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About this blog

What I'm up to

Entries in this blog

In addition to this blog, which will be more focused on my own writings and my experience in creating my own works, I have created a new blog which will focus on Songwriting and Music in general. It will cover music and lyrics writing, and the combined creative process of creating a song, music technology, music production and the business aspects of the music industry:

John Moxey On Songwriting and Music

To start with I will be adding articles on topics of interest to songwriters and musicians, and I will be going through my own bookshelf pulling out books of note and, offering comments and suggestions.

As ever your comments are welcome!

Please subscribe to the blog and share it with your musical friends!

Awaken has been out there for some time, I know, but it is new toanyone who hasn't heard it... which is more or less the entire world!For years I haven't pushed my own music at all (neglected almostcompletely) and as a result few people have heard any. There have been,and still are, reasons that I haven't produced much in the way ofrecordings over the last few years. I'm hoping to change that over thecoming months (with a little help from my friends... ).

The first step is to try and gather some fans while I record some of mynew songs. That means spreading the word and trying to introduce morepeople to my music.

I'm in the difficult situation that I cannot go out and perform, atleast not in the foreseeable future. Who knows, hopefully one day. Thismeans that I rely pretty well entirely on family, friends, and the webto get my music out there.

It's a simple thing to share, comment or like but I would ask you allto please consider visiting the John Moxey reverbnation profile and subscribing tomy newsletter, become a fan on reverbnation, and to play Awaken eachday if you can.

Lastly I am asking each of you if you can help spread my music. Reverbnation and Facebook provide various ways to do this.

Your help is very much needed and appreciated!

A big ask I know, but if you don't ask you don't get.

John Moxey Reverbnation Profile

Wow, I have lots and lots of songs to complete lyrics for! At a rough count I would say 40... that's just sad... ok writing head on, time to get some serious writing time in.

At least 5 are only short of a line or two so that isn't to bad, and I have about 6 others with no lyrics at all, just gentle mumbles as I go through playing them and singing the melody.

I finished mixing I Am One yesterday. Hopefully that's it completed at long last!

Now I get to turn my attention towards a queue of other songs in various stages of development. Always On my Mind is almost finished and Hit and Run is ready for recording. Another few very near to being ready for recording and a stack really needing some lyrics finished.

I love writing lyrics but I don't devote enough time to it of late. Something I really need to get on with!

Ok so the file sharing people have kindly killed off not just the major labels as they like to think in their most Robin Hood of moments, but they have also massacred the independent labels and musicians.

Little thought goes into their actions. They want free music. They feel entitled to it, and no matter what argument is presented they invariably come back with some "striking at the big boys", some anti-corporate crap and the vague notion that we should all trust them to buy the stuff that they like.

In truth they rarely buy anything but keep almost all they download.

Completely misinformed don't let them fool you. Anti-popular as the opinion might be they are selfish thieves who care nothing for the damage that they do to the many many more musicians and music professionals who have nothing to do with their supposed target.

So what kind of world are these people carving? Are they striking at the major labels? Yes. Are they attacking all the other musicians? Yes. they may say they don't but sorry, just look at the file sharing sites. It's a crock.

Soon, and I mean very soon, many independent labels are going to disappear. So are many music professionals. What does that leave? Only the majors and some indie bands with a big enough following to have their fans buy merchandise.

What we will have is almost no indie music. What incentive is there for musicians to create music? Lots. What incentive is there for musicians to share that music with others? Almost none.

How would these file sharers feel if they trained for years, worked their ass off, and then people just helped themselves to the fruits of all their efforts, and emptied their pay packets? All work and no pay makes anyone very poor.

No thought is given to "how will the little guys survive?". Trouble is, new big guys come from todays little guys. Add to that the major labels are so broke they are not keen to invest in new bands at all. It's a lot of investment for almost no return, normally a huge loss these days.

Instead you can see what is happening. Labels are releasing back catalog music in droves, generally aiming at markets that are less computer savvy. Music videos are shot very cheaply. the quality of the music is going down as labels use samplers and synths to replace session musicians (which does little for the nuance of performance), ticket prices are up as is merchandise. The big guys are just switching how they earn their money.

But merchandise requires fans, fans come from being noticed and being liked. So how does an independent musician earn a crust? Maybe the file sharers should all work for years, with no pay, in fact paying to do their job, with the complete uncertainty that they will ever be paid. That was the way it often was before file sharing took hold.

Now the equivalent is that the musician pays for it all, gives away their music for free in the hope that fans will buy an official t-shirt (oh wait they are bootlegged too along with concert programs and all the other merchandise) and they are left with what?


So soon we have few new bands. Quality of music goes down. Quality of videos goes down. Less is spent on promotion so you are less likely to even know a lot of music exists. Musicians work in their spare time, for little recognition for their efforts other than "thanks for the music".

Is this what you want? All so you can get some songs for free? "Hey it's just one song" I hear you say. yeah one song by that artist maybe, but look across your music collection.

Artists earn by adding together those small amounts from all the people who say "Hey it's just one song". trouble is it really isn't just you. It's the thousands and thousands of others who do this too. in fact downloading any track simply supports the sites that offer these services making them more popular allowing them to grow faster and do more an more damage.

Streaming is another fast growing alternative. It pays musicians very poorly (as one person on these boards noted about $10 for 20,000 plays). It's already spreading to mobile devices. Soon fans wont need to download anything they will just have access to an entire archive of music where ever they go. i do believe I hear the death knell of the music industry.

