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About AndyLeF

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    Inspirational Muse

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    Essex, England
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    Life, the Universe and everything...

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  • Lyricist, Composer or Both?
  • Musical Influences?
    Any song with good melody and lyrics is going to catch my ear

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  1. Hold On Honey

    Hi Joey, Very well described here with some lovely visual imagery - am with you in the scene - good one! A few comments below. Andy Hold On Honey Copyright 2018 ~ J.W. McMichael On a night when the stars hung in their Heaven Restless wind rustling thru the pines To carry on the first line more smoothly you might want to consider adding an "A" here - "A restless...." Closed his eyes he could hear the river calling Again for smooth flow you might want to consider "He closed his eyes...." Feel the warm embers glowing in the fire PC1 There was a a full moon rising from the canyon Lonesome cry of a coyote in the night He caressed the moist flesh of his companion "Moist flesh" seemed a bit odd here to me ("flesh" reminded me of "meat" and "moist"? - is she sweating?!) - maybe "smooth skin" or "pearly skin" or something... Saw the pinion logs flicker in her eyes Ch1 She said hold on Honey Let’s take our time tonight Nowhere to be, the moment’s right Spoon me close and move real slow Tenderly and don't let go We’re going on a magic carpet ride Love the CH and PC - well described. There are moments a husband remembers He will treasure the rest of his life And last night in the snows of December As he knelt on the grave of his wife This came as a bit of a jolt as there was no lead in after their interaction in the CH. I don't understand the song structure positioning of this section - this seems like a bridge? Think you have at the moment: V1 PC1 CH1 BR PC2 CH2 TAG Feels to me like you really need another verse to set the scene for the bridge - maybe something like: V1 PC1 CH1 V2 BR PCH2 CH2 TAG Maybe a V2 could describe more of their wonderful time together with her "leaving too soon" kind of thing then the lyric would flow smoothly into the BR... PC2 He saw the full moon rising from a canyon Heard the cry of a coyote in the vast His lips pressed to the stone near his companion He whispered soon I’ll be with you at last Ch2 He said hold on Honey It’s gonna be alright I plan to stay with you tonight I know it’s cold but please be strong Doctor said it won’t be long Until I take that magic carpet ride Today as the sun rose in its Heaven A restless wind rustling thru the pines When folks say all his sins will be forgiven Two souls met in the azure Winter sky This TAG section ends the song off nicely
  2. TAXI - worth joining?

    I started this TAXI post back in 2011 (!) and joined TAXI for a couple of years and then resented paying the yearly subs so I left but have recently been thinking of re-joining so have been reviewing this thread again. In those two TAXI years I wrote a lot of material triggered by subject matter that the music market was after; TV adds, film scores [really fun to try this!], original songs, on really diverse topics that I wouldn't have attempted otherwise. I never got any placements in that time but the sense of purpose for composing new material was never as strong as during those two years. I'm now in the lucky position of having been able to upgrade my studio to include some really good music software for generating better 'radio ready' demo's and I have a lot more experience as a songwriter. Any other TAXI leavers out there thinking about re-joining? - if so what are your reasons? Andy
  3. Inadvertently infringing some one else's melody is a risk we all face when composing a melody for our lyrics. A couple of questions: Think I remember reading some where that up to 6 notes of similarity was ok but 7notes was a 'no-no' copyright wise - does anyone know it this rule-of-thumb is correct? There are apps around these days, such as SoundHound, which can listen to a commercial song being played and then identify it for you - very useful if you hear something on the radio you like and have your mobile handy to identify it on the spot, as the radio presenters often don't identify it at the end of the song! I'm wondering if using something like SoundHound on your own song would be a good way to warn yourself that your own melody is too close to an existing song? Anyone though of doing this? Andy
  4. Wow, I may have to shell out for this Melodyn upgrade now - to the old version I use with Sonar X3. I use mine mainly for adjusting phrasing for syncing vocal doubling. Also the odd bit of pitch adjustment especially when singing high harmonies. Andy
  5. With a smile

