Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by tunesmithth

  1. First song

    No harm done Jenn, sorry if my reaction was over-the-top. Some days are like that and this one is! To the original posting member...in a nutshell - you cannot write what you do not understand. So learn first, then attempt writing. Not the other way around. Perhaps you'll find this helpful -
  2. First song

    Sorry guys...rest assured, I do not hand out advice like this often. But in my humble opinion, this is someone who is attempting to write BEFORE they have any idea of what they are doing. I have always believed that people who have not taken the time to acquire musically related skills & knowledge should NOT waste their time writing. They should spend that time learning, so that they gain an understanding of what music is about & how it's structured. How in the world do you write what you don't yet understand? You cannot write what you do not know! No one can! Would you recommend that someone who didn't speak or understand the English language write a novel in English? Of course not! You'd suggest that they learn the launguage first, THEN attempt writing. At no time did I suggest to this member that he should never write, or he was lacking in musical potential. I simply pointed out that he was putting the cart before the horse. Mike I'm sure you meant well, but he clearly stated that he's had no musical training or education, we'd have to assume that he doesn't know what "a musical key" is....he likely doesn't understand your reference to the term "flat". How in the world is he going to correct what he doesn't yet understand? There is no piece of software in the world that will help someone without a knowledge of music write a coherent song & we should NOT encourage people to try. Learn first, then write...that was my intended message. If I failed to communicate that clearly I'm sorry. Regardless of how we feel about giving advice like this, members need to hear it from someone. Who better than a qualified staff member on a songwriters board? My apologies to the member if my advice seemed harsh. Tom
  3. I received 2 of these in yesterday's mail...2 different Claimant ID #s I'm curious...has anyone else received notices like this?
  4. First song

    I apologize in advance for what I'm about to say. The best advice I can give you is this... until you've learned something about music, musical instruments, singing or songwriting, you should really stick to poems & rhymes. I'm not trying to be unkind, just realistic. Bluntly put, this is horrid. Tom
  5. Interesting Revelation

    No worries, me too As for the question of mood, yeah...there's a lot of that going around at the moment, myself included. For what it's worth, the majority of comments & posts I make around here are directed towards the "Indie" segment of the market. Since the bulk of our members aren't Lady Gaga, I figure that's most of their interest/concerns leans in that direction. As you correctly pointed out, the big boys & girls of this industry always find a way to land on their feet. *Beat me to the "Save" tab by 1/2 a second John
  6. Interesting Revelation

  7. Making Music Spiritual Again

    The good news is that no one expects you too. Music is one of those things that's different to different people. For some, it's strictly a means of entertainment. For others, like myself, it becomes a more integral part of who they are. Whatever it is to you, it's merely one part of a larger existence. Bottom line - whatever your personal expectations for musical involvement, they need to mesh with the commitments, relationships, responsibilities & priorities in your day-to-day life. Overall, my advice would be... Decide in advice, what your expectations are. Then before doing anything else, figure out what you'll need to meet those expectations (disciplined practice, additional equipment, lessons, technical knowledge, TIME, organizational skills, personal discipline, etc.) Since you know yourself better than anyone, make an honest assessment of that needs list. Are those things you'll really do? Will your overall life circumstances accommodate the things you've decided are necessary? Are the goals you've set realistic, or pie-in-the-sky? Depending on the results of that assessment, either proceed with your original plan (expectations)...or reset your expectations to coincide with what's realistic. ...then finally, enjoy your creative process & learn to be happy with whatever you're able to achieve. In my experience, failure most often results from unrealistic goal setting, lack of planning or poor follow-thru. Figure out in advance what will work for you, what won't and remember...the answer's different for everyone.. Tom
  8. Interesting Revelation

    Exactly what I was going for...a slightly different version of what I wondered post-financial crisis - "When the effective interest rate is zero, where does one go from there?"
  9. YouTube has a better idea?

    Seems they've rolled a new app out worldwide today...a new chat & share video app https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/07/youtube-roll-out-in-app-video-sharing-and-messaging-to-users-worldwide/
  10. Interesting Revelation

    Exactly right...if you're viewing it from a consumer perspective. But this is a songwriter/musician website & given the established nature of music streaming, one could infer that it's NOT a good trend for creators of content...particularly those wishing to profit from their efforts. BTW did you happen to see my thread about the current Spotify proceedings? ...a fine example of what creators of content can expect from streaming platforms. Bottom line - we've progressed from an industry whining about lack of physical CD sales...to an industry whining about a trending reduction in digital download sales due to an increase in the use of streaming platforms. Each step along the way has been less lucrative for the creators of content. So what's next? Tom
  11. Soundcloud Cuts 40% of workforce

