Denton Songwriter's Guild Turns One
The Denton Song Writer’s Guild is a creative hotbed for those wanting to explore or foster their own songwriting skills. Inspired by the song challenges and open forums of Kerrville Music Festival, DSG is “a group created to facilitate the Dentonite pursuit of songwriting through interactions with other songwriters.”
The monthly meetings started with a small group of five, and have now grown to include more than twenty in attendance with new faces each week, as well as a strong base of returning members. You don’t have to have any experience to participate, either; they welcome tenured musicians and even those that just want to sit back and listen. “We’ve had people who never wrote songs that started writing songs. Anyone is welcome to participate, put in themes, and vote, totally open to the public and community based,” says Matt Grigsby, one of the founding members of DSG. The location of the meetings changes each month, with past spots including Barley and Board, The Bearded Monk, J&Js, and several members' houses. DSG, in its own way, is using these meetings to create their own little tour of Denton.
During the meetings, participants are encouraged to write down a theme to throw into the pool of suggestions at the conclusion of the night. Topics are widespread, and it’s definitely a challenge, even for the most seasoned. Past themes have included a pirate song, colored paper, fading iris, or your grandfather’s car. Three slips of paper are drawn, and the group votes on the theme for the next month’s challenge. These challenges are a great way to get the creative juices flowing, and the meetings also host open discussions about certain aspects of songwriting, such as writing lyrics or breaking through writer’s block. Anyone can contribute or ask questions.
The themes are a great way to create something from scratch, and the monthly meetings provide a starting point and a deadline. In addition to the challenge, which members have four weeks to work on, the meetings will also throw songwriting improvisational games in the mix, giving everyone a theme and only 30 minutes to come up with a set of lyrics. “I enjoy seeing people who wouldn’t have necessarily written a song that month do their best to pull one out. I’ve written twelve songs because of the guild alone this year,” says Grigsby.
This Friday marks the 1 Year Anniversary of the Denton Songwriters Guild, and the meeting will be held at Agua Dulce in the back banquet room. “It’s amazing we’ve come this far in a year, us having made it to this point and made it to this milestone, it will really be inspiring for this group to push forward and keep expanding,” reflects Grigsby. The Denton Song Writer’s Guild is beginning the process of officially registering as a non-profit and showcasing the talents of the Guild members. Check out their Facebook page to stay up to date on meetings, themes, and additional opportunities to be involved.
Header image design by Brittany Keeton