A blog about songwriting and about the songwriter Luigi Cappel

Archive for the ‘musical gift’ Category

Weaving a story

Many people will tell you that there are 2 key ingedients in writing a great country song, the first is telling a good story and the other is roping you in so that you get emotionally involved in the story.

Today I received a ‘friend request’ on my MySpace page from Kirsty Lee Akers. Her voice sounded a little like Dolly Parton’s and that isn’t a bad thing. But this girl is from Australia and is totally her own person. She has some really good songs, covering a range of topics that show up her talents and belie her age, but one of them prompted me to stop what I was doing and really listen.

Any song that really makes you listen and can evoke emotions the way The Territory did in me, shows great talent. Kirsty Lee has a great voice, clear and crisp, but what stands out is the story which even without a great video is very moving. Another thing you should do is have your own website and hers is crisp, modern and yet you get the impression that she is sharing herself with you.

I recommend a close listen to each word for an example on how to craft a great song.

How to write a Christmas Song

I’ve noticed that a number of people who read my blog recently found me by putting in a search query on the search engine, asking how to write a Christmas song. They found me because of a blog I wrote back in August, saying that was the time you needed to write it.

That blog covered lots of topics you can write about, but I just wanted to add one for those of you who are now inspired. It’s too late to record something to go into a Christmas stocking unless you are burning it yourself, which is a good idea. You could also send a song as a Christmas present to your friends, family and fans as an MP3 Musicgram, which is a cool idea. This site allows you to upload songs and send them to a friend. I’ve tried it myself and it was very cool.

Anyway, I just wanted to add one very important point. If you disect the songs that populate the hit charts, you will find a major difference between the average singer songwriter song and the hits. That is that a hit song usually has a happy theme, like “I’ve got a new guy/girl and I want to tell the world.” “Now that I’ve found you”. “I’m in love”.

Many singer songwriters write about the one that got away and are being what Ralph Murphy calls the typical singer songwriter, a self indulgent writer who writes to get things off their chest (which is fine if that’s what you are after), but most people want to listen to songs that are uplifting and what more uplifting is there than “I’ve got you and that’s all I need for Christmas”. Think about the songs that you have on your stereo or listen to on the radio on Christmas Day to set the mood.

Sometimes you can do something a little more melancholy with a Christmas tone, but it probably won’t become a popular Christmas song. There are ways to add some special sentiment. For example in my song Another Stretch in Iraq, there is a mention as follows (about the tradition of sending miniature Christmas trees to the troops):

‘It’s Christmas time and the dessert is cold

My life is with the Army if the truth be told

They’ve got my back

My Mom and Dad sent a little Christmas Tree

They said that they were prayin for the boys and me……..’

Check out this list at Lyrics Vault for the top Christmas Songs of All Time and you will see that they are pretty much all uplifting happy songs full of Christmas Cheer. Of course there is a place for sad songs, but if you want to write a hit, write one in a major key with a lively beat and chuck a few sleigh bells in the chorus.

If you really want to be a little melancholy, you can still turn it into positive. Live Aid’s Do They Know Its Christmas did a great job of telling the sad story and what people could do about it into a happy one. It is just as popular today as when it came out in 1985.

watch?v=stNGHiscETo

MySpace and YouTube as a promotional tool

This may be old hat to you, but I’ve just started trying something new to me. I have a couple of videos on MySpace, which are basically slide shows of 2 of my songs, Only Memories Survive and Watch Me Daddy.

I’m trying to promote W atch Me Daddy because I want a great singer to pick the song up and I am also trying to market it as a song that I will edit (commercially of course, I am trying to forge a career as a songwriter) and turn into a new son that someone can give to my daughter. Wouldn’t you love your daughter to have her very own song?

Anyway, what I have started doing is when someone sends me a friend request, having listened to their songs and left a comment, I embed the song into my comment so they can watch the video and listen to it without having to go to my MySpace Page, where they can also of course watch it.

I’m doing the same when I leave a comment for an artist who I think will like the song. It’s not technical. All you need to do is go to your video on YouTube and copy the ’embed code’ which you paste into the comment.

Something else I have started doing is including a photo, like this one, into my MySpace comments. You will have seen that there is now an Add Photo command when you put comments onto someone’s page. It is a little confusing because you follow the instructions, click on the photo you want, but it is not obvious what to do next. All you do is click on the x to close the page and the photo is magically there.

