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  1. 4 points
    Years later I met a professional transcriber (met him in the 80's) He worked for major publishing companies. The goals he said were convenience and speed. Many songbooks are geared to beginner/novice pianists or guitarists. Preferred keys for beginner piano books are G,C,F "It's easier" they say. As for Easy Guitar blues, country and rock licks were always transcribed to the "easy" keys of E and A. Songbooks always transcribed to "Comfort Keys" E-A-D-G. Never were references made to capo usage or altered tunings. So the first thing that happens past the melody transcribing is that it is transposed. The next thing that happens is "massaging" key embelishments. If a song is in the key of C for example there is no place for a Bb it is massaged into either a B natural or an A natural. Chords are added later. Many times chord progressions are rubber stamped on to a song rather than the transcriber listening to the song, figuring out the chords and transposing into the "Easy Key" as it were. Starts on a I and ends on a V lets just make it the fifties progression (I-vi-IV-V). Forget chord inversions or slash chords the idea is to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) A funny mocumentary about "massaging" music As a jazz player and listener I've heard many renditions of standards some so far from the original it's hard to believe it's the same song. Changing the key is just the beginning. Many an artist will put their own stamp on the arrangement and labor endlessly on different approaches. Yet when heard it sounds completely natural. A small portion of the time I'll re-arrange songs for guitar while mostly seeking credible finger-style / chord melody arrangements. I'll often notice parts missing or obscured that I want to bring back into the song and.... It just doesn't happen. Sometimes the original into cannot be forced into a different key and sound natural again. Often times I like others will omit the solo section simply because when you are a one man band it becomes overkill.
  2. 4 points
    @Moso, I've just remembered the second 'ghosted' lyric I wrote: 'If I Never Find That Heaven'. And how on earth I forgot it temporarily is a mystery. Because it won the October 2017 lyric contest and placed second in lyric of the year 2017. It's not necessarily better than or even as good as the template. But 'ghosting' certainly helped me break through the writer's slump I was in, and freed me to express thoughts/feelings I'd wanted to put into words, but seemed unable to nail down just at that time. Apart from two verse lines & one chorus line that have the same metering as the source text, the lyric is entirely different: structure/format, length, content, rhyme scheme, genre, tempo, everything, including of course the melody I have for it.
  3. 4 points
    Unfortunately, it's easier for lyricists to get their hands on a backing track of Yesterday (and a wealth of other known originals) than it is a new and creative composition. If you know anyone who might have some lying around, please send them my way. To answer your question, of course lyricists interested in writing to music would prefer something original but those unicorns are few and far between. Most of my lyrics that eventually developed into songs, were not the result of me getting the opportunity to write them to someone else's backing track and melody. I could do more to seek them out I suppose, but I don't do what I do with the set idea of a lyric becoming a song because 1.) I simply enjoy the discipline it takes to write a good lyric and 2) I know how rarely that happens. Twenty five years into the hobby of lyric-writing (and hundreds of lyrics in various stages of completion) I have had only 30 some odd songs come out of it, none of which were a result of me shopping it around to anyone. To say I'm not motivated in that direction would be an understatement. Still, writing lyrics to backing tracks is challenging fun and I would like to do more of it, given it was dropped in my lap. If any beginning lyricist on this message board writes only in hopes of luring one of our fine musicians in, they are deluded. But, if they can learn all that can be gained by writing a lyric to existing music (original or not), they may improve, along with their chances of one day hearing one of their lyrics become a song. Not simply one forced into it through a collab contest but one that shines well enough to capture the attention of a musician. The better non-musician lyricist understands the mechanics of melody and musical composition along with the mechanics of structuring a lyric. I'm fortunate in that I can play a musical instrument (not expertly, but that's my own fault) and read music so I do understand those mechanics and can apply them. Lyricists without any musical background or ability to play an instrument will struggle unless they can find other ways of skinning that cat. Writing to familiar melodies (because they are so abundant) is one way. Going back to the suggestion for a challenge or contest where lyricists write new lyrics to a known original, then pass it on to a musician, I have to admit that the lyricist benefits most, if not entirely from this challenge. For the musician, it is just another lyric (good or bad) that isn't his/hers. That reason alone is adequate to justify a lack of interest on the musician's part, but to say the reason for not engaging lies in the fact that the lyric hasn't risen from the well of complete originality is to me, a bit odd, as there are original lyrics floating around this place continuously which attract no interest either. Maybe they suck or maybe we are members of a community that enjoys a wealth of songwriting talent from musicians who write their own great lyrics, such as yourself. Stand alone lyrics are not exactly a sought after commodity around here. Pure lyricists are the red-headed stepchildren here. Bringing them into the fold is generally a solicited venture, though we can see it sometimes works out well when we listen to the songs in the current collab contest. Would I like to see more unsolicited collabs here? Sure thing. As much as I would like to see more musicians lend some of their backing tracks and melodies to lyricists interested in writing lyrics to them. But we are all here for different reasons and cooperation for the benefit of another cannot and should not be forced. I guess what I'm saying is, whatever your reasons for feeling as you do, the feelings are your own and deserve to be respected, even if they are not entirely understood. I'm afraid I went well beyond the scope of answering your question, taking the selfish opportunity to vent a little. I hope I haven't offended.
  4. 4 points
    Version 2 What would Jesus be packing? God the father and god the son And god the holy combat gun I know the sound of it might seem ridiculous Just like weapons in the hands of the religious Oh Jesus what would you be packing if you came done from heaven Would you go something small or would you go an ak47 Can a Christian hold a bible To leave a hand for a rifle Would Andrew stand shotgun at the beatitudes With James and John there packing heat with attitude Oh Jesus what would you be packing if you came done from heaven Would you go something small or would you go an ak47 Would the good shepherd of the flock Protect all of them with his glock And would he bear his gun holster across his chest And under his coat he would wear a green flack vest Oh Jesus what would you be packing if you came done from heaven Would you go something small or would you go an ak47 -xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx- This may be offensive to some but I was thinking about christians and guns and how they don’t mix What would Jesus be packing? God the father and god the son And god the holy machine gun I know that the sound of that seems just a bit too ridiculous But no more crazy than weapons in the hands of the religious Oh Jesus what would you be packing if you came down from heaven Would you go something small or would you go an ak47 Can a Christian hold a bible To leave a hand for a rifle And would’ve John stood shotgun while Jesus spoke the beatitudes With James and Andrew packing heat and standing there with attitude Oh Jesus what would you be packing if you came down from heaven Would you go something small or would you go an ak47 Would the good shepherd of the flock Protect all of them with his glock And would he bear his gun holster snuggly across his back and chest And for some added protection wear a green undercoat flack vest Oh Jesus what would you be packing if you came down from heaven Would you go something small or would you go an ak47
  5. 3 points
    Just stepping in here now. My computer has been in the hospital, and it is SO hard to type on an ipad or phone. Glad to have a real keyboard back! So, picking up on some earlier posts: Donna asked if we had a target audience in mind when we write. I really don't. When I'm writing a lyric (without music) I have ME in mind: what I want to say, some feeling I want to get across. Sort of like Paul and his thoughts about the piano. He realized he was THINKING about things when he sat down at the piano. That's how I am, only without the blessing of the piano. I know "the books" say you should definitely have an audience in mind. I think you should definitely have a MESSAGE in mind. And the audience will connect with it or not. Another point mentioned here is that you should write about what you know. I agree, but I don't think this means you have to actually have experienced the emotion/situation personally. Empathy can take you all kinds of places you've never been. I can IMAGINE a lot of different emotions/situations that I have not been in myself. And I talk with my friends a lot about what they're going through, and that expands the well of ideas. And just observing things around me gives me ideas for lyrics. Which brings up another biggie. You all are talking about writing to music tracks and coming up with your own melodies. One thing I CAN'T IMAGINE is a melody! Totally nothing there! I am in awe of people here who say they read lyrics and a melody comes to mind. Lucky you! I hear NOTHING. Don't have that gene. So I'm envious of those of you who can do that so naturally. What I CAN do, and I've just discovered this, is I can write to a MELODY. Recently, a composer asked me to listen to some of his music and see if anything occurred to me lyric-wise. Oh, boy, did it! I think I wrote the best lyrics I've ever written because they were inspired by the melodies. They go together with the music so well, they feel like they were born to be together. Yet, when I read them on the page, without music, they're "just fine." So, I think, for ME, writing to a melody is a real plus. When I write Lyrics-first, it usually takes me 10-15 versions to get something presentable. When I write to melodies, it takes 1-3 versions, and it's done. So it's faster, too! I think we came up with 5 songs in about 3 weeks, and we love them all. So that was an eye-opener. Interestingly, writing to a melody blurred all the lines for me between chorus, PC, verse, etc. I just wrote to what I heard, and the composer labeled everything for me after the fact. I would have never come up with that structure without the melody. So this is a revelation for me. I still can't help myself from writing lyrics on my own, and I am amazed when musicians can read them and come up with music that works. I love that. So many fascinating aspects to this endeavor, and so much more to learn!
