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Connecting Songwriters Throughout Northeast Ohio

News And Updates

Volume 3 Issue 6

June 2019

The Little Things

Ken Moody-Arndt, President
Details! I don’t do “details” well; they have to be pointed out, singled out, and handed to me on the proverbial platter of precious metal. And it never ceases to amaze and perplex me, the details, the little things you come across in songs that can make such a significant difference: a ‘C’ in the bass of an F-shaped chord, wherever the capo may be; a D7, for heaven’s sake, in a song in the key of ‘C’—where in the world did that come from?

These are some of the little things I came across when I was taking a break from my own writing and trying to learn another writer’s song—a practice that comes highly recommended, as you all know, because of the little things we can pick up by “osmosis” when we study the songs of others. Little things that we all hear whether we consciously"hear" them or not, the little things that I could never, heaven help me, figure out for myself. These little things are what private lessons, workshops, magazine articles, and on-line song dissections can open my ears to—little things I would never pick up if trying to master a song solely by ear, little things that improve my own writing in a way that I could never manage on my own.
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"...right here, perched on our Songwriters Summit, we have “real musicians”—retired music teachers, people who had, and have, careers as professional performers, people who have simply been at this for decades."
All of the above—private lessons, a subscription to a good magazine devoted to your instrument of choice, YouTube videos (most of the time, anyway)—offer, at little to no cost, great opportunities to improve our practice of The Craft in small ways our audience will hear, small ways that will increase our own satisfaction with our practice of this art that has captivated us.

But wait! It gets better! Speaking of little to no cost, right here, perched on our Songwriters Summit, we have “real musicians”—retired music teachers, people who had, and have, careers as professional performers, people who have simply been at this for decades. They have expertise equal to what you can find among the various professional outlets named above, and they are here, right in front of us, at our meetings, most every month, willing and able to help your songs “sing” even more clearly. One more reason to come, enjoy the company of fellow musicians and songwriters, and ferret out and master the little things that will make our songs really sing.

See you on the 3rd!

Join Us For Our Next General Meeting
June 3rd at 7 PM
2 Girls Cafe & Bakery, Stow Ohio

Meeting Details

Have You Written A Winner?

Songwriter Contest Entry May 31st Deadline
This news comes to us via email from Acoustic Guitar Magazine. The 24th annual USA Songwriter Competition is open for entries until Friday. According to the announcement, 87 songs from their entries have made the Billboard charts and been used in TV shows and movies. Sponsors of the contest include names you know like D'Addario Strings, Magix and Audio-Technica and lest we forget to mention it there is a top prize of $50,000 in gear and cash.

Yes, there is an entry fee per song and rules and regulations you have to read through, but if you're interested you can
get all the information here. If you're going to enter you'll find the entry form at this link.

Good luck!


As summer fast approaches, it will soon be time for our Annual Songwriter Picnic. After taking last year off, we are resuming the festivities!

Our first annual picnic was July 4 weekend of 2005. We’ve only missed one year since then and we’ve always had a great time as we gather together as a musical community. Here’s how it works…

Soft drinks (bottled water and sodas), chicken wings, pizza, ice, paper plates, cups and utensils will be provided. B.Y.O.B and bring a covered dish/dessert to share if you can. Above all, bring your instruments and voices! Music abounds as we will gather in tents, on the back deck, the family room and the garage. (Electric instruments usually wind up in the garage)

Above that, the annual picnic gives you the chance to get to know your fellow songwriters in a relaxed setting with no meeting constraints.

When: Saturday, July 6th

Time: 1pm til"it’s over"

Where: Don’s House (email for address)

I hope everyone is ready for lots of Music, Food, and Friendship!

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Surviving A Song Critique

Bob Sammon
Often, on the first Monday of the month, many of us unpack a guitar and walk out in front of our gathered membership and offer up a song we've just written or one we've been struggling with. Sometimes it's a song we wrote years ago. On occasion it's something we're looking to get some help with. No matter. We bite the bullet, step in front of our peers and make our sacrifice to the Muse.

For a few minutes there is silence in the room as our words and melody reach our sister and brother creators. As the last chord and obligatory applause fade we look around the room to see who is going to be the first to offer up a comment or a critique that can have as much chance of helping as hurting. We know that there is no malice in the comments we hear. We understand that we are all gathered to advance the art of songwriting and to help each other get better at our craft. But we have just opened our hearts or bared our souls.
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Now what?

How we listen to the comments and how we take them to heart is the key to developing our talent and our writing skills. Recently
I found an article that just might help in sorting through the comments. Listening, respectfully, to all things our members have to share is important. Noting the ones that can help you improve your songs is vital. Realizing that we are all here for each other is key.

Personally, I look forward to hearing your next tune at our next meeting. In the meantime,
here's another look at the way to survive a critique. It seems to be a pretty popular topic.

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Grace Notes
Our Next Meeting
Our next meeting will be held at 2 Girls Cafe & Bakery, 3707 Darrow Road in Stow Ohio at 7 PM on June 3rd. If you are presenting a song please bring 30 copies for distribution to the other attendees. Copies will be returned to you at the end of the meeting. You do not need to be a member to attend a meeting or bring us a song.
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Officers And Board Members
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Ken Moody-Arndt

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Bob Sammon
Member At Large

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Don Henson

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Mike Urban
Member At Large

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Dave Waldeck
Recording Secretary

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Larry Davis
Member At Large

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David Palomo
Member At Large

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T. B. Announced, Jr.
Member At Large

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