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  1. 15 likes
    Posting Lyrics For Critique? Then Read This! To save repeating this on a regular basis I've decided to pull it all into one topic. Please read all of this post before taking part in this board. Our critique boards rely entirely upon members reviewing each other's work. Unfortunately some writers submitting work for critique are unwilling, for a variety of reasons, to perform critiques of the work of their peers. This ultimately leads to lack of critiques and disappointment for members looking for some feedback. As a result we added a guideline for board usage - For every lyric or song you submit for review, you should try to review a minimum of 2 other lyrics/songs on that board, a ratio of 2:1. This ensures a reasonable level of reviews in response to works posted. Excuses The most common reason given for not reviewing is: I don't have enough experience to offer comments and suggestions. Lack of experience is the best argument for actually performing reviews, not avoiding them. Writers are all here to exchange ideas, and believe me, they all felt or still feel inexperienced. To help you along, and to try an explain some of the benefits to writers who perform critique, please check out this article - Lyrics Critique For Songwriters The whole premise of this article is how performing critique benefits the songwriter. Critique is not a simple "here's my comment". It's a discussion between the reviewee and reviewer to better understand perspective, discuss opinions and suggestions. Critique is valid be it from a fan, be it from a maestro. Sure it might be pitched at different levels, but that is a benefit. Songs are heard by all sorts of people with different perspectives and that is valuable. Even the comment of "I like it/dislike it" is valuable, although you have to explain why you feel that way and where necessary suggest improvements. The point is not simply to accept comments and change our work. We listen, try to understand and consider what we could do based upon observations and advice. In offering and discussing comments we all learn. I can understand being nervous about commenting, but comments and suggestions are not forcing your comments on anyone. It is your opinion, nothing more, and that is how it should be taken. The main thing I would suggest is - be constructive. Explain your thinking/feeling and aim your comments at what (if anything) would improve the lyric. It's human nature. If you don't perform reviews, other members will be disinclined to review your work preferring instead to review writers who contribute to the whole. So please, respect your fellow writers by doing your share of reviews. You might just be surprised at what you gain from it. Like so much in life -- what you get out largely depends on what you put in... We want to maintain a positive environment. It encourages an honest exchange of ideas and opinions. Constructive Criticism We are all very different individuals with broad ranging sensitivity. A poorly thought out comment, while it may not intentionally be cruel, it still might devastate someone who has tentatively posted their first song in front of people for the first time. They may also be deeply attached to their lyrics, they could be very personal to them. Please be compassionate, and sympathetic. Stretch yourself, if you must. The point is to help someone with their lyrics, not score a point for being correct. If someone does not take kindly to advice, don't force it. Be truthful but be diplomatic. On the other side of the divide, when you post your lyrics for review, don't dismiss opinions out of hand. People take time and effort to review your songs. If you do not like someone's comments, try to understand their viewpoint or simply say thanks for your opinion and don't follow up. Please don't react defensively or aggressively. Their opinion is as valid as yours whether you choose to accept it or not. You have final say over your lyrics, not them, be content with that. So we have some simple rules and guidelines... Simple Rules Original lyrics only....-- yes people really do post lyrics that aren't their own No promo -- this forum is for talking about works in progress. Treat each other with respect -- Please treat fellow members with consideration, this is a zero tolerance zone for flaming, insults, trolling, or drive-by shooting. This board is not the place for discussing the political or religious subjects raised by lyrics. If you do not agree with an opinion expressed in posted lyrics, this board is not the place to convince someone that their opinion is wrong. Please post adult or disturbing content in the "Parental Advisory" board -- People as young as 13 may be browsing our forums plus there are people with widely varying sensibilities who use this forum --Violations of this rule can result in deletion of a thread at the discretion of the moderator. Subscribe To Your Topics When you post a Lyric or Song for review, you are asking people to spend time on your behalf to help YOU. If you don't think you will have time to check back, we have tools for you. Right next to the rating scale at the top of the post is a down arrow, click that and subscribe to your topic so you will get an email if someone replies! (Also check your notification settings in your Profile Setttings) When you make a post or new topic you can also subscribe. Also you can subscribe to a board in a very similar way. My personal preference now is to subscribe to all my topics and those that I reply to. That way I am kept up to date on all my conversations. You can do this in your profile editor. Go to "My Settings" from the drop down top left next to your member avatar, under the "Forums Members Calendar" buttons. In the options panel click on the "Forums" tab Put a tick in "Watch every topic I reply to" In select "Immediate email notification" from the drop down next to the text "If enabled, choose default notification type:" Do that once and you don't need to keep subscribing to your topics Alternatively on a per topic basis: When you are already in the post editor, either from having hit new topic, reply, or using the post editor (full version), at the bottom of the post editor, there is a button titled "Click to configure post options" or similar. Expand that and you should see a check box " Enable email notification of replies?" make sure this box has a tick in it. When you hit submit this will be saved for this topic. To subscribe to a topic outside the editor, in the topic view (where you see all the individual posts listed) click "Watch Topic" button next to the add reply button at the top of post listings. Alternatively on a per forum basis: To subscribe to a forum, on the board view (where you see all the topics for that board listed) click "Watch Forum" next to the new topic button. You can then easily see watched forum activity in a number of places, and receive email notification. In Summary Play Nice Expect to work When it is said 2:1, Make the effort to do more! Be nice to the moderators, they are only trying to help
  2. 12 likes
    Hey thought this might be an interesting exercise: 1. Do you sing, play an instrument or instruments? What instruments? When did you start playing? Did you teach yourself? 2. Are you in a band or bands? What is the name of the band? What do you play? What other instruments are in the band? Do you have a band website? 3. Do you write songs? Do you write lyrics, music or both? Do you have a writing partner? 4. Do you record your music? Do you use a home studio? If so what gear do you use? Do you use a recording studio? Do you have music available on the web? if so where? 5. What other roles do you perform in the music business? Management? Label owner? Publishing? Promotion? Other? 6. Are you a tech head? 7. What country do you live in? 8. What are your ambitions? 9. Do you draw/paint/write stories/computer art/dance or other creative pursuit? What are your pastimes? 10. What would you like to get out of Songstuff? I think that covers the main musical things!
