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Pirate Studios Updates

Writers Block : Lyric writing

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The clock is ticking – your tapping your pen and foot vigorously, and you begin to frown so that your brain squeezes out the words that will solve everything. It doesn’t work, so you start to think about quitting because, “are words really that important, No one really listens to what is being sung right?”…

Writers block can be painful. Lyric writing can be a tedious and effortless task. Sometimes you have too many syllables and not enough rhyme and other times you spurt out something that is just too cringey!

Whether you’re writing in your rehearsal in Bristol, finishing your final rhyme for upcoming studio time in Cardiff or planning a Birmingham practice, Pirate Studios is here to encourage all of those songwriters, lyric writers and creative individuals who are thinking about lyric writing.

We have 5 tips that can help cure the worst case of writers block and regain clarity within the writing process:

1. Cut and Stick it will do the trick

If you want to stop writing about your heartaches and regrets, and instead want to throw together some post-modern and abstract imagery then the Dadaist cutting and sticking method is the one for you.

This approach has aided artists such as Thom Yorke, Chris Martin and David Bowie in writing some of their best works. If you are used to writing about typical topics e.g. Love, loss and rejection, the Dadaist approach is product of randomness which creates depth, excitement and it can change how music is interpreted.

To attempt this method, you will need to grab a pile of random books, a pair of scissors and an envelope. For the best outcome pick a diverse selection of novels, fiction and non- fiction books and dig out last week’s newspaper – the more diverse the better. If you are struggling to find such things then go to a second hand store, book shop and search intensely around the house.

When you have collected an odd array of books – cut out a selection of different words shake them around in an envelope, spill them out on the kitchen table or your bedroom floor and begin to craft autonomous worlds and characters.

This method can feel strange at first but it will inspire you and lead your writing style down all sorts of bizarre and descriptive routes. We are intelligent beings we want to share our heartaches, knowledge and experiences, but sometimes you can take personal memories and stories and mix them up with abstract approaches like this to enhance and re-create their realities.

2. Know your word types

The Dadaist method is useful; but over time start identifying your randomness so you use a healthy balance of Nouns, Adjectives, Verbs and adverbs, and of course conjunctions and articles (and, the, an). Be aware and familiar with the types of words that you are using and eventually it will be a natural default to use a broader palette.

To some this may sound too basic and to others really confusing, it may even take you back to your school years, but it can be helpful to those who slip into using the similar descriptions and topics.

3. Do some homework

Do some solid research. It’s not about copying exactly what others have done, but instead acknowledging their success and skill. Pick 4 different genres and artists, print off lyric sheets and study different rhyming schemes.


4. Listen to the world around you

If your sitting on a bus, walking through the street or in general transit, tune into the loud talkers, pick a word that you hear and type it in your phone.

It might not always be the most successful method, but sometimes you can here a word that can make your brain go crazy. Targeting different social environments means you will be exposed to different people, which could lead to creating a unique tale.

Note – If you are not the subtle type or don’t want to come across invasive, try different channels on the TV. Pick a documentary on Ancient Egypt, then a soap opera and mix them up.

5. Learn from the best

Research some of your favourite artists and see how they have done it – focus on a individual track and see how they have delivered certain words, analyse and interpret the message and see if you can create something that has a similar flow and rhyme.

These are just a few steps to cure the classic songwriters syndrome. There are lots of other ways to stimulate the brain like visiting a new place or country, collaborating with a poet or lyricist like Elton John and Bernie Taupin and also using apps such as word pallet and Oblique that are free to download from the Itunes App store!

The main thing is don’t give up. Pirate Studios believe that practice always makes perfect. Our practice rooms love to be filled with creativity, innovation and passion, so give these 5 tips a go you never know what could happen! – no rhyme intended…

Cardiff you’ve got it going on!

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Cardiff you’ve got it going on!

We’ve just opened a brand new Cardiff rehearsal studio! So here are a few words expressing our love for the Welsh city and its Musicians.

