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Jenn    169

Sorry I've been posting a lot.... Just have been pretty motivated. Here's a song I've been working on for a while. I made the instrumental the past few days and today I got to record some vocals today ... It's a short song and one of the first songs I ever wrote. Someone literally came home while I was recording.............. so the vocals are very very rough

 

But my main focus is, how does the chorus sound in terms of melody please? Thank you so much

 

When mr fox took my hand

He stared me in the eye

And said it's better

Not to have a plan 

He came from over hills

And stumbled over rocks

Never relying on those ticking clocks

 

Time always breaks

And love leads you astray 

Don't leave hope in a far place

 

 

When mr fox saw my face

He knew there was no trust

And said lies

Couldn't keep me safe

All the rivers I have crossed 

And songs that I have sung

Could never hold my love enough

 

 

Time always breaks

And love leads you astray 

Don't leave hope in a far place

 

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer8169456/mr-fox-demo-1/s-r4GWr

Edited by Jenn

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Matthew76    232

I like very much the rhythmic on this demo... the sound of the drums and the others elements are really cool...

The passage at 1:25 with the synth is nice too... and this one at 1:46 is really great...

Concerning the chorus, it works, I find... maybe a little effect on your voice could give something better ?

In any case, nice inspiration for this start, Jenn...

 

Edited by Matthew76

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MonoStone    820

The music is great!

 

Melody... I'm still getting used to the chorus, I'll say more soon,

 

One thing though... when you sing 'never relying on those ticking clocks' ...I think the melody should be C,C,A  (C)Ti (C)king (A)clocks   (so ticking is higher than clocks.... and going down to the A there makes it hooky and a bit spooky).

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Jenn    169
1 hour ago, Matthew76 said:

I like very much the rhythmic on this demo... the sound of the drums and the others elements are really cool...

The passage at 1:25 with the synth is nice too... and this one at 1:46 is really great...

Concerning the chorus, it works, I find... maybe a little effect on your voice could give something better ?

In any case, nice inspiration for this start, Jenn...

 

I actually only used one synth in this! And it's only to compliment the strings anyway.. I wanted to keep this really organic and hopefully it came off like that ^_^

This chorus was actually the second vocal take of improving it.... So I do need to shape it up and I have a few ideas. And I agree, I need to put some vocal effect on it.... Hopefully I'll get to record it soon cause I've been working on this freaking song for a year!!!!!!! Thank you for the listen

 

8 minutes ago, MonoStone said:

The music is great!

 

Melody... I'm still getting used to the chorus, I'll say more soon,

 

One thing though... when you sing 'never relying on those ticking clocks' ...I think the melody should be C,C,A  (C)Ti (C)king (A)clocks   (so ticking is higher than clocks.... and going down to the A there makes it hooky and a bit spooky).

Thanks Dek ^_^ Really excited about this one.. as you know. I agree about that melody... I just couldn't figure it out in my head for some reason. But it'll be what you said... More to come soon! Thank you!

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Jenn    169

Here is a demo with the full melodic ideas... it may sound a little disinterested but the ideas are there..

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer8169456/mr-fox-demo-1/s-r4GWr

 

just realized I didn't sing ticking clocks like you said @MonoStone :hang:

Edited by Jenn

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Ray888    158

Hi Jenny, I love the drum groove and other instrumentation on this.

 

It feels like vocals a re rushed in a couple of places but I'm sure you will improve on that if you play around with it. I think that you vocal will also be more expressive once you are comfortable with the melody when you have it sorted. Well done so far.

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Jenn    169
Just now, Ray888 said:

Hi Jenny, I love the drum groove and other instrumentation on this.

 

It feels like vocals a re rushed in a couple of places but I'm sure you will improve on that if you play around with it. I think that you vocal will also be more expressive once you are comfortable with the melody when you have it sorted. Well done so far.

Yeah they're jumbled up in a couple of places.. Just need to smooth it out. And yeah! I'm just really tired and rushed so Mr. Fox sounds a little hungover :001_9898:

Thank you for the listen!!!!

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MonoStone    820
1 hour ago, Jenn said:

Here is a demo with the full melodic ideas... it may sound a little disinterested but the ideas are there..

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer8169456/mr-fox-demo-1/s-r4GWr

 

just realized I didn't sing ticking clocks like you said @MonoStone :hang:

Well, try do it as I said... worth a try and I THINK it's how you did it in your very old original (or how I imagined it...and it stuck with me). If it doesn't work then ...sorry...but I am only saying what I THINK was a good feature of your oldest version. I may have remembered it wrong.

 

I think the chorus melody sounds a bit too bored, not just the performance but the melody too... it feels like you'd get the same kind of feel from half speaking it. 

 

I think your vocal should make us feel like we're in this weird foxy spooky nursery rhyme Alice in wonderland kinda world... Put some feeling into it... and feeling doesn't mean screaming etc, it just means ummm...feeling.... imagine you're not listening to you when you hear it back, you're listening to the star you... what does she sound like? You don't have to be a pitch perfect vocal acrobat in this kind of style either, but be dynamic.... and I mean that doesn't mean being loud or being all over the place, if you want to sound disinterested, then sound really disinterested! ;)  Or if you imagine the singer of this song is strange...sound strange.... if there's some mystery...sing like it's a mystery...etc.etc... 