    Wow - it's a vast improvement Clemo!! Only tiny nits to hit on below. Good one! Andy With A Smile (V1) I stayed with an old friend who'd been ill for while He'd changed a lot but I recognised his smile "Recognised is a bit awkward - maybe something like "He'd changed a lot but his smile was the same"? Cancer crept in and slowly owned his blood "Cancer" is soooo direct - maybe find another way of describing this? ("Red bloom", "Illness",...) No-one saw it coming, everyone was stunned (Ch) I watched him as he braved another day He never gave up, that wasn't his way He even smiled when he started slipping under He said no need to worry, it's ok Good concise chorus here, summing up his positive attitude and "Smile through it all" hook of your lyric well. (V2) He used to be a fire chief battling fire and heat Striving till everyone was safe Always fighting on, never giving to despair Losing hope was not in his belief Maybe "in" is redundant here? Nice introduction of new information in the verse here and sets up his attitude to fighting battles nicely. (Ch) I watched him as he braved another day He never gave up, that wasn't his way He even smiled when he started slipping under He said No need to worry it's ok (V3) So what now, he has left us and has gone His wife and kids in tears, staring on He's in our hearts and minds for evermore A brave man to the last, he gave his all I can see the work you've put in here Clemo - V3 and V4 really complement and add to the story in the lyric nicely. (V4) He left us with a courage renewed Don't give up until the battle is through Fight every inch of every given mile And if you lose, go out with a smile Yeah, like it!
  6. Winter Romance

    Hi Per Gunnar, It's a good start and has loads of potential. You guys in Norway surely know all about winter - so, you are writing this from a knowledgeable position of strength! Some comments and suggestions below - just mho. Cheers, Andy Per Gunnar Vik Mjølhus - Winter Romance (2018) Not sure about "Winter Romance" - think it needs more - umph! I'd be tempted to use your brilliant "Cocooned" idea as your title and develop the idea of emerging renewed - more in the chorus below... Verse 1: We’re trampling knee-deep To our cabin retreat Through the blizzard we go "we go" uses up precious descriptive space here - maybe "Through a blizzard we stagger and laugh" And I’ve got you to hold I wanted to add the word "tonight" after "hold" to finish the line off more rcompletely... Seeing crystallized spruce tops Leaning on your cute earmuffs I can't visualise the "leaning on earmuffs" bit here when you are both standing. Think "cute" will work well if you make the line more visual. Maybe something like: "Following your cute sheepskin/wooly earmuffs" or something. Throwing snowballs until we (screw this, don't know what to say) ???? Not hard, you've set-up the visual scene really well, just continue the 'film' in your head, so something like: "Throwing snowballs 'til we roll in the snow" "The taste of your lip seal I've grown to know".... Just random lines to suit the situation - just free associate a list of ten or so lines and you'll find something that will lead you somewhere... Prechorus: Winter, winter In snowy glitter Winter, winter There’s nothing sweeter Than being with you X I’ve got no other plans (kinda hate the word "plans") This line is really gonna impress her - not!! Think you really mean "There's no where else I'd rather be"... Than our winter romance (kinda hate the phrase "winter romance") Your hook is the most important focus of the lyric - if you hate it then you are hardly likely to do it justice so - change it! Chorus: Winter, winter, winter, winter, winter Romance (kinda hate winter being repeated so many times) - soooo do I! The Chorus is the most important place to focus your hook so it needs a lot of care. BTW I love your cocooned idea you use later - it's stella! so I'd be tempted to pull it into your chorus. Some possibilities off the top of my head that might give you some ideas "Winter Romance is my fairy tale come true Never had so much fun as being with you and when the nights grow cold and dark Gonna end up in our duvet cocooned and in the morning we'll emerge renewed" X Digging every second here with you "Digging"? Think you need to 'dig' deeper - think of what you might say to her in these tender moments - what would impress her? Cocooned in our blanket with slopes in view Love "Cocooned"! Do you guys still use "blankets"? - is this set in the '30s/40's!?- surely you have a "duvet"? "slopes in view" seems to lack something for me - maybe something like: "Cocooned in our duvet, we'll emerge brand new"
  7. You Made Me

