Glenn Pattison / Blog

SAC Wrap up Matt Dusk

So it's almost over :( I had a super time this last 6 weeks. This week was very busy with 2 songs due, I hadn't looked at my song for Matt Dusk since week 1 and it still needed work, so I was working on the lyric early in the week for a couple of days and was thinking -real long shot - if it's done I could see if a studio could do it up but Friday Lunch time came around and that was not looking likely someone would be able to squeeze that in. ( I didn't even ask) So I worked on it myself in my SAC Challenge style singing it on the last day and posting 10 minutes before the deadline. This song was written for Matt Dusk as my take was he was looking for a bit of a groove the band and audience could have fun and move to. this was my 3rd song for him and I liked it.I'm pretty happy with how it turned out - though I'm usually taking 6 months to write a song. The Challenge was just amazing, amazing, amazing!!! Thanks to Lily Cheng, the organizer for SAC and Debra Alexander, James Linderman our coaches for 6 weeks who listened to hundreds and hundreds of songs. I learned many things. I need to improve my recording skills, find some singers to sing my demos, how to fine tune my rewrites better, I did know songs selected were radio quality and I'm ok with that. I was so busy trying to keep up, it was really hard get to know peoples music but I tried the best I could. I had a nice co write with Melanie from Manitoba. I learned 1 week is short for meeting someone and writing a song and recording it. It's really hard to put down all I learned there was just so much. It was really amazing to see so many great songs and songwriters, all with different talents. I will stay tuned to the facebook group and keep up with some of the people I'm starting to get to know Here is my song for Matt Dusk - thanks for tuning in! https://soundcloud.com/glenn-sounds/i-just-want-you-baby

Merry Merry Christmas!

Week 6 SAC Challenge was from Vincent Degiorgio to write a Christmas song. This week was pretty busy as we were also to finish our song for Matt Dusk and post it on Tuesday. So I hadn't done anything on the Matt song since week one. Opened up and had to do quite a bit of work on it and I hadn't started on the Christmas song till, I believe Sunday morning ( actually I did have something Saturday but I didn't use it) I came up with something I'm happy with and was able to get a half decent recording for me anyway :) have a listen https://soundcloud.com/glenn-sounds/merry-merry-christmas


This week 5 challenge is from Jordan Howard to write a song for a TV show, similar to emotion and sound to a song called "To Be Alone by Hozier. The show was described as a 19th Century Dexter Series. I normally don't write dark songs but lets see what we can do! I chose to go with the Hozier acoustic version and I used some tricks from our Musical Coach - James Linderman. He has some amazing tricks - I layed down a drone guitar pedal and a track to get the right tempo (although I think I changed it. I wanted to throw in something odd so I put a couple bars of a 7 beat rythm ( I actually had some singing to the seven beat but had to change at 6pm Monday when it just didn't sound right :( I had another small bit of Raag Bhairav on guitar in there but cut that as well - but I can always put it back in if I ever do another mix. The lyric was another painful exercise, in the end I had something finished but not enough time to really shape it and check all the rhymes to really finish it. Uploaded with 5 minutes to spare! Check it out ( it's a bit creepy) https://soundcloud.com/glenn-sounds/watching-you

Get it Together

Week 4 SAC challenge was to write a Edgy Country Pop song for a male 20 year old. This week I did a co-write with Melanie Magnifico. we got off to a fast start I think the Tuesday and I thought no problem we are on this very fast. So I started researching edgy country and Sam Hunt comes up listen to his tracks and story - he does a kind of Rap R&B fusion with Country and that's where I'm headed. So Mel had this title Lost in the city and it started things going, we had some words, but let me tell you for me - this song did not want to take a shape. mostly it came together but we didn't really finish the lyric till Sunday and I was a little panicked (did you feel it Mel? :) it all worked out. We both made a version and I must say at first I assumed I would do more as I thought I would sing it, but Mel is quite good on Her own and Hey - why not have a Female version as well. The song reminds me of Uncle Cracker kind of Country and a little Rap. It's hard to complete a song in 1 week. My studio skills are getting better I believe but no substitute for a real studio and good singer. My singing is far from demo singing quality but I do know that and this week taught me I need to have a bunch of singers I can work with. Also need to work on my recording skills, even if a simple song presentation. our new Challenge came in and it is to write for a TV show a song sounds like .... Here is our week 4 song, Hope you enjoy it! https://soundcloud.com/glenn-sounds/lost-in-the-city

