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About JMichaels

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    Muse In Training

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  • Lyricist, Composer or Both?
  • Musical Influences?
    From the Carter Family to Trans Siberian Orchestra

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  1. Hi RocknPop, As a first comment....please post the lyrics to go along with the track....it makes it a lot easier for us to offer insights or critiques that you are looking for. as for the recording....it sounds very raw and unfinished. i certainly don't want to discourage you from writing and recording your own songs, much to the contrary, I think it's admirable that you put yourself out there. Now that being said, you should really work on the vocals...they are really pitchy......those of us without the stellar pipes like Adelle have to really work on staying in key and in tune. and it sounds to me like some of the instrumentals are out of whack as well. My suggestion would be to re-work them and re-record. Also the song is very short....and needs some more fleshing out. Hope this helps.
  2. JMichaels

    Sea Smells

    Hi Kuminsh.....sounds ok...though not a lot of variety going on but I think it would work with a short film clip. unfortunately for you, it's a tall order for me to visualize sea smells from the track because I spend so much time in the ocean. 😉 I could see this accompanying a slow motion surf video clip....mostly in a tropical setting such as Fiji or Tahiti where the water is that beautiful clean blue color and viewed from the inside or under the wave as the fins track across the face.
  3. JMichaels

    'Til Daybreak

    Thanks for the kind words Tim.....I'm glad you liked the story and the song....I'm definitely doing some re-working of the vocals and try to up the melody, especially in the pre-chorus and chorus and I think the lead guitar needs to move a bit to fit better with the vocals...the strumming and picking have some dead notes I need to fix and I hope that will take care of the stiffness you are hearing.....sheesh, seems like a song is never quite done lol. ~ John
  4. JMichaels

    'Til Daybreak

    Hey Gary, you did and I had posted the song as well....no hits at all on the song. which is one of the reasons coming here. and it appears to be for good reason. since my voice is so limited, I had hoped that a good singer would be able to put some more punch in the melody. I do want to keep it introspective for the verses, but I am wanting some more punch in the pre-chorus and the chorus. I'll see what I can do when I do another take on it. Thanks for the critique, it does point me in the direction I need to go with it. ~ John
  5. JMichaels


    seriously great vocals....nice job. The song itself is very good as well. I liked it because my mind was able to conjure lots of images and scenes. some original music is all you need for this one. no nits from me.
  6. JMichaels


    Hey Keith, Charles gave you some really good pointers to get you started in the right direction......I would add that you have a good premise here and you need to dial it in tighter and give it a form. Songs come in a huge variety of forms, but the point is choosing one that seems to fit what you are trying to say or get across to the listener. Right now, the song feels more like a poem than a song. try googling song forms or try looking in your local library for songwriting books and experiment with different formats to see what might fit the best. Also, listen critically to your favorite songs. pay attention to their structure and how it meshes with the music. And for gosh sakes, avoid the yodaspeak if you can. each line or phrase should be as dynamic as you can make it, and avoid passive tenses if possible. just my thoughts....hope they help.
  7. JMichaels

    'Til Daybreak

    Thanks Pete, Bacchandi, and Kuya, It's great to get some thoughtful feedback. I will take the suggestions to edit some of the verses to shorten the syllable count to heart....your ideas make good sense and don't take away from the song. I tend to add "a's, and's and but's" that don't necessarily need to be there. I added the extra syllables in the second pre-chorus to add some texture and a little dynamics since the song is a simple 1+1. I'm thinking I'll do a little more with the vocals in production as you suggest to bring them out more when I re-record it (Gads I don't like my voice so that will be hard.) I'm glad you liked it!
  8. JMichaels

    'Til Daybreak

    Thanks for listening Pete and for the kind words. I think the unnatural bits are due to timing in the DAW.....I recorded the vocals and the instruments separately. My biggest problem is ferreting out these issues because I don't believe what my ears are telling me. Someday I might figure it out....😙. I'm glad you liked the song! ~ John
  9. Dang it David........you took my idea for income way into retirement and a life of leisure by thinking of it first! 😛 My thought for titles is that they are very important, because they are what generally piques our interest in a song in the first place. I tend to find them everywhere, road signs, road kill, restaurant menus, or just a bad dream from bad food. I keep a note book of nothing but potential titles and try to write down every one I think of every day. often when working on an idea, I will find a title that I wrote down that will fit in nicely.
  10. JMichaels


