If you’ve ever wondered how to write a song then this episode is for you! We hear from the multi-talented David Megarrity. In the ukulele world you know him as a member of Tyrone and Lesley. David shares useful tips and insights on the songwriting process. His wisdom will inspire you to start writing!
David Megarrity Biography
David Megarrity writes things: songs, plays, short films, even a children’s picture book. Having played in many bands and composed songs and soundtracks for stage, screen and radio he has released 13 albums of original music in various audio incarnations. Full time artist and part-time Senior Lecturer in Drama at the Queensland University of Technology, David completed a PhD in 2015 and in 2018 won the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award for his play The Holidays.
One of David’s performance personae is Tyrone, the ukulele playing half of the musical duo Tyrone & Lesley (Sam Vincent being the double bass half). Tyrone and Lesley first met in 2000 and have been making music together ever since, releasing five albums. Their album Optimism, was named Ukulele Album of the year by Ukulele Hunt. Their performance combines music and theatre and they entertain audiences nationally and internationally.
To find out more about David Megarrity and Tyrone & Lesley go to:
- David’s blog – this links to the song we talk about, Old Fashioned https://lifeinthelongtail.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/songwriting-part-3-fashioning-old-fashioned/
- Tyrone and Lesley’s site https://tyroneandlesley.wordpress.com/ and keep up with Tyrone and Lesley on facebook https://www.facebook.com/tyroneandlesley/
Music on this episode
- Beginners Luck, Lyle Ritz. Written by Lyle Ritz and Jim Beloff. Opening music and interludes.
- Old Fashioned, Tyrone and Lesley. Written by David Megarrity and Samuel Vincent
- Dung Beetle, Tyrone and Lesley. Written by David Megarrity and Samuel Vincent
- Can’t Figure You Out, The Brass Traps. Written by Bernard De La Coeur, featuring Crissy (Christina Hogarth) on vocals.
Notes from this Episode
What do I want to communicate?
How long should the song be?
Write lots of lyrics then choose the ones that work.
Simple verse chorus structure.
Learn by using another person’s song. E.g. pick a theme song you like then write your own lyrics.
Rhyming scheme – https://www.litcharts.com/literary-devices-and-terms/rhyme-scheme
Iambic pentametre – https://www.shmoop.com/literature-glossary/iambic-pentameter.html
Figure of speech e.g. anaphora – https://www.litcharts.com/literary-devices-and-terms/figure-of-speech
- the action of scanning a line of verse to determine its rhythm.
“the verse defies easy scansion”
- the rhythm of a line of verse.
Melody – try to rap the lyrics. Does a melody start to come from the words?
Metre = time signature – https://courses.lumenlearning.com/musicapp-medieval-modern/chapter/meter-in-music/
Augusto Boal, theatre director
Phillip Larkin, poet. Broadcast is the name of the poem David refers to.
Ink Spots, pop vocal group
Mills Bros – jazz and pop vocal group
A few suggestions for apps to record music
Garageband (available on Apple devices only)
Audacity – https://www.audacityteam.org/