Tag Archives: how to write song

Falling



Episode #54: Falling (Out The Back Of My Mind)   (Song at 5:50 and 28:28)

Last week I touched on the idea that the most important thing about songwriting is that you want to convey feeling. I do think it’s actually more important than the message. 

‘Falling’ is a song that fits that description to a ‘t’. 

A friend of mine listened to the song the other week. She got back to me, said it made it her cry. She wasn’t sure what the song was about…..but it got to her – she really liked it. 

Job done! As an artist you are looking for an emotional reaction. That’s number one…so, mission achieved. 

You’ll get to hear two versions of the song on this episode – a piano vocal version which has an air of fragility about the performance. Then at the end of the episode, you can hear the band version of the song. It’s interesting how you can start with the same melancholy feeling, but then you can take it all to another level with the right instrumentation – and the right band. 

Anyway. My plan each week is to put you in the shoes of a songwriter, give you an insight into where a song comes from. If this is your first visit here, thanks for dropping by. I aim for these episodes to be informative, relaxing and entertaining. I deliver the information in a manner that is hopefully appealing to both musicians versed in theory – and the layman, equally. You need no musical knowledge to follow the majority of what I’m talking about. 

Notice I haven’t mentioned much about what today’s song is about … It’s a mystery! But it was somehow ‘pressing’, insistent that I do my best to interpret some of the sounds, the images, the feelings that were coming through. 

Piqued your curiosity? I hope so. 

With the help of my piano, I play it live as I talk, I hope to shed some light on what’s going on with the song Falling. 

Join me now for song and a chat. Enjoy!

As usual, I have really enjoyed recording this episode. Once again the sense of mystery – the unquantifiable elements – of the creative domain take me on a merry dance. And it’s all good fun. 

YouTube Pete Pascoe Art and Music 

The Roughest Cut by Pete Pascoe and The Patient Hum (this is the Bandcamp link, but it’s streaming on all the usual platforms..Spotify, etc.

Www.petepascoe.wordpress.com  this is my blog, where you can view this week’s seascape painting, plus there’s lots more music and art here each week. 

The book I mention in this episode is : by the Pixar boss, great piece of extremely clear writing, describing how people can communicate extremely clearly and powerfully and productive lay in the right group of supportive, open people. It’s like being in a band… 


Talk In Riddles



Episode #52: Talk In Riddles

It’s an interesting thing for me to consider how I came to be a songwriter. It’s not something I really set out to be, but listening to the likes of Elton John, Neil Young and Neil Finn, something sparked in me. And it burst into flame and its still burning strong after all this time. 800 songs later and I’m still enjoying the whole process very, very much.
This is song #283, from 1993. I see I wrote the lyrics in Auckland, NZ.  This was the week I went to see Suzanne Vega in concert.The producer of her great album, 99.9 Fahrenheit, Mitchell Froom, was on keyboards. He produced crowded houses first 3 albums. He is now the keyboard player for Crowded House – they are on tour in New Zealand currently. Playing Palmerston North soon at the beautiful Regent Theatre.
Today I listened online to an interview with Mitchell Froom, who was talking about his role as keyboard player for Crowded House. I find that on the same day I pick a out the song I wrote the week I saw him perform in NZ to be a cool coincidence.
https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018786468/crowded-house-keyboardist-s-arrival-35-years-in-the-making
Incidentally, I was lucky enough to play keyboards in concert with Neil Finn for a show on one of his solo tours…it was by invitation ….at the Regent Theatre in Palmerston North, New Zealand years ago….a great experience.
These last few weeks, I’ve been listening to Crowded House on Neil Finn’s online fang radio show. They’ve been presenting unplugged versions of the songs on their albums to date and talking about how the recordings happened. It’s been great.
https://www.fangradio.com/
But I digress – quite decidedly so. That’s a little bit how I roll on these episodes. The more I talk instinctively, the more the mysterious threads all fall together and ( mostly) crystallise into something quite clear.
Any how, I’m talking in riddles here….
The song was a reaction to unclear communication between myself and a potential romantic interest. It was a growing time for me.
Songwriting is a really therapeutic thing. But you want it to be more than just therapy… It’s gotta be a step on from that, so it’s art.
So today, as usual, I look at the lyrics and the music and talk about how the song came together.
I’ll also take you fishing on a small stream in Victoria, Australia. I’ve just returned from a camping trip at the foot of the mountains and it was bliss.
I painted a picture of the stream – it’s on my blog – so are the lyrics to today’s song. You can find them here each week: www.petepascoe.wordpress.com
Have I piqued your curiosity? I hope so. Sit back and have a listen.
I hope you enjoy today’s episode.
More here: www.petepascoe.comwww.petepascoe.bandcamp.com Youtube: Pete Pascoe Art and Music
+ spotify, apple music, insta, etc


Unzipped Heads



Episode #51: Unzipped Heads  (Song at 5.40)

Hi there, welcome to another episode! 

