Songwriting Tip #1: Write With The Mind Of An Artist This tip is relevant for all songwriters.

It just so happens that I have a Chris tian worldview and as such I know that Christian Songwriters can fall into sever al traps! They can write songs that 'preach' at people and end up alienating the m. They can write songs with predictable Christian cliches and end up reinforcin g the idea that Christians are irrelevant. They can use word images that are unr elated to real life and cause listeners to dismiss the music on the grounds that the writer has not grappled with the real life issues. Successful Christian songwriters that connect with people at a deep level, know how to create pictures with words that are unpredictable, relevant, entertaining and thought provoking! Great songs tell stories with pictures that stay with pe ople. I love to write songs this way because at heart I am a songwriter on a mis sion! And I enjoy finding ways to communicate with songs that relate to the key issues of life. Sp all songwriters need to write with the mind of an artist. I was trying to find a way of communicating what God was up to when He broke int o time and space two thousand years ago in the Person of Jesus Christ. So I used the 'picture' of a Hijack! "Taken by surprise by the latest information, Hit between the eyes By something we should have seen before, Didn't realize the implications, The subtle disguise of the bandit Who pinned us to the floor! By careless mishandling we lost our position, Threw away a fortune When we tried to fly alone Looking all around for a solution, Mesmerised As we entered the forbidden zone! Hijack! We were under attack! Hijack! Now there's no turning back! Hijack! The greatest man in history steps inside our situation Freedom can come, But the ransom is higher than the sky! In the jaws of death, he stood in our position He's given us confidence to take our wings and fly!" I have to confess I am a fan of Sting and Peter Gabriel. I find their songwritin g inspirational and prophetic. It would be great if we could cultivate our own s ongwriting in the Christian community to reach contemporary culture they way the y do. Here's another example: a song about how we can be so mechanical and predictable when God wants us to be free. "We are living by digital equations, Captured by computer brains, Technical Data requiring our devotions, Compare our losses against our gains But nothing we touch ever remains We go to the limit of our domains.

Don't be like clockwork, oooh Throw away the key Don't be like clockwork, oooh You were made to be free Don't be like..." One more example of using words to create pictures: "Hi Tec deliveries, babies by proxy, Life at low prices, shun orthodoxy, Innovative designs, choose at your leisure, Say who you want and we will make them to measure! And the fuse, is still burning..." You don't have to be a Christian to be a fan of Jesus Christ! He was a great com municator. He used words to create pictures all the time. And pictures stay with people. He was the ultimate storyteller. So tell a story. If the story you tell relates to something that has happened to you, that will give it a sense of authenticity and relevance to the listener th at will carry power with it. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Description Creative songwriters are hard to find. There are so many cliches being used, the creative process has become predictable. So this is where we begin. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------About the Author (text) Steve Flashman has written over 150 songs and recorded 90 of them on 9 albums. H e has performed in the Royal Albert Hall, the Marquee Club and the Streets of Ca lcutta. He is an author, broadcaster, singer, songwriter and vicar

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