While going through my song archives some time ago I noticed that I have a lot of songs written in the very early days of my musical journey that would never see the light of day. However, I still remember how these songs go in my head as if I’d written them yesterday.

I thought to myself… Now that I’ve got my home recording studio setup and I’m feeling comfortable with the process of recording music, why not record these old songs (angst ridden teen lyrics and all) with my fresh set of ears plus accumulated musical experience and knowledge.

This would be a great exercise to see how good these old songs really are plus, find out if they can stand up against the new songs that I’m currently writing.

Or, am I just being blinded by nostalgia.

Another thing for me to consider is that this exercise would give me lots and lots of Logic Pro X music production practise and it would be a good thing to do if I’m feeling a bit blocked creatively.

I thought I’d start things off with a recording of one of the first songs I ever wrote called Snow.

The song is pretty much about two people getting it on while it’s snowing outside but lyrically and dynamically I think it’s much more dreamy than that and personally, I’m quite chuffed with how it’s turned out so here it is for you to check out.

© C. Stewart 1989

Tonight, tonight, tonight we kiss
The rain is cold and so is the air that I breathe

Snow, it settles from the sky
Into the trees, when it’s cold outside
Snow, lovely snow

Tonight, tonight, tonight we embrace
Hostility has gone without a trace

Snow, it settles from the sky
Into the trees, when it’s cold outside
Snow, lovely snow

Guitar solo

Tonight, tonight, tonight we complete
We both are one from our head down to our feet

Snow, it settles from the sky
Into the trees, when it’s cold outside
Snow, lovely snow

Feel free to contact me and let me know what you think, all feedback is welcome.


Corey 🙂

According to renowned Zen Buddhist and interpreter of Chinese and Indian philosophies to the West, Alan Watts (1915-1973), the correlation between life and music is a closely knit and intertwining one.

Through his lectures and his vast audio archive, he was known for his ability to unravel the complexities of life for the layperson through his eloquence and humour.

A series of videos created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park were made from some of Alan’s famous audio recordings. The one I’ve included below is for one of the videos that has resonated with me the most.

It’s simply called Life and Music. Enjoy.

Some timely life lessons from Alan Watts. Let me know what you think.


Corey 🙂

This video I’m about to share with you is for me, the single most inspirational piece of media I have ever witnessed.

I would go so far as saying that if I hadn’t stumbled across this video then my musical journey would’ve turned out a lot different to what it is now.

I can remember where and when I saw this just like it was yesterday.

I was still attending Northfield High School at the time when I saw the beginning sequence of the video played on the classic ABC music show Rock Arena (do you remember that program) and I experienced the what could be described as the closest thing to a religious epiphany.

This video literally blew my mind. I had never heard music like this before and I was hungry for more.

I hunted down the video and once I had it in my hot little hands I went over to my music teachers house and we both watched it in awe of the music and the musicians that played it.

To put things into some sort of perspective I want to give you some background as to what was happening for me at the time as I was in a world of confusion and pain regarding where I was going in my music.

I was studying music composition and clarinet (as well as everything else) at High School and I was being groomed by the school to go to the Adelaide Conservatorium Of Music to get my Bachelor of Music degree and become either a music teacher or, an orchestral clarinet player (music teacher was looking the most likely path).

Everyone else had my musical life planned out for me, except for ME.

I was just starting to learn guitar at that stage and I didn’t know what I should do but once I saw this video, I made my choice and for the first time in my life I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

I wanted to do what THEY were doing.

This video has been long lost from my possession but I was beside myself when I recently stumbled across the full version of it on YouTube so here is King Crimson – Three Of A Perfect Pair: Live In Japan in its entirety just for you.


I’ve always considered the King Crimson “Discipline” trilogy of albums, starting with Discipline in 1981Beat in 1982 and lastly (my all time favourite) Three Of A Perfect Pair in 1984, as my most favourite albums of all time.

It’s influenced my playing style on both guitar and bass as well as shaped my musical approaches and attitudes in more ways than I can imagine and I’m so glad that I can share this video with you all.


Corey 🙂

Right now I’m sitting in front of my computer typing out this blog post and on the other screen is an open project on Logic Pro X and I’m really, really torn between completing this post and just doing some more recording.

However, there was a time not that long ago, that I couldn’t have imagined this scenario because back then, the thought of setting up some sort of home recording studio absolutely terrified me.

But what was I really scared of? I suppose I was scared that…

  • My music would sound crap and not sound like what’s on the radio
  • I couldn’t do it (record from home)
  • It would take too long for me to learn
  • My end product would be judged harshly by others
  • People won’t like my music (and therefore, not like me)

Of course, these irrational and illogical fears were a result of an unhealthy combination of way too much perfectionism, not enough confidence and a dash of low self esteem thrown in for good measure

I remember when I purchased my first iMac way back in 2009, I had included in the purchase a copy of Logic 9 (I had some experience using Logic 4.2 – before it was purchased by Apple from Emagic) and when I installed it onto my new system I left it sitting there all alone on my desktop, unopened for a very long time.