This week’s song is a bit ‘mad’ in a slightly wild sort of way. It came from looking at a picture of a pig which my wife had put on the fridge door. I thought I’d have a bit of fun. So straight away I felt like I’d give it an up sort of swung feel in the chorus…

It’s a great idea to try different styles – and we can open our minds by listening to all sorts of songs (being guided by artificial intelligence as to what we might like to listen to on streaming services really concerns me, but that’s another subject. Songs and art in general are about something much more subtle than what ( I hope) a computer algorithm could ever perceive). 

Each week when I flick the mic on, I explain some of the steps I take as a songwriter as I compose – without attempting to sort of take away the mystery about the process.

There are simple steps to take along the way to writing a song, but there’s certainly no ‘one’ path. 

If this is your first time here, thinking about having a listen, I hope you enjoy listening to some new music and chat that goes on around it. 

In the past, I have presented these sorts of episodes with a live audience and it’s been great fun doing that. I’m looking forward to doing more over those sort of gigs, once we get back out gigging again, here in Melbourne.

In my studio, as I talk about whatever comes into my mind, I’ve got my audience firmly in mind. I keep it light, entertaining and informative. Lots of casual asides, anecdotes, life observations, etc…

This podcast is something that’s really ‘clicked’ for me, personally. Over time I may refine what I’m up to here, but for I’m enjoying the whole process.

I also play some piano as I talk, to demonstrate what I talking about. 

If you enjoy this episode, there plenty more where this came from.

If you’d like to see more about what I’m up to as a song-writer and artist…( seascapes and cartoons), check out my blog petepascoe.wordpress.com .Each week there’s a new painting and cartoons, etc there. Plus links to more of my music. I have 13 albums up online – solo and with others. ..

Please do sign up to my email list- email me at info@petepascoe.com …what do you get ? You’ll get to hear about new albums, videos, paintings, exhibitions and gigs…and you’ll receive a free sampler album from my www.petepascoe.bandcamp.com ( 13 albums here). I also have about 6 albums on Spotify, Apple, etc…

Anyway, today let’s see where that pig on the fridge took me. 

Thanks for having a listen.


Climbing Mountains



Episode #50: Climbing Mountains   (Song at 6.08)

Welcome to another ‘songwriter speaks’ episode. In fact, (Ta dah!!! ) this is my 50th episode. I really look forward to turning the mic on, having a chat and sharing a song (a demo) each week.

You can check out this week’s song on YouTube ( Pete Pascoe Art and Music ) too – I videoed myself singing and playing 14 songs on Valentine’s Day ( I went ‘live’ for the 1st 5 songs on Instagram). I particularly liked the version of this song. So I thought I’d look it at it for this episode.

The lyrics are about someone who’s doing it tough. The title came from a book about Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climbing Mt Everest. I started with that title, then the thought of this person came strongly to me. Empathy appears to be a big part of being songwriter, if you are looking to engage a listener.

As I say, this person was really struggling, so: climbing a mountain? How about actually making to the kitchen table, for a start.
The result is a supportive sort of a lyric, ‘we are there for you’ sort of tone, while hopefully being in encouraging in a ‘You’ve got this, you’ll get through it’ sort of way – ‘but I want you to know, you’re not alone’.
I wrote this song in 2016. It seems apt for now with so many people struggling around the world with covid -19
The music is slightly unsettling (intentionally so in the verses). It gets moving in the mid sections, then it’s warm and predictable in the choruses  – and ultimately reflective at the end.
It is such good fun writing songs. You really tune into a creative realm and it seems to be collaborative effort. It’s fascinating to me.
Anyway, if I’ve piqued your curiosity, grab a cuppa, sit back and and I’ll guide you through the process in a relaxed, inclusive manner including a look at the lyrics.
If you like new music, check this episode out – and then there’s another 49 to go back and listen too! Or if you’ve been with me for a while now, thanks for tuning in each week. I hope you enjoy today’s podcast.
Don’t forget, the lyrics are on my blog www.petepascoe.wordpress.com


In My Own Time



Episode#48: In My Own Time – (Song at 7.38 & 20.35)

Sometimes the cliche of ‘a dark time in a life being the time where seeds can be planted and eventually grow into something new’….happens. 

This is what happened with In My Own Time. 

One dark night long ago, I wrote down exactly the thoughts that came into to my mind- stream of consciousness style. 

The music does reflect the mood of those words. But there’s an underlying sort of uplifting lilt that comes through, almost despite myself. It seems to be an ongoing theme in my at and music – I will generally offer something that is ultimately uplifting. 