    I really enjoyed the free starting videos. There was a lot of useful basic information and advice. I'm reserved about the whole membership thing because of the cost....mostly because I've become suspicious of these things. I get some great info just being a member of BMI (free) (ASCAP is the other organization... you can only belong to one at a time) and subscribing to American Songwriter....way cheaper than Songtown's yearly membership fees. Oh, and don't forget about this site and other songwriting forums....there's a wealth of info available!
  11. JMichaels

    Chord Progressions

    thought I'd jump in on this topic as well......Honestly, I really don't think how a song works or why people like it is based on a chord progression to most folks.....for my part, I think it has everything to with something within the song they can identify with. I guess the easiest example would be the infamous gal on American Bandstand " It's got a great beat and you can dance to it." The point being that it could be the lyrics with attitude (Take This Job and Shove It")....or a driving beat ("Hot Stuff"), a signature riff, ("Stairway to Heaven", "Walk This Way")....lyrics that pull our heart-strings ("Cats In The Cradle") and on and on. People like Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, Buck Owens, and a host of others wrote fantastic songs with the most simple chord progressions. For myself, I'm way more comfortable with simple chord progressions and arrangements that let me put the focus on lyrics and the emotion I want them to carry (mostly because I'm not that great of a musician and have to make it so I can at least play the darn thing..lol. ) Just my two cents.
  12. Ok so I'm taking the plunge and posting a song. It's something my wife and I dealt with too many times and I think a lot of others have as well. the guitar work needs to be re-done, but what I'm looking for are lyrics, melody, and mix critique. Lyrics are below. Thanks all! ‘Til Daybreak © JMichaels 2018 All Rights Reserved Verse 1: It’s hours before dawn and your head is lyin’ on my chest Everything is quiet, but my mind just can’t rest I can feel your breath, soft and warm on my skin But I can’t sleep, ‘cause I’m deployin’ once again Pre-Chorus: Can’t tell you where I’m goin’ or the Hell where I’ve been My bags are packed by the door, and leaving you is a sin ‘Chorus: ‘Cause If a man could see and angel I see it in your face Til daybreak Verse 2: The clock marks every minute slippin’ into the night I run my fingers through your hair and hold you tight Every moment like this should stretch to infinity Still not long enough to show what you mean to me Pre-Chorus: I can say I love you a thousand times over telephone and satellite lines (it’s not the same) I know what I’m leavin’ behind and I’ll come back alive (to you) Chorus: ‘Cause If a man could see an angel I see it in your eyes ‘til daybreak Outro Reprise: If a man could hold an angel I’ll hold you in my arms ‘til daybreak Until daybreak End
  13. First of all, I respect anyone who puts themselves out there, so kudos to you! It seems to me that you've got so much going on lyrically with the pace of the music that what you're saying is getting lost in the volume if that makes any sense. I think you could edit and slow down the vocal pace without losing the focus of the lyrics. Sometimes it can project a lot more power and feeling when the singer has some room to punch some emotion into the lyrics. I agree with discatticus that you have some very good lines in the song. "forever I'll defend" is a passive line.....try to make everything in your lyrics dynamic, by that I mean make them action oriented......like "I'll control you" or "I'm gonna be fine". Nice start!
  14. JMichaels

    Reality - Alt. Rock Song

    Nice....no nits here. I like the lyrics....they fit very well with the pace of the song. they get the job done without any superfluous fluff. Good stuff.
  15. JMichaels

    Frankestein Love

    monster title! I think you've got a great start. The mix can be better but as you say, it's rough. Still, it's better than I could do on a good day. My only nit would be the hook.....you've only got it once in the lyrics.....I'm thinking you should add it in a few times to really highlight it.....It's too good a title not to.