We are constantly working to build the songwriter community. In addition to our workshops we love holding free events like this Informal Song Share June 10th at Kafe Kerouac. This is a great chance to be surrounding by other like minded individuals in a stress free (cost free) supportive environment. The idea is not really to critique each other songs but just to share what we are currently working on. This may be a fleshed out song, a part of a song, a new one, an old one, or in between, whatever you go you share it. Please check out the event and RSVP if you can, and let your friends know about it. Hope to see you there!
We’ve had the privilege of having Eric Gnezda teach multiple times at CSW. He’s been integral in the workshop, putting hours in behind the scenes and offering advice on how to grow the workshop among other things. He works countless hours at his writing as well as his TV show Songs At The Center. Since we’ve had him before, and asked him some of the standard questions we dove even deeper into Eric’s writing. We also asked him to give some insight on hosting a television show. He will be hosting a class that will dive right into writing, check it out here and without further delay, here is our interview:
CSW: What is something you have learned from hosting a national tv show about songwriting?
Eric Gnezada: The privilege of being involved with Songs at the Center has taught me more than I can bring to mind. But at the top of the list are two things:
1) A great song speaks for itself, needs no introduction or set up. It’s often interesting to hear the background of a song, but if we have to set it up—or provide context—for it to be understood, we’d better take a long look at the song and rewrite it.
2) To succeed, it’s not enough just to be a great artist and songwriter. We have to be easy to work with, conscientious, professional, and, ultimately, view our job as serving our audience. The blend of talent and humility is a winning combination. The great ones who endure through the years, understand that it’s a privilege to step on a stage, and they conduct themselves with gratitude, humility and professionalism.
CSW: Having a tv show that you’ve produced from its birth, how do you balance that responsibility with also being a performing singer songwriter?
Eric Gnezada: The responsibilities of the TV series most often preempt my writing time, which is frustrating. Sometimes I feel more like a booking agent than a songwriter! On the other hand, the series has introduced me to people and opportunities that I might not have had otherwise, so my performance schedule continues to evolve. Like anything else in life, the secret is finding the right balance. I’m continually energized by the talent I interact with through Songs at the Center.
CSW: Can you share a little about what people can expect in your class?
Eric Gnezada: We’ve all heard it a million times, but the best way to start writing is to start writing. So we’re going to jump right in, not worrying too much about self-editing or the end result. All good art is usually a natural byproduct of being focused on the process, which sometimes gives us a song we can be proud of.
CSW: We’ve asked about writing advice in the past, do you have any advice to young songwriters on performance or music business?
Eric Gnezada: Study the great songs. “What makes them work?” Be ruthless with self-critiques, and seek evaluations from informed sources. We can waste a lot of years by assuming we’re moving forward because we have a strong local following and a full gig schedule. But the way to rise to the top—and have a long career—in the music industry is through writing GREAT SONGS that appeal universally. To hear a great song is to be given something memorable in one listen. An image, a story, a line, a hook, a melody that can’t help but be recalled the next day, and well beyond. So a critical question is: What am I giving my listener that’s sustaining?
Thanks to Eric, and don’t forget to Pre-Register for a discounted $50 at ColumbusSongwritingWorkshop.com/Pre-Register and follow us on Instagram @ColumbusSongwritingWorkshop