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Top Ten Songwriting Tricks That Get Me Off

10. The Spell-out

A simple technique used for emphasis and fun with choreography. The spell-out does two things. It asks the question and it answers the question. How's that spelled? It's spelled this way. See YMCA.

9. The Expletive

This is when the songwriter wants to say a bad word but stops it halfway or simply sings "Shh!" in it's place. It's like maintaining technical virginity. You WANT to do it, you ACT like you will and then do as MUCH as you can without actually doing it. That shh! is bananas. (B-A-N-A-N-A-S!)

8. The Call and Response

Ahh...audience participation. I say "Ho!" and you say "HO!" and then I say "HO! HO!" and then you say "HO! HO!" and then you wave your hands in the air like you just don't care. What's cooler than being cool? Ice cold, that's what.

7. The Key Change

This great for the anticipation factor alone...wait for it...wait for it...it gets higher here. The Key Change is great if you're Celine Dion. Celine Dion owns The Key Change. Goes really well with a swelling orchestra. Omigod, I'm ON the Titanic right now. Amazing.

6. The Guest Rapper

Everybody has this now. It's great. Pretty soon Sarah Mclachlan is going to have a guest rapper. Maybe someone from Swollen Members or oooh! Maybe K-os! Word.

5. Metaphor

Shake it like a polaroid picture. No-wait-that's simile--shh!

4. Simile

Shake it like a polaroid picture. (Whew!)

3. The Old Song and Dance

The Locomotion. The Twist. The Hokey Pokey. Bat Dance. (I HAD) The Time Of My LIfe. (and......... lift!, yesssssss!)

2. The Whistle Solo (AKA: Da Do Do Do, Da Da da da)

When you either can't think of another verse or just too plain lazy to sing intelligibly, this comes in handy. Basically this goes for any song that with the obligatory ohh ahh part. A song that exhibits both is a stroke of genius written by Mr. Bobby McFerrin called Don't Worry Be Happy. Fantastic. Get thee to itunes.

And....the number one song-writing technique that gets me off: (Drum Roll)

1. The Slow Down and Talk-Through

This is when you are a big famous artist and you're on Storytellers or VH1 or some shhh! and you realllly embellish a song. You know, sing it real slow-like and do lots of vocal fill-ins and maybe stop after a particularly poignant line. Wait for a lil cheer in the audience....maybe they'll start doing the hand motions to your Spell-out or tap their feet to the dancey bit, then when you say "HO!" they say "HO!" and they whistle along with the solo.....maybe they'll even yell out that Simile and of course THEY aren't afraid to sing the real swear word. Shit, yeah! Cause everybody's doin a brand new thang now.....

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