How Songwriting Really Works

The Techniques & Secrets of the World's Greatest Songwriters
With Wayne Chase
, author of "How Music Really Works"
Coming back to REO in August, 2013.

Our new song camp is ideal for those willing to devote themselves to writing songs that will stand the test of time. In other words, create songs that will be classics for years to come. Better than the songs you hear on the radio today and better than many "hits" that are really not that well written.

How Songwriting Really Works: Techniques and Secrets of the World's Greatest Songwriters will be held at our beautiful river's edge retreat near Vancouver, British Columbia. This is a view of the Nahatlatch River from our dining deck.

The retreat will be hosted by Wayne Chase. Wayne is the author of one of the most creative and original works on songwriting that has ever been written, "How Music Really Works".

Wayne is a music and songwriting scholar having spent 20 years researching and analyzing the greatest songs of our times. Wayne is the creator of the Gold Standard Song List, a compilation of 5,000 of the greatest songs of the last 100 years based on the lyrical and musical characteristics of each song in 11 genres. Wayne holds 5 patents on connotative analysis and is considered one of the world’s leading experts on the emotional meaning in language.

Wayne’s websites include:;;

Retreat Contact: Bryan Fogelman

Retreat Highlights: Music

  • Why Technology Will Not Help You Write Brilliant Music
  • Why the Ability to Read Music and Play a Musical Instrument Expertly do Not Matter
  • Why Co-Writing Music Will Probably Do You More Harm than Good
  • Understanding and Using Certain Types of Scales and Modes, and Avoiding Modal Blunders
  • How to Use the Nashville Number System
  • How to Take Advantage of the Strengths, and Avoid the Weaknesses, of the Four Types of Chord Progressions
  • How to Use Circular Harmonic Scales and Chase Charts
  • Understanding and Using Power Chords and Slash Chords
  • Ten Guidelines for Creating Great Chord Progressions and Avoiding Chord Progression Blunders
  • Understanding Human Memory Limitations and Avoiding Memory-related Pitfalls
  • How to Handle Beat, Pulse, Meter, Tempo, and Rhythm
  • Understanding the Differences Between Vocal-melodic Phrases and Structural Phases
  • How to Use Binary Structure, the Soul of Great Song Form
  • Understanding and Applying Harmonic and Melodic Cadences
  • How to Use Four Types of Modulation and One Type to Avoid
  • How to Apply the Wundt Curve in Composing Music for Songs
  • Ten Specific Techniques for Creating Emotionally Powerful Tunes
  • How to Evaluate Your Progress, Build on Your Strengths, Correct Your Weaknesses, and Dramatically Improve Your Music-writing Skills

Retreat Highlights: Lyrics

  • Why Technology Will Not Help You Write Brilliant Lyrics
  • Why Co-writing Lyrics Will Probably Do You More Harm Than Good
  • Four Essential Tools That Will Help You Write Great Lyrics
  • Understanding the Survival and Reproductive Value of Gossip and its Role in Making Lyrics Compelling
  • Understanding the Central Importance of EPA and Applying it in Lyric-writing
  • Understanding the Differences Between Function Words and Content Words
  • How to Choose Emotionally Powerful Words by Part of Speech
  • How to Use Flesch’s Personal Words Index to Make Lyrics More Interesting
  • How to Use Flesch’s Personal Sentences Index to Make Lyrics More Compelling
  • Understanding the Difference Between Abstract and Concrete Word Choice, and Avoiding the Abstract
  • Why Realistic Stories and Scenarios That Happen to People in Everyday Life Make for Boring, Forgettable Lyrics
  • Understanding the Effectiveness of Parallel Construction, and How to Use it
  • How to Use Twelve Kinds of Rhyme by Similarity of Sound, Syllable Number, Accent, and Phrase or Line Location
  • How to Avoid Blunders in Accent-matching
  • How to Apply the Wundt Curve in Writing Lyrics
  • How to Create and Use RIT Seed Lists, Phrase Lists, and Rhyming Couplet Lists
  • Why You Need Never Again Experience or Worry about Writer’s Block
  • How to Evaluate Your Progress, Build on Your Strengths, Correct Your Weaknesses, and Dramatically Improve Your Lyric-writing Skills
All-inclusive Prices
Fees include 14 meals, snacks, beverages, resort amenities, 4 full days of workshops, critiques & evening sessions for 6-day / 5-night retreat.

All-inclusive 2013 rates TBA
Lodging Options:
Camping (own tent or RV)

Large Cabin Tents (3-4 sharing)
Std. Cabin tent (twin beds, 2 sharing)
Rivers Edge Cabin tent (Queen bed, 2 sharing)
Rivers Edge Cabin tent (Queen bed, single oc)
Non-retreat (spouses, family etc.) Deduct $300 from relevant fee above.

Seats are limited. $200 non-refundable deposit will secure your seat. Balance is due July 1. Prices in CDN dollars.  Add 5% GST and 3% Land & Water Fee to all prices.

Early Bird Registration
Please call about early-bird registration discounts and special offers from sponsoring songwriting associations.

Vancouver International Airport & Travel Info
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is 3 hours drive from REO. Car-pooling will be arranged when possible. Seattle Airport (SEA-TAC) is 4.5 hours south of REO.

Arrive at REO for 5 pm check-in Sunday (Arrive YVR no later than 1:30 pm). Depart REO Friday August 15 at 12 noon (Leave YVR after 5:30 pm).

Inspirational Setting
Enjoy an intimate songwriting retreat in the dry, sunny side of the coastal mountains in British Columbia, Canada. Our August temperatures average a beautiful 25-33 C (80-90 F).  Our blue-sky days give way to amazing star-studded nights.

Retreat Contact: Bryan Fogelman

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