    I do realize that Tim. But again, EVERYONE already knows about Amazon & iTunes. Those platforms have HUGE name recognition...across the board. I'm trying to find out if the general public is even aware of SoundCloud? If they are, then SoundCloud already has brand recognition & it's just me who's unaware. If not, regardless of how they modify terms of use for folks like us, they're liable to remain a platform for musician/songwriters. Tom
  12. Soundcloud Cuts 40% of workforce

    I'm curious...does anyone here personally know a non-musician/songwriter/lyricist who belongs-to, or regularly uses SoundCloud ? I do not. Matter of fact, I've never heard anyone outside of musical circles mention the name SoundCloud. On the other hand, I don't know of a single person on the planet who hasn't heard of YouTube. ...just sayin' guys, sometimes we allow our familiarity with these entities to bias our view of their place in the overall scheme of things. Tom
  13. Live or Die (Serve or You're a Slave)

    Yeah, but it sounds a lot like this... One More Time cowbell snippet.wav. "Latin Percussion" (LP) no less!
  14. Live or Die (Serve or You're a Slave)

    OR...and I realize it's a crazy idea, you could actually buy one
  15. I'm having an issue getting indivual threads to load this morning. Simply put, they will not load. (Windows 10, Microsoft Edge) I'm fine browsing the boards, activity feed, & blogs but when I click on a single thread to gain access, the last comment loads then the site quickly becomes unresponsive. Refreshing has not helped, exiting the site and returning has not helped...the issue is constant. If it's any help, most of the threads I attempted to load were in the critique sections. Tom
  16. Resisting standardization is a natural tendency for creative types. We want to be different…original, right? In part, that’s why we do what we do! The thing is, we sometimes allow that desire-for-different to become an obstacle to our songwriting. Case-in-point the never-ending battle over lengthy song intros. You say it’s too long, I say I’m exercising creative license. You say it’s commercially unacceptable, I tell you I want it to be different because standardization stifles creativity. I say it’s too long, you say “who am I to dictate how you write your song”? It’s your song…it should be your choice. I tell you that long intros challenge the reasonable limits of a listener’s attention span…you say that pleasing the average listener is less important than living up to your own creative standards. I tell you it’s too long, you tell me you’ve heard that criticism so often you’re numb to it. These types of exchanges have become virtual expectations on songwriting forums around the world. Over the past decade, I’ve watched this “intro” situation devolve. Suggestions which were once perceived as well-meaning, are now considered white noise. More times than not, recipients respond defensively or not at all. Some might say – “good, I’m sick to death of hearing about my intros anyway”! The thing is, I fear it’s the intros themselves that have suffered. We now throw the baby out with the bath water. Too many writers are ignoring the intros, as well as the advice. I contend that the importance of the song introduction is greatly underestimated. Remember back to your childhood…when your parents told you about the importance of first impressions? Well the song intro is your opportunity to make a first impression on your listener! And…just as your parent told you back then, you may not get a 2nd chance. Regardless of how creatively fulfilled the intro makes you feel, it’ the listener’s impression of it that really counts If they become bored with it too soon, they’re likely to turn it off. How do I know this? Because (news flash) that’s what I do! Absolutely! Yes…I’ve been a songwriter 20+ years, a musician 30+…a listener for my entire life and if I begin listening to a 6-minute song on the boards with a long, terrible intro…I turn it off. Now imagine what an ordinary listener does! As songwriters, we can delude ourselves into believing whatever we want. Countless people over the years have told me that living up to their own creative standards is their primary goal. And I might buy that load of crap if it weren’t for the fact that they’re all SongStuff members. The vast majority of whom post material on the boards, in either the critique or showcase sections. 2nd news flash - If a major portion of your creative life is spent making your material publicly available for listening & feedback, then you do care what others think of your efforts. You may not be comfortable admitting that to yourselves, but you do. On some level everyone does! With that in mind, here's a few suggestions I hope you'll find helpful: 1. If you insist on crafting lengthy introductions, please make them interesting. Repetition of a basic chord progression, with basic percussion & a synth pad underneath does not qualify as interesting. 2. There’s an art to creating an intro (arranging). · Give it a defined structure · Build in some form of melodic movement · It should differ from your other song sections, yet be similar enough to convey the impression of a cohesive whole. In other words, sound like they belong together. · It should resolve into the body of your song. The change from intro-to-song body should flow naturally. It shouldn’t sound abrupt or forced. If you can’t come up with something interesting & distinctive, do yourself a favor…keep it short (15-20 sec.). Contrary to popular opinion, length does NOT = creativity. Last, but not least, I’ve including 7 sample intros taken from my own body of work. They range in length from :17 to :54. Each sample ends where the vocal (body of the song) begins. *BTW for anyone wondering, NO…I don’t think I’m God’s gift to songwriting. I've included these samples for 2 reasons - 1) as examples of the things described above 2) to demonstrate that I practice what I preach. Intro Audio Files: 00_Dont Lie To Yourself_Tom Hoffman.mp3 00_Slow Down_Tom Hoffman.mp3 00_The Usual Suspects_Tom Hoffman.mp3 00_Pain For Gain_Tom Hoffman.mp3 00_I Hope To Be-Tom Hoffman.mp3 Sunday Christian Intro snippet.wav 00_Middle Class Blues_Tom Hoffman.mp3 If you noticed, Middle Class Blues is the only intro that would qualify as long (by board standards). Even though it's under one minute, it begins with the hook line (title). That lets the listener know immediately that the song will contain vocals. My advice...never assume that they know. Many people, my wife included, have no interest whatsoever in instrumental songs. For many listeners, it's all about the vocal. Tom Hoffman Songstuff member profilehttp://www.tune-smith.comhttp://www.youtube.com/user/DrumStuffTH
  17. Issue Loading Individual Threads

