Monday, March 16, 2009

Andy Bassett - Songwriter

I get to talk with creative people on a regular basis, mainly because I like to. But I also learn from them and I like to pass that learning to others so a number of future blogs will focus on creative people sharing their creativity insights.

Andy Bassett plays several instruments, sings, and engineers and produces music CD's but regards his main creative outlet as writing - columns but especially songs - some 600 to date!!

Wayne: What advice would you give to others who might want to write songs?

Andy: I think that with everything creative its finding what is the best environment for your own personal head space - when you've got a song going on do you need to drop everything and get it down or can you take notes. Mike Harding [a song writing colleague] says carry a one inch pencil and a tiny notebook everywhere you go.

Wayne: What do you do?

Andy: Well I don't have one inch pencil. I'll scrawl on pieces of paper if I have to. I keep a pad and pen beside the bed because if an idea has been bugging me all day the chances are some thing will come to me in the night. The hard thing is that sometimes things come to you in a particular environment and when you get thrown out of that environment you can't retrieve it. So its a question of how you find your way back into that environment. If someone needs a very quiet space to create - if they want to be away from everything else they've got to find a quiet space that they can have as their retreat and if an idea comes to you you have to seize it and get into your little space to make it work.

Wayne: So some way of gathering, collecting, maintaining the idea is essential whether its is a one inch pencil or a dictaphone or something - gathering it at the time - chances are it will go it you don't.

Andy: The only other thing I would say is don't get too precious about whatever you have written first time round - and edit yourself. Be honest with yourself. I remember a song writing workshop I went to where someone said they didn't like the idea of editing songs - a song comes out and there's something sacred about it as it is. But you often find there is a weak line that you put in because you wanted to get to the next line or you put it in because it rhymes with the one you want to keep. I've often heard songs - my own included - that you think that line is just filling space. I prefer to economise on words. There is a book on the writing of poetry I read in the 80's called Make Every Word Count. That's good advice.

You can be entertained by Andy at

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