  6. 3 points
    Books? For listening? Right. haha So yeah, music books... unless you have an incredible sight-"singing" inner ear, you'll have to either play examples in music books out or hope they come with a CD. That out of the way, I wanted to ask what books you guys may have gotten a lot out of over the years for music? We could make a thread for videos, too, or add it here maybe. I'm more of a book guy. Videos tend to go too slowly for me, but some are interesting. Here are my favorite music books on my shelves: Mel Bay's Complete Book of Harmony, Theory, and Voicing <-- This book gets really deep. Over the years, I've barely scratched the surface. Arranging Music for the Real World <-- I LOVE this book. It teaches incredibly useful information, and it's easy to follow. Second places would go to: Polyrhythms: The Musician's Guide <-- Still haven't used everything here, but cool to come back to time to time. Hearing and Writing Music <--- I got a few very useful things from this one, but you have to wade through some fluff. The Art of Writing Music <-- A old TV composer basically takes you through the process as he writes a piece. And also music scores. I have a small collection of music scores. Sometimes I follow them while listening to music. Sometime I open them up just to find out how a composer got a certain sound (lookin' at you, Stravinsky). There are four I have as actual bound books as opposed to PDFs: The Rite of Spring Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 5, 6 and 7 Nutcracker Suite Mozart Requiem K626 EDIT: I want to put a little more emphasis on scores. You can find just about anything online. If you hear something you like, and you want to know how it was done, look it up. Scores can be a treasure trove, a mine of fantastic approaches and ideas that will help you grow in new directions you may not have before. From Little Shop of Horrors, to Daphnis & Chloé, it's out there. And then there are other books lying around which I think are good, but I don't have any particular love for them: The Drummer's Bible The Mixing Engineer's Handbook Sound Reinforcement Handbook Treatise on Instrumentation This Business of MUSIC <-- yeah, okay, I never opened this one, hahahaha Truth be told, I never finished a lot of these books, but even in those I didn't finish, I learned some great stuff. If I had really worked the books, and worked harder on writing better, heck, that could have been really interesting. Anyway, those are my books/recommendations. You? PS~ Oh, and MANUALS for your gear/software. That cannot be stressed enough.
  7. 3 points
    I had that book. Mostly I had songbooks. Terrible songbooks that were often written in the wrong key and even when they did get the chord name right they choose the wrong chord diagram. Nonetheless I did what every aspiring guitarist who couldn't afford a teacher would do. I'd fake my way through covers and got myself a spiral bound notebook. Jot down chord progressions without song titles and try out different rhythms and tempos. Then I'd try to write lyrics via stream of consciousness. Blah Blah Blah would become phrases. I usually did better when someone would hand me lyrics. Still they filled me with a lot of ideas but not the knowledge of terminology to express them properly. I had a few jazz guitar books as well. Mostly relegated to playing through common chord progressions. This was a great book for me..... https://books.google.com/books/about/Blues_Guitar_Inside_Out.html?id=hrIEAAAACAAJ&hl=en This was a book I would look at, wonder how and why. Tried to work through the examples and it would drive me crazy. My jazz guitar teacher was in love with it. I honestly thought the guy who wrote it couldn't play any of the stuff inside. It wasn't until youtube that I actually got a glimpse of Ted Greene's playing. This is how I really learned to sight read notation(not tab) on guitar. I picked up a very little book (pamphlet actually) learning the fundamentals and then try to apply what I learned using this book. http://berkleepress.com/guitar/melodic-rhythms-for-guitar/ I wouldn't be caught dead performing the songs written. This is an amazing book for learning arrangement. https://www.amazon.com/Arranging-Techniques-Synthesists-Eric-Turkel/dp/082561130X
  8. 3 points
    - Understanding the Thought Process Behind Drum-Part Creation - Whether you compose through electronic means or utilize an actual drum kit, it’s helpful to know what works best, what doesn’t & why. Regardless of method, the thought process behind creation is the same. Brief audio snippets (green text) are scattered throughout this article. Opening the links as “new tabs” allows you to hear the example while you’re reading the corresponding description. As a starting point, I’ve put together a short-list of variables. These are things I take into consideration when structuring drum parts for a new song. What’s the genre of the song? For a multitude of reasons, I don't begin structuring a final drum part until song-basics are pretty well set. By basics, I mean: Melody A rough idea of lyrical content & subject matter Backing chord patterns (basics of the song's musical movement) Tentative song structure (intro, verse, chorus, bridge, etc.) Those basic components tell me what type of song I'm dealing with. Regardless of personal preference, the drum part you craft should be an appropriate match for song & genre. For example, a typical metal drum line probably won't fit well in a country/pop song. By itself, the part may sound cool & impressive. More-so, if you happen to be a fan of metal. The thing is, no one will ever hear it by itself! It’ll only be heard within the context of the song. Bottom line - writing new parts is always about how they affect the song as a whole, NOT about the part itself. As a drummer, I was slow to learn that lesson. As a songwriter, it was immediately obvious. Perspective is an amazing thing! Genre is a vague concept. Because of that, it's not unusual for a song to straddle several. Proper arrangement choices (including drum parts) can help push that song in one direction or another. Let’s look at a specific example (audio snippet #1 - “I Hope To Be”) …say your song straddles country & pop. You could push it in the direction of country by employing twangy guitars and a country sounding drum part. How is the movement of the melody structured (meter, flow, rhythm)? Remember…melody is the single most important part of any song! Whether it's sung or played instrumentally, that melody & its appeal have a huge effect on the song's likability. If you're the songwriter, this is your money-maker. Protect it at all costs! If you're the drummer, you need to recognize & accept a harsh reality. Your drum part will NOT be the reason that listeners like the song! It can certainly be a contributing factor, but it will NOT the big reason. I was a drummer long before I became a songwriter, so I've stood on both sides of this argument. Drummers prefer challenging parts…songwriters want parts appropriate for the song. And while I do empathize, it all boils down to this…“arrangements are created as support for songs”, not the other way around. What matters most is how your part effects the song as a whole. Moving right along, try to craft something that compliments the melodic movement of the song. Once you have a specific part in mind, try playing it along with the melody. If others are involved in the project, ask for their input. If you’re working alone, songwriter/musician forums can be useful for obtaining outside perspectives. What type of arrangement do you have in mind? I'm not suggesting the whole arrangement be set-in-stone before starting the drum part, but it’s helpful to have at least a rough idea. Do you plan to use piano? Are you thinking of multiple guitar tracks? Might additional percussion be a good fit (congas, tambourine, shaker, etc.)