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Lazz last won the day on July 29 2011

Lazz had the most liked content!

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About Lazz

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    MC Prolix

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    I am very interested in survival.
    So far - so good.

    Love to fill the spaces in between with all forms of beauty, craftsmanship and adventure. Obsessively fond of language, most styles of communications arts, and trying to keep on learning.

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  • Musical / Songwriting / Music Biz Skills


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  1. I hear you. Thanks for taking time to respond to my curiosity. Much appreciated. .
  2. Thanks Max. With the sacred constituting the largest music market segment on the planet and country making up the second, what I see as a curious narrowness of focus does make considerable economic sense. But my first issue with MW was language-based. "MasterWriter will unlock all the English language has to offer", it says right up front. Yet my first test-drive immediately demonstrated that they were either blithely unaware of the difference between adjective and adverb or simply considered it unimportant. Such blatant poverty of literacy made me conclude their claims to be any kind of writing-aid were an unqualified sham and I explored no further. Potential respect evaporated. Sometimes I view Nashville as its own island nation. But surely we all deserve the best from MW on the language front. I am still a relative newbie to country so the genre's faith and patriotism content are perhaps more readily apparent than to a long-term aficionado for whom it's all taken-for-granted normality. Sounds very strange and disappointing to me that you should be considered an outcast for performing a gospel repertoire. Is the distinction from secular still drawn as heavily as it was in the past? Lazz .
  3. I write out lead sheets on regular manuscript paper. I possess minimal instrumental facility or fluency but practical circumstances dictated that I learned quickly how to write regular conventional legible gigging charts so that people who are musicians can see exactly what is happening and make a constructive and supportive contribution. As singer and bandleader, the practical circumstances are that I work with hired guns, professional jobbing musos who have way more experience and knowledge than I will ever achieve and yet I need to be confidently in charge at the front. Oftentimes, the first time we meet will be on the bandstand for the gig. Rehearsals are a rare luxury. So I need a solution that is simple clear and effective. Because singers are also notoriously poor at taking care of this end of the business, I also understand that the closer I get to their expected pro standard of music preparation the more my efforts are noticed and appreciated and the better job of work they will strive for on my behalf. So the hard work involved in learning how to do it, how to overcome mistakes and do it better, and then putting in the time patiently with pen and paper, for me it pays off big-time. That's how musicians are able to deliver such a sweet job backing all those American Idol contestants, for instance. (There are great software programmes which can simplify and rationalise the labour and reduce its level of intensiveness, but I personally still learn a great deal from the old-skool process and enjoy a kind of meditative fulfillment that comes from doing it all by hand.) As a songwriter, the goal is to have work performed by others. To make a demo, efficiently, we hire appropriate guys capable of nailing first-takes so we get a top job and no wasted sheqels. A good lead sheet makes that possible. When an artist wants a song, they'll want a lead-sheet, too. Their musicians will also appreciate it. If they choose to record one of our tunes, they'll need it. If a point is reached where orchestration is required, a lead-sheet provides the place to start. It all ultimately depends on the level of professionalism you aim for - but lead-sheets are an enormously worthwhile endeavour for any songwriter seriously looking to be able to operate successfully anywhere beyond the bed-room, home-studio, singer-songwriter or regularly-rehearsing ambitious indie-band arena. (I am not knocking anyone whose work is in those areas, not at all, they are fun and rewarding areas of practical magic, just offering how everything is dictated by practical need and circumstances - mine demand lead-sheets.) .
  4. What a novel idea! But reading is just so 20th Century, so pre-Twitter, so born-before-texting. .
  5. More for the Christian market in that the software also provides a specifically Biblical reference resource. Can be viewed as neither here nor there ultimately, I guess, and no harm done or presumed. But, as a non-believing Red-Sea pedestrian, I just tend to notice these things. Amen. .
  6. I rate basic Band In A Box for those jobs. It allows you to print a lead sheet with lyrics. And don't overlook the fact it is also primarily the essential practice tool. I don't know if it prints a lyric-sheet per se, but you must already have a word-processing package on board More affordable than Sibelius. .
  7. I downloaded and test-drove the software sometime ago and found it a complete waste of space on my hard drive. I thought it was a piece of pointless junk with flaws that made me want to lay a tender corrective lashing on the writers. I was forced to wonder whether they were really native speakers of language. That's just me though - other people allegedly swear by it - they have endorsements from big names. But for the big-names with whom I am familiar, I can't imagine them truly having use for it. And no idea how or why any writer would have want or need. Seems to have a Christian market focus. Make up your own mind - I'm sure they have a free trial available - check it out and let us know. But - just in case there is any confusion - I think it's extreme crap for the price. Better off with a pencil. .
