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Alistair S

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How is this place structured, and what are all these forums? This is a quick overview to help you out :)

The overall forum is divided into 7 main areas:


  • Welcome (this area)
  • Songwriting Feedback
  • Contests
  • Songcrafting and Collaborating
  • General Creativity
  • Performing, Recording and the Industry
  • Self-Promotion, Advertisements and Discussions


Each of these are discussed below.

Welcome (this area)

In here, we have this guide, any admin announcements and an area for general conversation. The general conversation forum is for you to get to know people, discussing anything related to song-writing. If you want to discuss non-songwriting stuff or share views on the world in general, there is another forum (near the bottom of the board) titled "Off-topic Discussions" - please try and post more general discussions there.


The Welcome area should be light-hearted and welcoming. If you think that your post might not fit into that "feel", "Off-topic" may be the place for it.

Similarly, posts asking people to look at your Myspace or to advertise sites and services are likely to be moved to the Advertisements or Self-Promotion areas.


Songwriting Feedback

This is one of the core areas of the site. This is where you can post your lyrics, songs and instrumentals and get feedback from other writers. Of course, this only works if people offer feedback, so please ensure that you post feedback on other people's work if you post here. A good guideline is to post 2-4 critiques for every piece of your own. Also, please don't post more than one new piece of work a day. Even one a day can be a little much, but you may have a backlog of work if you have just joined!


Let people know what sort of feedback you would like and (for lyrics), an idea of the genre or style you envisage. This way, you are likely to receive the type of feedback you need. Honest feedback is what helps us grow, so suggestions for improvement are helpful as well as (deserved) pats on the back!



We run monthly contests for Lyrics and for Songs. These are for fun, and it is hoped that you will treat them as such. Winners of these contests go forward into annual contests for "Lyric of the Year", etc. They also offer a great opportunity to showcase your work, and sometimes can help you to find collaborators (if that is what you want).


There are also regular contests for collaborations. These are highly recommended, especially if you have never collaborated before. If you enter, you will do so as either a lyricist or a musician and you will be placed in a team with someone. Take a look at some of the earlier competitions in "Other Contests" to get the idea. They are great fun!


You will also see other contests that are run from time to time. There is an occasional Match the Melody contest for lyricists, for example, which sets lyricists the task of writing a song to a piece of music that is provided.


Do enter the contests if you think you would like to. They are useful learning exercises and they provide a level of feedback that is different from other feedback. This is because people vote for your work in comparison with other people's.


There are some regulations covering the contests and these are set by the person running them. Do check the rules before you enter!:)


Songcrafting and Collaborating

This area has two forums. Songcrafting is all about the processes, techniques, theories and tools involved in writing songs (music or just lyrics or both). It's an area to discuss or share the "how to's" or perspectives on songwriting.


Songs In Development/Collabs is about working with other people. Are you trying to develop a song and have become stuck? Post here! Do you want to discuss the process of collaborating and ways of making it easier? Post here! It is probably best not to post completed lyrics saying "please write me some music!" - keep that to Lyrics Feedback (or this forum could become too cluttered).


General Creativity

Have poems or paintings or other creative pursuits that you would like to share? The Artist's Cafe is probably for you. Most posts in the Artist's Cafe are there to be shared, rather than critiqued. If you want a critique, it is probably best to ask for one.


Creativity Games & Challenges provides a set of creative games (mostly word-based) that you can play when you want to have some creative fun. It can also help unlock writer's block and some songs have taken seed in this forum. It is also a place to post on all issues relating to creativity and how to promote it.


Performing, Recording and the Industry

This area covers a host of topics.


If you want to discuss (or share tips) on Live Performance, there is an area for that. Or just tell us where you are playing!


Many of us here do our own recording. The Recording Tips & Technical Questions can go into depth on how to do that, as well as on how to resolve any difficult PC/Mac questions you may have that are related to recording or sharing your material.


Show Us Your Gear is a place to show us your pretty new toys and instruments, if you choose to!


DIY Music Publishing and The Business End are places for discussing the industry in genaral and to discuss the best ways of getting your work "out there".


Self-Promotion, Advertisements and Discussions

Lastly, we have this section. If you want to promote your work, do so in Self Promotion (as opposed to discussing promotional activities). Advertisements will appear in Advertisements.


The Off-topic Discussions area is provided for all discussion that doesn't relate to this site or song-writing. Spirited debate is fine. Personal attacks are not!

We also have a section for Memorabilia, where you can find details on old competitions, a CD that celebrated the writers on the Muse and other posts that we didn't want to lose. Feel free to explore it!


Further details on each forum appear in the forums themselves. Please check the posting guidelines in the forums too. The more disciplined we are at posting in the right places as individuals, the easier it is to navigate and find what you are looking for!

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