Eventually, curiosity got the better of me and feeling a bit brash one day, I opened it up and started to muck around with it.

The more I used it, the more I gained confidence in my ability to learn about and operate a piece of software that was almost like learning a foreign language. Then I discovered that YouTube had heaps of Logic 9 tutorials that enabled me to integrate more knowledge that I could use in my recordings.

It was around about this time that my decision to start collaborating with other songwriters in a big way took place and my new found knowledge of recording music at home had some sort of outlet.

Then Logic Pro X came onto the market. When I got that onto my system everything had changed. Now I’m a home recording studio junky and there’s no stopping me now.

The main thing I love about recording from home is the sheer convenience of thinking of a songwriting idea and then being able to flick on a switch and have everything at your disposal at a moment’s notice.

Don’t get me wrong… I still use and work in other recording studios big and small, professional and amateur, and feel that these facilities provide a much needed service however, with my home recording setup I am no longer at the whim of somebody else when it comes to recording my songwriting ideas and developing them towards a completed product.

Through this website, I’ll be sharing with you my home recording experiences, what I’ve learnt from taking a leap of faith into the land of home recording plus curating some fantastic content that I’ve found that has helped me along the way so watch this space.

Okay, now I’ve got that out of my system, I’m getting back to my recording…


Corey 🙂

When accepting his BMI Icon award in 2010, songwriter David Foster gave a speech which was more like a ten commandments for all songwriters to live by.

Here are those ten songwriting tips in a nutshell:

  • Save your money
  • Don’t get married
  • Learn an instrument
  • Don’t be too precious about your songs
  • Be genuinely happy for someone else’s success
  • Phone people back
  • Give your career everything that you have
  • Be on time
  • Make every creative decision as if you have a million dollars in the bank
  • Save your money


I especially liked numbers 3, 4 and 9 on the list. Which one(s) resonated with you? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.


Corey 🙂

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have a confession to make… I am a tragic hoarder of information.

I love collecting information, researching or any activity that can be used as an excuse to not move forward with something. I don’t know where this affliction comes from but this is something that I do every single day.

My Evernote account has now over 42000 bookmarks on topics such songwriting and other music related stuff through to web design and online marketing, all of which have been set aside so I can read it later.

Now, THAT is a lot of reading…

The ironic thing is that as soon as I am in a position where I need to take some action on something my brain immediately tells me that I can’t make the next step because I don’t have enough information to move ahead.

It is then that I get paralysed, unable to move forward with what I want to do and mistake that as a sign that I need to start collecting even more information.

On one hand I don’t want to move on with things because I don’t have enough information at my disposal and when I feel I’m finally ready I’m paralysed by too much choice…

Yes, I suffer from information paralysis. Too much information running through my brain…

Talk about setting myself up for failure. The next question I need to ask myself is “how do I get around this strategy and move myself forward?”

But first, I have to answer the question “is there any real benefits using my present researching strategy?” and the answer is YES.

I do come across a lot of really good information that I can use but I just need to learn to research and take action at the same time. Researching and action can be two activities that can move parallel with each other.

So, I admit it, I am an information hoarder. I collect information under the notion that the more info I collect, the more knowledgeable I will become…


I collect information because I’m scared of making the next move. Collecting information is my preferred method of PROCRASTINATION.

No amount of information collection will make me a better songwriter, musician, producer or blogger because information alone is useless unless action follows it.

This is one of my goals for 2021, to use all of this information to my advantage.

To actually learn something from all of the information I’ve collected and to take action on it without fear.

Can you relate to this? Is information hoarding something that you do to delay the inevitable? If so, let me know and perhaps we can help each other break the cycle of information hoarding (or, at the very least trade some info).


Corey 🙂

According to this video from the popular science YouTube channel Vsauce the answer is “not very likely” which is a good thing I suppose otherwise I would be out of a job.

It seems that if you quantified all of the possible notes and rhythm combinations you get this amazingly huge but finite number however, whether these combinations of sounds are music to our ears is another thing.

This is a very, very cool video indeed. I do like the explanation on why we gravitate towards some types of song arrangements and not others.

It certainly gave me some food for thought. What about you?

In the meantime, enjoy the video and let me know what you think.


Corey 🙂

In order to master the craft of songwriting you must first fully embrace the fact that there’s always something to learn about it.

The more you know, the more you need to learn.

I know of some songwriters that are either bored or restless with their craft. They complain that everything that they do all sounds the same and therefore they feel they’re not expanding and growing as songwriters.