    Good start here and a really excellent first verse. Think it's crying out for more story development in verse 2 and possibly needs a break to separate the two chorus. The chorus lacks punch/focus for me which you'd probably find if you could bring that second verse up to the standard of the 1st verse with more story development 'meat' for the reader/listener to take on-board. Just my take - it's got loads of potential. Andy You Made Me The nights were cold The ground so hard How much longer would I last "would" => "could"? Living under a freeway overpass Great first verse here the scene is very well set up and we can all picture the situation. Then you found me How I’ll never know You dropped in like an angel And grabbed me as I was halfway to hell "grabbed" seems like it should have been "saved" here to me. Maybe "grabbed" would work if the line was something like "and grabbed me before falling hallway to hell"? The last line of V2 good. The 1st three lines seem to me like a rather 'easy' way out of adding some 'meat' to the story. How was he found? - seems like there could only be two possibilities if he/she was living under an underpass - either another homeless soul found him (would make a very interesting story line) or maybe someone from the soup kitchen took him in. Both good ways of developing the story line in a believable way it seems to me. Ch: You took me in When life turned me away You gave me hope And saved me from the lost I am blessed Cause I have found my way You made me who I turned out to be today If there was more story line developed in V2 then the chorus would have more options to break away from being so general (the main culprits are L2 and L6 of the chorus). Repeat Ch: You took me in When life turned me away You gave me hope And saved me from the lost I am blessed Cause I have found my way You made me who I turned out to be today Fade: You made me who I turned out to be today The repeated chorus is an easy way of extending the song length with out actually adding anything new. Think it really needs a break between the two chorus. You made me who I turned out to be today
  8. Not so long ago

    Hi Steve, I don't know what title you had in mind for this - I guess your natural one here would be "Not So Long Ago"? Some comments on your lyrics song structure: It would be helpful to your reader/reviewer to label your lyric sections so that your intentions are known. I'm assuming the structure here is V1,V2,Br,V3 - one of my favourite - breaking away from the more conventional chorus songs. (If you had intended the structure to be V1, V2, V3, V4 then there is a problem with the syllable count of V3 not matching the other verses) With verse/verse/bridge/verse structures it's very effective to have (normally) the last line of each verse repeated. I see you nearly do this in the three verses but in the 1st line (equally effective I think). Think it's worth looking at that 2nd verse to see if you can pull it into a repeated 1st line like the other two. This would really pull your song's hook into focus... Not that long ago we were lovers now we're not even friends loving you forever has come to an end Love the contrast setup in "forever" ending! Good one. Think you might be able to milk this contrast even more with something like: "loving you forever was too short to end"... And not because I stopped you stopped loving me when not so long ago The natural hook of the lyric is buried in the 3rd line in this verse2 - maybe you can reorder the lines to bring it into focus for the lyric in the first line. Would greatly focus your lyrics hook if you could do that... we were making memories Like it! Not so long ago, it was love when just the touch of your hand was enough to make my world now it’s just something hard to understand Song structure wise, this is the natural place for the bridge where a different point of view is expressed which allows the reader to understand the verses from a different angle. The sentiment is well described here but the 1st line locks you into a similar way of thinking to the verses from where it's difficult to break out and go somewhere else with the story. Maybe you could break out of the mould of the verses by asking some questions: "Did I assume too much, did I misunderstand? and then maybe answer it at the end of the bridge by using a surprising contrast (like your "forever" ended one in V1) - maybe something like "you were here with me but in a different land" - not good but you get the idea. Not so long ago, before goodbye All I saw was love in your eyes I never saw it ending Until you made me cry The sentiment is sensitively and well described though out. Imho, just a little work needed to bring your hook and bridge into focus and you will have a cracking song lyric! Cheers, Andy
  9. Can hear some similarities in the verse melody - mainly due to the two note melodic "dee-dar" fall-off hook at the end of the verse lines. Be surprised if a lot of other songs don't also sound similar as it's such a simple melodic hook. There are some differences in syllable count and melisma (different note vocal playing around on the same syllable) introduced between the two songs. The Radiohead singer goes (intentionally?) flat on some of the word delivery, presumably to give the performance more grit/character - that might complicate things. Two good songs though - enjoyed them both. Love Lana Del Rey's low husky voice - especially on "Maleficent" Andy
  10. I really like it when an artist explains in detail the mechanics of their own way of working out a song, as different ideas can often get me out of a rut or take me in a different direction with my own small efforts.... Found this on youtube recently for Ed Sheeran's monster hit "Shape Of You" - actually a collaboration (interesting to see that in itself) between Ed, Johnny and Steve. Loads of good stuff, for me anyway, showing the development of a whole song from the first 10sec riff idea shown to Ed, to seeing how it's layered to keep the repeated riff from becoming boring; whenever that's in danger of happening, they add or remove rhythmic sounds or strip it right back or even add pauses. The song itself is probably not too every muser's taste - however the process they go through is, imho, instructive. Does this process chime with anyone else? - or perhaps it may give you ideas for song development for your own stuff... Andy
  11. With a smile