Movies are next, then books. Soon we will have a situation where the creative industries are completely shattered apart. Back to the pre pop revolution. In fact way before that.

Some musicians will always be content with a pat on the back "well done", but for many now comes a time when they will ask themselves "ok I made some music... now can i be assed letting people hear it other than my friends" Sure they may perform, but really, what incentive is there to release those songs to a wider audience?

By file sharing, even streaming, you are killing off the artists you like as well as the ones you dislike. this is no small scale thing that is making a small dent, this is something that is killing the music industry. All of it.



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I Am One

I posted up the first lyric I'm completed in a little while. here:

I am one

There's a few comments in the thread and some explanations of my reasoning, if not my inspiration.

Please drop by and have a read, and if you feel like it leave a comment.

Critique did bring up an interesting point of discussion. Several actually! The debate of directness of a lyric came up and the need for balance both within a lyric and across a portrfolio of lyrics. Ok, well it interests me!

Similes, Metaphors and Allegories are essential tools in writing lyrics where the intent is to leave the lyric more open to interpretaion by the listener.

So, I thought I'd bring together the descriptions in one place. I've reworded the best I found on the web in the hope that the meanings are clear.


a simile states that A is like B

A simile is a juxtaposed comparison of two or more subjects to draw attention to their similarities. Similes are typically identified by the use of "like" or "as" or "than", or "resembles". Similes are a specific and formulaic form of allegory.


a metaphor states that A is B or substitutes B for A

A metaphor is defined as an indirect comparison between two or more apprently unrelated subjects that typically uses "is a" to join the subjects


Allegory is a type of extended metaphor, where objects, individuals, and actions in a work, are equated with meanings outside the work itself. The hidden meaning has social, moral, religious, or political significance, and often characters are personifications of abstract ideas such as greed, or envy. Allegory encompasses such forms as fable, parable, and apologue and may involve either a literary or an interpretive process.

An allegory is a story with two meanings, a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning.

I've set myself a challenge of writing 21 lyrics during the 31 days of January, pretty well 2 lyrics every 3 days.

The point isn't to write masterpieces, but to try to get ideas flowing without letting myself get bogged down. I have no idea if it'll work, or if I'll even get close to writing that many lyrics in such a short time, but it will be interesting!

If anyone else is interested in such a challenge I've posted a topic here:

lyrics writing challenge

Please join in and challenge yourself!

Post each lyric in it's own topic in the lyrics critique board...

Lyrics critique

Lyrical Motivation

I am churning out music I am happy with, a lot quicker than I am currently managing to produce lyrics. It's not a wuestion of ideas, it's motivation.

I thinked I've sussed out what's wrong (again). Motivation. (still) I just don't spend enough time writing.

When I sit down with an instrument I can simply express myself. My inner feelings are given a voice and it's good just to let that out.

With lyrics, I tend to put a lot of myself into them. They are about me, my life, or something that has touched my life. As a younger writer I would be just as happy to write about other people's lives or abstract situations.

The fact that I now write about something personal means that every lyric means raking over coals, open up wounds etc, making the whole thing a far less pleasing experience. It does also give me a somewhat more limited subject matter.

Maybe it's about time I was a bit less inward looking. Not give it up, more re-engage in writing from different perspectives at the same time.

I now have a huge backlog of tunes with part written lyrics. Time I knuckled down!

Songwriters often shun the idea of being "commercial" in their writing, without pausing to think about the what they are throwing away under the heading "commercial". I've seen so many songwriters that don't edit, or are only open to editing certain parts of songs purely on the grounds that writing in a way that makes their lyrics more appealing is equated with selling out to commercialism.

One of the points of writing a song is to communicate. One of the reasons can be to make a point. In most cases we want to:

  • Make our message understandable
  • Make it easily digestable (don't confuse with watered down)
  • Make it able to do both of the previous two points to as broad a collection of listeners as possible

When I review a lyric I try to view it from these perspectives. Appeal is what we generally want, even when we say something controversial, shocking or offensive. Paying attention to these aspects of writing a song helps to achieve appeal. With lyrics that can sometimes be a tweak of phrasing, a structural change, hook type and hook placement etc.

Writers often think that "rules" are there to be broken. That somehow they don't need to think about them. The fact is they are guidelines. Something to be aware of when writing, understanding that structures, hooks, rhyme schemes etc all effect appeal, understandability, and digestability.

The fact that commercial music also desires these qualities does not devalue them as useful perspective son the part of the writer

Writing A Song

it's weird how creativity flows.

I have absolutely no problem coming up with musical ideas at all. Prick me with a pin and a new tune will come out, complete with chord structure. Music just seems to happen. I have no problem rewriting (except melody once I have words), changing direction, coming up with alternatives etc.

Lyrics are different. I don't know if it is the quality of original ideas, and enhanced sensitivity to perfectionism? Somehow the words convey something definate, so they need to be absolutely right?

Whatever it is, it's a pain. I've been trying more lyric writing without qualifying them as I go. It does help, but I don't do it easily! I have to reminding myself "edit later". Just having that thought interrupts my creative flow.

I will persevere.

Writing Lyrics

I've been doing lots of writing and I'm really enjoying it. I think it's because I've got lots of ideas flowing, both melodically and lyrically, and that is helping to keep my creative juices flowing.

I'm almost ready to start using my collaboration space. First time I'll have used it in anger, so to speak. It's been a while since I've recorded with other musicians and I'm really looking forward to hearing the little unexpected twists and ideas you get when working with others.

Onwards and upwards, as they say!

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