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[rating:3.5]

songpull image

What do they say it is?
Songpull offers songwriters a place to gather and try new songs in an encouraging environment. Inspired by the classic “guitar pull” of the past, the Songpull community gives genuine feedback and recognition on every performance. Finish your songs by joining a Songpull today.

What do we say it is?
This is a website that encourages groups of people to get together for songwriting and performance. You arrange a ‘SongPull’ event in a local space – home, cafe, bar, community hall – and songs that have been written and co-written by the participants are played on acoustic instruments in front of the other contributors and (if you choose) an audience.

Members are encouraged to video the resulting performances and submit them to the site, which in turn has a supportive community of enthusiasts, commentators and critics. There’s a chart system on the site and performances can be ranked and commented on – but the main push here is the live event itself. Events are promoted and advice and support is given for people setting up their own.

What’s great about it?
Songwriters – including first-timers – are given encouragement and support to complete and share songs in an environment that will help the newcomers overcome their anxieties about performance, and will foster mentoring and collaboration between artists.

This is not a website about technology – it’s human beings connecting with other human beings around music. And that’s always great.

What could be better?
The site itself is a little confusing at first. It’s difficult to tell exactly what the purpose of the website is, other than to watch and vote on clips. By engaging in the site, it becomes clear that the site is just a support infrastructure for the events.

It’s a really great use of the technology – it just takes a bit of explaining. Featuring the FAQ more prominently might help to combat this.

How can I use this?
If you want to write a song, or get together with a bunch of like-minded musicians to stage your own Songpull, head to the site and get all the advice and help you need. You can also get some ideas from other people who have staged their own Songpull events.

After all, they reckon that ‘Lay Lady Lay’, ‘Me and Bobbie McGee’ and ‘A Boy Named Sue’ all started life this way…

Should I pay it any attention?
Sure. If you’re an acoustic musician and songwriter – or you’re an aspiring acoustic musician and songwriter. This has a folksy, Americana feel to the whole thing, and so the musicians that will naturally be drawn to this kind of collaboration will tend in that direction – but I can’t see any reason why there shouldn’t be a reggae songpull – or a techno one, for that matter.