? What I’m getting at is this…whatever ideas you do have for the arrangement, factor those into the creation of your drum part. I’ll list a few more in-depth examples: A) If you plan a busy arrangement…with lots of instrumental movement, a simpler drum part may be better. A song isn't a contest for dominance! If you have cool ideas for intricate piano parts & a tasteful signature guitar track, your drum part should allow those parts to shine through. No, the drums don’t have to be boring! Just build the complexities into simpler song sections. Those piano & guitar parts I referred to…let's say they’re intended for the verses & bridge. That means your chorus sections can employ a more sophisticated drum part. Varying the dominant instrument from section to section adds variety to an arrangement. It also makes the dominant instrument more noticeable. When that chorus section rolls around & the drums start kicking butt, that change immediately grabs the listeners’ attention. B Sometimes arrangements are sparse. It’s not unheard of to strip instrumentation down, utilizing only bass & drums for the verse sections. This type of arrangement presents the perfect opportunity for creative drum parts. You can experiment with intricate syncopation, polyrhythms…really flex those creative muscles. Limited, simple instrumentation = fewer potential conflicts. C) If some parts of your arrangement are already fixed (final), do those parts heavily accent specific counts? Do several parts accent the same counts? I ask these questions because it is possible to over-do accents. Too much duplication can make an arrangement sound stiff. D) What impact, if any, would you like drums to have on the songs’ development.... beginning-to-end? I’ll clarify that question a bit by breaking it into smaller parts: a) Would you like the song to build as it progresses? If you do, drums are an easy way to achieve that end. It's not uncommon to bring them in gradually, layering in additional complexity & momentum as the song progresses. b Would you like a specific section of the song to jump out & grab the listener’s attention? (snippet #2 - “The Real World”) One way to achieve that is to hold back much of the instrumentation (including all the drums). The song you hear playing in the background does exactly that. "The Real World" begins with a verse comprised of a single guitar & vocal, adds an organ around the half-way point, then smacks you all at once with the entry of drums, bass, piano, a second guitar & doubled vocal. c) Would you prefer drums to play a minimal part in the songs’ development? One way to achieve that is with a consistent sounding drum track. Something with the same feel start-to-finish. "Rain King" by Counting Crows is a great example of consistency. d) Would a change in drum tempo, from half time - to full time be useful? (snippet #3 - “Don’t Lie To Yourself”) It’s a common method for varying the feel of a song. Say your song is set at 120 BPM. The beat used for your verse sections can be made to feel as if it's being played at 60 BPM, while the choruses are played full-time (120 BPM). Selecting Beat Patterns Have you ever heard a song on the radio & been instantly being drawn to it? For years I accepted that experience at face value, never bothering to ask myself why. Then I began writing songs. As a writer, I discovered it was in my best interest to explore those whys. Why am I attracted to some songs more than others? For me, the answer has a lot to do with the feel & flow of a song. Both of which depend upon beat & rhythmic choices. You may have noticed that the subtitle for this section is plural - ”patterns”. Ideally, you will select MORE THAN ONE. It's not uncommon to use 2 or 3 variations of a basic pattern for the verses of a song, then select something entirely different for the choruses. Bridge sections are often assigned unique patterns, to help set them apart from the rest of the song. Before leaving this section, I’ll share a few commonly used methods for building in variation. (*All examples assume a right-handed drummer.) 1) You can vary the specific part of the drum set being played by the right hand from section-to-section. (snippet #4 - "Someday") For example - hi-hat for the verses, ride cymbal for the chorus sections. It's a small change, but the impact on the overall texture of the song can be quite dramatic. For additional variety, you can sprinkle in a few hi-hat openings, as this example does in the verse sections. 2) You can vary hi-hat technique within a given song section. Playing it tightly-closed produces a very crisp, structured sound. Playing it semi-opened gives you a looser, free-floating feel. It's common for harder-driving songs to use the 2nd option. Pop rock & country tend to employ the tightly closed version, but often combine the 2 techniques. For example - tightly closed most of the verse, then semi-opened for the final measure or two. That small change produces a shift in texture just prior to entry of the chorus. The variance also serves to announce the coming of a change. It often precedes a cymbal crash, which punctuates the actual change in sections. 3) You can employ a basic right-hand rhythm, then utilize misc. percussion to embellish the feel of the pattern. For example - a quiet 1/4 note right-hand hi-hat (1-2-3 & 4 counts), then on a separate track record a tambourine or soft-shake to fill-in the straight 1/8 note feel. That gives it a busier, more constant overall texture. It also adds variety & depth to the rhythmic feel. 4) It’s common in metal & hard rock genres for the right hand to play a straight pattern on the edge of a crash-ride cymbal. This technique produces an effect comparable to a prolonged crash. When it’s combined with the heavy rates of compression that are commonly used in those genres, it adds a blurred, heavy edge to the song. I have one final piece of beat-pattern advice to pass on to non-drummer songwriters. Please…when you put together a song demo, DON’T select a single mechanical beat & use it beginning-to-end. IMHO nothing makes a demo sound more amateurish! It doesn’t have to sound like Neil Peart, but it does need some variation. Remember…every part of an arrangement impacts the listener’s impression. That includes your drum track! The Story on Rolls (Fills) You’ll find that opinions vary on…. · when to use a roll · what type is most appropriate · how complex they should be For drummers, many of those decisions are determined by personal style. Since most non-drummer songwriters lack percussive expertise, they tend to be guided by listening experience. For this tutorial, I’m going to stick to basics & allow plenty of room for personal discretion. Beats serve primarily to establish rhythmic feel, but rolls are used for a variety of functions: 1) Prevent monotony - In other words, to break up the consistent flow established by your beats, making the overall rhythm track more interesting. 2) Serve as fills… much as lead licks, keyboard or bass riffs do. Rolls are frequently placed between lyric/melody lines to help fill gaps & maintain the momentum. 3) Indicate (announce) a coming change, as demonstrated by the next audio clip. (snippet #5 -"Pentatonic Playground"-vs./ch) Some examples being…. the start of a new vocal sequence a change from verse to chorus a shift in dynamics…quiet to loud, or visa-versa Rolls are also used in combination with lead licks, or other fill elements. (snippet #6 - “Pentatonic Playground”-ending) When they’re employed in this way, caution should be exercised. You want to avoid timing conflicts between fill instruments. Bottom line – it’s harder to pull-off, but very cool when it’s done cleanly! It’s common to alternate fill instruments. You can use a drum roll this time, a guitar lick next time, keyboard run, and so on. This will get you even more variety, with the added benefit of making each fill instrument more prominent. Listeners notice them more because they’re the only instrument presenting variation at that particular moment. To Crash or Not-To Crash Cymbal crashes are useful tools when employed tastefully. Here are a few examples of common applications: - to accent, or call attention to a specific count within a measure - to add dynamics to a section of music by boosting the high-end frequencies & overall volume of that specific section - to mark a change in the structure of the song (for example, moving from the verse to chorus) - in combination with rolls, particularly longer, more elaborate ones…to break them up, reinforce accents and add color, as shown in the brief demonstration below Tom Hoffman "About Me" Muse Member pg. Tune-Smith.com Tom Hoffman YouTube
  9. 3 points
    I've had the melody to this song in my head for years now, and I finally came up with some lyrics for it. Hope you're all doing well. The Vast Nothing Words and Music by Gregg Boethin Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved From the vast nothing it came, ending the void and aptly given its name. Then the moons, planets and the stars, faithfully time ticked by for a while, and somehow here we are. From the vast nothing it arose, order and chaos, yin and yang I suppose. So creation would come to be, the infinite canvas where beautifully painted here are you and me. One spherical stone, third from the center. One fraction of space, stretching forever. One sentient being soaking up sunshine. One click of the clock we call a lifetime. From the vast nothing it appeared, heaven and earth and the reason for everything here. There’s a plan working if you’ll see, we’re neither here nor there but instead all part of eternity.