  3. 9 likes
    Hey I have written a new article about lyric writing critique. Lyrics Critique for Songwriters As part of this I've put together a list of common questions that you might ask yourself when reviewing someones' work. The questions posted at the moment go some way towards a set of articles about planning and developing a lyric, but more on that later. Anyway, the idea is to help improve upon this set of questions. Feel free to pass comment, and to suggest other questions, although the idea of this set is for questions that you should be able to answer "yes" to. I will leave comments up, but I will copy new or altered questions into this post so that they remain an entire list. Genre or style specific questions could be collected together within separate topics. So... Common Lyric Critique Questions: Is the title memorable? Is there one distinct lyrical message? Is the title consistent with the lyrical message? Is the plot believable? Is the plot engaging? Is the plot a suitable vehicle for conveying the message? Does the message have a common appeal? Does the theme have a common appeal? Would the the theme and message paint the singer in a favorable light? Does the lyric have a strong start pulling you into the lyric in the first couple of lines? Is there a pay-off? Is there a conclusion? Is the rhyme scheme consistently applied? Is the meter consistent? Is the main lyrical hook consistent with the title? Is the main lyrical hook placed appropriately for the song form? Is the song form beneficial to the lyric? Do I like it? Cheers John
  4. 7 likes
    I wasn't always into music deeply though I enjoyed its company. I remember picking up a guitar for the first time when I was 15 years old (being 24 now). Maybe that's when my interest in music increased and kept my teenage mind occupied. Being in India and coming from a middle-class background, my only source of international music back then was the radio. Every night at 9:00PM, the local radio would air the feed of Top40 with Ryan Seacrest or Casey Kasem and I used to fall asleep to it. The more I recall those nights, the more I realise how significant it has been for me to ever have my doors open to this wonderful world of music. Around the same time, I came across and heard 'Gravity' by John Mayer. That changed everything. I'm sure there is always one moment in life for every single person that proves to be monumental in deciding what the rest of their life is going to be. Listening to Gravity was mine. Never was I so moved with the words being sung and the music going with it. That's when my fascination with songwriting, making music, expressing was born. My frustration with my noob guitar playing skills further motivated me to write my own words and melodies. lol That's how it began. From there, I would try to find every opportunity to sing in front of an audience. Since I was in school, most of that would be singing competitions. I guess being part of those competitions really helped me gain confidence in myself to stand in front of an audience and perform. There was no stopping me from there. And then Songstuff & John happened. For those of you who know Derek Sivers is would also know that he was an active blogger/writer as well and was open to discussions with any person who would send him a mail. I did so, seeking music advice back in 2011. He said that the best way to get better at what you do is to share it with like minded people. He suggested I find communities online. And obviously, the first one to pop up was Songstuff. I joined Songstuff in Feb 2011 (I just checked, it marked my 6 years of Songstuff just yesterday) and I was quite the excited one. John noticed. I started getting involved with more things Songstuff and we started talking more about music and what not. Back then, I had a very basic phone with internet capabilities at the lowest. I had no computer, no equipment. In fact I had no room of mine either & was living in a room with my two brothers and my mom. But I had these songs. And John suggested I put an EP out with those songs. Now, note that I'd never performed anywhere but in school and college. I had no equipment, no money and quite evidently, no sense of challenge. And John says - "If that's where we've got to start from, then let's start". I did all I can to put some money together (saving lunch money, claiming that I needed lunch money from friends lol) and then went to a studio and recorded 5 songs and called it Beyond the Door. It was just one guitar (with barely average guitar playing) and my voice. But I did it. That's the point John had all along. Use what you've got and work with it. As if there was any other choice. I put the EP out online, sent it indie radio stations all over the globe (I did get my songs aired in a handful of radio stations and podcasts in the UK, US and Japan. I think that was super sweet of the people running the shows), got a 'music video' prepared with the help of my brother. A few people in the city took notice, invited me to perform at a few places for free. Two venue owners saw me there and offered me my very first paid gigs and on I went on my journey to become a full time musician. With John's direction always being there, I continued to stay active and build my music career while in college. As you would know how it is in India when it comes to parents pressuring you to pursue a more 'meaningful profession', I ploughed on as I finished my bachelor's degree in computer science. I worked for about a year and then made the decision to call it quits and pursue music full time. My parents were obviously against it but being stubborn, I did it anyways. John and other friends helped me to be smart about it. Being a singer-songwriter in India is not exactly a financially stable option lol I had to make sure that my education loans were still being taken care of as well that nothing changes in the financial equation I have with my parents. I wasn't a kid anymore. I did have a responsibility. It's been two years since I called it quits. Looks like things haven't gone to the shits yet lol I don't plan on it to. My parents came to a gig of mine a couple of months back. Their very first gig. After years of quarrel, fights, debates and what not, my dad on his way back said "I understand what he's doing now". He's not opposed my music or has shown distaste towards it ever since. In fact, it has been the opposite. Over the years, I've got to support some of the best bands in the country. I opened for Lucy Rose and Luke Sital-Singh when they came to India. I got to perform with Christian Galvez, one of the best Jazz musicians in the world which was a life time opportunity. There is a LONG way to go. And being a full time musician is a real struggle every single day. But it's all worth it! Every single bit. Years have passed and John has continued to mentor me in my career. He's been a greater friend and has helped me in the toughest of my days even when I was at a stage where I was 'hurting' myself. And it is such a mind-boggling thing for me to comprehend how someone on the other side of the world who has never met me in person has had so much selfless concern and passion in helping me. Well, helping people. I mean, this is what Songstuff is all about. It sounds like I'm exaggerating but believe me, John is probably THE biggest reason for any success I have earned and will ever earn in my music career. I try to remember that every day. Well, that's me.
  5. 7 likes
    This was long due and I'm so very happy to be sharing this with you guys. Thanks for all the help that you've given me with this song so far. Songstuff sure is a boon!
  6. 7 likes
    How did you get started writing lyrics? I used to write poems when I was younger but I was always so active that it was on the back burner. I had got sick a few years back so I could not be as active as I wanted, I saw a song contest online and changed some poems into a song format. I started doing that as a hobby and liked it. I have been writing since 2014. I Bought books by Pat Pattinson and Due White and taught my self song formats. Do you play any instruments or sing? I can't carry a tune and play no instruments. My only instrument is my Ball point pen or pencil. Do you like to collaborate with other writers? Yes all of my complete songs are colaborations because I only do lyrics. I have met collaboration partners on song stuff, NSAI, sound cloud and at a songwriters group at my church. if you were to describe yourself as a writer, what would you say? I like to write stories and songs that capture real emotions. I write in country, Christian, Gospel as well s pop and rock genres. I still learning formats, but copy exsisting formats to help to learn what works. Working with other musicians has helped me learn too. What kind of lyrics do you write? Country, story type songs, Christian, Gospel or several types. Why do you write? What do you hope to achieve? I write with the hopes of one day an artist picking up one of my songs and having it be played on the radio. I do have one song that an artist wants to pick up, it is currently on hold until his 2017 album comes out. it is always fun to see a lyric come to life. What interests you when you write? Life stories, conversations, things we go through and sometimes silly things. if you could write a song for an artist, who would it be and why? Carrie underwood, because I like her story type songs and she is a great singer. What are your goals as a songwriter? To make songs that are commercial but can help somebody along the way. Do you have a favorite song? Many favorites The Dance by Garth brooks is my favorite ballad type. I tend to love the songs from when I was in high school the most. There are lots of songs I love. Of your own songs, do you have a favorite? Hand Up and Dancing on a memory, although Love May come late is the one that got picked up. Do you have a favorite situation or location when you write? At night on my porch, or at church they have music rooms with pianos and instruments, my cowriter meets me there sometimes. Has being a member of Songstuff been beneficial to you? Yes it has. I enjoy getting feedback from other artist and it has helped me learn song formats quicker. I have colabarated with a few members and that has been lots of fun.Song stuff has some talented artist from many different places and have learned from many of them. Why do you take part in lyrics challenges on Songstuff? I sometimes struggle with what to write about, that helps me to focus on one topic and helps me to grow. I like the challenges because they help me to write about things I may not have thought about on my own. If you were to offer any advice to your fellow songwriters, what would it be? Try to write something every day, even if it is just one line, if you get out of the habit of writing, it is hard to be creative. If someone really likes your work, what is the best way for them to keep up with your latest writings? Sound cloud, Broadjam, Reverb and for lyrics here. I am working on building a website soon.
