Posts Tagged ‘Songwriter’

Song: I Will Call Out Your Name

Monday, October 26th, 2009

The great thing about Jesus is that he is faithful to us no matter what we do. All we need to do is call out His name and He hears us and responds to our requests. Even beyond that he is a true friend in times of need.

I Will Call Out Your Name

[verse]
Faithful and true are You my Lord.
Never ending is your love and devotion.
In times of trouble You are near,
Always ready with Your saving hand of grace.
And when I need someone I can trust,
Lord you are my strength and shield.

[chorus]
I will call out Your name when I need a friend.
I will call out Your name when I need a friend in my life.

[bridge]
I lift my hands
In praise to you Lord
For all that You have done.

[repeat chorus]

Words and Music by John Pape Jr
Copyright © 2003 The Mediatunes Project ASCAP
CCLI #Pending
All Rights Reserved
 

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Making Your Own Music: Songwriting Basics

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Never too late to start

Whether you are a teenager or are well into your golden years, it is never too late to explore your creative side, especially if you are interested in music. Songwriting is an excellent way to express your thoughts and feelings and to communicate them to your friends and family, even if you have no aspirations of musical fame or fortune. If you are interested in selling or performing your songs, however, you should be aware that it is a hard road and that very few songwriters achieve great fame or fortune, and especially not instantly. Nonetheless, if you have realistic expectations, you will find that writing music is a worthwhile experience whether it is a hobby or a profession.

Getting Started

People write songs in many different ways. Some writers compose the music first, while others first write the words. For some, the words and the melody come to them at the same time, while others write the melodies first and write the words last. No matter what order you are comfortable with, you will eventually have to decide what the song is about. There are a variety of different types of songs ranging from songs that tell fictional stories to songs that communicate deep personal feelings.

Begin with a story

If you decide to write a story song, a good first exercise is to write about a news story or about something you’ve read in the newspaper. That way you can use your first song to hone your word choosing skills without the pressure of coming up with your own story. However, if you already have an idea for a story to tell, you can write it out in poem form and try to make appropriate rhymes and structures that help communicate what happens in the song.

Emotions are good

Because music is so expressive, many songwriters use their compositions to express how they feel, whether it be about a person or a situation or even geographic location. Writing these types of songs can be highly personal, so every person does it differently. When you have a strong feeling about something, write it down in a notebook and come back to it later. You might think of a good line that expresses an emotion really well, and if you remember it you might be able to build an entire song around it. Having quiet time to think is always helpful when you are trying to write a song.

Adding the music

Writing the actual music for a song can be done in many different ways depending on your musical prowess and your focus. If you write mostly to communicate words, then a few well-chosen guitar chords might be all of the accompaniment you need. However, if you a instrumental virtuoso, your approach to writing music will be quite different. Many people think of a musical idea and play it over and over again until they think of a melody. Often times, songwriters will construct whole pieces, melody and all, without even knowing what the song is going to be about. Once the melody is complete, the writer will sit down and think about lyrics that fit the feeling behind the music and will go from there.

Share your song with others

Once you have put together your words and music, you might feel the need to perform your new song. It is always a good idea to play for friends and family first before trying to play to a crowd. When you feel comfortable enough playing your song, you should consider visiting an open mic night at a local coffeehouse or bar. At open mic nights, songwriters can play one or more of their songs to an appreciative and attentive audience. Performers can discuss their craft with other writers, making it a fun way to learn more about the writing process.

Some resources to help you

  • Thesaurus
  • Rhyming dictionary
  • Notebook/journal
  • Musical Instrument

Chris Tomlin

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

“When I write songs, I try to write in a way to reach as many people as I can, to be a lighthouse versus a flashlight,”
— Chris Tomlin

One of my favorite songwriters is Chris Tomlin. He is an incredibly gifted songwriter. I find that his insight and ability to craft worship songs that ministry to the body of Christ amazing. He is highly influential in today’s Church as we sing many of his songs. I wanted to take some time to take a look at his life and accomplishments.

Chris Tomlin is one of the leading worship and praise songwriter within contemporary Christian music. Not only is he a gifted songwriter he is also an excellent singer. He has written many popular songs that are being used worldwide in the church worship services. According to Christian Copyright Licensing International’s (CCLI) list of the top 25 worship songs in the United States as of February 2009, Tomlin held 6 spots with songs he has either written or co-written with other songwriters:

#1 How Great Is Our God
#7 Forever
#8 Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)
#9 Holy Is The Lord
#14 Jesus Messiah
#18 We Fall Down

Chris was born in Garland TX in 1972. He grew up listening to country music and his father taught him to play the guitar. When he was nine, Chris accepted Jesus Christ as his savior. When he was only 14 he wrote his first praise song.

Chris Tomlin attended Texas A&M and became active in a Bible study group called Breakaway. The leader of that group was a pastor named Louie Giglio. Chris eventually became a worship leader for the group as well as performing his own compositions. The group Breakaway became Passion and ministry that ministered on college campuses. Chris’ pastor Louie started a record company Sixstep of which Chris became one of the first artist signed to the label.

As Tomlin’s songs and recordings found a wider audience, he was nominated for two Grammy Awards for his 2006 album See the Morning, but the songwriter continued to emphasize that his mission was more important than his own music.

Dove Award

  • 2005: Praise and Worship Album of the Year – Arriving
  • 2006: Song of the Year – “How Great Is Our God
  • 2006: Male Vocalist of the Year
  • 2006: Artist of the Year
  • 2006: Special Event Album of the Year – Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • 2006: Worship Song of the Year – “How Great Is Our God
  • 2007: Artist of the Year
  • 2007: Male Vocalist of the Year
  • 2007: Worship Song of the Year – “Holy Is the Lord”
  • 2007: Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year – See the Morning
  • 2007: Special Event Album of the Year – Passion: Everything Glorious
  • 2007: Praise & Worship Album of the Year – See the Morning
  • 2008: Male Vocalist of the Year
  • 2008: Worship Song of the Year – “How Great is our God
  • 2009: Worship Album of the Year – Hello Love
  • 2009: Special Event Album of the Year – Passion: God of This City

Books

Chris Tomlin, The Way I Was Made: Words and Music for an Unusual Life, Multnomah, 2004. ISBN 978-1590523278

The Way I Was Made: Words and Music for an Unusual Life

Discography

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