“Member Blog Series” guest post submitted by StreetJelly artist: Andy Getch
Performing Original Songs on StreetJelly
I love songwriting. Playing for an audience is a surefire way to test or refine original songs. StreetJelly.com is a wonderful venue to perform with supportive listeners and fun emoji’s.
As far back as college I thought about performing. As an architecture/engineering student, my drafting t-square or a yardstick was my air guitar. I guess I first started writing when I got tired of hearing heavy rotation songs on the radio and making up my own lyrics to the melody. I most admired the singer-songwriter alone on the stage pouring their heart out in a song.
Songwriting started for me as a strong unexplainable urge in 2009 shortly after I took learning guitar seriously. Within a year I joined an online songwriting forum. I struggled at first, sometimes stumbling into a decent song. Mostly not.
Online songwriting challenges took my songwriting to another level. Most challenges are based on some form of time limitation. I started with a song a week group where a prompt was given as a starting point. Then in February 2012 I found February Album Writing Month (write 14 songs), 50 Songs In 90 Days (July 4-October 1), National Solo Album Month (29 minutes of songs in November), and more. The songs from those challenges are not polished or studio ready, just rough demos, or maybe even a partial song idea of instrumentals, lyrics only, or maybe even just a title.
All these challenges have a supportive community much like Streetjelly with regulars and various songwriting resources. Prior to February 2012 I had written about 20 songs in two years. In that month I wrote 12 songs with music, and three with just lyrics and was thrilled. Since then I have met the challenge goals each year. The most important thing for me is to keep writing, then decide later if the song is good, needs editing or recycling.
My goal is to participate in the scheduled songwriting challenges and otherwise write one song a week in a closed online group. I am lucky enough to be able to attend a local singer-songwriter circle. Songwriting is like playing an instrument, the more I practice the better I get at it. If I only picked up my guitar a few times a year, I would not make very much progress like I do with regular practice. The more I write, the more I write.
Once I have a rough idea for a song, I need to start playing it to get the flow and rhythm. If I don’t play the song I will forget how it goes. I don’t find out if a song really works until I play it as that lone singer-songwriter. Sometimes that happens at the singer-songwriter circle, sometimes my farmers market or yoga flow class gigs. But I don’t find out if the song works from the audience reaction. I find out if a song works based on how it feels to me and flows through me. If I feel a boost in energy or warmth, I know I am on to something good. Sometimes it is a complete surprise when a song works. The audience can sense that boost in energy too. My best performances are when I am serving the song and letting ti flow through me.
That is where playing new or revised original songs on StreetJelly comes in. StreetJelly audiences are wonderful and supportive. When I am singing and playing on StreetJelly, the feel and flow are the same as if I am at the singer-songwriter circle, the farmers market, or the yoga flow class gigs. The best part is the StreetJelly emojis will be clapping, smiling, stomping and giggling either way and everybody has a good time.
Playing original songs on StreetJelly is fun, helps my performance skills, and improves my songwriting. I hope to hear some of your original songs soon on StreetJelly.