Welcome to the First Post. This article functions as a sort of FAQ for the site. Read it through a time or two. If you still have questions, hit us up with an e-mail!
WHAT IS Songwriting Apples?
Simply put, it's a place for songwriters. The people who hang out here are people who want to be challenged and inspired! Each month begins a new challenge cycle. With every new challenge each writer will determine an individual goal. For some this may be four songs in four weeks. For others, perhaps one. Maybe your goal will be to just work up some great lyrics or finish an older tune. The idea here is to be accountable to the group, be more productive and learn about the craft.
SO WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND Songwriting Apples?
This work (it's more of a labor of love) began in December of 2006. Two fellow musicians met on the message board for a band called Over the Rhine. The message board is titled The Orchard, and members of the board refer to themselves as "apples" (they don't fall too far from the tree, do they?). Hence, Songwriting Apples was born. Since then others have joined in and become a part of this community. In a short time it has become a place for friends to come together in the name of songwriting.
WHAT IF MY SONGS ARE NOT AS GOOD AS I'D LIKE?
Join the club! Don't be self-conscious. We're not looking to produce the next Let It Be, Imagine, Folsom Prison Blues or Somewhere Over the Rainbow here (but maybe we will now), just to try and move out of our "comfort zones". We're not here to judge these songs or compete with one another. Only to break through the barriers which lie between ourselves as artists and the creativity which leads to writing great songs! We are here to find our muse!
MY SONGS ARE PROBABLY NOT WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR...
First, we aren't "looking" for songs, we're trying to write them just like you. We're here to offer motivation and help! There are no rules about these songs. They can be short, long, well produced, a single take recorded on a clock radio with a guitar and vocals or even a short acapella piece. The main thing is to complete your individual goal with each cycle.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Steve and I have agreed to maintain the site (with the exception of your posts, of course) and provide web space to host the resulting MP3s. Authorship on Songwriting Apples will be limited to contributors or co-authors, but anyone may view and/or comment on our work. Hopefully, our music (the good, the bad and the ugly) will have a greater audience this way. And maybe others will receive inspiration from our efforts.
WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH THE MONTHLY CHALLENGE?
Well, we're glad you asked. One of the reasons this site came to be (and a good part of why it's still here) is the monthly challenge. Each month our members choose a goal related to songwriting (but not necessarily related to apples). Maybe you'd like to write one new song this month. Or maybe you've got a few songs laying around and you'd like to finally record them and then post them here for feedback. Maybe you're on a "lyrics" kick and your goal is simply to write a set of great lyrics for your next song. Once in awhile we'll hit you with a special challenge. This could be a "love song", "number song" or some other particular subject matter. Whatever it is, we hope you use it as motivation to get (or keep) your songwriting on track! Just let us know what your goal is and we'll put it up there for all the world to see. You'll be surprised at how motivating that can be!
OK... I DIG IT. HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
There are a couple of ways for you to become involved with Songwriting Apples:
1. Become a contributor. Simply write a song and/or an article at least once every 90 days and send it to email@example.com. Maybe a new song, maybe just a few observations on songwriting or music in general.
2. Become a co-author. Ok, so now you've been around awhile and are a pretty regular contributor to the site. We want to give our best contributors the ability to post your own articles on Songwriting Apples! We'll hook you up with the necessary info to do this. Steve and I will still retain the ability to edit your posts, but only to keep things looking spiffy around here. We'll try not to touch your content.
About the only thing we ask is that you contribute. We understand that certain times of the year may be hectic (the holidays, summertime). With that in mind, we only ask that, as a contributor, you go no more than 90 days without providing something for the site (co-authors will likely contribute a bit more often because, well, that's how they roll). Doesn't have to be a new song. Could be just lettin us know about a useful songwriting website you've found, a photo or video that inspired you or even a rant about how uninspired you are! If you're not writing... cool. Just stop in and tell us. Let us know what's up. Let us encourage you! Take a look at some of our previous posts if you're still not sure what to write about!
I'M IN! NOW WHAT?
If you'd like to participate (submit articles and songs to this site), e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we receive your e-mail, we'll send you a response that will give you additional details. After that, you're free to start sending us articles and songs! Looking forward to working with you...
So come on in, write a bit, sit back and listen... whatever feels right.
John Natiw & Steven Wesley Guiles
Co-Founders/Editors - Songwriting Apples