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From Ludvig Hartler

Hi Mark!

I've started reading your book and I must say I find the isolation of a song seed very helpful. I've been going through a period where I find myself trapped in the melodic ideas of songs, but often the lyric idea is the real seed. Realizing that, I've actually started writing lyrics more effortlessly than ever!

I have just finished reading the first chapter and I am very excited to start my first week of seed discovering and dissecting! Ironically, it will have to wait since the isolation of a lyrical seed really has got me going - as I told you! One thing I have found interesting, now that I have put melody to a verse I wrote working solely with the lyrics, is that structure of rhyme scheme, number of lines, and even (strangely enough) the way I build metaphors for this song is very different from what I normally write. As a consequence of that, melodic and chordal ideas have followed the same pattern, as I have to break the unconscious rules or patterns I normally use to write music in order to keep the essence of the already finished lyrics. I am very excited. I look forward to keeping you updated on where this song goes.


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From Femke Weidema

I remember sitting in Mark Simos’ classroom back in 2006, aspiring to become a songwriter. What I loved the most about his teaching was his undeniable passion for songs and songwriting, and I'm so glad that this passion shines brightly in his new book Songwriting Strategies. It talks about every aspect of songwriting, from capturing the song seed, to allowing it to blossom into a beautiful song with all its facets of rhythm, lyrics, melody, harmony and structure. Each subject is captured with much detail and care. I believe a songwriter is never done learning: this book has reminded me that I will forever be a student in songwriting, and I'm happy to have Mark Simos as my teacher.

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