Technical Difficulty **#"

Week 3 on the SAC challenge - This week's challenge was from Heather Gardner of Vapor Music: Write a song at least 60 seconds long for an Ad spot featuring a child, with playful music that captures the spirit of a child. Tuesday our internet went out for 3 days and it was hard to get much done. There was a terrible problem I created by trying to change my music file and the link not working on our SAC blog link. So I had nothing done and it was Friday and I came up with 2 different bit of music. Then I had this little Do Do Do thing with one of them that I couldn't get out of my head and it turned into Imaginary world but just with the verse and Do Do Do thing, then out of nowhere came this Imaginary world chorus pretty much just like it is. What I Learned this week: How to replace your file!!!!! Also there was some discussion about a fellow Songwriter's song and I commented that it was hard for me to process the words and I figured things have to flow eg: I walk, I open the door, I walk through the door, I close the door. I'm not saying I did that well, in my lyric but to some degree. I did have fun on this one and am happy with the kooky rhyme scheme I came up with. I was at about 35% singing shape and My wife also helped out and I thought it sounded better with the both of us in it. Hope you enjoy it https://soundcloud.com/glenn-sounds/imaginary-world

Low Medium and Up

So this is week 2 of the SAC challenge and this week was from hit Producer Rob Wells. Write for Selena Gomez/ Demi Lovato style Smash Pop song. I came up with one piece which was OK and I also woke up from sleep and had something playing in my head ... I'm falling so I went with this one (this was the LOW). I didn't like the falling theme so I changed it to I'm waiting (this was The Medium) I posted the Lyric to the Facebook group and got some good suggestions from other writers and Debra Alexander our coach - who is a great and very encouraging! She actually turned a mistake into a chorus :) I tried but I couldn't quite hear the rhythm Debra had in her head. I didn't like the waiting title and wanted something more upbeat. I liked some of the things going on in the lyric and came up with another chorus "I'm Up and I'm Down With You" (That's the UP :) There was no time for feedback. Which was a fantastic experience BTW I was off to Niagara falls with friends for the weekend. Glenn is playing with Lyrics on his Iphone. Practicing with his wife on the drive back so Gita - My wife can sing it so I am done. It all worked out. I have learned so much these last 2 weeks. Can't wait for #3 challenge. I am working very hard to stay ahead of the game. I have up loaded to sound cloud with Lyric in the description. https://soundcloud.com/glenn-sounds/im-up

Catching a Groove

Hey everyone! This is my first week of the SAC (Songwriters Association of Canada) challenge where we are given 6 tasks to write a song every week and blog about our experience of the week. I was so happy SAC put this together and was up early to register. Monday morning the first challenge came in as a video from Matt Dusk (Crooner) and guidelines for a type of song we could try writing for his up coming CD along with 5 reference tracks. What I got out of it was a groove song the band and the audience could have fun with, some tracks had a sexy vibe, I'm thinking RB, hip hop, Soul. "Forget the crooning" Matt said. He's looking for younger audience to add to his fan base. I tried to listen to everyone's music and make some connections on the Facebook group But no co write for this song, but i have made some connections. So I am just writing new music for this challenge and I actually wrote a couple semi finished songs a couple days before to warm up and I think the one I am working with happened the Sunday night before the start. I was not thinking it was fitting so I wrote another and then I analyzed the reference tracks again. The Big Bang, Pumped up Kicks and Get Lucky. Elements I found were very Droney, Repetitive and Loopy and Minor Stuff. I come up with some Minor Loopy thing, No - too Dark. Then a Major Groove, No. Then a Obladi Obla da kinda thing was happening and - No way that is too goofy - but really catchy! :) - No Back to the first from Sunday night - chorus is there - Broken Record theme: split up, I miss you Let's get back together. But the verses were not coming at all. Then I thought it put him in a negative light, so I changed it to New Love & I miss you theme. Then I came up with some verses and I have a very good rough song just needing a bridge. All in all 6 great developments and 5 to work on later. I'm looking at having a studio demo it. Good first week!