    Back again & just tried again...seems to be a bit better now. The critique thread didn't load immediately, but it do eventually load & remain loaded. I'll update as the situation changes.
  18. Do you believe in talent?

    After a great deal of thought, I've reached the conclusion that the modern English language has way too many words with similar meanings. How in hell are we supposed to communicate when we have 20 different words to describe the same thing? Time for me to get off the boards for the evening folks...see y'all another day.
  19. Do you believe in talent?

    Then that explains our inability to agree, but seriously....they define talent as skill? If so, then we circle right back to the same sticking point. One has to develop skill, it's not a natural gift...which is the way most people perceive "talent". They see it as something they're born with, not something developed thru learning & effort. Guess my disagreement is with the dictionary them....oh well, good things it really doesn't matter, eh.
  20. Do you believe in talent?

    I know I've said this before, but the basements of America are littered with the guitar starter-packs of kids who quit before they even found out if they could play. Either they decided it wasn't like "Guitar Hero", or that they just didn't have the talent cause they couldn't play like they're idols after 5 or 10 lessons. I can't speak for anyone else, but I know I sounded like absolute shit the first few months I was learning. The difference was that I expected to ... I understood going in that it would be a question of time & continual effort, NOT talent. Tom
  21. Do you believe in talent?

    Seriously...much of how an individual views this depends on their definition of 'talent". Personally, I dislike the term because it implies a complete intangible. What you've described I tend to think of as ability or potential, both of which are more easily defined & understood. Ability or potential an individual can nurture & develop, or chose to neglect & disregard. Ability & potential I consider more of a head-start towards something....kind of leg-up if you prefer. As human beings, we understand what our options are with innate ability & potential. What do you do with "talent" and how does one know if they actually have it? The whole concept is too "pie-in-the-sky" for me. AND, too many damn people end up using "lack of it" as an excuse to quit before they've even put in enough time & effort to find out if they actually have it or not. Tom
  22. Video Critique

    Actually, there is not...and that's probably not a bad idea. As always, John would be the final word on it, but I think it's worth looking into. If you don't mind, please repost it here - http://forums.songstuff.com/forum/198-suggestion-box/ That's what the section's designed for and he's more likely to notice it down there. Good thought ! Tom BTW you may want to allow some time for him to respond. I haven't seen him around the boards the last couple of days. He may be having some health issues...not really sure.
  23. Your Intro Is Too Long !

    I've decided to use these intro snippets for a future video project, so I formatted an additional 7. Rather than add them onto the original article, I'll list them here in the comment section. Too Small To Save Intro snippet.mp3 Ive Learned To Love The Rain Intro snippet.mp3 Fool Me Once Intro snippet.mp3 Not Quite The Same Intro snippet.mp3 The Last To Know Intro snippet.mp3 The Ballad of John & Rosemary Intro snippet.mp3 In Love With Falling In Love Intro snippet.mp3 As was the case with the original 7 examples... these vary in length, genre, style and instrumentation each sample ends at the point which the vocal (body of song) begins, so you get a true sense of length sample #7 is the longest (approaching 1 min. in length), so it begins with a single line of vocal (the hook) to let the listener know that the song does contain a vocal - Average Intro Length (all 14 examples) = 23 seconds - Average Intro Length (12 containing no vocal) = 19 seconds Tom
  24. Do you believe in talent?

    As you've probably come to expect, I've already dealt with that subject in a blog Lololo... One excerpt... The brief article from Oct 6, 2010 (Jeez...I've been doing this for too long! ) - Tom
  25. Soundcloud Cuts 40% of workforce

    Breaking News...just ran across this on Google News - https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/11/soundcloud-saved/