Songwriting with Julie and John Pennell June 18


June 18, 2023
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Pine River Library, Bayfield

Part I. What Bluegrass and Country Songwriters Can Learn from The Music of the Beatles

Part II. Your Songs: How to Write, Develop & Improve Them

The first portion of this interactive workshop is about The Beatles and what bluegrass and country songwriters can learn from them. We’ll focus on songs we think reflect a debt to the bluegrass/country genre, which the Beatles themselves embraced, even in some not so necessarily obvious ways. And we’ll look at how the Beatles used these influences on the songs they wrote. We’ll also look at who influenced them, and how they were able to make their songs ‘Beatle Songs’ through their own use of melody, harmony, rhythm, and form. The remaining hour and a half will be devoted to examining songs students bring to the workshop. If you’d like, please either bring a recording of your song or be prepared to perform it on guitar. We will discuss all aspects of the song including lyrics, melody, harmony, rhythm, and dynamics, with an encouraging and appropriate attitude towards the creation and realization of the vision you have for your song. Julie and John will point out anything we think will be helpful to realizing the best possible expression of your song.

The second half of the workshop will be devoted to songwriters who wish to bring their songs to Julie and John for analysis and suggestions. Those who wish to remain for the ‘song analysis’ are more than welcome to do so. Consideration will obviously be given to those who brought songs for the ‘song’ portion, but, we think if you are interested in songwriting as something you want to try or just want to gain understanding about how someone writes a song, you will find this portion very helpful and encouraging.

Feel free to come to part or all of the workshop, and to come with or without a song! This workshop will be open to anyone interested in attending, whether or not you are a songwriter/musician or a fan of The Beatles or just songwriting in general.

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