It was a valuable experience. I learned a lot about my songwriting and how to improve it, as well as about how to best participate in this type of songwriting contest. Indeed, in each of the first two rounds, I barely avoided being eliminated. In Round 3, I nearly made it to the finals. Because of quirky goings on regarding qualification, my final round shadow entry then seemed to come even closer to making it into contention in the finals. Then, several involved in the contest told me they believed it not only my own best song in the contest but the best entry for the final round. So it seems like maybe I came somewhat close to being the overall contest winner. Regardless of the “what if” factor, I’m really proud of my participation. I’m proud of all my songs, but it’s especially gratifying to see meaningful results from my explicit attempts to learn as I went and to grow as a songwriter and game player.
Along the way, I had many thoughts and insights, and I met a bunch of great people, my fellow competitors in particular, a group with a lot of songwriting talent and an earnestly friendly sense of competition.
If you’re interested, I’ve just published, at a different website, two posts inspired by my SpinTunes experience.
One is a more personal description, a blog of sorts: Highlights from My SpinTunes 1 Experience.
The other describes more general thoughts on songwriting contests and how they could be run: Thoughts on Songwriting Contests.
If you’ve read some other things of mine, you know I can write a bit long. And these posts are no exception! At the beginning of the second one, though, you can see a quick summary of my recommendations and suggestions for songwriting contests, in case you want just some bullet points. If you want more detail, then, both in the thoughts post itself as well as the experience post that includes some of what led to many of those thoughts, believe me, the detail is there for you!
One last note. As you’ll see if you read the first post on my experience, I discovered pitch correction with my Round 3 entry, Will It, and then used it again for Round 4’s Ballroom Dance. That accounts for an improvement you may hear in the vocals from those later two rounds over the two rounds before. You’ll see in my experience post how I came to justify using this feature as something other than cheating.
For posterity, I’ve gone ahead and corrected the pitch on the vocals for my entries for the first two rounds — Step Back Swooperman and Another Universe. I’m hoping the revised recordings will end up online soon. A note in that section of my experience post will be updated to indicate if and when they are available.
I don’t expect to change opinions too much. Pitch correction can’t turn me into a great singer. But, when the revisions are available, I hope you’ll give a listen, and I hope that maybe you’ll think at least a bit better of them compared to first impressions.
And if you haven’t left comments yet, please feel free to do so at the posts for each of the four songs — I love feedback!