FROM THE PRESIDENT
It use to be so easy to write a song without all of the "outside static". You would select your instrument of choice and create something special. Songwriting is an art form. You simply paint your canvas with your words and music. It didn't matter if you were trying to write a commercial song for the radio or just something personal for you to tell a story. Each of us have our own style of writing too. Some of us write the words and then add the melody. Some come up with the melody and add the words later. Or, we can choose to do the melody and words together. Whichever way we write a song doesn't matter because the finished creation is somewhere in there just waiting to come out.
Now, too many songwriters are getting caught up in the "outside static" when they ask, "what type of song should I write"? The genre craze has hit and everyone is getting lost in trying to "label" their songs with the vast array of musical types, categories, genres, or sub-genres. Or, you get the "so-called" experts that pretend to know everything about distinguishing song types in order to sound smart. The truth is, they are just as lost as everyone else but they don't want to admit it.
Think about this - there are actually 40 main genres of music (maybe more since this writing). Country has 14 sub-genres at the least. The newest one for me is Ameripolitan (look it up). Rock now has 41 sub-genres - could someone please tell me what Technical Death Metal is in 10 words or less? Blues has 24 sub-genres, including Texas Blues thanks to Stevie Ray Vaughn. Singer/Songwriter has 8 sub-genres, plus one I totally invented on my own called Acoustic-Coffeehouse (check out www.reverbnation.com/robowen).
The point is very few people care or know what most of these genres or sub-genres mean. As songwriters, we know what we like to write and what we like to sing. It seems that should be enough without making things complicated. That is what the Fort Worth Songwriters' Association is all about. We network with other songwriters and create music. Our members receive a monthly newsletter containing songwriting and music articles from major sources in the business. We offer a "Sound Bites" section in our newsletter for our members to advertise their performance schedule, CD information, or any music websites. We offer free monthly workshops and awesome guest speakers.
Remember, in this complex world there are too many things happening to worry about whether your music will fit in a certain box. Think out of the box and stay true to the music you like and create something new. If someone asks you what genre it is - make something up. They will never know the difference anyway. Take care and keep the music growing.