  10. 3 points
    Hello pen, It's just you and me again And that's just fine We don't have long Maybe we should write a song If you have time?
  11. 3 points
    What lies beneath my skin Life it seems to pass me by before I've had a chance to fly, to feel the sun upon my face to walk with you on summer days, if only I could let you in to see what lies beneath my skin, let you wander through my mind and let you watch my dreams unwind....
  12. 3 points
    Since I've been on the site a little while now . . . I thought I'd post a song on the Showcase from a few years ago . . . https://jackfosteriii.bandcamp.com/track/cavalry Cavalry Lyrics and music by Jack Foster III ©2011 Muse-Wrapped Records You’re lost and wandering on the prairie plane With cries unanswered and your prayers in vain You feel so hopeless, feel so all alone No absolution, no way to atone You had to circle up your wagon-train the flaming arrows fall like acid rain if there were some way to escape unscathed you’d pay the piper for your freedom saved Baby hold on: I hear the cavalry coming Baby hold on: I see the cavalry coming Baby hold on: I know the cavalry’s coming Baby hold on: I’ll be the cavalry coming So take to saddle with me, time to ride And gallop freely to the other side Take the medicine that I can give A hint of vapor tonic that will let you live So breathe in deeply, I’ll be what you need Your mystic flower grown from planted seed I’ll fix your head, I’ll fix your lonely heart If you will give the trust I need to start Baby hold on: I hear the cavalry coming Baby hold on: I see the cavalry coming Baby hold on: I know the cavalry’s coming Baby hold on: I’ll be the cavalry coming You fear my message; yeah you fear my song But what is strong is weak; what’s weak is strong Disdain the glitter and embrace the green Or be the rattle of a cold machine So let me take you into my embrace And kiss the tears a-rolling down your face I’ll help you find the girl you used to be I’ll help restore your faith in fantasy Baby hold on: I hear the cavalry coming
  13. 3 points
    This started out as an attempt to start a lyric. It decided it wanted to be something else. I think it might stem from a conversation I'd been having about contradictions. I Once Knew I once knew a scientist who acknowledged a God He said it was strange but it wasn’t too odd When he dug to the end he had failed to find Where chance played a part in the basic design I once knew a sculptor who hated his art Who chiseled in stone with his suffering heart His pieces piled up in a loft with no view If a masterpiece lived, well nobody knew I once knew a woman in love with a man She couldn’t accept and did not understand She forced him to change and when he obliged She found that the love she once had for him died I once knew a guru who said life was wasted On all that we’ve eaten but never once tasted On all that we’ve viewed through a prism of fear Believing that clouds make the sun disappear I once knew a man on the verge of his death Who ranted and raved ‘til his last dying breath It was said that he loathed living life as it came As he begged with his Maker for more of the same I once knew a poet with not much to say, His poems, he infused with the bright light of day “Much better than words which can never express Life as I see it when I get it undressed” I once knew myself in a life I once chose Twas an infamous past, as the past story goes I knew who I was then but not who I’d be When I look at her now, she's a stranger to me I once thought I knew I knew all that there was What side I was on, I was on just because If the song fit the key that's the song I would fiddle But now I see life is best played from the middle
  14. 3 points
    This has to be true of almost all music lovers even some of the pro's. Music is my fix and I spend money on it like an addict. If I could convince my wife to let me, I would spend far, far more.
  15. 3 points
    I like you! Glad it works! Patty
  16. 3 points
    I listened to this song, and the others you posted. You've received a lot of encouragement here from others with positive comments. I'm going to try to give you encouragement coming from a different angle with a dose of colder, harder truth - as I see it anyway. You play acoustic guitar, but not very well. You sing, but you're a long, long way from understanding how to best use your voice. You perform, but again, not very well. And, you write songs, but they aren't crafted all that well. I sincerely think you have genuine talent and a lot of potential to be awesome at all of these things. I really do. But, if your attitude is just to throw something together, do a mediocre perfornance for a video just to post something on Youtube like zillions of hacks with no talent do, and you then call it "done," you will never even come close to realizing your potential as musical artist, and I think that would be a shame. You should not be satisfied. Just my opinons. David
  17. 2 points
    Really trying to iron out some lines to make them easier for Jazzraptor to sing (latest version) The politician v5 The man is always so well dressed All his suits are perfectly pressed The smile of a great white shark Makes his bite worse than his bark And he has a moral compass That’s points towards dubious He’s a man among men the creme de la creme He’s a politician With his silver tongue He can do no wrong He’s a politician Oh yeah, he’s a politician Yeah, he's a politician He lives inside the back pocket Of whoever fills his wallet A man of the people Though he may not be legal But he’ll never do any time For committing white collar crime He’s a man among men the creme de la creme He’s a politician With his silver tongue He can do no wrong He’s a politician Oh yeah, he’s a politician Yeah, he's a politician He believes in guns for all And no more wars like vietnam As long as money’s flowing And as long it’s crossing his palm But the man can never be blamed Playing the political game Cause with no heart to start with Guilt is suspended forthwith And we don’t really have much choice He represents the people’s voice He’s a man among men the creme de la creme He’s a politician With his silver tongue He can do no wrong He’s a politician Oh yeah, he’s a politician Yeah, he's a politician Don’t like his direction? Then vote at the election -xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx The politician v1 The man is always so well dressed With all his suits perfectly pressed A smile so big it leaves stretch marks And big white teeth stolen from sharks And he has a moral compass That’s pointing towards dubious Because he’s the creme de la creme A man among men He’s a politician He lives inside the back pocket Of whoever fills his wallet He is a man of the people Who dance around what is legal But he’ll never do any time For committing white collar crime Because he’s the creme de la creme A man among men He’s a politician
  18. 2 points
    There’s been a flurry of activity on the March Lyrics Contest thread. With occasional digressions, the discussion centred on 1) whether the types of lyrics that win contests are formulaic, and 2) to what extent poetic devices (e.g. metaphors, etc.) play a role (or not). (For example, whether mainly poetic lyrics win the monthly contests.) A couple of posts from Neal K made me curious about the notion of a ‘winning’ formula, and whether, and to what extent and in which type of context – a particular 'formula' might appear to work optimally - in any kind of songwriting situation. With Neal’s permission, I’ve included excerpts below. Food for thought and discussion. I hope Musers will share here their own diverse approaches to writing lyrics. Any tips, tricks, or other magic you’d like us to know about? Or any experiences of writing something you thought was brilliant but others disagreed? Or that you thought was utterly bleh, but people loved it? For either situation, what do you think was the reason? Over to you guys. Donna ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Neal wrote: Having run a few of these contests over the years, I started to wonder just how easy it would be to win. So … I decided to enter each monthly contest with a lyric I wrote specifically for the contest. That meant, lyrics without writing music at the same time. None of those lyrics ever became songs... except for the one that came in dead last. …The year was 2014 and I entered 11 of the 12 contests. I came in first five times, second four times, fourth one time, and dead last one time. I'm not saying this to boast. Goodness knows I'm hardly a great lyric writer. The point is, it's not that hard to win this contest if you 1) can identify the formula; and 2) can write to the formula without worrying if the words will ever be set to music. … trust me, none of those lyrics were poetic or flowery. I don't have that in me. Here's the formula I followed in my 2014 experiment to win/place in the lyric contest: 1) Each lyric was story driven; 2) the story was easy to understand and to relate to; 3) they used imagery (show, don't tell); 4) there were no wasted words or forced rhymes; 5) they contained sympathetic characters that people could relate to and that I cared about; 6) each and every line had to work on its own; 6) each story had a resolution that was designed to elicit an emotion, be that happiness, sadness, joy, depression, etc. That, my friend, is the formula. I'm so confident that this works that I bet you I could coach you into placing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in a future lyric contest. ...................................................................................................