Cardiff is a city that brings a patriotic fizz, from rugby fanatics and extreme party goers to the heart of the city which comprises of the millennium stadium, surrounded by enough shops and bars to make your wallet appear gaunt.

Cardiff for years has been known as the place where the rugby happens, but what really makes the city the capital?

Your Nan might say that it’s the sweet deals of the old market stalls that offer strawberry bonbons and hot steamy Welsh cakes, whereas the younger folk will probably excite about the dance floors of Revolution and Walkabout on a Saturday night. “I don’t remember buying cheesy chips… or buying 7 rounds!”…

We believe the Welsh capital can be defined further by its artistic glory and the amount of musical talent that it has to offer.

Today the UK music industry is considered to predominantly thrive in London, with the live music scene spilling and spreading across cities such as Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool and so on…

However, the question that comes to mind – is musical success and progression simply determined by your environment?

We believe that your environment can influence how your music is heard and crafted, and it is this belief that has led us to create efficient rehearsal rooms across the country, providing fully equipped rooms that can bring clarity when casting creative spells.

Today you can release music from your bedroom with a cup of tea in your left hand and multiple online distribution companies in the other; or you can ignore the digital route, and instead harvest and develop your work until one day your firm arty butt cheeks are sat on top of a musical goldmine ready to explode into the earth’s atmosphere – just like Prince.

It is your choice what musical path you take. Whether you want to be a bedroom genius, a captivating live performer or maybe a bit of both! It’s important to remember that music is about expression, passion and escapism.  It is these fundamentals that help us hear the distant cry and crave for practice studios across multiple cities. We want to facilitate the Frank Zappa’s and the Simon and Garfunkel’s – so we’ve decided to build another musical home in Cardiff!

Cardiff has a burgeoning live music underbelly that shows off a plentiful pool of emerging musicians. We have recently discovered so many wonderful artists who manifest within the Welsh realm and want to share their work with you.

Clwb Ifor Bach and The Full Moon Bar located opposite each other on Womanby Street reek of an incredible musical stench that you want to smell over and over again. It is in these two venues’ that introduced us to HMS Morris and PARCS.

HMS Morris are a trio that can be credited for creating an unusual fusion of electronic pop and psychedelic welsh rock. The group showcases fat synth lines and adventurous vocal melodies that appear in both English and Welsh. The bands on stage chemistry and energy is truly captivating; watching them live is like walking through an old second hand shop and finding a rare, unwonted, colourful item that transcends and rebels it’s time and placement, you simply remain glued to the same spot, fascinated and captivated by its existence.

The band recently played The Great Escape festival in Brighton and have lots of exciting shows coming up this year, so you need to catch them! A track to listen to is “Shipping Forecast” – it embraces trippy, floating synth textures and gritty guitar tones.

At the other end of the spectrum is PARCS, a recently established group who explain they make “atmospheric/hip hop/beat things”. Their sound can be described as “laid back” and offers complex electronic hip-hop beat patterns that work with luscious vocals.

Their sound shows clear similarities to The XX, Little Dragon and MØ and their potential as a group is massive. Its early days but they are sure about their direction and have cultivated a solid sound. PARCS showcase advanced skills with live production and songs that are truly mesmerizing and articulate within their arrangements.

These are just two Welsh acts that demonstrate great musicianship. The Cardiff scene is so diverse and offers indie rock bands like Palomina Party and WETPAINTTT, as well as hardcore metal bands like Shaped by Fate, alternative rock bands such as Mumbleman and folk pop bands like Vince James!

Some may say the live scene isn’t what it used to be, however we believe it’s growing stronger. The lack of musical venues does not reflect the number of talented artists there are and despite the amount of venues in Cardiff, the ones that are around have a lot to offer.

Buffalo bar is spinning vinyl every day of the week.10 Feet Tall introduce singer-songwriters with a regular Monday Club, and Gwdihw carries a fat mixed bag of exciting promoters; the Cardiff scene is alive producing some quality music.

We love what we are finding in this city, so Cardiff musicians please keep doing what you do because we can’t wait to discover more great music!