When I first started writing songs, I didn’t know any songwriters. None — not even one. I remember the first time I went to an open mike night in Manhattan back in 1999 and I was astonished that there were so many other songwriters there doing the same thing I was trying to do….perform my own material that I had written.
Today, I know hundreds of songwriters, through a wide variety of intertwining music groups, communities, networks, retreats, venues and, of course, blogs like this one. The support, inspiration and shared power I’ve received from those folks over the past 12 years has been immeasurable. It’s been like an extended support group for songwriters — a tribal hug that has kept me going through songwriting’s inevitable trials and tribulations.
Tips on finding songwriting support
1. Start local. You’d be surprised — even the tiniest towns and villages might have folks already getting together because of songwriting, whether it’s an open mic, a local jam, or a feedback group. Check Meetup.com for local options or you’ll find a great list of open mikes around the country at Openmikes.org
2. Go to songwriting camp. Nothing makes you feel more like you’re part of a songwriting tribe than huddling with fellow song-sters at a weekend or week-long reatreat. SummerSongs, held in New York State and California, and Song School, out of Colorado, are two can’t-miss choices.
3. Make it happen yourself. Let your social networks know you’re looking to start a songwriting group or open mic in your area, if you don’t have something going locally already. Perhaps there’s a songwriter in your area that could serve as a mentor or do an occasional workshop, or a local business that would be willing to host your meetings.
4. Connect online. Whether it’s through songwriting-focused blogs like this one, Facebook groups or website discussion boards, there are so many resources on the Web to connect with other songwriters. A little Googling will go a long way towards getting connected with other song scribes.
What are some other ways you find your own songwriting support group?