But it’s true. The artist’s pain can become something that gives people pleasure, that’s just one of the great things about the arts. 

In this episode, I also include some of the version the band eventually recorded. It’s quite ‘up’. So much so, it became the song we played first at all our gigs for a few years.

Here’s where you can hear the whole song ( and the album ‘This World Offers You) https://petepascoe.bandcamp.com/music

So from the dark night of the soul, something has grown and it has lasted. 

No matter what you’re up to, if you’re on a path, following a passion, never give up. Just keep moving and you’ll get through. 

In this episode, I also play a quick snippet of a song ‘Unwind’. I recorded an instrumental version of it today. You can see the video on YouTube at Pete Pascoe Art and Music 

Any artistic path has its rocky parts. You’ve just got to be determined – and perhaps a little mad – to see it through at times. When I wrote these lyrics, I wasn’t exactly on top of the world….and this week, on Sunday, I painted a picture at the beach. It was a really rough day. Very moody colours, but I had a job just hanging onto my canvas, let alone getting paint in the right places. But I got there! 

I’m loving sharing my songwriting tips, ideas, etc… Each week, I look forward to recording an episode for this podcast. I record my spoken voice the way I rewrite my lyrics: I shoot from the hip, go with instinct and sense of exploration – and I have fun. Actually that’s not a bad recipe to keep in mind when you’re trying to get into the creative zone required to do anything in the arts. 

Ok, I hope you enjoy this episode as much a I enjoyed recording it. 

If you do enjoy it, there’s 40 odd episodes to discover. Please do follow me here..and spread the word! 

See more on petepascoe.wordpress.com. Links to art and music there. 

Enjoy! 


I Wish



Episode #47: I Wish  (Song at 5.44)

If you had one thing you could wish for, what would it be?

There are people that come into your life, sometimes very briefly, who just seem to have the words to say that are exactly what you need to hear at that time of your life.

It’s a knack these people have. They are generally great listeners. They don’t say much, but what they do say is worth listening to. 

I think they are generally very empathetic people, they keep an eye open where they can help out quietly, without making a song and dance about it. 

Years a ago, I met a bloke briefly at a restaurant where I was the piano man. At the end of the evening, he waved me over to his table and we had a great conversation. 

I think he could tell I was driven, passionate and finding my way as a young fella. 

At the concierge, he left me a list of books he’d read and enjoyed, with some comments. But that evening, he looked me straight in the eye and said ” If there was one thing in the world you could wish for, what would it be?”

I went back to my hotel room and wrote this song, based on his words. 

Looking back, I think he was giving me a gentle nudge to keep me on track, to support me as I followed my dream of being a songwriter and performer. 

I’m still on that path today. 

Today was a great day, peaceful, and beautiful by the water. I painted a picture of the pier at Mornington – you can see it on this week’s post my blog www.petepascoe.wordpress.com -lots of art and music on this blog – and you can find the lyrics to ‘I Wish’ at the end of the blog post. Each week I put the lyrics to the podcast song of the week on my blog post.

So if you like reading along, maybe open up the blog before you start listening and read along once I start singing. You could also follow my blog! Or sign up to my email list – I’d love that – write to me at info@petepascoe.com

What would I wish for? Tune in and find out….enjoy! 


Girl Called Insomnia



Episode #45: Girl Called Insomnia   (Song at 7.45)

Hi there and welcome to another episode. This week I’ve done something different: I’ve found an episode I recorded quite early on in proceedings, which I forgot about.

It was fascinating for me to listen back to an ‘old’ episode – there’s been much that I’ve changed, interns of presentation, energy, etc.

But the thing is, the idea, the premise of providing entertainment, song analysis and funny stories was there at the start – and those key elements are still the focus as we are up to the mid 40 episodes published now.

It would’ve been a shame had I not published this episode. There’s a lot of information here…

When songwriting being determined is so important. Sticking with it, learning as you go along, asking questions to find your path. There’ll be false starts…

I think you can apply this to pretty much anything in life. On this episode I talk about brief jobs I had (in a pet shop & a piano shop). I can certainly apply this concept to my ‘evolution’ as I’ve gone along, recording these episodes.

I also talk about arranging a song, multi tracking, making intuitive decisions as questions come up. The main thing is: is it good for the song? If so, it’s in. If not, it’s ‘outta there’!

The important thing is songwriting is a mysterious process. I won’t tell you how to write a song – but I’ll tell you how I write a song.

I hope you enjoy this week’s episode as much as I did, listening back today. It features song #17, from 1987!

By the way, I relate the time I auditioned for my 2nd (ever) piano man gig with Funeral For A Friend some years ago. Here I am on this video, playing it all these years down the track..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WXhcZa2tgs

Thanks for tuning in. Catch you next week.