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stainless Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

semi-chunky
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I write about what interests me, and consciously avoid copying anything I've done before. Then I let outcomes take care of themselves. I've got to like the sound of what I write, too. The net result of that is that the music is often smooth, but occasionally the lyrics veer into a bit chunky.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread has got me thinking about writing. There was this big explosion of songwriting for me at the point when I started writing about what interested me instead of what I thought a song 'should' be about, and when I decided not to copy anything I'd done before, to make sure every song explored something I hadn't done before - a chord or a chord structure or a lyrical approach or an idea or a different kind of melody - something new. Nowadays, the writing's slowed down a bit. I think the new challenge is to find what I want to write about. It sounds stupid, but I think when I find what I care about, I'll know what to write about. It's like there's an unconscious 'rule' not to write about certain stuff. Time to shine the light on it and take a look.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't believe there are any sacred cows.... in fact I would go so far as to say a sizable percentage of music listeners don't pay close attention to the lyrics initially and it takes more than a few listens before awareness of the true meaning of the song arises (that assuming everyone who listens would ultimately get it".... which is probably asking too much)

maybe it's the beat, maybe it's a guitar lick or who knows what actually grabs a listeners ear and holds it, rather than hitting the play advance/next track button?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With song lyrics I usually try to avoid getting too personal and favor a storytelling/3rd person approach... or sometimes just nonsense- words that sound lyrical together and paint kind of an abstract picture.... or with some "I"s, but the "I"s are some fictitious other person. Nothing has bogged me down more than thinking "What best represents me?"... once my ego is involved, forget it. There's no satisfying THAT monster... and I feel strongly that a little bit of the artist always comes through whether or not they intend it, even with some Justin Beiber radio-gloss or whathaveyou, even someone singing a song written by someone else, their voice will crack around a particular word or phrase in such a way that allows you to see right through them for just a second (whether you want to or not).
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stainless wrote:
I don't believe there are any sacred cows....


I'm talking about the unconscious sacred cows in my own mind that keep me from exploring certain things. have you ever heard stuff by Lambchop? Or Mr Bungle? Full-on flat-assed who gives a fuck weirdness. I haven't begun to get close to stuff like that. Want to write better songs? Open a new door or two in your mind, step through and explore the territory you find.

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dobro Offline
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AbsolutelyUnlistenable wrote:
With song lyrics I usually try to avoid getting too personal and favor a storytelling/3rd person approach... or sometimes just nonsense- words that sound lyrical together and paint kind of an abstract picture.... or with some "I"s, but the "I"s are some fictitious other person. Nothing has bogged me down more than thinking "What best represents me?"... once my ego is involved, forget it. There's no satisfying THAT monster...


Sure, but if, while you're writing from your own experience, you're making sure every line talks about universal stuff that everybody can recognise, the song shines.

There's another way around it as well. I've done this before and it works. You write a song from the point of view of another person. You get to write and sing in the first person, but because you're looking through someone else's eyes, you do a sort of end run around the inhibitions of your own ego and self-image. Years ago, I read this goofy book along the lines of 'the alien visitors are among us'. A song came out of it - it was from the point of view of an alien walking the streets of this planet. Without my intending it, it came across as if he was stalking somebody - it was sort of beautiful and weird and creepy all at the same time - it still makes me feel like I'm taking a chance every time I sing it. In fact, I think I'm getting ideas for the next song cycle. Thumb Up

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's great to see such an indepth discussion in here Very Happy

I've always been a lyrics first guy, I usually fall in to a melody, which might explain why a number of my songs sound similar. I've got books filled with lyrics and not that many finished songs. The songs which I have recorded, were ones that were written in under and hour.

I'm the one who very rarely goes back for a re-write as once I sing a song through once I find it hard to reword it, mind you, when recording, I have changed a word here and there.

About 6 months ago I came up with an idea for a 'concept' so to speak, well a 'stage name' and a niche of songs which haven't been overdone, won't be 'commercial' in the big sense, but could potentially have a large following/market online. The concept, ironically being what I've always been in to, think Nerdy and Geeky stuff.

The first few days I came up with the idea of about 20 songs which I wanted to write. I put them in to a mind mapping tool and expanded the ideas of each one. Since then I've expanded the ideas further and did what I call 'blah' writes. Just writing and writing a bunch of verse ideas. Working out the direction of the song and then rewriting and rewriting, set a melody and then possibly another rewrite and then record.

The bunch of songs I'm writing are mostly going to be rock.. or at least with a solid beat, the lyrics having a twist in them... so not sure where that would rate on the Ice Cream scale.

My biggest problem at the moment is time... or more lack there of. I do have time on the bus, but I'm always protective of my lyrics and don't like other people looking on when I write.

Daniel

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Additionally, I forgot to mention, re: songwriting and perspective, I guess it also depends on who is going to be listening to the music. Perspective is another discussion altogether.. you could always write the same song through the eyes of different perspectives and see how they sound.

Daniel

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dobro Offline
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Porter wrote:
Additionally, I forgot to mention, re: songwriting and perspective, I guess it also depends on who is going to be listening to the music. Perspective is another discussion altogether.. you could always write the same song through the eyes of different perspectives and see how they sound.
Daniel


You mean two completely different songs in terms of music and lyrics, but the same theme?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dobro wrote:
Porter wrote:
Additionally, I forgot to mention, re: songwriting and perspective, I guess it also depends on who is going to be listening to the music. Perspective is another discussion altogether.. you could always write the same song through the eyes of different perspectives and see how they sound.
Daniel


You mean two completely different songs in terms of music and lyrics, but the same theme?