    Hey Clemo - long time! Think you have a very promising start here - some comments below on what struck me as I was reading through and picturing the situation - just mho. Cheers, Andy With A Smile © 18/11/2017 Your title is a very strong line from V1 - but it doesn't sum up, for me, the focus (hook) of your lyric. More on the hook below under the chorus comments... (V1) I paid a visit to my old friend today Hadn't seen him since the days we used to play He'd been ill for very long time Though he'd changed a lot, I recognized his smile. V1 really sets the scene well and the last line is stella! The "smile" through all he was going through sets the positive side of his battle with his condition, which we can all admire. (V2) Death crept in and slowly owned his blood "Death" here seems much too direct here for me, maybe you could develop the "battles" idea you introduce in this verse; fighting them one by one with out complaining - the positive side of his condition No-one saw it coming, no-one ever could He battled with those demons harder everyday Though in the end the demons had their way. Kind-of loses steam here for me in the last line - the negative coming through - maybe you could develop the last line along the lines of "and though there were more of them (demons) he was still managing to keep them at bay" kind of thing - keeping the positive side of the battle uppermost, the aspect we can all admire... (Ch) I watched him as his spirit slid asunder I saw him smile that said let's go and play. One last smile as he was slipping under His look said don't worry : it's ok. You hint at the positive side of his condition in the 1st two verses so why not make that your major hook for the song? ("He Never Gave Up") Think it would all come into focus then with a rousing chorus along the lines of: "And he never gave up From smiling every day Even though he was slipping under Could still hear him say Don't you worry, it'll be ok" - or something. (V3) So what now that he has blessedly gone Try as I might I just can't sing "blessedly gone" with out it sounding awkward here! His wife and kids in tears, staring on He's in our hearts and minds the loved ones that he left A brave courageous man; he was the very best (V4 One thing he gave us was courage renewed Never give in if the demons pursue Fight for every inch of every given mile And if you should lose the fight; go out with a smile V3 and V4 allude to the natural hook of the lyric for me which, imho, would be better expressed in a more focused chorus. Maybe you could write another verse here looking back on his life before his struggle began - maybe with someone he supported through difficult health times... (Ch) I watched him as his spirit slid asunder I saw him smile that said, let's go and play. One last smile as he was slipping under His look said don't worry: it's ok.
  12. Customary curtesy

    I guess the song feedback forum would be the natural place to get constructive feedback on song contest songs - if the song writers had wanted some? (seems rather an alien idea to me that they wouldn't). As a non-participating Nov. song contest scorer, I was put off making comments about the songs by the contest's guidelines where, I sensed, some negative history about making comments in the past had occurred. Just my two cents worth. Andy
  13. "Lost Upon The Deep"

    Thanks Dan! ...and thanks for the Lighthouse Bella Bathurst lead - I've just checked it out on Amazon and it looks like you could potentially have a wealth of great song writing material lurking in there; heroic deeds, the stuff of classic folk songs.... Cheers, Andy
  14. I found this on youtube recently and thought I'd share it as I, for one, love to see work-in-progress while other songwriters are composing. For all the glitz surrounding Taylor Swift I've come to appreciate that she is one hell of a song writer - both on the lyric and music front. For anyone trying to put a melody to lyrics or modifying lyrics in the compositional phase this link shows the determination and stick-ability needed when composing a song and not being satisfied too easily. Gorgeous Is this the way others compose music to their lyrics - anyone have a different method? Cheers, Andy
  15. Nice melodic guitar playing here - it's got a nice classical laid-back feel to it. I'm hearing 2 guitars, a bass and some percussion. I'm hearing 2 distinct guitar sections repeated. It maybe worth adding a sense of movement with a modulating (maybe up a tone) at 1:30 - it's an old trick used by many composers to give a repetitive piece a lift but still essentially playing the same melody. The kaleidoscope images are cool in themselves (how is that being generated?). The colours and details in the shapes are quiet amazing. However, the shapes, colours and movement don't seem particularly synchronised to the music, except at the end (1:57) where a fade out of colour occurs to match the fade out of the music - that works well and by the use of all those emerging colours with the 2nd guitar section at 28sec. Why not use those images again when the 2nd guitar section repeats at 1:07? Think some more obviously related movement (or colour changes) of the image in time with the music would be effective. Well done both, it's a chilled out melodic music video - easy on the ear and eye! Andy