Thursday, 27 August 2015

Singer Songwriters.

I absolutely love being a Singer songwriter, and realise what special company I am in. As singer songwriters we often live in our own musical world, and without the luxury of a band backing us and giving us a wall of protection. The stage is empty except for you and your instrument of choice, usually a Guitar or keyboard as you share your latest piece of yourself naked and exposed in front of your audience.
               I have read articles from famous musicians who went solo for a bet and how they said they would never do it again,...their most scary experience by far....yes that comfort blanket of having an orchestra or a team on stage with you is greatly noticed when you are a solo performer.
              However, the beauty of communicating straight from the heart, looking into the eyes of your audience, feeling and sharing moments that you both hold in common that you both secretly now know, is a special sharing that can only come from a work that was created from within yourself.
                A lonely existence but a meaningful one. I think most Songwriters I have come in contact with are very self motivated and glad to be independant and not shackled to anyone or anything that might change who they are. I think this set up was made for me as I understand loneliness only too well, and I'm not talking about the absence of people but rather the absence of being reached deep down where it matter's.  Maybe that's where we come in, the singer songwriters.....The voice reaching out from the darkness looking for an accomodating heart to say "Thank you, you dont know how much that song meant to me".....as we smile and think " I do"
Have a great weekend ! speak to you soon !

              

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Jason's tips for a live Singer songwriter gig.

I thought I would just share a few thoughts about doing live gigs as a Singer songwriter.
I usually base my gig on three things.
            1....Your performance
            2....Your Sound
            3....Your Audience.
                                  Lets take Performance first of all.
 You have a lot of control over your performance, and basically practice is the key word. I spend    hours rehearsing so that I know my material well, and also know the key parts in each song where you want to emphasise key phrases and emotion. There is no substitute for plenty of practice.
                                  Secondly, your sound needs to be good, and this can be a challenge depending on the room acoustics etc, but If your equipment is of a high quality you are giving yourself a great start. If you have a sound engineer hired or otherwise, make sure you have a good relationship with him and respect him or her for their capabilities.
                                  Your Audience really does matter, no really...Its not all about you. Your audience has paid to see you, and for this reason you should really bust a gut to give them a night to remember. Its also good to remember that your audience will be fans if they love you not only for your talent but because they actually love you as a person.....so when you make mistakes...and you will...no one is perfect right ?...let them see someone who is capable of laughing at themselves and lightening things up....and then get back into the Zone of making good music.

        Its a wonderful privilege to be able to give someone an enjoyable evening after a weeks stress from what life throws at them. We know how that works from living in the same world.
  Interact with the audience, dont be afraid to "let them in" to  your world ..If they love your music they will know that when you play the next song its time to listen....but they wont feel that you think too much of yourself to be friends.
                                                            Have a great weekend !

Monday, 27 July 2015

The Story of my life.....minus the middle

I decided to write this song a couple of months ago, and thought it would be good to literally do a "Then and now" sort of thing......so missing out a whole chunk of middle.
Have a great week !...and choose a link below if you want to see the video. (You tube...Reverbnation....Fandalism)



https://soundcloud.com/jason-mark-yates/the-story-of-my-lifeactual
https://youtu.be/8GT_LjzVWy4
https://www.reverbnation.com/jasonmarkyates
http://fandalism.com/jasbo555/dHoj

Sunday, 5 July 2015

The writing of songs

I was told the other day that I never write a bad song, for which I smiled and thanked him for the comment. At a gig on Saturday a member of the audience said, that every song I performed she related to and that she had bought Albums in the past that only had a couple of good songs on it.
   This made me think of those writers I admire who I would consider the same, such as Justin currie,  and of course the prolific Beatles.....many, many songs and all good songs.
 I might not be able to ask those artists the question why, but I can share my own experience.
                             I have written over 250 songs in the last 3 years, so I consider myself a pretty serious songwriter, and I have been a finalist 3 times now in the last 2 years in the highly respected United Kingdom songwriting contest in three different categories.
                             Two hundred and fifty songs sounds a lot, but there are in fact more songs, and you dont get to hear those, because they ended up in the bin, and that's my point. I dont just put songs out that are "ok", just for the sake of it....or songs that I think "Will do"...I would be embarrassed to just throw stuff out there unless it had something to offer.  I see folks share stuff that isnt finished, that they aren't happy with, and that they dont even like !....I mean... why ?  There is nothing better than going to a favourite artist's latest song and knowing its going to be good before you even hear it.
                             I feel very humbled when I hear great comments about my work, and I hope it continues for a long time to come, but you can be sure that there will be songs that no one will ever hear because they wont get to that point, sometimes a song just doesn't work and it makes far more sense to forget it and move on to the next project. What I have found though is that there may be something good in a bad song, and that can be used later sometimes as a part of something else, so when I say in the bin, its a figurative one......you can always remember the good bits and they can be used in future projects, that's happened a lot with me.
                             I hope your weekend went well, and if you are a songwriter, I hope you are self respecting enough to not share the "bad stuff"

                            

Friday, 24 April 2015

Feeling privileged

Yes, I'm feeling privileged to be a singer-songwriter. I knew early on that my passion was for music and that I would be involved in it at some point. I could have been involved in a number of aspects of the music world but I am glad to say that for me being a singer-songwriter is a perfect fit. One of the reasons is that due to my life course I have many things to write about, many feelings to express, and a strong need to be unshackled and let free when it comes to showing these emotions. I will always have a great feeling of excitement when before me lies a blank sheet of paper waiting for me to create something....something from within me, and I will always feel excited about seeing the beginnings of a song start to take shape and become something.
           The great thing for me is that the modern obsession of wanting to "be someone" or a "houshold name" is of little interest to me.....If it happens it happens......but here's the rub.....whether it does or doesn't, nothing changes for me...because I know what I am and dont need to be told by anyone whether my work is worthy or not, the constant feedback from my loyal fans tells me that, and they are the one's I do it for other than myself.
                  My message to my fellow singer songwriters is this...If you know that you write stuff that moves people, makes them feel....then you have something.....in fact.....you have everything.
My music consists of writing, performing and growing in ability and knowledge....getting better at what I do....these things fuel my passion.....and that passion has already rewarded me well !.......Have a great weekend !