  7. 7 likes
    Hello all! I've not been here recently as I've been very busy.After lots of work,my acoustic EP is finally up on iTunes! John and others here on Songstuff have really helped me through what may seem as a small achievement and Im ever grateful for that. As part of the release, here is the video for the first song called All I Need. I hope you enjoy(Dont forget to comment or like). If you did buy the EP in any case,please do consider giving a review. Even if not,just a line or two would be great! Thanks a billion everyone! Watch in HD: Now on iTunes: Beyond the Door EP - Mahesh
  8. 7 likes
    I am currently participating in my first collaborations. Here is what I have learned I am working with my first two collaboration partners. I was very unsure of how to find a partner, and I still have to see how there work out. We have several songs in process, but none is complete yet. I am enthusiastic and hopeful, but I am also amazed at how much I am learning about the process that I never even thought of before. I found it was one thing to write poems and lyrics and to work diligently to improve. But for all that hard work, and even with some gratifying results, I still had no songs, . I am not really involved in the local music scene and didin't know any songwriters. I began to tell people of my interest and my desire to collaborate with a songwriter, and ask if they knew any. I also posted some online ads for collaboration on music sites. I got several inquiries from my ad. In discussing possible collaborations, I asked to hear work that the songwriters had completed. I also made it clear that my intention was to write songs for publication and recording, that I wanted to share the copyrights equally, and also discussed what recording facilities and abilities each songwriter had, as my own is extremely limited. A songwriter from Vegas sent me some music that he wanted lyrics written for. I liked the music, and we began to work on it. He also liked one of my lyrics, and started writing music. So far only the first of these projects has survived, but we have developed a good online relationship and provided that he completes his end of the projects, as I expect, this may prove to be a productive collaboration. I also met one of my wife's co-workers, who is a local amateur songwriter. I went to listen to him play at a coffee house and liked his style. We talked and agreed to meet. We are working on four songs together, and two or three should be ready to post here within a couple of weeks. Here is what I have learned. Nothing will teach you to write lyrics like music will. . . in the same way that nothing will teach you to swim faster than jumping into the ocean. Don't worry about being anxious or nervous if it's new to you. There are a lot of talented, original musicians out there who need you and would love to meet you, They need lyrics but don't like to write them, or aren't good at it. They are in the exact same position you are - they have been working hard to learn their craft, but still have few or no songs to show for it, and have no hope, desire or inclincation to write lyrics. They are a stuck in the process as you are, and they need you and WANT TO MEET YOU as much as you need and want to meet them. Remember too, that you aren't going to write a hit song your first time, so just treat it as a learning experience for both of you and have fun - take the pressure off. Don't worry about if you are 'good enough' for your partner. There is no standard to measure against, just personal taste and musical compatibiilty. You go into it thinking it's all about the quality of your lyrics and his/her music, but more than anything, it's about the relationship and musical chemistry you develop that will determine the success of the collaboration. It's when you come out of your own musical/lyrical space and begin to mingle together in the space that is the song you are writing, that the learning begins. It's very, very stimulating and exciting. The most surprising thing I have found is how much I enjoy writing lyrics to existing music. I thought it would be hard, but the music brings you ideas, and as you write, you know exactly how it will fit the music and have a good idea how it will sound. To me that is much easier than starting from scratch. It's following, rather than leading. But the opportunity for creativity is just as great. If you try this with your collaborator, make sure you fully understand the structure of the music before you start. I make a chart showing the points (in seconds) where each structural element starts and stops, and how many bars in each. This is critical, and will keep you from getting 'lost' in the music. I hope some of this is useful. I'm eager to learn from some of you who are more experienced at this than I am. Norm
  9. 6 likes
    It was lovely to finally meet John on a recent trip to Glasgow! (St Patricks day) It was a miserable day, Raining and gloomy, but we had a very pleasant couple of hours together, along with some other friends, drinking wine and consuming some rather good food in a splendid venue in Glasgow! I hope we can do this again one day mate! It was truly a lovely evening. And an incredible coincidence that we happened to be sporting the same hat! Cheers buddy!
  10. 6 likes
    I'm new to the forums so first off, hi all. I'm looking for a lyricist to team up with to make some music. I'm compose anything from Pop/Rock, Country/Rock, but I always seem to have a hard time coming up with lyrics, so instead of trying to do something I'm not good at I'm going to use my strengths in composing and singing and lead the lyrics to someone else. So if anyone could help please let me know. Also I know a lot of people have probably said this on the forums but I am starting a “home recording studio” hopefully to get in a real building and have a full studio but just got done spending a little over 2.5k on recording equipment and such (now I’m broke ). So if anyone wants to team up please let me know and we could work something out, more details about that coming soon but first need some lyrics.
  11. 6 likes

    From the album My Artwork

    My cat Jessie
  12. 6 likes

    From the album My Artwork

    3 heads of David Bowie through the years
  13. 6 likes
    I don't know how many of you have visited the music shop on Songstuff. If you're like me you go to the places you are most familiar with and seldom think about what else is on this website. So I wanted to remind you that there is a shop on the site and seeing as how this is one of the few ways that the site raises funds to pay for the site I'm giving a gentle reminder. No none has put me up to this and maybe I'm going too far, but I think that the shop is not the easiest thing to remember to look at, at least for me it isn't...yet it serves an important function. I don't think most people come here with the intent to shop, so think of it as a healthy way to support songstuff to pay their expenses so John doesn't need to keep dipping into his own pockets to keep it going, and get something in return. Now I looked over there and seen a few things I'm interested in...no it's not the thong and I doubt I'll be getting the tank tops, but I seen some helpful books and other things. I'm not rich and I won't be making a huge difference, but if we all get one or two items it would make a big difference. I don't see any paypal donation logo here and as far as I know, there is no other source of revenue other than a web link or two. So don't read this and then think, I'll need to check that out...why not go over there right now and check it out?? What are we waiting for? I appreciate all of the fine people who make songstuff happen and I hope we can help it to continue!