Week 6 Final week

After last week this has been a pretty easy week. Pat showed us to look at each line to see if it is balanced or unbalanced and for the balanced lines we can put them on the beat, sounding more mater of fact and the unbalanced lines we can try putting them on the back beat. He showed us a great example with the journey of one of his songs after recording and looking over it deciding to work on the phrasing and how we can A/B test to see which is better.

Our assignment was to look over our week 5 assignment and decide which lines are front heavy and which should be back heavy and record again.

Here is the link with lyric https://soundcloud.com/glenn-sounds/bo-diggs-2

I was finding with my song it was working better to break it into bars and put small phrases back heavy. I also put the 2nd chorus back heavy to add suspense to where the story is going. I would never think of doing that before but hey! it's an exercise.

Really enjoyed the course - soooo much!! and being part of the SAC face book group - seeing different peoples work and processes.

week 5 Pat Pattison Course

wow! what a killer week There was so much to learn this week it was hard to keep up and I got a good start! We learned how to develop a song from a title using a worksheet for rhymes to help focus. The idea is to pick 9 main words that would work well with the song concept and find 10 rhymes for each of the 9 key words. Then develop a groove for the chorus or title. then build on that and build the song. Also Pat went into how we can use stable and unstable notes in the melody 1,3,5,8 being stable and 2,4,6,7 being more unstable.

Our Assignment was to develop a song using 3 box approach and develop a worksheet of rhymes to work with, using stable and unstable concepts. We have to post our box development, worksheet and recording with lyric.

What Happened

I wrote a great song - it was very complicated - I wasn't so sure about the song for the exercise. I wasn't feeling so good about the worksheet, it's a bit mental - maybe use as a rewriting tool.

I wrote another song - really great too - now I'm using the worksheet more as I wrote this one but this one is again too complicated for what I want to do this week. maybe I should write a children s song?

I see Pat has lyric and melody of sheet music - I want to do that. I just started using musescore a couple weeks ago so I attempt it on song #2 Still not very happy - I look at the development of the title - it sucks - oops! i didn't use the 3 boxes

I want to write another but it's now the weekend I end up writing another song Tuesday and I'm playing with musescore to make sheet music so I can scan the melody. Song is simple and works out. I am now really getting more used to the boxes and worksheet and I find it's helping.

This week I'll never forget - I put my whole song in sheet music - a first for me!

Song title - See You Later my friend

Box 1

2 friends work together after fight the friend says

See You Later my friend

Box 2

Singer sees friend later on in the year, the friend's wife is sick and he needs some money

but singer has none to give

Friend says - See you later my friend

Box 3

singer hears the friend hads died, singer thinks back on friendship and says

See you later my friend

Worksheet Work sheet

see - free, key, knee, sea, ski, seek, peek, seen, seen, been, lean

Goodbye - black eye, drop bye, small fry, tough guy, a while, unkind, sometimes, realize, suicide, goodnight

later - greater, traitor, waitor, dictator, walker, stopper, keeper, beeper, wait, hate, date, saber

my - buy, eye, why, right, lie night, bite ripe, bike, white

view - chew, flew, knew, shoe, shoot, boot, booth, oops!, goof, volume, you

work - clerk, jerk, lurk, smirk, birp, surf, turf, earth, worth, search

pass away - buffet, sick pay, x ray, wide awake, make a cake, what a fake, for your sake, ate a steak, at the wake

friend - lend, spend, bend, bent, cent, hem, gem, them, bench, spent, then, end, when

diggs -wigs, pigs, dig, bid, hid, hit, pick, quick, wit, pit, did, dig, twig, gig, figs, cigs, jig, kicks, licks, sick, big, jig

Lyric is on soundcloud


Week 4 Pat Pattison Course

After week 3, I thought this was generally a much easier week. I really like the video's and Pat's teaching style. This week was about preserving the natural feel of language. We went into how language is made of words and stresses on syllables that have a natural melody built in. I use a lot of this when I write but when you go into something in detail - sometimes it shows how much you don't know!! ( me:) Our assignment was to use our week lyric and map out the stresses then set the lyric to a beat. I was not inspired with music on last weeks exercise and this week I just talked the stresses on the beat. good exercise but I think it sounds totally robotic. Now I'm moving onto week 5 as there is about 20 video's to watch/