However, in life, there are people that do things and people that don’t. Which category a certain songwriter falls into is not determined by genetics or how much Mercury is in retrograde.

It’s all determined by their attitude and as a songwriter, how you master your chosen craft is determined by you and you alone.

One of my ongoing goals is getting advanced musical theory and guitar lessons. I’ve mentioned this to a select number of friends in the past and they all ask me “why?”

My reply is “why not!”

I have been playing music and writing songs since I was 13 and besides learning clarinet and studying music theory and composition in high school, I have not had any other tuition in my life.

I am mostly a self taught musician.

It would be arrogant of me to think that I have nothing else to learn so I’m going to find out where my learning gaps are and I’m then going to fill them in with some new knowledge.

Doing this can only make me a better songwriter and musician so that’s why I started guitar and theory lessons with Richie Robinson from Guitar Lessons Adelaide yesterday (June 10th, 2021).

I’m really excited to see how these lessons will affect the way I approach music, writing songs and life in general as I believe that how you approach your craft is a metaphor of how you approach your life.

My advice to anyone regarding learning an instrument or expanding their music theory knowledge to help with your songwriting is threefold:

1. If you’ve ever considered learning an instrument then consider no more, start learning. Don’t believe the rubbish that some people will tell you about old dogs and new tricks.

2. If you already play an instrument, consider getting lessons no matter how proficient you are. The more proficient you are at your instrument the more important your choice of tutor will be.

3. If you already get lessons, make more of an effort to practise, learn to love it and find the time to do it. Challenge yourself with the lessons, try to feel your mind expand with the knowledge you gain from it.

Seek out books on songwriting, buy them and read them. Take notes and do what is needed to assimilate the new knowledge into your songwriting process.

Get online and sign up to songwriting resources, forums, and communities. Ask lots and lots of questions.

In your research you’ll come across people you feel comfortable communicating with, keep in contact with them. Network and expand your relationships.

If you want to contact me and ask questions feel free to do so, you can also comment below as well.

In short, get out of your comfort zone.

If you feel you have been spending precious energy complaining and not enough energy doing then stop, re-evaluate and change your attitude towards your songwriting.

It can be done, I know because I have done this for myself.

Reward yourself (and your songwriting) by embracing new knowledge and you will never, ever look back. In fact, let me know how you go with it.


Corey 🙂

Here is a very interesting video I found recently of one of my favourite musicians and sound artists of all time, Brian Eno being interviewed by Jools Holland in 2001.

In the video, Eno talks about the concept of his Oblique Strategies cards and how they can be of immense help to songwriters, performers, studio musicians and even brain surgeons.

Speaking about brain surgeons check out what happens at around the two minute mark. It’s very, very funny and a great example of how Oblique Strategies works.

I did a quick Google search and here are some places online where you can find and use Eno’s oblique strategies…

Enjoy the video…

Would you use these cards as part of your songwriting process? I would certainly give them a go.


Corey 🙂

As of Monday, May 31st 2021, I’ve officially stepped down from my day gig as a disability support worker and I’m now going it alone operating my music (SongMachine) and web design (ZenWeb) businesses simultaneously.

Right now, at this very moment, I have given myself the gift of time so it is now my responsibility to use this gift wisely and start doing the things that I have been talking, planning, scheming, dreaming and making lists about for the longest time.

I’m reminded by an article that I found on the Time To Write blog called Is This The Time To (Finally) Be You? in which the author Jurgen Wolff unveils two parts to an equation.

First of all, the “secret” of finding the very thing that you need to be doing that defines who you are and secondly, how to do the things you need to do that defines you.

He explains the second part of the equation in this way…

You’ve found it. Now what? Is there a secret? Something they don’t want you to know but that I will reveal to you if you send me lots of money?

No, nobody’s trying to keep it from you and there’s no charge. It’s simple. Not always easy, but simple:

1. Start
2. Continue
3. Fail (because we can imagine perfection but not attain it)
4. Learn from the failure
5. Continue
6. Repeat 3 through 5

Number one is the hardest but the other steps have their drawbacks, too.

So why do it? Because it means something to you

Yes, being a songwriter, musician, producer and blogger means something to me and no, there is no real secret, just action and for me this means navigating through a minefield of fear and doubt.

This fear and doubt has been something that I have carried with me for many, many, many years and it has been very successful in stopping me doing what I want to be doing with my life.

Not any more.

I have been conveniently been using my day gig as an excuse to not be living the life that I want to be living but at the end of the day I’ve just been very scared of being venerable and putting myself out there to be judged, compared and rated in the minds of the general public.

Now, there is no more “I’ll get around to it when I have the time.” I now have all the time that I need and all I’ve got to do is to follow the steps outlined in the article Is This The Time To (Finally) Be You? and I’ll be halfway there.

Wish me luck and watch this space…


Corey 🙂