  14. 6 likes
    Here's an instrumental called "Revolving Door" that I recently finished. All comments and critiques are appreciated. Thanks. [media=]
  15. 5 likes
    Hi Sreyashi Good topic. For me it has always been there. Making music was and is, as essential as breathing. Just like breathing it happens automatically, my default setting. As a kid my mum sang opera with the Scottish National Opera and the BBC, and she taught piano. So at 4 I started learning the piano. Singing was always there, so I am not sure when that started! After seeing Yehudi Menuhin on TV I was determined to learn to play like that, so at 7 I started learning how to play he violin. My mother rolled my sisters and I out to perform at social events, and I picked up the performance bug there, although even at 7 I was already performing through clubs etc. Although I kept playing both piano and violin, over the years my interest became focused on how music was composed and arranged. I started to learn other instruments so that I could understand them, and How they all worked together. Not only that, it was a challenge and it was fun. I sang with a choir and took part in the odd competition, I started to learn how to play drums and played in a competition pipe band. In our grade we won national and world titles. I learned how to play the bagpipes and played in another pipe band. All along I tried every instrument I could get my hands on, bugle, trumpet, clarinet, viola, cello... I tortured them all lol I am not sure exactly when I started writing. I know I wrote lyrics, and I know I wrote music from a very young age, but writing full songs, I am not sure? 12? 13? When I was maybe 14 or 15 I took up the guitar. My world transformed. Until that point, unless writing my own melodies, I had worked almost exclusively with the notes written by someone else, represented on a manuscript, with me interpreting and performing those notes. When I started playing the guitar I stepped away into improvisation, and playing purely by ear. I remember working on mainly rock music with some folk thrown in for good measure. Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple was many a guitarist's first notes. I remember working out Stairway To Heaven, note by note, and playing it on a terrible acoustic with a ridiculously high action. My guitar became my main instrument, saving for an electric guitar, exploring blues, heavy rock and heavy metal, funk, jazz, folk... just music every day. Soon I was learning bass guitar, mandolin, even didgeridoo! lol learning circular breathing for that wax a challenge believe me! I started playing in bands, people I knew through school, playing school gigs etc. Good fun at the time, but also good experience. My sisters both played and sang. My eldest sister sang in choirs, was a concert pianist who took part in pretty prestigious competitions. My other sister was always more interested in pop culture, Elton John being on of her favourites. Both sisters would duet on piano and singing. They were certainly an influence and through them I experienced pop and Rick music much earlier than I would have as a single child. Similarly, I had an aunt and uncle who loved music. In the 60s my uncle had become a huge Dylan fan. He used to go to gigs in and around London and record them on his 4 track recorder. The earliest Hendrix gigs, The Who, Yardbirds etc. He even had a recording of a jam between Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison lol He has so many rare recordings, in many cases the only recordings of events and gigs in the late 60s and 70s Freak scene, mainly in London and the South of England, but elsewhere too. I am not sure exactly when they started going to festivals and gigs in the USA. Nowadays they still travel to gigs all over the UK and the odd Dylan gig in the USA. (Years later the BBC made a documentary about one of his recordings, a "lost" recording of Bob Dylan in London). Both he and my aunt were friends of Sandy Denny (Fairport Convention) and Roy Harper, and they were involved in the vibrant folk rock scene in Britain in the late 60s and 70s. My uncle ran a Bob Dylan fanzine for many years and he still travels all over the world to see them. I mention my mother, sisters, aunt and uncle, because my family were a huge influence, helping to fuel and nurture my passion and interest in music. Fair to say that my interest in music was quite diverse, and that I was far more interested in how music was created than anything else. I got jobs working in recording studios, live events, played in bands sometimes professional, some times semi professionally. I rode motorcycles, had long hair, partied like there was no tomorrow, but music was always front and centre. One band had quite a large following, got loads of press coverage, played festivals and large gigs was on the brink of being signed, for it to fall away as the band imploded after a few years of playing together. A common enough story. I did session work too, that was fun. It should be said that, what little regard I had for wanting to be a celebrity died away at this time. It had never been a huge motivational factor, but for a variety of reasons, mainly being hugely uncomfortable with press intrusion on my life (even at that minuscule level of celebrity) and being recognised going down the street, became something I didn't want. So here I was, a musician and writer, who loved performing, wanted to play bigger gigs and record my music... but I hated celebrity, what it stood for. I wanted attention for my music, but no attention for me lol. A conundrum! Then I injured my spine. I went from playing gigs several times a week to lying on a floor for 18 months and what was to become decades of pain and extended periods of incapacity, operations, stacks of pain killers, injections, hundreds of hours of physiotherapy. I could no longer reliably perform. I couldn't work as a roadie, or sound crew, or even as a recording engineer. So I went to night school, got the qualifications I needed to get to University, studied and achieved an honours degree in Electronics with Music, which was mainly about designing music tech, but also using it, composition etc. I played in bands all through University, and I honed my music making skills and applying my creativity to technology and the business of music. It was a mind expanding period for me, literally. I played on TV, live gigs on radio, did my share of TV and magazine interviews, Fun years. By now I had built a lot of experience of music marketing and promotion, learned a lot about the making of an artist, managing bands, recording and producing, even the kinds of music deals around, and the ways that the music business worked, how it ticked over, common strategies etc. I had seen bands that worked inrehearsal studios beside us, go from nothing to the top of the charts in the UK and the USA, and had spent a lot of time talking with people behind the scenes, including band managers and entertainments lawyers, publishers and Record Label staff. I started work with Motorola while my musical focus turned towards what I could do at home, recording using computers, electronica, and towards the fledgling internet as a great way to meet and work with other musicians. I was producing local bands and started working with a female singer. We made chill out tracks, were getting featured on Radio One in the UK by Pete Tong and others, we were meant to be tour support for Groove Armada, things were happening again.... and then my back went again. The old injury came back hard, another few operations... and while lying on my back, still full of creativity, frustrated as hell that I should have spent so much time learning all these skills, and they were just going to evaporate away, as if they never happened, when I came up with the idea for Songstuff. If I couldn't do things myself, I wanted to help others, pass on what I had learned. The internet was still pretty new. Google didn't exist! I still made music in my home studio, I still worked with other musicians, but gradually Songstuff took over. I really enjoyed helping other musicians, connecting with people, learning about the internet, how it was used and how it could benefit bands. I transferred over a lot of skills developed in the real world for the old music business, and tried to bypass issues that the internet was throwing up, investigated what worked and what didn't and how successful bands used different strategies on and off the internet, and how they combined the two. Another mind expanding period! I added a community onto Songstuff, and the rest they say is history. I have met a load of famous people over the years, even at a very young age, and was aware just how ordinary they are (out with their sometimes exceptional, sometimes little better than average talent) We put them on a pedestal. Some remain good, untainted, others believe their own hype and really are not that nice. I've learned many lessons along the way, but amongst the most important lessons related to success, I would say are these: Always give attention to detail Be creative in all that you do (music, image, business, everything) Work to as high as standard as you can at all times Work hard Work harder Work harder still That is the essence of the work ethic that is required to make original, engaging music you can feel proud of... no matter if it is as a professional, semi-professional or enthusiastic amateur. Happy accidents occur rarely. Everything else is just noise. A long post (as if I am not known for them lol) but on a bright note, I didn't write an entire book) Hopefully it adds to your picture of who I am, and maybe even what Songstuff is. Why Songstuff is. Cheers John
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    Wow you're gonna regret asking that question. I'm gonna ramble on about myself because then I can pretend I'm being interviewed by the music press...no doubt plenty of others will...it'll get really annoying... Well, Sreyashi... It all started in the mid 70s after a chance meeting with David Crosby over at our mutual friend Joni's place in Laurel Canyon... kind of... well not exactly... it was my mum n dad's house in Moston North Manc...but Moston and Laurel Canyon were really similar except one was beautiful, sunny and smelled of sinsemilla. and one was a rainy, sh*t hole which smelled of coal, tar and garbage. Anyway...there, aged 8ish, I spent most of my non-school time in headphones listening to whatever I could find in mum n dad's record collection... mostly Del Shannon, Buddy Holly and The Dave Clarke 5. Unlike most kids, I listened thoroughly (because I'm better than everyone else), I can't stand background music. And so the spirit of music possessed me. Soon I was performing to crowds ... Usually Mr Gribbins (psychotic old pervert) class... since he thought making kids go to the front of class to sing was amusing punishment (not as much as he enjoyed putting our heads between his legs to smack our arses)...with such classics as 'Skinny Dogs' and 'Dylan The Fairground Man'. I got the bug. Later, aged 13ish, I began sketching out my master plan...literally sketching it... inventing my new band, recruiting top non-musical talent from Mr Braithwaite's (miserable old git) history class to form the ultimate rock group - 'Satan's Avengers'. And inspiration for our first shit came when my good friend Shaun (school nut job) revealed his latest creation from beneath his school blazer... DEMENTON! (An action man/ GI Joe, which had been mutilated so it was just a head stuck onto one leg)...I wrote the song immediately - Just a head on one leg, That's Dementon! Just a head on one leg, That's all! Yeah just a head on one leg, But a mind built for war, He'll tear out your brains, And eat them still raw, Built by the dark lord himself, Aaaaargh, built with pride, Are you ready to die? Let Dementon decide. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh, prepare to meet his maker! This received rave reviews such as "Headmasters office!...NOW!" And so a star was born... I'll spare you the middle stuff between then and now... You asked!
