Danny Schafer answers Songwriting Questions

Local legend and accomplished songwriter Danny Schafer answers a few questions about songwriting. He's a fantastic songwriter, singer and guitarist. I hope you enjoy.

What is your songwriting process? My process is simple. Stay in the writing. Stay open. Don't hold on to tight. Write record and move on to the next song. You will find often another song is waiting. How do you come up with ideas? My ideas are very informal. Driving helps. Time alone helps. Then once I am started getting out and talking to people can help get the endings.  I have heard other song writers talk about keeping the concepts simple and setting the scene. I think this is true. Then a listener can personalize the song for themselves. The way the light is. How the room looks. Leaning into the feeling more in the chorus. Of course there is no rules to this madness. I write all the time. Its the only time I am alone and at peace. What life experiences have shaped your songwriting? The more I know myself the more I write. Experience and a sense of humor whether the subject is good or heavy is important. You can make someone laugh or cry at the truth. What advice do you have for songwriters just starting out? Be bold. Play your songs for other people. Get out and perform them. An audience can teach you about your own writing. Take every criticism with a grain of salt. Especially the compliments. What tricks (if any) do you have for overcoming writer's block? I don't believe in writers block. That's a made up drama that is unneeded. Sometimes inspiration is there and sometimes its not. Keep writing. Its a learned skill best backed up by natural ability. Why do you think songwriting is important? Songwriting is communication. You can get away with things as an artist other people cant. Songwriters should use that as an advantage, Who are some of your strongest influences? My strongest influences are the writers who keep it simple and straight. Less fluff. More honesty. Also the writers that intrigue me are the ones who write from different point of views well. Guy Clark's "She Ain't Going Nowhere" is a good example of a man writing very well from a woman's point of view. What are your thoughts about the state of creativity in the music business? Has it changed? I don't think so. Its still a half dark room with pen, paper and a guitar to me. I don't give a damn about the overall music business. I am a writer and I know staying close to that makes me feel whole. Success or not I know where I belong. I belong watching and listening. Waiting for the next song.

35 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Golden Vanity

My dad used to sing this song, and he still does sometimes. It's an old one. There are versions as early as the Carter Family, and it predates them. It has a lot of different verses, melodies and song

On The Road to Allihies

In 2015, the Martin Gilmore Trio, played a tour in the west of Ireland. Our good friend John Nyhan booked several shows for us all around Country Cork and beyond. It was a real bonding trip for the th

You're Not Even Trying

When I was a sophomore in college I had gone home for the weekend to visit my family. My dad and I were playing guitar around the kitchen table, like we usually do. The phone rang, my dad answered, an