I spend Saturday teaching and putting everyone through exercises, give homework, and review the results Sunday from 10-12. I spend the rest of the time Sunday doing critiques of students' work, with a special eye to applying the principles of the weekend seminar. You can see what that looks like here!
(NEW) The Songwriters Guide to Metaphor: "How, then, do we break through the barriers of the well ordered conscious mind and get to where the honest impulses, the richest ideas, the deepest passions live? Waiting on the muse to ascend is a fool's errand." - Mike Reid (from his foreword to Songwriting Without Boundaries)
Metaphor opens a portal beyond what’s in front of you; it opens your vision, allowing you to see the world as something more. This seminar will help you develop the most creative part of your voice: your ability to see one thing as though it were another your ability to create metaphor. Aristotle called it, "the only truly creative human act."
We’ll spend two days, working interactively from prompts, learning to discover, extend and reverse metaphor. You’ll be writing, reading aloud, and listening. It’ll expand and deepen your perspectives, give you a remarkable set of new tools, and, it may even change the way you look at the world.
Tools and Strategies: Sharpen your lyric writing skills and discover the techniques that have helped Pat's students, including John Mayer and Gillian Welch, win Grammys and write number one songs. In this seminar, you'll learn how to craft more vivid lyrics by mastering the elements of structure and the process of building great lyrical ideas into great songs. Whether you're a beginner or seasoned writer, this course will help you structure your lyrics more effectively.
Writing from a Title: Starting with a powerful and effective song title, this 2-day seminar teaches you to build it into a completed lyric, including finding an effective title, developing your idea to make your title or chorus grow, setting it to appropriate rhythm and tempo, using stressed vowel sounds to brainstorm ideas, finding title placement, and developing contrasting sections. These tools will make your writing process more efficient, and your lyrics more effective. This is how Nashville writers write a song every day--sometimes two!
Writing Lyrics to Melody: There's no use writing a great lyric and a great melody if they don't work together. An unfortunate setting of a word or phrase can sink the emotion of the song, calling your listener's attention away from WHAT you are saying to HOW you are saying it. This 2-day seminar shows you how to get the most out of your lyrics by combining them accurately and effectively with melody. This is a "can't miss" seminar--it's bound to take your writing to the next level.
Songwriting Without Boundaries:In this seminar, you will explore the four challenges from Pat Pattison's new book in depth; 1. Object Writing, 2. Metaphor, 3. Extending Metaphor, and 4. Doing it all in Rhythm and Rhyme. You'll learn to integrate Object Writing into your Songwriting; create powerful and effective metaphor, using straight-forward exercises you can do on your own; extend and reverse metaphor, and finally, work with rhythm and rhyme, preparing your writing for its journey into song. This seminar will open your mind and release your best ideas.
Verse Development: Solve "Second Verse Hell" quickly and easily by learning to what to look for in a title and how to develop the flow of ideas BEFORE you waste time writing a lyric that dead-ends is some dark alley. Learn how to advance your ideas so the song gains rather than loses interest as it moves forward. Find out how to create a chorus or refrain that can be repeated effectively without having to change the words each time. This seminar will save you time and channel your energies efficiently, allowing you to write more songs and better songs.
Point of View: Choosing the Best Lens
Illuminate your songwriting: Involve your audience more deeply in your song by creating the most potent lens for them to look through. This weekend seminar will focus on Point of View as a tool, illustrating and understanding all the possible angles for viewing, and their effects on the listener. Choosing the right Point of View is the difference between “Wow!” and “Next.” Let everyone see your songs shine like they should!
Phrasing: The Body Language of Your Song. This seminar will give you important keys to phrasing your lyrics for the most impact and support of meaning. Working with rhythms and placements, you'll learn how to make sure that the line, like body language, helps to really deliver the emotion you intend. This is another "can't miss" seminar -- it's bound to take your writing to the next level.
Rewriting: This seminar, presented in a Master Class format, will use participants' songs to demonstrate the rewriting process. Learn how to effectively use various tools, including verse development, productive repetition, phrasing, effective matching of lyric and melody, structure and prosody. This seminar focuses particularly on polishing those small bumps that distract the listener and let air escape from the song's tires.
Prosody, the most important concept in great writing: All the elements of your song should work together to support the song's central message and emotion. This seminar will show you tools and techniques to make your song stronger and more focused, using structure and phrasing to highlight important ideas, and deepen emotional impact -- techniques that have helped Pat's students, including John Mayer and Gillian Welch, win Grammys and write number one songs.
Master Class: Pat's Masterclasses are legendary. In these events, watch him take already strong songs and put them through a workout until they emerge trim and toned. In the 2 hour session, Pat will look at 2-3 songs, taking time to work out any kinks, focusing on prosody between the intent of the song and structure, rhyme, rhythm, point of view, phrasing and many other tools that have proven so useful to Grammy winners John Mayer and Gillian Welch and seminar participants across the globe. No one demands more of a song than Pat, and he can show you how to take it all the places it could go to cross the "finished" line, while millions cheer.
Lyric Structure: Supporting your ideas with structure
- Elements of structure: number of lines, line lengths, rhyme schemes line rhythms
- Symmetry and asymmetry
- Creating interesting motion
- Creating contrast between sections
- Creating prosody with structure
- Effective Rhyming
Rhyme types: enlarging the possibilities
- Controlling motion and closure with rhyme types
- Creating prosody with rhyme types
- Creating interest with rhyme structure
- Creating surprises with rhyme structure
- Creating contrast with rhyme structure
Brainstorming: Techniques for unearthing ideas
- Object Writing
- Rhyming dictionary and thesaurus
Brainstorming: working from a title
- Using the title's rhythm to generate sectional rhythm and contrast
- Using tempo to explore different emotional possibilities for the title
- Using the title's vowel sounds as search engines for ideas
Verse Development: Strategies for advancing your ideas from section to section
- Point of View
- Recoloring repetition
- Neutralizing tense and POV in a chorus or refrain
Phrasing and Setting
- Preserving the Natural Shape of the Language
- Matching stressed syllables with stressed notes
- Matching melodic phrases and lyric phrases
- Back Heavy vs. Front Heavy Phrasing
- Weak bar vs. strong bar phrasing
- Emotional consequences of phrasing
- Phrasing as a Spotlighting technique
Critique Sessions A critique session can be included as a part of any seminar, or can take up an entire seminar. It is an opportunity to apply the tools and techniques developed in the seminars, demonstrating how they can improve the lyric's impact. We will focus on the strengths of the lyric, with suggestions for taking the next step to make it even better.