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    Just started recording scratch versions of this song (not the best recording and sloppy sometimes) this recording wont be used in the final recording so I'd like feedback for the written song only (it's structure, what stuff I should take out or keep, ect.) Your feedback is appreciated finished instrument.mp3
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    I challenge (or I shame, if need be) every member to make a donation to Songstuff. I just made one using the PayPal Donate button at the top banner. Yeah, I know we're all broke after the holidays. But, if I can donate something, then so can you. C'mon . . . DIG DEEP! David
  19. 5 likes
    Hello friends I have another song here. I was not planning to write more before I actually finish my previous ones. But I had this chorus melodyline in my head " when the night is young I put on my shoes" so thats where it started and it ended up into lyrics about missing someoone, but i also imagine is about missing a passion she has (like dancing). It also ends well for once. So I am working on many things at same times now. The outro is a little bit long, but I enjoyed playing the organ and doing this rich choir could be cutted I think All critics are welcome of course! I also played with de essing. it might be I did to much. Everything is done in Reason 8.3.2d7 Here are the lyrics: Dancing with Shadows Verse: When you are gone I have a story I want to tell, about passion and love that went blind. There is no one in this world that is going to say, I need distraction from my troubled mind. Seasons are fleeting, many moons have passed me by. There's no secret I miss you much. Echoes and whispers of your voice still make me cry and I remember your tender touch. Chorus: When the night is young I put on my shoes. I keep dancing alone with shadows of you. With you. Verse: When I am moving I have many seamless thoughts. I feel the fire still burns in my heart. I get this feeling that I am not quite alone that someone is watching the performance of my art. Chorus: When the night is young I put on my shoes. I keep dancing alone with shadows of you. With you. Bridge: All of a sudden someone takes my hand. Someone says: "This is not the end." Chorus: When the night was young I did put on my shoes. I kept dancing alone with shadows , dancing alone with shadows , dancing alone With you... Outro but now you are here I am dancing with you..with you..
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    Hi Testimonials are useful comments about a site, made by the users of that site. Here at Songstuff we would love to use testimonials from our members to show to visitors who might be considering membership. If you would like to leave a testimonial about Songstuff and it's benefits simply reply to this topic with your comments. Many thanks! Cheers John PS Please reply to the Facebook post to let other members know you posted here, and / or share it with your friends. If you cannot find a Facebook post about this, please simply create a new topic on the Songstuff Facebook page linking here:)
  21. 5 likes
    Hi I have started this thread as a place for the Songstuff Community to pour out their collective wisdom of valuable lessons learned and solid gold tips. There is no sense in history repeating itself, with generation after generation making the same mistakes and treading the same worn path to obscurity. Indeed, that was a key driving force in creating Songstuff. For members posting tips: To avoid valuable tips being lost, buried in lengthy paragraphs, please try to keep it to one tip per post. Where there is a strong link between tips, and it makes sense to have more than one tip in a post, please use bullet points to keep tips prominent and easy to locate. Explain what the tip is for, the exact scenario if possible. Explain why this tip is important, why it works etc. Ideally give an anecdote that demonstrates the problem the tip addresses and the tip in action. Try to keep paragraphs short and to the point. If you are adding to an existing tip, please quote that tip within your post or link to the original tip directly. Experienced members, I urge you to take this opportunity to build this thread. It'll make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Please note: Don't post comments or replies (unless you are adding to an existing tip). Instead, please like the posts you find useful. Please share this topic on social media and spread the love!
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    Trust your ears. No one will enjoy your music more than you do. So musically pleasing yourself should always remain the top priority. All other considerations should be secondary. Others will inspire you. They can also help you directly with advice of course, but you are still the final judge as to what to take away.
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    Tom you are the sweetest! I posted my only Christmas song last year but love to share it so here it is. I wrote it in 2005 before I knew Songstuff... as you can tell by the lack of structure and rhyme scheme and and and...
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    Caption Contest!! Do you have an awesome picture of you or your band that you would like to share? Enter our SongStuff caption contest!!! Send us your crazy pic or post them here. Maybe you were stage diving, playing guitar with your teeth, caught in a midair stage collision or just a pic that makes you go hmmmmm. We will choose the winning pics and use them to promote you or your band in conjunction with helping to advertise for SongStuff. Let's help each other out!!!
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    Um, to make this one difficult for you, my sincere answer will be, yes. All of the above except the piano part, I don't play it much. My ideas come from all kinds of situations and times, with or without instruments. I simply don't know when or how they will turn up, but turn up they do. I then record them and store them for later. That's it. This is a question that many have asked and will continue doing for the rest of our time. The answer is always the same, there's no formula. Well, in all honesty, whatever works for you is the formula if there'd be one. Ideas turn up, whenever they want to, no matter what you do really. Some must work hard for it, some don't, some get them at work, far from any musical surroundings, some need to be always playing/singing to get them. The various scenarios in how a tune comes to life are endless. S
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    CapM and I post a lot of heavy rock, hard rock, and even the occasional metal type songs, asking for critiques. I do not wish to speak for CapM, but as a simple matter of observation, I can attest to the fact that he offers critiques on songs that fall outside his typical area of interest. So do I. Whenever I post a song here, I try to do at least 10 critiques. If I only offered comments on songs that lie within the range of my tastes in music, I would not be able to do 10 critiques in a month. I feel the same would be true for CapM, as well. Both CapM and myself also post critiques during times when we do not have a song on the active boards. So it is that we both do many, many more critiques than we post songs. We are glad to do it. Purely guessing, I'd say our respective ratios of songs posted to critiques given is Me: maybe 8 or 9 to 1 CapM: maybe 10 or 12 to 1 .....both of these could be higher... I honestly don't know. I critique country songs, electronica songs, new age music, pop tunes, folk, contemporary adult, rap, reggae, one plus one's... Here's my questions: 1, Do you critique songs that are not a part of what you like to listen to? 2, Do you think you have a responsibility, as a member of the community, to listen to songs posted here, and then comment and/or critique? 3, If you post songs here for critique, do you then only provide the required two or three critiques you must, in order to be allowed to post a song, or do you comment on more songs than you have to? I look forward to your respsonses.
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    Hey Thought I'd post these here as a useful reference: Song Building Blocks The Power Of Song Hooks Creating a Song Title Adding Color and Richness to Common Chords Build-A-Song Part 1 - The Idea Build-A-Song Part 2 - From the Idea to the Hook Build-A-Song Part 3 - Free Flow Build-A-Song Part 4 - Cadence and the Beginning of the Melody Build-A-Song Part 5 - Creating Hit Melodies Build-A-Song Part 6 - Tips for Tunesmiths Build-A-Song Part 7 - The Emergence of the Verses Build-A-Song Part 8 -- Finishing Touches Commercial Songwriting Commerciality, Familiarity and Originality Getting A Staff Writing Deal Songwriting Tips Striking The Right Chord Take It From the Bridge To Leap, Or Not To Leap (That Is The Question) Writer's Block Writing Jazz Songs Lyric Writing Improve Your Lyrics Writing Lyrics - Function and Form Lyrics Critique for Songwriters
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    I have listened to a lot of songs here on the forum here. I have listened to and created amateur/semi pro music for most of my adult life. And I have come to a really simple, yet critical, conclusion: Most of the stuff we hear and create (on forums like this and other amateur formats) doesn't have a good melody, or in pop terms, a good hook. Now, I know that this is common talk. We have all heard the lecture, read the book, taken the class online, watched a youtube tutorial...you get the picture. We have had the word "hook" indelibly etched into our songwriting conscious, even going into our subconscious. We have been told that without it, we will not grab the attention of our listener. Without the hook your audience will change the channel. They will click elsewhere. In other words, they will not listen. I hope this doesn't sound preachy. I'm just really passionate about this subject. I am in the continuous hunt for the hook in any song I start. I have a boatload of bits on my phone that I have to scan through on my next writing go-round. I hum, beat, sing, play and talk through song ideas on my recorder app. I hope you do the same. I will listen intently to each one again and again. Most I will cut because I don't get a rise from the hook. My ears need to fall in love with that little line or lines that will have me obsessing for the rest of the project. There are some songs that I have written that I am sorry I spent so much time on because I chose to love my idea rather than follow the Rule of the Hook. Ralph Murphy said hit songs usually have five to seven repetitions of the title, but he cautions not to overdo it. And those repetitions need to be a fit and trim and wonderful as possible. What kind of litmus test do you put your songs through? Do you trust that the melody, or the hook, is something that anyone will want to whistle or hum, even if they don't particularly like the subject matter?
