Sting’s Songwriting Process – An Insight

I stumbled across this old video on YouTube of Jools Holland interviewing Sting (circa early 80’s) recently and it gives a brilliant insight into the way that Sting gathers, processes and demos his songwriting ideas before introducing it to the rest of the Police band members

Even though the video primarily focuses on how he came up with “Message In A Bottle” (one of my all time favourite songs) there are plenty of pearls of wisdom to be had if you listen for it.

Look out for the introduction of Dennis as one of the central characters in his songwriting process.

Jools Holland interviews Sting (The Police)

I loved every minute of this video especially the old recording technology I mean, I used to have a Tascam Portastudio (ahh, memories). I hope you enjoyed it too, let me know what you think.


Corey :)

Expanding My Online Presence Using Posterous

Now I am a self confessed WordPress fanboy and have been for many years but for a little while now I’ve had my eye on another blogging platform to expand my online presence with.

It’s called Posterous.

My understanding of Posterous is that it was developed to allow people to post online via email but it also has an online interface that can be used as well however, the main feature that really got me interested in exploring it more was its AutoPost function.

The AutoPost function allows what I post on my Posterous blog to appear automatically on other blogging platforms and social networking sites that I subscribe to. Once I publish a post, it will be automatically updated on the following sites:

This excited me because this system allows me to post items of interest and relevance on Songwriting, Music Business and Home Recording that I find on the web and have that information appear at multiple points online while at the same time, these multiple points all link into this site.

Essentially, I expand my online presence without too much effort while creating incoming links to Corey Stewart Online (good for SEO) plus, interesting and relevant information is being circulated to those who want to read it.

The secondary reason for doing this is that through posting the relevant news of the day based on my topics of interest plus the wide ranging ideas of others I will become more inspired myself and therefore my own blogging/songwriting activity will increase.

Everybody wins!

This is of course an experiment that I’ll be monitoring very closely. I want to find out if I get an increase in traffic numbers, email subscription numbers and Google juice but I’ll make sure I keep you all up to date with the ongoing results.


Corey :)

PS: The first post on Posterous can be found HERE

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GarageBand + My iPad = AWESOME!

A couple of days ago I downloaded the GarageBand app for my iPad and I’ve really fallen in love with it. I think I just found my songwriting idea creation tool of choice.

I’ve always thought that because it was so ahead of its time, the iPad was the tool that you acquired first and worked out how to use it later but now, after playing around with GarageBand, I can see how this will totally revolutionise how I use my iPad.

At the moment I am still at the “mucking around with it” stage but even so, I composed a short piece to celebrate my GarageBand app acquisition. I call this piece GB on the IP and you can find it below.

It’s only an 8 bar phrase repeated twice but hey, it’s a start.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

I can assure you that more songwriting ideas will be coming…


Corey :)

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New Tool: Follow Me – WordPress Plugin

Have a look on the right hand side of this blog, can you see the tag with Follow Me written on it?

Click on it and see what happens… It’s a new social networking plugin for WordPress called Follow Me that I’m using at the moment.

This plugin, developed by Ignite Social Media, allows you to put in information about your online social networking presence and once the plugin is active it creates a non-intrusive opportunity for your visitors to subscribe to any or all of your social network profiles and RSS feeds.

Pretty cool hey?

Check out the Follow Me WordPress Plugin page on the Ignite Social Media website.

If you happen to have a WordPress blog of your own and you decide to use the plugin, let me know how you go.


Corey :)

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Experimenting With MailChimp

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One of the most important things a musician needs at their marketing disposal is a mailing list and for a long time I’ve just been using the groups function on open source email clients such as Mozilla Thunderbird to manage my mailing list however, this has been a bit limiting especially when I’m sending out emails in bulk.

Thunderbird (or my ISP for that matter) wouldn’t let me do it.

Now that I’m using a Mac I thought using Apple Mail would be different but even now I can’t send out more than 20 emails at a time without getting the appropriate error messages and having the whole emailing exercise grind to a halt.

I needed a better way to manage my email list.

About 18 months ago I tried to install phpList, an open source email management system, but it seemed I needed a degree in rocket science to work it all out so I quickly gave up on that idea.

There were other email management systems that I knew about such as AWeber and Constant Contact but they cost a lot of money and I wanted to try something out first before handing over a monthly fee to a company.

Then I stumbled across MailChimp.

I heard about MailChimp through a friend of mine about a year ago. I checked it out and man, I was impressed. All the information I was after and the answers I was looking for were written in plain English and the instructional videos are very well made and easy to follow.

It took me a while to gather up the courage to use MailChimp but I thought… “New year, new email management system.”

So I went for it.

At the moment I have transferred both my Corey Stewart Online and Open Mic Network mailing lists over to MailChimp and I’ve just installed a signup form in the right sidebar of my site.

The beauty of using an email management system such as MailChimp is that they handle all of the emailing for you, none of this sending out emails in batches of 20 like I had to do pre MailChimp.

Another thing that I love about MailChimp is the reports you can generate. With a click of a button I know how many people have opened their email, what links have been clicked on and what emails are bounce-backs (which are cleaned out of the list automatically).

All lists are opt-in and the email confirmation and “thank you for subscribing” pages are handled by MailChimp as well.

The best part about MailChimp is that they have a free forever account which allows a 1000 subscriber and 6000 emails/month limit on my activity which is plenty for me at this time.

For more information go to the MailChimp website. in the meantime if you want to sign up for my mailing list please fill out the form provided in the right sidebar and click the subscribe button and you’ll be kept up to date on news and gigging information.


Corey :)

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