Monday, 15 August 2011

Alt Hitman's Got A Ticket To Write

Welcome to another post 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. Say hola! to alt hitman...

First, I'm honored to be invited to post. Thank you, Matt, and thanks for trashing Maxwell's Silver Hammer!

I write demo songs in the wee hours of the east village night, after the sirens go to sleep and before the birds start wailing. I've always written from the hip and just misunderstand music theory.  One reason I love the Tickets To Write is that they break it down in a slew of dares.  I started with piano in my tweens, and picked up the guitar when I left for university. I think I'm on a futile mission to write the best White Album rejects I can.

You And You 

 For my song You and You I availed myself of the major to minor (Ticket 8).  I isolated this switch by dropping the lyrics here, and gave it time to happen over two measures (G to Gm7). I've used this ticket before, occasionally changing the root of the chord.  Lyrically, I used parallel lyrics (ticket 24).  I aim for that moment when the chord structure and the lyrics begin to intertwine.  The middle change in this song is not a real chorus, more of a burning bridge (ticket 26).  Finally of course I always make use of ticket 21. It keeps me honest. 


 I was thinking of George Harrison circa 1970 when I wrote this one.  I'd like to add some Harrisonesque guitar phrasing when I get the courage.  The lyrics are circular but paradoxically open-ended.   Recently I worked the D aug into several songs (eg What Is Up Girl?)...and I don't mind borrowing the augmented feel from Oh Darling! for the open!

alt hitman is pronounced like Walt Whitman, minus the W's. He grew up in El Salvador and New Orleans which is where he gained the ability to deep fry 7th and 9ths. By day he's a freelance artist or Sunday painter in the East Village and you can find his music at

Read about another ticket holder: 
Joel D Canfield

Have you used the Tickets to write in any of your songs? - Drop me a line and let me know!


  1. I'm taking note of the tickets, and I think my songwriting is getting better because of it :-)

    Thank you

  2. Thanks a lot Marv - that's cool!