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    Although this post mainly deals with lyricists, I think musicians can glean some truth. *NOTE*... Most of what I say here is subjective....This is the way I see it. I remember as a young boy, finding a well worn note binder on my mother's dresser, and being curious, I opened it and looked inside. It was filled from front to back with poems she had written; with the time written, day, and year at the bottom of each one. I sat down on her bed and started reading them. I had read about four or so, when my mom came in and caught me; mad as a hen that I invaded her privacy. After getting a lecture about how those were her private thoughts, I asked her why she never read me any poems (she read me books all the time). She said she didn't write them for other people, she wrote them to make her feel better. At the time, I didn't grasp what that really meant. Now I do. Why do we write? What is your core reason to write? There could be many answers to that, from many different people. But the core reason should always be, because you enjoy it. Other reasons might be; "because I want to get famous" or "I want to make money at it" but the core reason is enjoyment. If you don't enjoy it, you're not going to get famous and it's doubtful you will make any money. Yet there's another reason linked to the enjoyment factor (at least for me) and that is; it's therapy. It makes me feel better. I can vent anything through writing. I can let it all out, and in the process, deal with what I'm feeling in a constructive way. So I encourage new writers, don't write in hopes of impressing someone, or for getting a lot of positive reviews. Because the more you write for that reason, the less positive reviews you will probably get. If you really love writing, you WILL get better. Yet, part of getting better, is getting in touch with yourself. Write what pleases YOU and advance in your craft from there. Listen and learn from the seasoned writers, and use their input to express who you are better, in a better way than you did before. When you're feeling depressed and can hardly move; write. When you are feeling frisky; write. When you're content; write. You get the picture. Throw off your apprehension and lack of confidence, and write to feel better, not worrying about other people. And then when you decide to post, and you find you get negative reviews; don't sweat it. The core of you is in the lyric, now just reword it into a polished form that fits a lyric criteria. The more you write and take advice, the easier it gets, not only in writing a good lyric, but also in being able to reach down inside yourself to pull one out. To sum it all up; write what feels good to you, so you can feel better, and be better. Let it be your cheap form of therapy.
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    Hey, This is my cover of A-Team. [media=]http://soundcloud.com/sammi-j/a-team-ed-sheeran-cover (It would be great to get some feedback). Thanks!
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    Hi..I recorded something and I need your comments on it..Thank you.. [media=]http://soundcloud.com/soundontape/gelgit-emre-nuhoglu
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    Hey all, Been busy quite a few hours doing this song. I've tried to vary a lot. Unexpected changes, a conversation, riffs in the middle of a verse and so on. I'd like to know what could be improved in all respects. Thanks for listening, hope you'll enjoy! http://soundcloud.com/ferry0123/wheels-turning-round-copyright Wheels turning round Music and lyrics by Ferry Coljé Copyright 2012, All Rights Reserved You may think I'm down but you're wrong cause it's my time I know you'd rather see me fall but you got me so high Is it you that's kidding yourself With all these thoughts about destruction? One might think you'd need some instructions I want to see your wheels turning round with you behind the wheel, wearing a crown You think life's a bitch, but I think you act like one I see you struggling for you don't feel any fun It is the kid you lost in yourself with all these thoughts about destruction? you complicate the complications "Are you okay?" "Yeah, I'm okay" "What's been keeping you so long?" "Well, I don't know... I was wrong.. I just love it when the sun won't shine" I want to see your wheels turning round with you behind the wheel, wearing a crown My oh my, what you're trying to do to me? Can't you even lift your eyes to see? There is no escape if you close your mind and still you keep telling me everything is fine Ooh, I want to see your wheels turning round with you behind the wheel, wearing a crown with you behind the wheel, wearing a crown with you behind the wheel, wearing a crown with you behind the wheel, wearing a crown
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    simple grungy/alternative demo. using my pinky to do volume swells on volume knob of a Strat w/ hot Seymour Duncan pickups to get simulated keyboard/synth effect on the linear guitar textures. singing falsetto on the word 'high' in the 'to wake up high' line in chorus to reach that note & harmony with some breathiness. guitars open tuned to Esus2/add9 (E,B,E,F#,B,E) [media=]http://soundcloud.com/abeautifulvirus/lol LOL (demo) © 2012 MRI Words & Music by Daren Thomas Turner --------------------------------------- this time i’ll prove myself beyond the mathematical illusions that you’re used to fine... lose yourself and lose your fascination for your toolkit before you lose it didn’t plan for this to be all your life you prayed for it... ...to wake up high damn... what’d’cha see? what’d’cha hear to make it now so lonely? so homely? girl... what’d’cha say? think i heard you whisper something ugly to those ducklings didn’t plan for this to be all your life is just a dream... ...to wake up high [spoken] the first question is what will you say; maybe you have some idea, maybe not. suffice this to say there are many many ways to step outdoors. here are a few [/spoken] didn’t plan for this to be all your life you prayed for it... ...to wake up high --------------------------------------- Daren Thomas Turner: guitars, vocals Alan Cruz: drums Daniel Denial: bass
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    Some of the boards I don't get to as often, but as time passes, I manage to get around to more than a few. Most of the site is silent reading for me, the Song title association thread is just so cool to pop in and listen to some great music, but I like the song critique forum too. Still, I spend most of my time in the lyrics forum, singing silent songs. I like the addition of the pit. You know, I recently have spoken to two members over the phone, an act that always catches me off guard. I don't know why, it's a strange thing for me to hear someone's voice for the first time. I've spent years on songstuff and haven't heard enough voices. Somehow, the pit is a little like that. it's almost a voice, it's a new dimension added to how I see someone. You can get a good feel for someone's character through their music and lyrics, but give them something to fight for, or a chance to state their core beliefs, and you add some color too the picture for sure. There's nobody in the pit I wouldn't hang out with, even if I don't agree with them much, because at least I know they're honest. I like the articles page, I've read most of them, some of them more than a few times. I like the site bugs and suggestions, and I like seeing Steve pop in every once in a while and would like to suggest he do it more often. I like that it seems sort of family-ish around here. I think someone said it already, but that has to do with how the site is run, the temperament, the ideas, the guidance from all the site staff and the cooperation of fellow members. Nice post Rudi, insightful, thoughtful, thankful. Sparked some nice comments.
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    Sound is something real, and to the extent music is real, music is sound. Your ears hear actual sound, while what you only imagine is just a mirage. Only trust what you actually hear. Be skeptical of what you imagine until you verify it with your ears. If along a creative path your ears don't verify what you imagine, then imagine something else, and if that creative path has you continuing to chase mere mirages, then your ears are probably telling you to get off that path and take a different one.
