In this post:
- Bill Evans on the creative process and self-teaching
- Dracula, Jesus, and Marilyn Munroe: Nick Cave’s influences
- 113 Song Forms to Try
- The Common Mistake That’ll Grow Hair on Any Guitarist’s Palms
Bill Evans on the Creative Process and Self-Teaching
Bill Evans is a musical legend. On a whim, he’d change the chords to the melody to bring out different feelings from it, change the rhythms for dramatic effect, and alter the melody itself by adding, subtracting, rearranging, and replacing notes. Thanks to his intense studies, Bill Evans enjoyed the kind of creative freedom and musical fluency that we songwriters dream of. In this televised interview with his brother Harry Evans circa 1965, Bill drops bombshell after bombshell about the learning process, the creative process, and more. This is such essential viewing that I’ve actually transcribed most of the video for my own learning purposes. Brew a cup of coffee, or whatever you’re into, and settle in for 45 minutes of practical, inspiring wisdom from one of the 20th century’s best musicians.
Dracula, Jesus, and Marilyn Monroe: Nick Cave’s influences
Songwriter, author, and screenwriter Nick Cave has drawn inspiration from: actresses, altarpieces, novels, jazz masterminds, classical composers, flowers, blues singers, film directors, singer-songwriters, poets, and punk bands. Check out this eclectic list of influences Nick wrote on hotel stationary and remind yourself that a songwriter can be inspired not just by fellow musicians, but by anyone. Anything. Anywhere.
113 Song Forms to Try
Tom Waits has called song forms “Jello molds for music”, and I’ve got to agree. If you have trouble finishing songs, this list of finished forms can give you some ideas on exactly what kind of song you’re trying to finish.
The Common Mistake That’ll Grow Hair on Any Guitarist’s Palms
This is a trap that can stunt your growth as a musician: playing what feels and sounds good to you. In this post for Guitar Muse, I argued in favor of a simple but profound mindset change that can break you out of ruts so you can grow as a musician again. I wrote this post for Guitar Muse about three years ago now, but the advice found here still holds up. I myself needed to hear it again.