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Mark Bacino

Guitar World Member For: 3 years 31 weeks
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Songcraft: Exploring "Chorus First" Song Structuring

The "chorus first" construct begins a song not with a typical intro or verse, but with what would be considered a tune’s chorus or refrain. Conventional composition dictates that we view the chorus as a sacred section best introduced later; a section that should be grown into, with the writer organically ratcheting up a song’s intensity and the listener’s interest through the gradual addition of “lesser” structural elements.

Songcraft: Add Some Music to Your Day

With this post, I’d like to discuss a somewhat disturbing condition I’ve observed over the years, one that seems to afflict a lot of my songwriting compadres. Believe it or not, sadly I’ve noticed … (He whispers) …many don’t actually listen to all that much music.

Songcraft: The Sonic Sketchbook

If your lyrical snippets and song title ideas are worth getting down, shouldn’t your random musical ideas, riffs and chord patterns be worthy of the same treatment? Why not keep a sonic sketchbook? As discussed in a previous Songcraft post, today’s technology can make capturing song ideas easier than ever.

Songcraft: Take Me to the Bridge

Revered by experienced tunesmiths but often overlooked by novice writers, the bridge, or the middle eight as some call it (derived from its typical, but not set in stone, 8-bar length), is a songwriting device/song section that’s traditionally used to change things up mid-tune, breathing new life into the structure of a song.

Songcraft: The Value of Listening

As songwriters (and human beings) we all want to be heard, but we also need to remember that our output is only as good as our input. Our creative engines need the fuel of inspiration, and that inspiration can only be absorbed when we’re listening and open to receiving it.

Songcraft: Found Sound Songwriting

When I first began writing songs, I pretty much felt new musical ideas could only be discovered with guitar in hand, sitting at the piano or, if lucky, via a melody I might have found myself absentmindedly humming. As time went on, I started to realize that little bits of sonic inspiration were actually everywhere, waiting for me to scoop them up, if I just kept my mind open to the prospect.

Songcraft: Rhythmically Inspired Songwriting

From its earliest uses as a primitive means of communication, to the party-down rave-ups of the modern dance club, it seems rhythm is as instinctual and natural to human beings as the pounding of arguably the world’s first beat box; our hearts. Harnessing that innate power of rhythm/beat as catalyst for inspiration can be very useful to us as writers (and a lot of fun, too). Here are a few ideas for using rhythm as a tool to help get your songwriting groove on.

Songcraft: Want to Write? Stop Writing

If you’re one of many disciplined writers who keeps to a daily schedule, great, hold to it. But if you find yourself hitting a wall, rather than trying to muscle through for schedule’s sake, forget it, go do the laundry. Now you may ask, why the laundry? It kind of smells bad. Can I do my bills instead? The answer is no. Your bills will make you think too much. Never underestimate the head-cleansing power of performing mundane, household tasks such as doing the wash.

Songcraft: Capturing Your Song Ideas

In this piece, I thought I’d share some thoughts on a few really simple tools I use on a regular basis to capture my song ideas. Let’s face it, inspiration doesn’t always strike when we’re sitting at home in front of the piano. The muse may call in the car, the plane or the Laundromat. As such, I find myself relying more and more on the only tool I always seem to have in pocket; my smartphone.

Songcraft: Performance Rights Organizations Explained

In this post, I thought I’d touch on the subject of performance rights organizations (PROs), what they do and why they’re important to us as songwriters. (I realize this topic might be a bit old hat for the seasoned songwriters among, us but stick around, fogies; there’s something for you at post’s end.)