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    Didn't realize this was going on. Most have probably heard it but I'll throw out an oldie from me. Coconuts & Mistletoe Randy Drilingas ©2010 Christmastime, one to remember. A cold island in December. Couldn't believe my eyes I was amazed. Santa needed snowy traction. Dropping snow was his reaction. Now all the island kids can play. Christmas Isle... Coconuts and misteltoe. Christmas brought it's warming feeling to our cozy island in the snow. Snow atop all of the palm trees falling down onto the monkeys picking up some dinner for their feast. The little kids laugh with delight. Their checking out the monkeys that are having a snow fight. Couldn't believe their eyes to say the least. Tropical Winter Wonderland. Snow castles made where once was sand. It's like this chilly weather was homemade. Better get those fires burning. The little ones will be returning. Our frozen island kids have played. Christmas Isle.... Coconuts and misteltoe. Christmas brought it's warming feeling to our cozy island in the snow. Christmastime. This lovin season we all know. Christmas brings a warming feeling. Now our island's all aglow.
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    Why bother getting stress right? The purpose of a lyric is to communicate something. An emotion a feeling or perhaps a story. For that to be put over the best way it can be, it needs to sound natural. For a lyric to sound natural and conversational, it needs to use language that we use everyday, in the way we use that language when speaking to each other. Now every multi syllable word in the English language has an agreed stress pattern. These can be seen in a dictionary. Not only that but each multi syllable word has a melody. Some syllables are pronounced with a higher or lower pitch than others. The reason for this is when we hear a multi syllable word for example "evenhanded" You will notice that the stressed syllable "hand" is a higher tone than the others. Why is this so? It is because we do not hear a multi syllable word as four separate syllables, we hear it as one entity. It is like driving a car when you turn a corner you do several things automatically without thinking about them separately. You are just thinking I am going to turn the corner. The things you need to do that happen automatically it is a learned response. So if you hear someone speaking a foreign language it always sounds as if they are speaking really fast. The reason being you do not know the agreed stress patterns and tunes of that language, so you are hearing it as separate syllables. They are not speaking fast at all. Now what does this mean to song writing? Several things. It means if you do not place your stressed syllables in the corresponding positions within matching meter lines, within a section of a song. You will end up with unnatural stresses, and forced rhymes. If you do not match the stresses in the same lines verse to verse, you are going to end up with a lot of melody variation between the verses, or a stumbling meter when it's read out aloud. What about single syllable words? Normally verbs nouns and adjectives are stressed other parts of speech are not. The exception to this is some times you may want to stress a pronoun to get a particular point across. For example "it ain't ME babe" the idea being that it is not me your looking for. Because I am not going to meet your expectations. Ok enough of the boring English lessons what to do? Well you can sit there in silence and say each of your lines as you would say them in normal speech, then go through and underline each stressed syllable. Then check that you have the right number of stressed syllable per line, in approximately the right places. Note and this is important. line length is determined by the number of stressed syllables per line. Line length is not, I repeat not determined by the actual number of syllables in a line. Now I don't know about you but this seems to be a boring and laborious way to go about things. So what else can you do? You can write new lyrics to existing songs making sure the stresses all work and you can do that in your head. Or you can get, or make yourself a series of loops. Either straight drum loops, or drums and pad, or drums and base. Then say your lyric out loud to the loop. Test the stresses, just hear them. If English is your mother tongue you will instinctively hear what is correct and what is not. So no need to go through the stress analysis on paper. Just feel the meter of it naturally. Now this can also be done by tapping a pencil in time on the desk. It is however easier to begin with to use loops. Especially if you are writing to a groove. Less to think about. Songs are meant to be heard and felt, not read. So it doesn't make any sense to be writing in silence. It is like writing in a vacuum. Say the words out loud, hear how they feel. Now and here is a bonus for writing or polishing a lyric to a loop. Prosody. Make your line FEEL the same as what you are saying. This is achieved by how the lyric is phrased, where it is positioned in the beat. To test this put on a drum loop in 4/4 time and recite this line to the beat. " I feel good today" Now the first time you recite it just say it naturally with out the drum loop. You will hear that the natural stress of this line is. "I feel GOOD to DAY" So the first way we are going to try it is as a positive statement, simply it's a great day and I feel good and all is right with the world. To FEEL this from the lyric the first stressed syllable "Good" will fall on the first beat of the bar. "I feel" are pick up notes from the previous bar. So count one two three "I feel good today" with the "I feel" as half notes on the fourth beat of the pick up bar, "good" on the first beat of the bar, "to"on the second and "day" on the third, rest on the fourth. Say it several times like that and note how it feels. If you then try this, you can get a slightly different feel. This time count one two on the pick up bar and say "I" on the third beat and "feel" on the fourth beat, then the rest of the line the same as in example one. Now it could be saying "I" feel good today, you may not , but "I" do. Now if in the context of your song this line is conveying I feel good today, but maybe I won't feel so good tomorrow, because today I'm drowning my sorrows, and tomorrow the hurt will come back. Then try it like this. Count one "I feel" as half notes on beat two, "good" on beat three, "to" on beat four, and "day" on beat one of the following bar. Now it should feel as if your actually saying "I feel good today, but". You should feel a certain doubt or anxiety to the sound of the line. Now having said all this, if you write your own melodies you should be having an aha moment right now. Because the lyric is dictating the grove, meter and feel of the melody. You will also notice the pitch. " good" will be a higher pitch and "today" will be descending, because that is how we say it in natural speech. This has to tell you, that if this statement is in a verse, Then in the corresponding line in the next verse, if the natural shape of the language doesn't move pitch wise in the same direction,you are going to have a melody variation. That is ok, easier if you don't, but no big deal it is done all the time. Just note that it is there, so that when you set the melody, in one verse you may be going up in a spot, and in another verse going down. Even if you are not writing the melodies it is your right and responsibility to get the feel to the lyric that you want. So make Margin notes. For example if you need the "I feel good today" line to be simply I feel good today. Note that you want "good" on the down beat. IE, beat one of the bar. The technical term for these phrasing techniques is "back heavy" and "front heavy" phrasing. Front heavy being the first stressed syllable on the first best of the bar. Back heavy being the first stressed syllable on the third beat of the bar. When I am preparing a lyric for melody writing. I make notations on the lyric sheet, for the phrasing notation I will write ( BH) at the end of any lines I need to have that feel, the assumption is that if it's unmarked it's front heavy. This is not a convention it's just my own short hand. So if I ask the question again: Why bother getting stress right? The answer might well be because if you don't, you have some nice words on a page. But what you don't have is a song. In summary Write to drum loops it's so much easier. Play with the phrasing to get the feel of how the lyric sounds, to match what it is saying. Happy writing. Cheers Gary
  38. 4 likes
    My two cents, for whatever it's worth, is that many lyrics are cliché. Cliches are only bad because they don't have the same power as something fresh and original. Things that can challenge songwriters to write better lyrics? Odd time signatures, narratives, or character studies (think Sting, for one popular example). You can also vary the bar length of verses or choruses, work with a formal rhythmic scheme and throw in variations (for example, if your lines are primarily iambic, throw in some trochees). What matters most, I think, is style. Even a horrible cliché lyricist can go a long way with a great voice (like the dude from Foreigner, for example). Bottom line is, it works if it works. Just write something that feels authentic, that wrestles with craft issues as well as style. Your heart and soul are good guides. Just be honest, and surrender to the visionary within. If you need a cliché to make the lyric work, then don't sweat it. If your gut is telling you there might be something better, listen to it.
