the first rule of song club
Published September 5, 2021
Imagine the sound of the Pixies, “Where is my mind?” playing in the background as you read…
1. The first rule of song club is…go ahead and talk about song club all you want.
Song club is all about community, so why wouldn’t you invite your friends?
2. You have everything you need to make a new original song today that is completely and uniquely yours.
This is true regardless of your past musical or songwriting experience or lack of it. If you don’t believe this, then at least take my word for it just for today. If you can talk, you can sing. If you can sing, you can sing a new song.
3. You have to finish your song in the time given.
Not finished as in, “I’m going to deliver it to the head of Sub Pop records for release.” Finished as in, “hell yeah, that’s a complete draft that I’ll be able to listen to over my coffee tomorrow.”
4. Everything you write is private.
Maybe you’ll decide it isn’t later. Write with the freedom that comes from not censoring yourself at all, simultaneously, write with the heightened vibration that comes with knowing that if you want to share this song later, you’ll have the opportunity. You can always change the names to protect the guilty later.
5. Write the worst crap ever made.
You have my blessing. This is writing practice and if you did end up writing the worst song in the history of songwriting, wouldn’t that be an amazing achievement worthy of celebration? We could hold it up to the heavens and look at it together in wide-eyed amazement.
6. Turn and face the strange.
When your writing starts getting weird, scary, emotional, or dangerous, this is good news.
7. First thought, best thought.
Really. No matter how mundane or distasteful, go with your first thought. Amendment to rule 7: as you are documenting the first thought, if a second thought occurs to you that pulls you even more, go with it, but don’t wait for it and never let yourself go on to the third thought.
8. Break the rules when the impulse arises as long as you keep writing.
Ha, it turns out that there really are no rules in song club.
9. Trust your intuition.
Always check your composition against how right it feels in your gut, not how clever you think it may be. The more you focus your attention on your heart and your gut, the more you will learn to trust the responses you have there.
10. If it’s your first time at song club, you have to write.
I couldn’t resist. Some days, Tyler Durden is my spirit animal.
Way out in the water, see it swimming,
for golden lotus studio
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