Songwriting Shortcuts Resources

On this page, you'll find interactive content that accompanies the Songwriting Shortcuts for the Native American flute book and e-book. 

  • Simple Formula Examples
  • Complex Formula Examples
  • Shifting Gears to the How
  • Arrangement Strategy
  • Story Questionnair & Phrasing Prompts
  • NAF TAB Sheets
  • Suggested Reading


Simple Formula Examples

Let's see how these formulas sound in a song. 

Just like our flutes, please know that each song has its own personality. These are simply listed as an example.


A - A - A

All of these sections are the same. We'll talk more about this particular song a bit later when discussing energy and dynamics. 


A - B - A

A section starts at 0:04 with: "Twinkle twinkle little star"

B section starts at 1:17 with: "In the dark blue sky you keep"

A section starts at 1:42 with: "As your bright and tiny spark"


In this version, Jewel finishes off the song by resolving with a part of A and creating a spaced out outro. 

A - B - A - B

A section starts at 0:07 with: "Fly me to the moon"

B section starts at 0:25 with: "In other words, hold my hand"

A section starts at 0:39 with: "Fill my heart with song"

B section starts at 0:55 with: "In other words, please be true"


This form happens rather quickly. After these sections, the song wraps up with a repeated B section and outro.

A - A -B - A

A section starts at 0:01 with: "Somewhere over the rainbow"

A section starts at 0:22 with: "Somewhere over the rainbow"

B section starts at 0:44 with: "Some day I'll wish upon a star"

A section starts at 1:12 with: "Somewhere over the rainbow"


Much like Fly Me To The Moon, after these sections, the song wraps up with a repeated B section.


Complex Formula Examples

These next two song formulas are quite complicated. They may or may not work with your solo flute pieces. Both songs feature instrumental parts, which give a break from the vocal. When looking at any one of these songs, imagine that your flute is the vocal part. What fills the instrumental parts then?

A - B - A - C - B - A

A section starts at 0:16 with: "Every breath you take"

B section starts at 0:48 with: "Oh can't you see"

A section starts at 1:05 with: "Every move you make"

C section starts at 1:23 with: "Since you've gone"

B section starts at 2:15 with: "Oh can't you see"

A section starts at 2:35 with: "Every move you make"


The song demonstrates a rather long and interesting outro.

A - B - A - B - C - B

A section starts at 0:20 with: "You must understand"

B section starts at 0:53 with: "What's love got to do with it"

A section starts at 1:12 with: "It may seem to you"

B section starts at 1:44 with: "What's love got to do with it"

C section starts at 2:04 with an instrumental, lyrics come in at 2:23

B section starts at 2:40 with: "What's love got to do with it"


For the outro on this song, the B section is repeated and faded.


Shifting Gears to the How

Amazing Grace is a very common song played on the Native flute. This song uses the "A-A-A" formula, which, in turn, leaves it feeling quite repetitive. Any time I perform this song as a solo Native American flute song, I try to add interest for the listener by playing it the following way: 


A1: Slow, simple and clean, lacking a lot of embellishments. I pretend this is my intro.


A2: Because the listener has already heard the melody, I need to spruce it up a bit. I'll add some embellishments (pop, bending, tonguing, etc.) and I won't sustain notes for as long. 


A3: This is the last time through the form, I'm going to vary my rate of vibrato and volume, in addition to adding embellishments. I may hold notes at the end of phrases a little longer. I'll really slow down for the last phrase. This helps the listener know that the end of the song is near. 

 



Arrangment Strategy

In Songwriting Shortcuts I talk about trying to arrange the different pieces that you've collected into a song form. Below is a video with the three melodies that I came up with; Bear Melody #1, Bear Melody #2 and June 3rd Melody. 


These pieces of music are included in the book and available for download below. 

 


Download Bear Melodies 1-2 and June 3rd Melody [PDF]


Clicking the link above will prompt an immediate download of the file. Where it ends up depends on your device and settings.


Story Questionnaire & Phrasing Prompts


Clicking the link above will prompt an immediate download of the file. Where it ends up depends on your device and settings.

NAF TAB SHEETS


Clicking the link above will prompt an immediate download of the file. Where it ends up depends on your device and settings.

Suggested Reading

In my book, Songwriting Shortcuts for the Native American flute, I reference a book that has been influential in my later writings and validated some of my older works. 


Friedemann Findeisen, author of The Addiction Formula, talks about this one specific formula behind the majority of the Top 40 songs playing on pop, rock and country radio stations. 


This book, in conjunction with the tools and knowledge in Songwriting Shortcuts, will have you writing memorable music quickly!