  39. 4 likes

    From the album My Artwork

    Pastel on cardboard box

    © John Moxey 2007

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    As a singer/songwriter and producer, Songstuff has been the #1 online resource that I have found. Each member of the Songstuff community has their own skills and expertise, and they are always willing to share help others along the way. Doesn't matter if you're a brand new songwriter, or a seasoned veteran; the Songstuff Community has something helpful for you. Since joining the Songstuff community in early 2013, I have not only improved my songwriting and production skills; but I have made connections that will last a lifetime. -Michael Stovall
  41. 4 likes
    Scavenged from Facebook. One of my friends shared it on my page.....figured I'd share the wealth here. Someone may find it helpful, but I doubt it. http://forums.songstuff.com/gallery/image/1259-how-to-chose-a-musical-instrument/ FYI - you'll need to click on the photo to enlarge and allow for reading
  42. 4 likes
    Joined Songstuff maybe 3 days ago and honestly I LOVE IT! Love the honest opinions and critiques people give on songs I have done. It shows me where I'm at and how I can improve. One thing that would help would be an iOS App for the iphone!!
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    I have been a professional lyricist for 4 decades, and for the past couple of years, I have been writing on-line with composers from all over the world. I now have a fruitful relationship with the majority of them. I recently sent a lyric to an Italian composer that doesn't speak English very well. He emailed me back and he agreed to compose the piano and melody for it. Because of the language barrier, I wasn't expecting him to get the feel of the lyric at the first try. A few days later I received the WAV file and when I listened to it, I knew immediately that it was a wining song. The vocal is being recorded this weekend by a well known artist. It just goes to show how music crosses the language barrier.
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    Hi Gang I've been discussing with staff and a few other members about the possibility of starting some regular songwriting workshops. I have included a poll to try and break down levels of interest. We might do lyrics only workshops, music only workshops and or workshops looking at creating both lyrics and music. Workshops details will vary depending on experience level. The benginner workshop is likely to cover many aspects from song form to rhyme, meter, the nature of hooks (there are many kinds, not just lyrics hooks), melody, chord progressions and some may have guest speakers. Exact content will depend on the focus of individual workshops. Intermmediate and advanced workshops will probably have more emphasis on guest speakers, Q&A and writer to writer interaction, collaboration and mutual critique. If there are topics you would like to see covered in songwriting workshops, please tell us about them! Please give an indication of your experience level in your posts as that will help us to target content to specific workshops. Once we get an idea of levels of interest we can sort out the content for specific workshops. Thank you in advance for your input! Cheers John
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    SongStuff is full of creative, unique talent and absolutely the place to post your music. You'll get honest responses by which you can improve your songs, musically and lyrically.
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    And here it is, the interesting thing It's called Fictional Character and it is my 1st EP. http://soundcloud.com/misterpercy/sets/fictional-character-1/ There are 2 more songs to be released.
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    At about 6:30AM, the morning of January 1, 1988, I woke up my ex bass player from a bad, bad hangover he was in the process of sleeping off, and told him he had two choices. 1; he could do nothing, and basically watch me die. 2; he could take me to rehab, in which case I might still die, but I might also get my only chance to live. The day before... new Year's eve 1987, I was doing an 8 ball every 6 hours or so, and almost anything you can imagine to keep myself supplied. Lying, cheating, stealing, double dealing, back dealing... My ex bass player? Well, he took me to rehab. Once the people there saw me, they called an ambulance. I spent 11 days in ICU. I think I weighed about 95 poinds when I walked into the rehab clinic. I spent 90 days resident in a 60 day program, a year more in out patient therapy, and 2 years in Narcotics Anonymous. I never touched coke again. My bass player stood beside me throug it all, providing rides, smokes, a subway sandwich now and then, and compansionship. He also slept with my girlfreind. I figure I had it coming. I really deserved to be kicked out of the band by the time they got around to it, and, as for him helping me through detox and rehab? A girlfriend was small price to pay, really. I dig your song...again. Keep this up and I'll have to admit to being a real fan. I struggled a bit with hearing the lead vocal at times. On a second listen, the trouble seemed like it had to do with the levels on the backing vocals. When the lead vocal is solo (so to speak, with the fabulous "AinC" style doubling you are doing), it sits in the music bed just right, I think. So if it were me, I'd back the back ups down a hair. What color hair I leave to you to decide. I'm upping my game in the mix department by figuring out how to get the tones and the builds you are achieving. Really, really solid work, bro. You should be proud.
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    I joined SongStuff less than a week ago and I'm already amazed with the people and the creative flow that happens here. As a budding musician and lyricist who's publishing his lyrics for review for the first time it means a lot to me that people can be so positive yet at the same time be so helpful to improving my writing. The huge amount of lyrical and musical ideas tossed around on here is inspiring and can often lead to some genius revelations of your own. I can imagine myself being a regular as SongStuff for a very long time.
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    1. Do you sing, play an instrument or instruments?....yes What instruments?....drums, guitar, bass, keyboards When did you start playing? - drums - age 13-23, then completely quit everything musical / retaught myself at age 40 - guitar - began playing at age 40....same time I was relearning drums - bass - around age 41 - keyboards - age 51 Did you teach yourself? - drums....yes & no.....took lessons intially(age 13), taught part-time from 18-22 and then retaught myself at age 40 - guitar - NO....lessons from 40-42 - bass - limited lessons for basics while learning guitar...wanted to position myself to be able to work alone if need-be - keyboards - YES....wanted to learn so I could work more color and diversity of textures into my arrangements......... bought 2 books on basics and read cover-to-cover before beginning 2. Are you in a band or bands?....joined my first band at age 14....between 14 & 23 there was only one breif period of about 3 months that I was not playing in at least 1 band....no band since age 23 though What is the name of the band?....none What do you play?....I was a drummer & singer from 14-23 when I was in bands Do you have a band website?....several artist websites...just me though, at least for right now 3. Do you write songs?....yes Do you write lyrics, music or both?....both Do you have a writing partner?.....no 4. Do you record your music?.......yes Do you use a home studio? If so what gear do you use?.....home studio/freestanding Tascam 24 track digital deck along with a mish-mosh of other gear Do you use a recording studio?...nope!....strictly a hobbiest now Do you have music available on the web? if so where?.....6 different sites total, links to most are included as part of my artist signature below 5. What other roles do you perform in the music business? Management? Label owner? Publishing? Promotion? Other?...really doesn't apply to amateurs like myself 6. Are you a tech head?...no, but I make it point to try and know enough to get by and am always in search of new tips & tricks 7. What country do you live in?......USA 8. What are your ambitions?...musically speaking, to be able to continue functioning as a dedicated amatuer, continue growing as both a songwriter & a home studio technician and to constantly remind myself that I'm not a pro & that I should feel pretty good about whatever validation I manage to get along the way..........anything beyond that, will just be icing on the cake for me. 9. Do you draw/paint/write stories/computer art/dance or other creative pursuit?...not really, music is my primary creative outlet What are your pastimes?....honestly, with a home to maintain, a wife, parents in their 80s still living on their own, a full-time job, 6 web sites & the usual social & family obligations that go with being an adult, there's really not time for too much more. I try to keep in some kind of reasonable physical shape, catch some TV & movies and work on things musical. 10. What would you like to get out of Songstuff?.....Because I was completely out of anything musical for over 17 years, I don't have musician or writer freinds anymore. Sites like songstuff are about the only contact I have with other musical people. Along with the comradery, I continue to learn, recieve feedback and get perspective from others who know as much or more about things musical as I do.