Err... what the &$#% is a
AHHH. So glad you asked.
In this particular case, a songwriting coach is a reddish-haired, perpetually impassioned songwriter-guitarist-producer who thrills to the breakneck pace of the energy, nightlife, and people-watching of New York City.
The kind of person who gets a Creative Writing degree from Stanford (yeah, they have those there), and respects the creative process so much she'll listen to your new songs at least 5 times before giving a word of feedback.
Someone who's unfailingly IN YOUR CORNER.
Who won't let you slack off, and won't settle for less than what you're capable of. A fearless advocate who shares your vision — and don't we all need a few of those?
With an effective songwriting coach, if you're
STUCK OR SCARED OR PSYCHED
at least you're not ALONE.
Someone's always got your back.
With all the techno-toys at our fingertips nowadays, it's easy to isolate and lose the HUMANITY at the heart of original songs. And let's face it, nothing else comes close to the thrill of Actual People resonating with — and ideally singing along with — YOUR ideas, YOUR melodies, YOUR lyrics. In other words, YOU.
My job is to give you a detailed Reality Check, then work with you on Next Steps towards achieving your vision. With that in mind here's a quick Reality Checklist!
Reality Checklist #1
IS YOUR BRAND-NEW SONG BRILLIANT OR BOGUS?
(Because you've probably lost all objectivity.)
Can you even remember its name the morning after?
This is the acid test. If you wake up and draw a complete blank about how that song goes... the one you heard AT LEAST 100 TIMES the night before, there's trouble in River City. Toss it and start over.
Did you lay your ass on the line?
Does it make YOU laugh, cry, dance, think... FEEL? If there's nothing emotionally at stake for you, others will probably yawn as well. All the gizmos and gadgets in the world can't make up for a lack of fully felt and expressed lyrics and melodies. Show some leg already!
Does it break new ground lyrically & musically?
After a while, we all settle into perfectly comfortable writing patterns... okay — ruts. Your voice stays within the same range, your hands go to the same chords, you reach for a few tired clichés thinking no one'll notice. Ah, but they do! Does this song carve out new territory? Does it scare you to reveal so much? Or would a co-writer, a critique, or a kazoo bust you out of your comfort zone?
WANT MORE GOOD STUFF? HERE'S WHAT ELSE YOU CAN FIND ON THIS SITE:
SONGWRITING, PRODUCTION & COACHING CREDITS
AND THE "OFFICIAL BIO"
With numerous Billboard-charting singles, over 120 releases, and millions of album sales under her belt, Alex Forbes exudes a contagious passion on the subject of songwriting. Her material has found a home on major and indie labels, feature films, TV shows and an Off-Broadway show. Overseas, Alex's songs have been hit singles for artists in Europe, Australia, and Asia.
Recent successes include:
Two co-writes with 3-time Grammy winner Nile Rodgers: "I Dance My Dance" on the most recent CHIC album, and "Law of Attraction" with iconic French artist, Sheila.
Top 10 radio play in Austria with "Barcelona," co-written with Brofaction.
Placing the song "Brothers" on the #1 album in South Africa by Elvis Blue.
"Where Will the Giants Roam" winning the Global March For Elephants and Rhinos song competition — first prize was a $30,000 photo safari in Africa.
Co-writing the theme song for the Nonhuman Rights Project with its founder Steven Wise, who has led a 30-year fight to achieve legal rights for animals such as chimpanzees and elephants. Steven is the subject of the DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus HBO film, Unlocking the Cage.
Other placements include Melt Away in the Denzel Washington film Déjà Vu, and songs in Nurse Jackie, Dance Moms, Make It or Break It. New Zealand superstar Hayley Westenra's recording of You Are Water appeared on her Classical/Pop album, Odyssey, which spent over a year on the Billboard charts.
Alex founded CreativeSongwriter.com in 2006, and has led courses and workshops for the Masters songwriting program at NYU Steinhardt, Gotham Writers’ Workshop, The ASCAP Foundation, The Institute for Collaborative Education, The International Songwriting Camp in Austria, The Connecticut Songwriters Association and many other organizations. Alex is also the author of two ebooks and audiobooks: Write Songs Right Now and SongLab: A Songwriting Playbook for Teens, both published by Blackstone Audio.
Alex's first hit was the now-classic dance song Too Turned On, performed by Alisha. This success led to a series of hit singles including Taylor Dayne's massive hit Don't Rush Me (#2 Pop, #3 AC, #6 Dance, multi-platinum album, ASCAP Pop Award), Rockell's classic freestyle version of In A Dream, and the Top 20 Pop hit Nothin' My Love Can't Fix, the latter of which Alex also co-produced.
High points also included collaborating with Cyndi Lauper on a tune for her film, Off and Running, and co-producing Martha Wash, whose powerhouse voice was featured in the Weather Girls and C+C Music Factory, and who recorded Alex’s Leave a Light On.
Many of Alex's most recent songs are "on hold" or recorded and awaiting release dates with artists and producers in a wide variety of styles.
TO HEAR SOME OF ALEX'S PERSONAL FAVE, CLICK HERE
Photo above left by Christian Carroll.
Photo above center by Stan Schnier.
Photo above right by Robert Fish