Me, jammimg in Jamaica

Me, jammimg in Jamaica

Now if only they would fix the counter on my page. Last week MySpace changed the default music player. At first I had almost a thousand listens on my page and knew that was wrong, so I got them to fix it. But now it has stayed at zero for a couple of days and I know that is wrong too. Hopefully they will get it right soon.

Watch Me Daddy the song

This year has been a big one for me. In February I gave away my daughter’s hand in marriage, as they saying goes. I had the privelege of walking her down the aisle, playing guitar as she sang Shania Twain’s ‘From This Moment’ and bit my cheek as we walked through a crowd of friends and family who had no idea we would make such an entrance. There wasn’t a dry eye in the park.

The PA system provided by Earwig Studios, (where we recorded my daughter Gemma Cappel’s single ‘From Me To You’, performed perfectly under the sound engineering of owner, Darren McShane worked so well that noone realised it was live music until we came out from behind the camouflage of the Daimler limousine we arrived in.

2 weeks ago, said daughter became the proud mother of my first grand daughter, Madison Purvis. This was the background from which my song, ‘Watch Me Daddy’ was born.

I wrote the song, both for her and also for all fathers and daughters because the sentiments I felt, are common for most parents. Fathers and daughters traditionally have a special relationship, but often fathers aren’t great, especially as their daughters become teenagers, at telling them how much they love them.

So with the song, this is an opportunity to tell your daughter how much you care, as I did. The chorus is:

I miss those days but I can’t go back

I miss those days they flew by so fast

I wish that I could live them all again

But there are new memories being made

New pages being written every day

I miss the old days but I’m loving the new.

The rest of the song is about how our daughters want us to watch everything they do, all their little achievements, how they put on little shows for us when they are little and keep ‘performing’, wanting us to be proud of them, as we are, which goes on until adulthood, as the last verse:

I gave away my little girl today, you’re going to change your name.

With tears of pride I walked you down the aisle and you said

“Watch me Daddy, one more time” and I love you.

This song could be your song to your daughter and my offer is to rewrite the first one or 2 (of 3) verses to tell your story of your special relationship with your daughter and the things she did to make you proud. I’m offering my skills as a songwriter to help you give your special gift to your daughter. How many girls have their own song written specially for them. What a treasure. Isn’t that so much more memorable than a picture frame or a set of linen? Everyone who heard this song and watched the slide show had tears in their eyes and love it.

You could do your own slide show to your version, or I can make one for you from your digital photos. Drop me a line at luigicappel@gmail.com if you would like to discuss this. You can hear the song on my MySpace page and here is the video from Youtube.

Daddy’s Girl or songs for Daughters

On my other blog, I wrote about my song Watch Me Daddy and how the song came about. I actually wrote it on the wrong blog, so if you are interested you can read it there. I noted that lots of people found that blog when they were search for songs about Daddy’s girl, or songs from dads or fathers to daughters.

I’m not a fulltime songwriter yet but working towards it and this song struck a chord and brought tears to many eyes. The thought of someone writing a song to the daughter is something special and possibly even more so, being the father who so often in this world doesn’t show emotion.

I’ve been thinking about offering this song to other people in a modified version as a song they can give to their daughter and seeing as people seem to be looking for something special like that, I’m going to put it out there and see if this is something special they would like to give to their daughter.

I’ve been thinking about different ways I could do this. Here are some of my ideas and I’d welcome your thoughts. If one of these sounds like that special gift for your daughter who has recently or is about to get married, drop me an email andwe can talk about it.

The first idea is that you could send me a bunch of photos by email and I can create a slide show that you can give her, as well as something you or she could put on YouTube.

Another option is to do the same, but burn both the song and the slide show onto a CD with her photo on the cover.

Another option which could combine the above is to modify some of the words, i.e. you can tell me some special things about your daughter and I can rewrite part of the song to make it truly personal.

This song came from the heart and your version would too, from your heart, via my talent as a songwriter. This would be something special and unique. Something of far greater value for her to cherish, than most gifts.

So what do you think? Are you looking for that special wedding gift? If you are send me an email and we can discuss it.

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