How Nina Nesbitt finds inspiration to write her songs!

During my recent European tour I also had some spare time and used this to write some more songs. Myself and Passenger had a great writing session one day where we came up with a concept and then started jamming on our guitars and bouncing lyrics of each other. It resulted in a new song called “Strangers”. Passenger (Mike Rosenberg) is a fantastic songwriter who often has very witty lyrics in his songs and we found that we worked really well together bouncing ideas off each other. Songwriting is very personal, everyone goes about it in slightly different ways. For me every song I write has it’s own journey from beginning to end. Sometimes I have a lyric or concept that comes into my head first and other times it is maybe a beat or an instrumental that is created to start with.

Whatever way you’re inspired and like to write, be creative, go with the flow and experiment a lot with different sounds & rhythms. Listen to a lot of varied music and genres as it’s possible to learn from them in terms of composing your own material.  Play with words, write them down and record little samples in the process even just on your mobile phone so you won’t forget them and one day you will have your own song created. Some people work well in teams with others as well when songwriting, so this could be another option for you as sharing ideas with other musicians can be really fun.

I have also been in the recording studio since coming back from the European Tour and produced my recent EP with the amazing Jake Gosling, producer of Ed Sheeran’s platinum selling +Album. I had selected Jake as my producer as he understands my music very well and can interpret exactly how I want my music to sound like when produced in the studio. I would say to anyone looking to record their own material in a studio, find a producer you really feel you match up well with as it makes a massive difference to the end product. If you have a definite idea of how you want your music to sound like, its just a matter of finding a producer who can help you in the process. I have worked with a few different people in studios and they have all been very nice but not all have been able to interpret my music in the way I want it to sound like, so my advice is to ‘shop’ around before you decide who you may use for your recording experiences. My new EP was available for Pre Order on iTunes on 16th April and is being officially released on 23rd April – it’s called The Apple Tree! 🙂

I will be off on my own UK & Ireland Headline Tour soon as well as supporting Example on his UK Arena Tour. My new Martin guitar will be coming with me on this tour but the poor guitar does not have a name as yet and I like my guitars to have personal names 🙂 I was thinking you could maybe all help me decide what to call my guitar……..There is still time to send in your entries to Most Entertaining which is where I first went to play guitar in a group with others, Prize for the most original name for my new guitar will win a guitar workshop course in Edinburgh. Competition is called ‘Name Nesse’s New Guitar’ Email [email protected] with this heading. Good Luck!

Nina Nesbitt is a currently taking coaching on piano with Most Entertaining and is a former guitar workshop student.  The winner of Name Nessie’s New Guitar will be announced at Most Entertaining’s Spring Concert on Sunday 29th April and will have the opportunity to take part in the next guitar 6 week workshop course. 


Singing with Most Entertaining

I have been singing with Most Entertaining Vocal Workshops since they started a couple of years ago. Before that I had sung with big choirs but was ready for a change. There are at most 15-20 in a group, though sometimes a bit smaller too.  We do a variety of different types of songs such as pop (over the decades), soul, traditional/folk, jazz, gospel, African and Gaelic etc. You can suggest a favourite to the singing tutor too. The tutors arrange the songs into harmonies and teach them to us, and you don’t have to be able to read music. We sometimes write our own words to music and create improvised harmonies which is challenging, but great fun. We do a “gig” at the end of each 6 week workshop with the guitar group; friends and family can come along.

One of the highlights for me has been the chance to perform solo. I chose Moon River, one of my favourite jazz songs. I was really nervous as hadn’t done this before, but made sure I had learnt the words – there aren’t too many.  I had a one to one lesson with Kira the tutor and Finlay from Most Entertaining accompanied me on the piano, so I was really well prepared. The second time Kira asked for a volunteer to do Valerie, one of my favourite songs and my hand shot up right away. We used a backing track and the rest of the singing group did backing vocals – awesome!

The next gig is coming up soon, and it’s an exciting time. As the gig approaches, you have to practice the harmonies and learn the words, though we can use the words at the gig if needed. The tutor sends recordings on MP3s to help, so it’s not too demanding. It’s a really friendly atmosphere. This term we had Freddie King a jazz singer teach us some serious breath techniques and Maeve Mackinnon a traditional singer has prepared some great acoustic arrangements of bluegrass and  well know pop songs. Looking forward to having fun singing on Wednesday.

Margaret Fletcher, February 2012

She will be participating in our next workshop gig at Circus, St Mary’s Street on February 15th 7pm