  19. 2 points
    Write down each song title on a piece of paper, put them in a hat and mix them up, then draw them out one by one - that should be the song order. Why? Why the hell not. At least then you can check off "Decide on Song Order" from your list of things to do and move on to do something that actually matters. Quick. Efficient. Done!
  20. 2 points
    Personal life experiences/stories are the best ones - good idea and start here Paul! If you could weave your son or grandson into the verse (and bridge) more then this would work a treat. For me the songs potential charm is in the very surprising adult viewpoint your son took when he couldn't hold himself back and said "Use your words, boy". I wanted more of that brought out in the story. Tough to do but potentially a killer song idea you have here. Good luck with it Paul Andy
  21. 2 points
    @PaulCanuck, Nice concept. I don't think it's too preachy. The words that are used in the first two lines of verse three are somewhat awkward. I can't think of anything different right now, but I think it's worth brainstorming something different that maintains the same message. I like the idea of the opening verse speaking to a child, but the example that is used is about babbling (I picture a baby in a high chair). In this case "use your words" seems to be about teaching a baby to speak. The song, however, is founded on the expression "use your words" which is to say that people should talk things through rather than harboring resentment or resorting to violence. Could the opening example be set about a parent or grandparent speaking to two siblings on the verge of fighting due to a misunderstanding or something like that?
  22. 2 points
    Fall The geese flying south In a row long and V-shaped Pulling in winter. --Sally Andersen
  23. 2 points
    Thanks for that correction, Alistair. And I'm going to check out Sodajerker right now. I imagine the population is divided roughly into those who consider books to be a valuable resource in their learning process (in whatever craft or hobby), and those who don't. Neither group is right or wrong, as can be seen clearly even in the microcosm of this forum. Bottom line: We each keep doing what works best for us to get our lyrics/songs to where we want them. About books in general: Absolutely! And don't forget poetry (the good stuff, old and new). For you folks in the US, one of your own former poet laureates, Ted Kooser, is well worth reading. He's also written a fine book on writing: 'The Poetry Home Repair Manual'. I find it applies to lyrics as well. And if you like to write Nature-related lyrics/songs, any book by Mary Oliver is a must. The imagery in her poems is exquisite. For example, 'Wild Geese'. At a certain level of competence - which grows with practice - there's nothing to stop us writing a singable, compelling, universal lyric having this type and level of detail. You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting - over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
  24. 2 points
    The original version of “Middle Class Blues” was written / copyrighted back in 1998. (*Song title is a SoundCloud mp3 link. You're welcome to open it in a 2nd browser window & listen as you read.) As is sometimes the case, I liked the song, but not the arrangement. In 2001 I remedied that situation with a partial rewrite. The revised version incorporated several new elements: a 40 second introduction a 2nd guitar part (rhythm) This new arrangement was re-recorded & that’s the version you’re hearing now. The Idea The song evolved from a guitar progression, set in minor pentatonic block form. I stumbled upon the pattern while practicing scales Built a song & melody around it Chose a topic that worked well with the music Created a lyric Subject Matter In a nutshell, it’s about the plight of middle-class America. As you might expect, it’s written from my perspective & based primarily on personal observations & experiences. Completely appropriate since songwriting is a means of creative self-expression. Lyric Got those middle class blues Well when I look at my economic state With what I make I ought to be livin’ great You gotta know my heart gets to feelin’ down When tax time comes around I pay for schools that I don’t even use I fund a war on drugs that we’re bound to lose You got know that I keep-a-waitin’ for Some way to even the score Got those middle class blues! Well now I know that I need to pay my share But while suppliers get rich from Medicare I’ve got to ask myself what it’s all about I just can’t figure it out ! The wealthy don’t pay much, cause they know the game The underprivileged can’t, the end result’s the same That leaves the middle class to pay & pay Hope we get our someday! Got the middle class blues! Copyright 1998 – Tom Hoffman Over the years, the timeless nature of this lyric has been mentioned more than once. Sadly enough, it’s as relevant now as it was in 98. Purchasing power of the middle class hasn’t improved. Middle class tax burden hasn’t decreased. I still pay into a tax base for schools that I’ve never used. NO, I’m not advocating a school voucher alternative! I simply have no children. No children = no use of schools. Our “war on drugs” has been an utter failure, yet we continue funding it with tax dollars year after year. Pharmaceutical profits continue to grow, since our government is no longer allowed to negotiate the cost of Medicare drugs. Thank you G.B.! More tax loopholes exist for the wealthy today. The poor are no more able to contribute to our tax base than they were in 98. Leaving the middle class to shoulder the lions’ share of the tax burden. The end result being – “We’ve got the Middle-Class Blues!” None of those areas has shown improvement in the past 20 years. I’m sure there are conclusions to be drawn from that, but I leave those to you. I am but a humble songwriter stating the obvious. Song Structure Introduction / Verse – Verse - Refrain / Guitar Based Verse-Refrain Section / Verse – Verse - Refrain / Ends on Repeat of Musical Refrain Musical Fundamentals “Middle Class Blues” is a guitar-based arrangement…key of A# minor. If I do say so myself, some of my more creative guitar work. When I made the decision to add that 40 second musical introduction, I doomed the song to commercial failure. If you weren’t aware, long introductions are frowned upon in the world of commercial songwriting. Since the average listener tends to focus on vocal, delaying its’ entry is tempting fate. Attention spans being what they are, your listener may go elsewhere. BUT…since I’m not a professional songwriter, my focus was on creating a well written song, not a commercially viable one! When you make your living elsewhere, you can afford to base decisions on personal preference, rather than industry norms. That being said, I did build in a little something to help with damage control...“Got those Middle Class Blues”! That single line of vocal at the beginning of the song: 1. Tells the listener that there WILL BE vocals in the song. Why does that matter? Because some people, including my wife, won't listen to instrumentals. If she thinks it’s an instrumental, she will simply turn it off. 2. Re-enforces the lyrical hook…that catchy phrase you want to stick in your listeners’ head after the song has ended. BTW in this song, it’s also the last line heard. Final Production Notes This was one of the first songs I recorded after upgrading to the digital realm. My Tascam PortaStudio 788 had a total of 8 recordable tracks…6 mono & one stereo pair (tracks 7 & 8). 4 tracks were used for guitar, all done with my SG 1 track for bass guitar 1 for vocal Drums were recorded in stereo (7/8) Performance Credits Guitars, Bass, Drums & Vocal – Tom Hoffman Tom Hoffman "About Me" Muse Member pg. Tune-Smith.com Tom Hoffman YouTube
  25. 2 points
    Absolutely. A lot of my "songs" are written specifically to learn or explore something, whether it be a technique or a certain piece of software. Actually, right now I'm considering taking a couple old major-minor pentatonic riffs I've had on the shelf, and building a song out of them using only percussion, bass, and horns. Specifically to learn horns. So saying, heck, sometimes restrictions are necessary to spur creativity. Absolutely.
  26. 2 points
    Here's one of the two I did when I was in the grip of writer's block. I can't even remember the name of the other one, or the source song. Maybe neither were memorable. If I find it, I'll post it as well. I came up with a different melody, and sent it to my collaborator along with the lyrics. He enhanced/improved the melody (I can't reach high notes ), but it's essentially what I gave him. I love what he did with it all. If I Were A Sailor https://soundcloud.com/donmar-2/if-i-were-a-sailor-1/s-ZKyGB Now...fingers crossed the source isn't recognisable. If it is... Oh well... The next one won't be. Here, the structure/format is different, line lengths are different, the content is different, the melody is different. Other than articles like 'the' and 'a' and pronouns 'I' and 'you' and conjunctions, etc., I think even all the words are different.
  27. 2 points
    I can certainly vouch for this. During the annual FAWM and 50-90 songwriting challenges, some of the best lyrics and music are written during the 60-minute skirmishes where a title/prompt is given. Or when writing to any of the multiple mini-challenges that have exacting prompts and that need to be completed in a very short period. (Of course, a lot of revising takes place when the annual challenges are over, but the basic drafts are the bedrock of the subsequent song.) Restrictions can be excellent spurs to creativity.
