IVC MasterClass: David Poe

IVC is super pleased to present the first installment of MasterClass featuring singer/songwriter, composer David Poe.

Over the course of this multi-part series, David will offer us a unique, 10-point blueprint on songcraft carefully wrapped in Mr. Poe’s inimitable wit and culled from his ongoing experiences as one of the most talented songwriters, IMHO, working today.

On a personal note, I have to say I’m really excited to have David contributing to IVC. From our debaucherous days in the late-90’s as singer/songwriters on the LES of NYC to present day, David and I remain brothers in arms and as a hard-core fan of his work, I consider him one of the best.  Welcome DP! 

We begin with points 1 & 2, more to follow next post.

- Mark

On Songwriting: David Poe

1. Have a controlling idea.  Songs are often best when they’re about something specific.

You can think of it beforehand or reverse-engineer from the awesome chorus that you dreamt then croaked into the iPhone you keep bedside for the rare moments when your partner consents to archiving your illicit union on video.

2.  Show don’t tell. 

Even if the chorus is as simple as how you love/want/need someone, make the verses about why — and do it with imagery, simile, metaphor, personification.  You love her because she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China.  You want her, so you’re an all-day sucker for her love.  You need her, like the winter needs the spring … because she’s a jar with a heavy lid, your pop quiz kid:  a sleepy kisser, a pretty war and she begs you not to hit her.  Let your words fall out like endless rain into a paper cup. 

Bonus points for referencing the songs quoted above.

-Posted by David

David Poe is a singer/songwriter, producer and composer for film, theater and dance. David has seven albums to his credit and has written songs and produced albums for several other artists. He is a composer fellow of the Sundance Institute. www.davidpoe.com