I am a songwriter now. Yesterday I attended a songwriters’ workshop that a group I belong to organized, along with a fiction writing workshop and creative nonfiction workshop. I opted for the song writing workshop because it was something different for me. The fact that the only thing I can play is the radio, and the second fact that I cannot carry a tune in tin bucket means that I was fulfilling Robert Allen’s wisdom that : “Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.”
Now you may be thinking that I have a lot of gall to call myself a songwriter, but during the workshop we collaboratively wrote the lyrics to two songs, and due to the fact that our leaders are extremely talented and versatile, they easily put melody to lyrics. And the songs were performed at the open mike portion of the workshops at the end of the day.
I learned all kinds of things in about two and a half hours. I learned how many verses you should have before you have a chorus, I learned what a bridge in music is, and I learned how to rhyme, which does not sound all that hard to some of you, but for me, to rhyme and at the same time have the words you rhyme make sense was a real revelation.
But the most important thing I learned from our workshop leaders, John and Michele Law of the musical duel “The Laws” is that THERE ARE NO RULES to song writing. And that is the best thing that came out of a wonderful workshop. The fact that there are no rules (that cannot be broken) is something I have always, as a quiet rebel without a cause, believed in. It is part of the essence of my being. And it was validated.