Same story/song, but different perspective... ie:

First Persons: I love my wife
vs.
Third Person: He loved his wife

Just change the perspective of the song, potentially leading to a second version of the song, yes.

Could do the same with tense pending the song.

Daniel

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dobro wrote:
There's another way around it as well. I've done this before and it works. You write a song from the point of view of another person. You get to write and sing in the first person, but because you're looking through someone else's eyes, you do a sort of end run around the inhibitions of your own ego and self-image.


Porter wrote:
.. you could always write the same song through the eyes of different perspectives and see how they sound.


I think that's pretty close to what I was talking about too with the fictitious "I", you know, putting your thoughts into someone else and maybe gaining a little objectivity through it.

Porter wrote:
, but I'm always protective of my lyrics and don't like other people looking on when I write.


Yeah same here. I pretty much have to be by myself to get any writing done. This is a cool thread. I laid down tracks for 3 embryos (unusually prolific for me) since I started posting in here... I guess we'll see where they go.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="dobro"]
AbsolutelyUnlistenable wrote:
With song lyrics I usually try to avoid getting too personal and favor a storytelling/3rd person approach... or sometimes just nonsense- words that sound lyrical together and paint kind of an abstract picture.... or with some "I"s, but the "I"s are some fictitious other person. Nothing has bogged me down more than thinking "What best represents me?"... once my ego is involved, forget it. There's no satisfying THAT monster...


[quote="dobro"]
Quote:
Sure, but if, while you're writing from your own experience, you're making sure every line talks about universal stuff that everybody can recognise, the song shines.[quote="dobro"]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think , for what it's worth , you have to give something of yourself or a personal experience when writing music , or in my case lyrics .

But , what makes a "song" listenable ?

The melody , the Hook , the Guitar riff at the start ?

Headphones

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on the genre, I think. The foundation for me is the chord structure, the melody and engaging lyrics. On top of that foundation, the performance has to be in time, in tune, and felt. But on top of those two levels, something that really presents a song attractively is the arrangement. Hi teek. Cool
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi dobro , nice tits Razz
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think "listenable" may be also taken in the context of "on the radio", versus the next tune in your playlist/on the CD (though as previously mentioned... that'd a rarity these days)

Sometimes, I believe a song is listenable if all it does is give cause to 'faed out of reaLity" for even a moment or two

I write this thinking of the moody Blues Tuesday- the opening lines take you away (almost a Calgon moment lol:), the rest of the song is great, but that's the memorable part of it... then again, that was when albums were crafted to 'flow" from one song to the next'

now CD's are more "collections"... as opposed to themes (even if{refer to other cirrent thread] they are not using prominent people in history)

oh, and Teek... I'm betting they don't really look like that

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I wish I could be traded like a penny in the arcade for a token to be played
on a cello strung with strings that are my dreams



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

teek wrote:
But , what makes a "song" listenable ?

The melody , the Hook , the Guitar riff at the start ?


I guess different combinations of all those things, though of course it's totally subjective.
I think repetition has also got a lot of cross-genre appeal...(I'm a big fan anyway)
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talking about songwriting with you guys has combined with some other ideas I've had about it, and now I've got a line on how to proceed. This'll be different than I've done it before. Very cool. Thanks. And by the way, I've decided Glass would have done better to explore new ground rather than to repeat a successful formula.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

teek wrote:

But , what makes a "song" listenable ?

The melody , the Hook , the Guitar riff at the start ?


I'd say everything between the first note and last note, assuming the content is of some interest to the listener.

(I'm the guy who has the answer to 'How long is a piece of string?' Very Happy)

What gets the listener in, sure, it's the opening riff to get the attention, then it's a subject matter or beat/sound depending on what sort of music you make which then keeps the listener listening, and maybe a twist in the lyrics which you can't see the first time, yet second or third time through you see signs of earlier in the piece.

I need to stop writing on here and write some songs Razz

Daniel

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Last edited by Porter on Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

teek wrote:
AbsolutelyUnlistenable wrote:
With song lyrics I usually try to avoid getting too personal and favor a storytelling/3rd person approach... or sometimes just nonsense- words that sound lyrical together and paint kind of an abstract picture.... or with some "I"s, but the "I"s are some fictitious other person. Nothing has bogged me down more than thinking "What best represents me?"... once my ego is involved, forget it. There's no satisfying THAT monster...


dobro wrote:
Sure, but if, while you're writing from your own experience, you're making sure every line talks about universal stuff that everybody can recognise, the song shines

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think , for what it's worth , you have to give something of yourself or a personal experience when writing music , or in my case lyrics .



Can't help feeling like I didn't explain myself correctly here. What I meant was that a songwriter's personality always comes through, even unintentionally, in a third person or story-telling type song or a song with lyrics that might, on the first pass, come off as disposable to the casual listener. There's no need to awkwardly force your personality on a song with blatantly autobiographical lyrics about failed relationships, cancer battle, etc. That was my point.

So anyways, how's the songwriting going peeps?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've written a couple since this discussion, and it's interesting that I forgot the idea that I came up with here and just defaulted to my usual songwriting stance. Force of habit. Writing through my own eyes. I think it's time to write this idea down on a piece of paper and hang it on my guitar so I don't forget.
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