Thursday, 14 July 2011

Joel D Canfield's Got A Ticket To Write

Welcome to the first post in a occasional series where I ask 'real-life' songwriters just like you to spill the beans on how Beatles inspired songwriting ideas like the Tickets To Write have helped them create new songs. First up to bat is nomadic songwriter Joel D Canfield

I've been writing about music for nearly a decade and a music lover for half a century. I started writing music seriously about seven years ago and this year (2011) I realized it was time to push myself out of the comfort zone of my favorite chord progressions.

Ever since I heard The Mamas and The Papas cover I Call Your Name back in the seventies (when it was already ten years old) I've always loved the vocal slide from the major 4th to the minor 4th ("I never weep at (A) ni - (Am) ight, I call your name".) Ticket 8 Part 2 felt familiar when I started reading the description and when I saw I Call Your Name in the examples I knew I wanted to give it a try.

It turns out I tried it twice. Both The Map and This Path use the 4 to 4m change in the verse. For some reason, though they're both songs about the nomadic life I share with my Best Beloved, This Path works better melodically over the change. It may be that I immersed myself in David Gray's melodic structures before I wrote these songs and This Path captured more of that feeling.

Other songwriters have commented on the challenge of sliding from the 4 to the minor 4 in This Path but I was surprised how simple and natural it felt. Wasting my youth with my ear glued to the radio came in handy after all.

Though he pays his bills as a business author, writing and business coach, and web developer, Joel D Canfield is first and foremost a philosopher who believes that finding why makes what and how become clear. Get to know him at or read more of his musical background at his musiblog

Have you used the Tickets to write in any of your songs? - Then drop me a line!

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