  28. 2 points
    Rather than having a 'Ready for music/song' section, how about a 'Ready for Collab' section? Then, it wouldn't just be about lyric writers looking for musicians. Musicians could post music and ask other musicians to add other instruments or ask lyric writers to put forward lyrics. From a lyric writers perspective, I suspect that a number of lyric writers use this site as a way of getting initial feedback on lyrics and then go to other websites that offer a more obvious outlet for matching up lyric writers and musicians. Or link up with a musician in the real world.
  29. 2 points
    For years I have told people that all I really wanted as a musician—as a songwriter—is to be walking down the street somewhere, in a city where I’ve never been, where I know nobody, and to hear somebody I’ve never met (in person, on a message board, on Facebook, or otherwise) singing one of my songs.Well...I received a note on Facebook the other day from somebody that I had never met. With whom I have no mutual friends—virtual or otherwise. And who is from a different part of the world (or at least of the country).In this note they related to me that they saw a CD copy of Chicken on a Bicycle at a local record fair. The cover art attracted their attention, so they picked it up.They told me that they put it on and fell in love with it. And that it became "the soundtrack to their college and early adult years." That they listened to it constantly. And that they were "a huge fan" of mine.A total stranger.I connected.My music—a piece of me, became a part of their life—a piece of them.And they sought me out specifically to tell me so.It's all I ever wanted since I started making music.And yeah, I would like to make that connection with more people. And maybe I have. But at least I know for sure that I did with at least one. Total. Stranger.
  30. 2 points
    That's fine! I was curious. It may just be a cultural divide but I do sometimes get the impression of some "snarkiness" in your posts that I don't see from others - almost as if you feel you have some scores to settle. I'm glad to hear you don't! This is a community of people sharing an interest in songwriting, and it takes all sorts - and all levels of skill. I don't think many (any?) of us have any illusions about making our fame or fortune from that interest but I, for one, always find it a joy to share in the creative endeavours from those that join us. Sometimes, your tone has made me wonder whether you were on board with that. I'm happy to be wrong.
  31. 2 points
  32. 2 points
    Dugong Camelford Leisure Centre Swimming Pool Weekdays 8.30am to 9.15am Over-50s session I am a whale I am a blue-fin tuna I am a dolphin I am a seal I am swimming up and down the pool at Camelford Leisure Centre I am a shark I am a salmon I am an orca I am a thing from before our ancestors crawled out onto dry land Whoops, nearly hit the lady in the floral cap Busy today I am a manta ray I am a penguin I am an otter I am a cod Argh! My left goggle is leaking Stop to adjust I am a newt I am a sea serpent I am a walrus, goo-goo g’joob I am a dugong Yes, I am a dugong like the one I saw in Sydney Sealife Aquarium I am an old man doing lengths I am a dugong again I am a land mammal gulping air I am a dugong again Yes, between breaths and under the water Once a week I am a dugong The only dugong in Camelford
  33. 2 points
    Many years back I had entered a few of my normal style lyrics in the lyric contest with varying results. Mostly bottom half finishes I believe. Anyway I decided to write a song I thought might do well in the lyric contest. It was a story based song called Friday Night. I can’t really remember what it was about. I don’t have a copy of it anywhere. I never did anything else with that lyric as it wasn’t really my style. I’m pretty sure I got 2nd place with that lyric. I’ve entered many contest here at the Muse. Mostly finishing as a bottom dweller. That was by far my best contest finish. I could probably start a blog posting about my formula on how to continuously finish at the bottom of both the lyric and song contest. 😀
  34. 2 points
    Maybe I am following Paul's formula! I messed around with the "Hello pen" thing while mrs-bloody-lyric-machine was churning out yet another one and thought I'd share it as it seems roughly on-topic Hello pen, It's just you and me again And that's just fine We don't have long Maybe we should write a song If you have time? It doesn’t really matter what we sing a song about It’s somehow therapeutic when we let our feelings out Hello guitar Pen and I can go so far But need you now We need to know If this lyric’s going to flow And you know how It doesn’t really matter if at first it turns out wrong We three can work together while I try to sing along And when I’m feeling down You turn me back around And if I’m feeling tired You reignite the fire Hello guys Let’s not over-analyse Just let it flow And once it’s right Let’s leave it overnight You never know Because - It doesn’t really matter if at first it turns our wrong We three can work together while I try to sing along Hello pen, It's just you and me again And that's just fine Yeah, that’s just fine
  35. 2 points
    I found this printed cushion cover on ebay and even though I.m no mermaid chaser, I thought it was beautiful and couldn't resist buying it. I didn't realise at the time, it was going to turn into a (much beloved) project . I have never taken up a needle before and I really hadn't planned to . One belly button pearl I decided to add, soon turned into a tidal wave of invisible knots, hours of searching for numerous lost needles (oh no ! I'm sure I put it down here somewhere) spilled sequins packets and pricked, bleeding fingers. On the other hand (the non-pricked hand) I found it to be quite a good mindturneroffer. Especially in hard to get through times, when I really need to turn off my internal dialogue to get some peace. I have added the name Sue, the wonderful lady to whom this will be gifted when it is 100% finished (about 94% atm, just sprinkling some shinies in her hair and in the water). It will be a surprise and I have no idea if she even likes mermaids, so I.m a bit nervous now, but I really hope it appeals to her. 😊 I just wanted to share it before it goes on its journey 😆 💛
  36. 2 points
    I'm "stealing" a post of Neal's to paste here, both because it's incredibly interesting and will serve somewhat a little idea I had. While Neal suggests he won only one contest in the below formula, those of us following the thread know he tried it on 11 contests, and placed in all but 1, I think, and won first place in 5. It's quite informative: If there are enough people interested, I wonder if a "technical" group blog of sorts would be useful, a "How It Was Done", though with maybe a more interesting title, haha. Now, the group sound design blog is only puttering along, but maybe if we ask Musers, upon hearing their work in any forum thread, something along the lines of "How did you do this/that? Would you care to explain in the group blog?", that could build up a very interesting and useful/informative blog section that over time could potentially become a gold mine in its own right. Of course, people would have to play along...
  37. 2 points
    Paradoxically, I've found playing back on a laptop and phone actually improves my mixes. Good audio equipment can hide problems, but shit speakers make them impossible to ignore. Given that those set ups favor high mids, you obvious gain perspective in that area, but it also tells you whether the bass is more boomy than you realized... or perhaps drops off entirely. Low end fine tuning is difficult, but that can be easily offset by bringing the mix into your car or some other playback device that you already have. IMO, this is the key: you get more value out of listening on multiple set ups than you get from one great one. Be sure to use reference tracks, and the same ones in each location. It's surprising how often you think something sounds fine until you compare it to what you want it to sound like.
  38. 2 points
    However you end up doing this... as the final piano chord fades, a hushed "Now take THIS" Bang! Bang! (gun shots)
  39. 2 points
    I'm not sure how many UK-based Musers we have these days but was wondering if there was any interest in a "Musefest" in the UK this year (also open to anyone from outside the UK who would want to travel). For the uninitiated, these can be a lot of fun. Basically, we gather together to play some songs, eat, drink and get to know one another but it can be more than that. Normally, it would run over a weekend. On the Friday, some people may arrive if they have a distance to come. The main event is on a Saturday, starting late morning and running through to the evening when we usually go and have dinner together. During the day, it runs a bit like an open mic but we can also throw in other stuff. During the evening, it's more a social event (though there may also be some music, depending on the venue and the exhaustion levels! I may involve some local songwriters too. People can join in for the whole thing or just a part of it. If there is enough interest, I was thinking of setting something up late summer (maybe early September?) and running it in the Thames Valley area. I can provide instruments (keyboard, guitars, bass) and we can set up a small PA, if needed. We can also guide you to a range of accommodation, if needed. Anyway, let me know if you think this is something you'd like to try and, if enough are interested, I'll set something up. I know Neuroron has expressed interest and would like to fly in. Some pics of the performing attendees at the last one (was it really that long ago?)
