Austin, TX – Songwriting Workshop

Six String Ranch and Austin Vintage Guitars Present:

“Singing Your Story / Writing the Truth” — One-day songwriting workshop at 6-String Ranch
Saturday November 9, 2019
9:00am – 5:00pm
Austin, TX

“Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought”
— Yip Harburg (“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”)

Everyone has a story. With a roadmap, a few tips and tricks, and practice, you can write songs that communicate, that tell the truth, both to yourself and to others.
And I want to help you make that happen.

All levels of writers are welcome at this one-day workshop.
If you’re there, I assume you are already writing songs and want to get better.
We will look at how you can improve one of your existing songs and each participant will write a new song by the end of the day.

The workshop will cover:
– The basics – Verse / Chorus / Bridge / Melody / Structure
– Clarity in lyric
– The importance of meter and rhyme scheme
– Starting a song / Finishing the song
– Writing from your life – the importance of telling your story
– Creating writing projects for yourself
– Habits of a successful writing life
– Recognizing and building on your strengths as a writer

Throughout the day, along with working with the group as a whole, I’ll spend one-on-one time with each participant to discuss your process and on how to improve and achieve your writing goals.

Any questions on the workshop? Please send me a note at dardensmithmusic@gmail.com

Price – $260
Limited to 15 participants.




THE WATER TAP

My friend Gary Nicholson says he rarely gets writer’s block.
To him, it’s like a water tap.
If you turn it on every day, the tap works easily.
The water comes out clear.
Let it go a while — say, a couple of months,
Rust sets in and the water runs brown.
It takes a while before it runs clean.
 
Make something every day.
Turn the water on.
 
There’s a confidence that comes
From believing that when you turn that handle,
Something good is going to happen.
———
From “The Habit of Noticing: Using Creativity to Make a Life (and a Living)
Available in print, ebook and audiobook at www.dardensmith.com/store
Text and Photo © 2108 Darden Smith

ADVENTURE

ADVENTURE
Summer, 1994

I’m the opening act on Stevie Nick’s summer tour.
For the three months that we cross the country
I know that a two-year odyssey
Recording, travel, promotion and shows
Is coming to a close
And I’m worried.
I don’t have songs for a new record.
Not sure if I have anything to say.

Backstage at some amphitheater out west,
Maybe in San Francisco, or San Jose,
The drummer in Stevie’s band, Russ Kunkel,
Tells me I should go on an adventure,
Drive across the country,
Do anything to shake the trees.

What he’s saying is I need to
Get out of my mind.
See something new.
Go find the songs.

Shortly after that tour I go completely off the rails
With a divorce-money-career collapse
And I start to question who I am
As a man, a father, an artist.
But instead of running from the chaos, I dive down into it.
Writing, always writing.
And from those upside-down days
I find a whole new bag of songs,
A new vein to explore.

Over the next few years
I come to see that
The real adventure is inside the walls of my own house,
My own soul.
I stop hiding in my songs,
And start telling the truth.

Russ is right.
Sometimes we need to take an adventure,
Blow the carbon off the spark plugs,
Trick ourselves into seeing what’s really there.