  8. Dearest Tom, I presumed it was self-evident that I am taking the piss out of myself in that paragraph as well as other places. It has also always been self-evident that you care about what you do. Never in doubt, never in question. Feedback was requested - apart from reiterating my pleasure I was trying to be helpful. With a smile. I don't know much about the pre-chorus idea other than it's a relatively new one to me. That and the fact that it seems to have broad application and little consistency of meaning. Sometimes I believe I have understood what it is supposed to be telling me. Other times I am just confused by its use and intent as a label. The composer with whom I work has often written a song-bit that others may feel justified in identifying as a pre-chorus according to one of the ways in which I understand it - i.e. as a musical device used to create an emotional lift or rise or otherwise dramatic build into a following section - but I have always thought this was used because he saw it as an effective technique for serving the song - it's certainly got nothing to do with my blueprint or a priori lyric conception. I would genuinely like to understand what it means to others - because useage sure doesn't always match my paltry description. Help. .
  9. Ouch. Neither of us is confident about what the other means. That's amusing. The "changes" is a term referring to the chords and their sequence. The melody is..... errrr.... the melody is the melody, the top-line. The harmony is the harmonic meaning you give to each note of the melody through your choice of chords to support it. So the harmony is those changes. Bm G C A (WTF is meant by "pre-chorus"?) Apologies for my verbiage and vocabulary. I think I've become twisted by my own journey from incipient singer who found himself working among slick hip professionals and consequently needing to work lickety-spit on addressing his musical illiteracy. And now I find myself among young whopper-snippers who know nothing and care less yet still manage to produce impressively cool songs just like Jim and Tom. And none of the stuff that was so important and central for me turns out to actually matter. Ha. Serve me right. That is very amusing. .
  10. Unfortunately, Tom is not going to be there to explain it for each of us. As I indicated earlier, it is not at all hard to read and make sense of – however, one of the reasons lyrics can be of lesser overall importance is that what we hear first in a song is sound much more than meaning. If the sound is satisfying enough that we want to listen more, then gradually some sense of word meaning will begin to percolate through our heads. What we don’t want is anything sticking out to jab us in the unsuspecting eye-ball and interferes with that normal half-trance attention process. So, without reading the words – a song being an aural happenstance not a visual occupation – and without having Tom by my side to explain it away - I vaguely hear a bunch of “I” concepts and then suddenly a “You” notion leaps out at me. Now that my ear-attention is diverted into something that maybe needs a bit more sense-making, I become conscious of that fact that it is “you” who jams their hand into the fire while it is “I” who gets burned in consequence. This apparent contradiction – while perhaps significant to the soul of Tom the poet – wrenches me unnecessarily into an awakened elsewhere when I should be losing myself to the sound. Does that make any sense to you, Tom? According to this particular Lazz theory of song, the first rule for lyrics in not to interfere, not to get in the way of the magic. And then – recognizing that there is little worse than digging a tune, getting hooked into it, and later discovering that the verbals are puerile shite – the second rule, once meanings begin to burrow their way through, is simply not to disappoint. .
  11. Chaps, A privilege and a pleasure to have watched this song seed grow and blossom. Congratulations. Comments: Lyrically - however simple it may be to rationalise it away, my conscious making-sense ear stumbles over the apparent collision between personal pronouns in "You reached into the fire/But I’m burned". I think it can be made less disconcerting to hear if you just dump the "you". Melodically - a downward melodic arc poorly serves the import of the line "You'd break down" in my ears' opinion and makes it a little dis-satisfying Harmonically - it's all the same throughout - this is not a problem, just highlights a preference is all - plenty of great popular successes are enjoyed by songs which do one single thing tonally and stay in the same emotional place - so it matters not one whit or jot - simply that my desires yearn for a broader palette. Still works though - dunnit? Pragmatic Observation: This is to do with my own curiosity only, and follows on from my last comment. As I said, the absence of harmonic variation from one section to another is perfectly fine and no big deal, with the result standing as evident success, but it underscores my confusions with terms used. "Pre-Chorus" is one that has always bugged me, for example. Generally I've been easily able to accept it where it has been applied to what I would normally call a "2nd ending" because it is at least a recognition of a musical function being performed in turning around from one A section and 'rising' or 'climbing' into a bridge. But here, that doesn't happen: instead, we have harmonic constancy. With all our structural concepts in song relating to essentially musical events, I wonder whether styles built on stasis don't render regular notions of bridge and chorus and such as fundamentally meaningless. Is there any valid reason for distinguishing one song section from another when the music is the same but only the words and phrasing differ. Are they merely random names we give to jig-saw sections of verbiage that we try to assemble? Are they really made into separate entities? Should they not have a separate purpose? These labelling practices confuse me with their pointlessness, but does any of it even really matter except to a crusty old git and especially when the end result works so well? Time for my nap. .
  12. I thought you were just having a laugh, Jim. The confusion may have arisen in vaguely Chinese-whispers fashion from the fact that there are a few orchestras around which tune to a concert pitch of A=442Hz or A=443Hz, while the common international standard (ISO 16) is set at A=440Hz. These miniscule differences are much less than a semi-tone, however. .
  13. Damn. I was fishing for another helpful blog-post from you. .
  14. "Now you’ve gotten the green light to submit some music to a music publisher" How about another blog entry on how to go about getting that green light, Jim?
  15. Hey Jim, Saw your ad earlier and nearly jumped out of my skin. I mean, Jimmy Bruno !..... Wow. Of course, silly me, I was thinking about the other one. Do you get that confusion very often ? Welcome .