  40. 2 points
  41. 2 points
    I absolutely agree...intended purpose makes a difference! Perhaps I should have included more specifics about my personal circumstances, but I figured the article was lengthy as it was. I'll insert a few details here... I'm a 20 years+ hobbyist singer-songwriter, so the article's written from the perspective of a dedicated amateur. I don't write for publishing call-outs, I'm not paid for my work & I rarely face any type of deadline...other than a self-imposed one. Bottom line - I write because I wish-to and because I can. I operate 100% on-my-own...always have, so there is no shared ownership of material. Since all rights belong to me, decisions about when projects are "finished" are mine to make. No one else's judgement, rights-of-ownership or personal standards factor in. BTW your feedback & personal perspectives are much appreciated folks! That's exactly what I hope for when I write something like this. With any luck, someone finds this collection of viewpoints useful in developing their own process. Tom
  42. 2 points
    Hi T I think it depends on what or who the song is being written for as far as being a finished product or work of art. I can see where a songwriter pitches a song to management and though it may seem finished, the manager or artist(s) says, it needs a sure fire intro, or it lacks a signature sound like a double guitar lick or drum solo or even a primal scream. Granted the latter may be more in the arrangement arena, but the questions abound on whether the true end is being met along with the artistic tangibles. Okay, that sounded like gibberish and over stated manure.lol I guess as a novice artist myself, most of the time when I complete a song, I feel a sense of relief. Because on the way to writing the finished song I had to tackle the dreaded lyric cycle a song goes through until Im blue in the face. It's very rare that Ive revisited a "done" song to correct anything other than maybe doing a different version or a different arrangement to further enhance or just have an alternative version of the song like the Beatles did with "Revolution". There's only 2 songs that come to mind that I did change something later on in the song after I had deemed them "done". One was my current song on my Tad Strange site called "Loser" . In the third verse, there's a line that I sing "Go find the girl who wrecked my life". Now reading it, the line sounds fine, but the word "the" kinda trips me up singing wise cuz it seems lost in the phrasing. So when I sung it again in the band recording (The Fine Print Disclaimers) I added a simple word "me" just before the word "the" and it sounded more natural. (Go find me the girl who wrecked my life) Grammar wise it may seem odd, but Im not writing high brow stuff either.lol The second song that comes to mind that I revisited and changed is on my Tad Strange site too called "High Water Mark". This one just started out as a 2 verse/2 chorus styled song called "Dance". Short and sweet " in the moment" type song ( the way I like to write them) and it ended on an extended note fade out. Fine, I was done with it. Basically a song about a kid asking a girl to dance. whoopi! lol Later I recorded a second version of it and for what ever reason I felt like I could extend on the subject I was singing about. With this extended note ending, I was able to use it as a back drop to the beginning of the new song idea I came up with. So section 1 was a bout a kid asking a girl to dance, now section 2 was post-dance and him watching her leave and his fondness for her in one sweeping crush. So, I was almost happy just to leave it there, but again I left the song on an extended note and built yet another section to the song being section 3. Section 3 became basically a reflection of what all just happened. Again, message wise I hadnt come to a conclusive end and maybe I had bit off more than I could chew here. So I wandered into yet another section, section 4 , but it didnt break any new ground here other than to confirm how he felt about her. So I soldiered on to write yet another section and basically it's just an awakening of what being in love could feel like. ta dah! Again, I was artistically inspired by the Beatles Abbey Road on this one, where they splice a bunch of songs together, but in contrast I had a running theme through it much like 10ccs "Une Nuit A Paris" parts 1,2,and 3. So, when is a song done? If you can hear it every time and feel good about it. cheers R-N-R Jim
  43. 2 points
    I don't think a song is ever "finished" either. I just stop working on it. But even then (when I have stopped consciously working on it), it can change. I have found that songs either get played or get dumped. Those that are dumped are certainly "finished" (at least for now). Songs that get played, however, have this trick they play on me in which they get subtly altered over time. It may be word tweaks, it may be how I play them, it may be phrasing or tempo - it may be anything but, especially if I have been playing the song live for a while, I find that the song has changed and I only notice if I listen back to a recording I made back when it was fresh. Works in progress. Yes indeed. I agree.
  44. 2 points
    Conor, you might want to take a look at the MusicLibraryReport. https://musiclibraryreport.com It's more about licensing (e.g. which agencies are reliable/trustworthy) rather than publishing, but the question & answer threads there cover a lot of territory, and are chock-a-block full of interesting and useful incidental information. Over the years, the site has become a good knowledge base. If you have songs that you feel are good enough to pitch, you might consider a music licensing agency like, for instance, HitLicense. http://www.hitlicense.com Joining is free, and every day/week they feature pitch opportunities. It costs $5.00 to submit a song to a pitch. What's good is that they always provide examples of the type of song they're looking for, and you also get to hear which song was selected for a particular pitch. Helps to give an idea of the sort of song music supervisors choose for an advertisement or for film/tv purposes. Donna
  45. 2 points
    “Slow Down” was my very first song. (*Song title is an mp3 link. You're welcome to listen as you read.) Originally written/arranged/recorded in 1995, it was rerecorded 3 years later. Although copyright is considered valid from the date of creation (1995), the song wasn’t officially registered with the Library of Congress until 1998. The Idea Typically, my songs evolve from one of 4 starting points: - a chord progression - a riff/pattern - a section of melody - a central theme This particular song grew out of a progression. While experimenting with combinations of 2 & 3 note intervals, an interesting pattern emerged. It utilizes traditional I-IV-V framework, but layered changes within the framework give it a unique flavor. Fundamentals The song is set in Mixolydian mode. For those not familiar with the term, it’s essentially a diatonic major scale/key, with the 7th note flattened. The flattening of that single note alters the step pattern, dramatically changing the feel of the resulting composition. Although it’s common practice to utilize notes not contained in the primary scale (key), I chose not to do that. Every note played or sung in this song falls within the confines of A mixolydian. Three separate guitar tracks were written for this arrangement. The primary guitar plays the progression depicted in that earlier tab chart. The secondary guitar part is all 2-note intervals. Guitar track #3 is comprised of single-note leads and fills. Song Structure Introduction (8 sec.) / 8 Bar Musical Interlude / Verse-Refrain / 4 Bar Interlude / Verse-Refrain / Bridge (Middle-8) / 8 Bar Interlude / Verse-Refrain / Ending w. fade Subject Matter Because of the feel established by that primary guitar progression, this song wouldn’t have worked with an uplifting lyric. Serious, dark subject matter was called for & substance abuse (specifically alcoholism) was my final choice. I wrote it from the perspective of the alcoholic (first person), in this case male. It depicts the abuser’s downward spiral, revealing his changing mind-set as the addiction progresses & the relationship disintegrates. Melody & meter were written before the lyric, as is the case with most of my songs. The downside of this particular structure was that it didn’t allow for many words. I had to rely on subtle changes in person, tense & tone to convey my lyrical message. Personally, I enjoy the challenge that comes with that style of writing, but it does present obstacles: The message/meaning isn’t as obvious. A greater burden is placed upon the listener to listen intently. If you try to cherry-pick key words & phrases from this lyric, as happens with more popular forms of music, you’re likely to miss the point. Lyric I smile and start another day You smile and tell me it’s OK We should have known we would get through it You’d think we’d know by now I promise I…won’t drink much tonight I know I blame my life on you You tell me I don’t have a clue You should have known not to back-talk me I’d think you’d know by now I know that I..said I would slow down Should slow down Must slow down Will slow down Next week swear I’ll slow down! I get up & start another day You’re not here to tell me it’s OK I should have known you didn’t love me You’d think I’d know by now I don’t care if…I ever slow down! Final Production Notes Both the 1995 and 98 recordings of this were done on a Tascam 424 (4-track analog cassette recording deck). Some years later, when I converted to a digital setup, those original analog tracks were transferred to the new digital system, cleaned up, compressed & remixed. That digital remix is the version you’re listening to now. Recording process: The drum track was recorded all at once. No overdubs were possible, because it was done using a freestanding electronic metronome. With old analog decks, if you tried to record a standard click-track, you’d end up with ghosts of it bleeding through to other tracks. Even after the click track was erased, remnants of it remained & would be audible on the final recording. Drums & bass guitar shared a single-mono track. Drums were recorded first, then primary guitar, then bass. At that point in the process, a premix of drums & bass was bounced over to the remaining open track. That premix-bounce allowed the original recordings of each to be erased. Additional guitar was recorded onto 1 of those newly vacated tracks…lead vocal onto the other. Final lead licks were recorded last, squeezed onto whatever track space remained. All guitar parts were recorded through a mic'd amp, with effects already applied. EQ & effects for the drum track were added pre-tape. Compared to modern standards, this was like working with stone knives & bearskins, but it got the job done! Performance Credits Drums, Guitars, Bass guitar & Vocal – Tom Hoffman Supplemental Video (1 min. 9 sec. demonstration / primary guitar progression) – https://youtu.be/x5dzZMNeVlk Tom Hoffman "About Me" Muse Member pg. Tune-Smith.com Tom Hoffman YouTube *BTW that MP3 link at the top is set-up as free download. If you'd like a copy for your personal use, you have my permission.
