of Writing Songs – the SAC Challenge 2013

Welcome. If you’re reading this, then probably you love to write songs as much as I do, and so, dear reader, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship! I am taking part in the Songwriters’ Association of Canada 2013 Blogging Challenge. I will be blogging each week as I proceed through a Songwriting […]

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SAC Blogging Challenge 2013

Pat Pattison’s 6-week free online Songwriting course on coursera.com begins March 1 The course is about to start and I am thrilled! I will spend six weeks learning from the man himself! Most songwriters have discovered Pat Pattison and Berklee before too long. I’m a proud member of the Songwriters’ Association of Canada. Many other […]

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dream beautiful music tonight