I was a somewhat shy songwriter who was often scared to let anyone hear anything I had written because I had no-one to compare with or help me in my composition. After joining and participating in the Summit County Songwriter’s Circle, it gave me confidence to explore my creative capabilities. There were people from all walks of life and varying levels of musical experience who were willing to listen and to help critique and craft both lyrics and chordal progressions. I’m thinking overall, it gave me permission to explore all kinds of musical expression without setting limitations. In other words, it gave me much freedom to perform my own work.
- August 2015
What most impresses me about the Summit County Songwriters circle is the like-ability of it's membership. There are so many high quality people who are appreciative of creativity. I have a lyric in a song that goes "This is not the road I chose, but somehow I arrived, at a gentle place I need to be, a place of peace and decency, a place where struggling artists meet, a place for old poets like me." I feel comfortable when I attend the meetings and I enjoy listening to the songs and performances. Not all the members are old like me, but they all have old souls. Thanks Don and the other board members for all that you do.
- August 2015
Explaining the positives requires understanding negatives. Staring with the latter: At times I have been intimidated when presenting a new song to the group. It is mostly my fault. I wrote a song about time a while back and still struggle with how to present it musically. I knew it did not sound right. The only advice was to add chords...I guess isn't enough. Someone heard me working on the song (in another place) and said, the chords are ok, but you need more variety in the melody. My original was that time moves on no matter, like a marching soldier... even from a literary point of view not so good. However, now that I am thinking about the melody, I am making progress.
From a good point view, people are very understanding of a geezer who started playing guitar and writing songs at the tender of 68. Also, a couple people who have helped a lot noted these simple and easily applied ideas: When the song is finished ... play a chord and stop. Also, helped me improve my playing by noting simply this: "Keep time... the right hand rules in guitar, especially when strumming. I worked this and many folks have said "Hey you're improving."
Finally, there have been some challenges in the past year having nothing to do with music or songwriters that have required time.
You folks have a great concept.
Here's some ideas: Guest poets, teachers of music ad or students of music that can speak to the differences between writing a song and writing a song with music. Also, the workshops. One of the best for me was when I was working on a tone poem...I got little, but then someone showed me how to make the words work with a fairly simple chord progression using some 7ths.
- August 2015