Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


GaryHale last won the day on September 17

GaryHale had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

20 Excellent

About GaryHale

  • Rank
    Active Muse

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location

Previous Fields

  • Lyricist, Composer or Both?
  1. Breakup Ballad

    This is a very moving lyric that is superbly and poignantly delivered. My suggestion would be to edit the lyric and shorten the song. I think this would give it a much greater emotional impact and improve the listening experience. You have some wonderful writing going on here and I’m sure it will be a challenge for you to make the necessary cuts but I would respectfully urge you to consider tightening this song and re-working the structure. It’s truly a lovely and moving piece of work and I found your voice and playing to be a perfect fit for the subject matter.
  2. Girl, Don't Do It

    This is a lyric about making a choice that could, within the context of the lyric, radically change the lives of one or two people. It’s about opening that door and wondering whether to walk through. It’s also about the power of trust between couples and how breaking that bond can have terrible consequences. I think the element of choice - do I or don’t I - is the key to this lyric. We all make choices that in retrospect change the trajectory of our lives. My thinking is that this element can be sharpened. Additionally, I think there needs to be some resolution in the lyric - does she or doesn’t she - to move the lyric forward. Otherwise it tends to be static and repetitive.
  3. Judging Lyrics

    Funny thing, I “won” lyric of the year last year on what I considered was a throw-away song, but it obviously resonated... so who’s to say what works and what doesn’t. When I write I try to keep it conversational and simple and edit it down to the bone. I primarily write country but I listen almost exclusive to pop and indie artists and find these genres way more rewarding and adventurous than country and rock. These competitions are fun but I would never be crestfallen if I came in at the bottom. This is a place to learn the basics of the craft and to find your own voice and style. And no offense to anyone, but the average age and musical tastes on this site tend to skew heavily toward historical musical artifacts (Beatles, Dylan, etc.) rather than more contemporary artists and styles. And, as a result, I think many people who enter these contests are handcuffed by the existing tastes which lean mightily toward the familiar. Having said that, there’s almost always a cool, enticing and surprising lyric to be found in these competitions that I really like and which always seems to kiss the bottom of the pack. And there have been some really unique and powerful lyric writers on this site that I loved but they never seem to stick around for any length of time. And yeah, I have my own theory about that too.
  4. Interesting article about radio - stick a fork in it, it's done. https://radioink.com/2017/09/06/portnow-artists-no-longer-thank-radio/
  5. The Sum of Smaller Stories

    Hi John, A well constructed lyric that presents a clear narrative. I don't object to the numerous use of the phrase "handed down." I read it as a leitmotif, keeping the thread of the story upfront. My main comment would be about not having a wrap-up verse - i.e. about what you are handing down to the next generation - to complete the sense of continuity and history. My feeling is that this would be a valuable addition and would increase the poignancy of the lyric and complete it in memorable way. Nice work.
  6. Political Hate

    Oh, no, not John Cusack! Please don't tell me he went off and joined the lunatic fringe. I'm so disappointed. He's my favorite actor. Who could ever forget "Hot Tub Time Machine." Say it ain't so, John, say it ain't so.
  7. Political Hate

    Seriously? Some of these guys are amazingly talented and skilled writers. Whatayou live on an Island?
  8. poems vs. lyrics

    Good advice whatever one pursues.
  9. Political Hate

    Ad hominem attacks, rather than facts, seem to be very popular these days.
  10. Just wanted to thank you for the time for answering my questions and share the second of what probably will turn out to be three songs with Ashish. I think this is more commercial.




  11. Do you mean adieu restaurant as in goodbye? I don't know what Au de means? John, based on my experience and years in the biz, there is a very limited market out there for the type of music you are promoting. Your best bet may be the Christian market. Rock has pretty much died or become a greatest hits endless tour. Breaking in to the market at your age demands ceaseless energy and self promotion, networking and more self promotion. You need to be persistant, brash, respectful and a good judge of where your strengths are and what unique skills you bring to the table that no one else may have. I listened to the song you posted. I could barely make out the lyrics due to the singers presentation. (It's an interesting and humorous lyric and it reads well. Where it fits in today's music I'd be hard pressed to say.) A typical publisher will give you five to ten seconds to "wow" them before moving on. Do you think that link truly represents a professional presentation of your songwriting and production skills? Is that your calling card? Would someone who listens to literally hundreds of songs a day be knocked on his or her ass listening to what you did? You be the judge of that question. Reality is the best teacher in a case like this. Any professional will tell you that the music business is a very difficult business. There is no shortage of talent - and most of it is under 25... or even 20. However, if you truly believe your skills, craft and talent can compete with the best out there I would encourage you to pursue your dream single-mindedly and never be discouraged by the endless soul crushing rejection that is part of succeeding in the music business.
  12. Hey John, The easiest way is to hook up with a reputable publisher, and that ain't easy. I have a friend who is head of synch & licensing with one of Sony's divisions and we were talking the other day and he flat out said unless you are an amazing talent, it's all about social media and how many website, youtube, Instagram, etc hits you have. All of the major companies have scores of interns that do nothing but troll the sites looking for artists who have big followings. What genre is your music and lyrics?
  13. Joey, Not to confuse you, I know you've been working on this for a while and have received lots of good suggestions, but to me, the reference to texting and cell phones seems out of place in this lyric, as if it’s an attempt to “modernize” the lyric, which honestly is about as 1960’s a country ballad as can possibly be. I’m not saying this in a cynical way - your lyric style tends to resonate pretty strongly with standard old school Country. In keeping with that old school style I might suggest a chorus that refashions the lyric along these lines... just something to think about. I’m standing on the corner Down on Memory Lane Wishing you were here To ease this hurtin’ pain I walk these lonely streets But I know it’s all in vain Cause broken hearts never mend Down on Memory Lane
  14. My Name

    Mississippi John Hurt, one of the absolute all time greats! I can hear this played and sung in his smooth and plaintive style.
  15. Black Queen

    Chuck Berry's No Money Down and Johnny Cash's One Piece at a Time are two classic car songs that you would enjoy and that may generate some additional ideas. "A good songwriter should be able to write a song in any genre for virtually any purpose." Jimmy Webb btw - an interesting little piece about Jimmy Webb in this month's New Yorker