~ Tunes in a Tin Bucket ~


SongWriter (Photo credit: jorik de beer)

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.

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49 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Lovely Post!
    I tried my hand at writing, but it felt to mechanical to me. I suppose it was because I felt myself trying to rhyme, as if it were a necessity. It is nice to here that there are no rules. Maybe I can try my hand at it again, even though, like you, I will want someone else to actually sing it.

    Adieu, scribbler

    • I learned so much in just a few hours — the joys of having books that will provide you with words that rhyme and the fact that you can shorten and elongate words to make them fit a melody — it is really lots of fun
      I will never ever sing my own work though, do not want to scare people

      • Well, I will certainly have to try and find these books. I should probably some books on singing as well. And maybe a vocal coach 🙂

        Adieu, scribbler

  2. Now you can add songwriter to your list of accomplishments. Adam will be proud of his mom.

  3. Wow, you are one busy lady!! I am very impressed :).

  4. That sounds like a fun workshop! Glad you enjoyed it and learned from it. I will be listening to the radio for your greatest hit on the charts! 🙂

  5. Can’t wait to sing along to your next post! 😉

  6. I love that line – the only thing I can play is the radio – I’ll have to borrow that line sometime. 🙂

  7. How wonderful!

  8. what a cool workshop!
    I will wait to hear your words on the radio!
    great post Lou!
    take Care

    • maybe I will be able to “play” myself on the radio

      • you will !
        I just got a feeling!

      • I like that “feeling”

      • from what I read of you and your words Lou

        you can do..manifest anything your heart desires…
        powerful energy running through you…
        Yep I will be waiting !

      • I am going back to bed, as it is 2:25 a.m. but your words will give me sweet dreams

      • I’m headed to dream land too
        Sweet Dreams of music by You!

  9. That is such a skill to have you artist 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  10. Sounds excellent….I do love a workshop 🙂


    • I know you do, I enjoyed it when you reviewed the ones you attended 🙂

      • Thanks honey 🙂

        The whole idea of being surrounded by like minded people is so inspiring isn’t it 🙂


      • most assuredly – it feels like being wrapped in creativity

      • What a lovely way to describe it, yes, definitely! 🙂


  11. Congrats on the new title! Will you be publishing review comments from your family? 😉

    • hmm- we will see- my eldest son is a Rock God who writes his own material, so I am not sure–I am going to share my newfound knowledge with him though

  12. Lou Ann — this sounds soooo great! I just wrote a post this morning about taking an adventure and getting out of your comfort zone. Looks like you are doing a spectacular job of that. Add songwriter to your list of things that describe you. That’s very cool. :).

    • I am going to go into my About right now and add songwriter of sorts to my list (beside poet of little merit).
      It is so odd–but I just read your post and thought to myself that I had had a little adventure–a little something out of my comfort zone this weekend–thank you for recognizing it. We really are on the same wavelength 🙂

  13. How cool! I’d love to take a course like this! I bet it was so much fun! Good for you! Will be ever hear it? 🙂

    • since it was collaborative — I should ask and see if I can give you a little bit of a sneak preview — I am sure they will be on all the radio stations soon (lol)

  14. Good for you for expanding your writing repertoire– and your mind!

  15. What a great idea, a songwriter’s workshop. Good for you for stepping outside your comfort zone (I wish I could). And the validation…icing on the cake of your life!

    • I was disguised as a “helper” as I was one of the organizers of the writers workshops, but I shed that when I became comfortable

      • Glad I’m not the only who does that 😉

      • we do what we have to in order to preserve what little pride we have left (lol)

  16. My hubbie plays guitar and would like to write music. It would be cool if I could help him with the lyrics.

    • one of the things we did in the workshop was write a poem that the leaders then made into a song — so think of it that way–only we had to rhyme which is a little out of my comfort zone, but they showed us that it was not all that hard

  17. Thank you for the ‘no rules’! But I would like to know how many verses there should be if there is to be a chorus. Our choir leader has asked me to write a song for our choir. I want to base it on something Cornish and am getting ideas together. Sounds like you had a lovely song writing session. 🙂

    • You must understand that I only went to a three hour workshop but I looked back at my notes and for a country or pop song this is what the leaders told us:
      bridge–usually sums up the whole song in one line
      songs are generally 31/2 minutes or less to get air play

      but because there are no rules, we were told that sometimes songs start with the chorus to hook the listeners faster

      • Thank you very much! I’ll bear all that in mind.
        Lovely to have had a conversation with you this afternoon. Good luck with that book! I hope you’ll still find time to call in to my blog from time to time 🙂

      • I will because I truly enjoy it!

      • Thank you 🙂

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