  46. 2 points
    Caveat: I'm not a pro - strictly amateur - and have made less money than I have spent on music. Hopefully someone with more expertise will step in! That said, here's what I see and think about how things are right now. I know a few people who make a living from music. They generally have a lot of ways of making some cash - playing gigs a lot, sometimes in multiple bands as well as solo, recording others, teaching, doing whatever (and they don't make much). What they all do a LOT of is network. A good network of contacts is their lifeblood. It's hard work. Personally, I can make more from my day job and so I treat this as a hobby. I know you have a day job too so this is likely the same for you (especially if you have financial responsibilities). It probably applies to most people on this forum, with some making more or less cash on the side than others, mostly by playing venues regularly. The things is, there isn't a lot of money to be made by the writer from recorded music. There may be a few who can do it if they have the network and work in the right genre, but there are a lot of people chasing those few spots (and most of us don't work in those genres anyway!) You can certainly self-publish. With CDBaby and others around, it's doable. You can even get onto Spotify, etc. The money to be made is small. Some get sales via TAXI and, if you can tap into that, I believe there is some money to be made (though I don't have any experience myself). However, most end up as vanity projects and there isn't much money there Or you could get a publisher. I don't have experience of that, so maybe others can comment. The only thing I would say is to take advice from someone with legal experience in the market before signing anything! There are plenty of people out there looking to make money from aspiring songwriters. I don't want to be the bringer of bad news (and I do think you have the talent!) but I do want to temper expectations.
  47. 2 points
    I like! Keep it up!
  48. 2 points
    I’ve also enjoyed the back and forth on this post. Good stuff. Great spot on critiques in my opinion. The only concern I have is it seems you might not be interested in changing much of your lyric even after receiving these fantastic critiques. You admitted having a hard time with lyrics. These critiques are priceless. I’d think about digging into these critiques and learn from them. Especially from the caliber of writers they came from. Some of the best writers around in my opinion. As for my opinion on the lyric itself. I agree with everything already mentioned. Maybe you can tear this sucker apart and give it a more original/interesting take using the critiques mentioned in the above post. Good luck, and most importantly, have fun!
  49. 2 points
    I love the result. Jack did a great job creating a nice, growly blues song on the basis of a lyric of mine, the original of which I'd almost decided to deep-six. I'm posting the song here in the Artist's Showcase, as it's not certain whether any further work will be done on it. We hope you enjoy it. CONDEMNED TO THE BLUES V1 I seen you flirtin’ With a lover last night And my heart can’t stop hurtin’ ‘Cause it really ain’t right My heart’s a prisoner In your double-locked cell No release for good behaviour Though I treated you well Chorus I been condemned to the blues To the memory of your eyes They always used to glow When you showed you were mine Now you’re gone, and you’re free To pick and choose But as for me…I'm condemned to sing the blues V2 I seen you smilin’ In our fav’rite café And you looked so beguilin’ I had to turn away Please show some mercy Never did you no wrong You were judge and jury But your own rap sheet’s long Chorus And I’m condemned to the blues To the memory of your eyes They always used to the glow When you showed me you were mine Now you’re gone, and you’re free To pick and choose But as for me…I'm condemned to play the blues Bridge Your disguise had me fooled And my plea was overruled I admit I’m to blame ‘Cause I let myself Be framed by your lies Chorus Now I’m condemned to the blues To the memory of your eyes They always used to the glow When you showed me you were mine Now you’re gone, and you’re free To pick and choose And as for me…I'm condemned to sing the blues (optional) You’re free to pick and choose As for me…I’m condemned to the blues © 2018 Donna Devine (lyrics)/Jack Foster III (music/instrumentation/vocals)
  50. 2 points
    Patty, this has come along so nicely. I know how much time and energy revising demands. For my part, just a couple of small things. Keep 'em or sweep 'em. Short Changed Patty Lakamp © Copyright 2018 Male Vocalist (till the Bridge) V1 Just my luck to fall for that smile When she was all for having fun Maybe 'When all she wanted was the fun'. The thought in the current line feels somehow incomplete. She had her choice of stand-up guys Wasn’t ready for only one V2 The more I saw her, the harder I fell But did she love me? I couldn’t tell She made a crack about fish in the sea I risked it all and got down on my knee And told her how it was Chorus If you feel short-changed, Honey, I do, too I need you to love me like I love you I agree with Justin. I think ‘want’ is more pleasing to the ear, and sounds less needy. If you’re not all in, then count me out I won’t be second best I agree with Justin that this line isn’t necessary. For me, it breaks the flow of what the person is saying. I feel the previous line and the following make it very clear what his intentions are. The term ‘second best’ introduces a moment of confusion, because the listener is brought up a little short working out the context of ‘second best’, as no ‘first best’ has been decided. I hope this makes some kind of sense. If you're worried about losing an even number of lines, maybe opt for stretching that line to something like 'I'm not competing with the rest, won't risk being second-best'. I’m talkin ‘bout a lifetime and I wanna do it right I love you for real, so you better decide To me, this still sounds a little threatening. Would you consider ‘need to decide’? I think it’s stronger, and implies that the decision is based on what the woman feels she needs rather than on any implied thread that she should decide on the basis of the guy maybe leaving if she doesn’t agree to his terms. If you follow what I mean. V3 Her mouth dropped open, froze on her face The notion of a mouth freezing on her face is an odd one. Perhaps re-think this line. She tried, but couldn’t say a word Her normal chatter disappeared Maybe ‘dried right up’ rather than ‘disappeared’. Brought up short by the truth she heard Chorus If you feel short-changed, Honey, I do, too I need you to love me like I love you If you’re not all in, then count me out I won’t be second best I’m talkin bout a lifetime and I wanna do it right I love you for real, so you better decide Bridge—Female vocalist I knew right then, he’d laid it on the line If I wasn’t his, he wasn’t mine I really like this line. If I let him go I’d short-change me Nice change. That’s not how I wanted love to be Chorus –Both? If you feel short-changed, Honey, I do, too I need you to love me like I love you If you’re not all in, then count me out I don’t want second best We’re talkin bout a lifetime and I wanna do it right I love you for real, so you better decide