 

 

 

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Jenn    169
7 minutes ago, MonoStone said:

Well, try do it as I said... worth a try and I THINK it's how you did it in your very old original (or how I imagined it...and it stuck with me). If it doesn't work then ...sorry...but I am only saying what I THINK was a good feature of your oldest version. I may have remembered it wrong.

 

I think the chorus melody sounds a bit too bored, not just the performance but the melody too... it feels like you'd get the same kind of feel from half speaking it. 

 

I think your vocal should make us feel like we're in this weird foxy spooky nursery rhyme Alice in wonderland kinda world... Put some feeling into it... and feeling doesn't mean screaming etc, it just means ummm...feeling.... imagine you're not listening to you when you hear it back, you're listening to the star you... what does she sound like? You don't have to be a pitch perfect vocal acrobat in this kind of style either, but be dynamic.... and I mean that doesn't mean being loud or being all over the place, if you want to sound disinterested, then sound really disinterested! ;)  Or if you imagine the singer of this song is strange...sound strange.... if there's some mystery...sing like it's a mystery...etc.etc... 

 

 

 

I'm pretty sure it's how I did it in the original version... I'll go back and listen to it

and ugHHH I've always had a problem with the chorus of this song.. I want it to be like a proclamation from Mr Fox about how to live a better life, and me at the end, being able to realize it and preach it as well

I am falling into a hatred of my voice again ....

I think I may know what to do to make it spookier though

Aye... I am frustrated haha

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You have great melodic ideas :)

Looking forward to you polishing them till they gleam... they'll be really worth it  :)

 

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MonoStone    820
4 hours ago, Jenn said:

I am falling into a hatred of my voice again ....

 

Don't based on what I said. I'm just pushing you to be more expressive...and more confident (I probably went the wrong way about that ;)  )... Being 'expressive' was the term I was looking for before...

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Jenn    169
39 minutes ago, MonoStone said:

 

Don't based on what I said. I'm just pushing you to be more expressive...and more confident (I probably went the wrong way about that ;)  )... Being 'expressive' was the term I was looking for before...

No it's not on you! Just something that happens and something that I work on continuously....

And yeah I can definitely be more expressive... at least I think I can in my head. Hopefully it will come across as so

But you also agree that the chorus melody should be changed entirely, or just the way that I'm performing it?

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MonoStone    820
Just now, Jenn said:

No it's not on you! Just something that happens and something that I work on continuously....

 

Most people doubt themselves. 

 

2 minutes ago, Jenn said:

at least I think I can in my head

 

Yeah that's what I was getting at. Just let it out the way you imagine it. Forget tuning (to some extent) and focus on performing, for now. Well that's my suggestion anyway. Pretend you're already a pop/rock star when you sing!!!! You have to. Imagine you're in the video or on stage, and the audience love you!

 

10 minutes ago, Jenn said:

But you also agree that the chorus melody should be changed entirely, or just the way that I'm performing it?

 

I'm not sure. I do like it...but I'm having to use my imagination to hear it how I like it.... the way you perform the chorus makes it hard to love. NOT because you sing bad, but because you sound like you're not into it! And you sound like you're a little unsure of the melody, and you trail away at the end of lines etc....so... before you decide, give it your best... It's probably not wise for either you or us to judge until you give it more feeling there and make the melody more clear.

 

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Jenn    169

@MonoStone ^_^thank you for this.... I forgot to use my heart and you reminded me that it's there to use!!! I'll post again soon.. Thanks Dek

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Leo    38

Hey Jenn,

What a beautiful song, love it.

 

And what a cool sound you have got.

 

The one thing I can say is that in the middle of each verse:

 

On 2017-7-6 at 0:16 AM, Jenn said:

better

Not to have a plan 

 

And

 

On 2017-7-6 at 0:16 AM, Jenn said:

was no trust

And said lies

Couldn't keep me safe

 

sounds like your'e rushing it. perhaps changing those words a bit would make them flow a little better. maybe less words in that line??

 

Thanks

 

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MonoStone    820
1 hour ago, Leo said:

Not to have a plan 

 

In the oldest original version this was a hook. Having too many words makes it hooky, but it can be sung less rushed, in the same time, it's just a matter of how you deliver it. It will take a few tries but... it stands out, it's memorable, and you just need to make it seem like singing it isn't much effort ;)

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CapM    66

Hi Jenn.  I've been meaning to pop in on your thread.  Thanks for popping in on mine.  Anywho...

 

I see your comment about your vocal.  As for myself, I've always considered myself a guitarist first, and a singer way down the list.  It hasn't come naturally (and still doesn't on some songs), but I'm getting better.  A voice is an instrument.  You need to practice it just like a guitarist has had to practice guitar.  You need to practice, practice, practice.  Even though I'm a lot more accomplished on guitar than vocally, I still like to know that I can play a song so well that I don't even have to think about it.  I never press record until I know everything that I'm going to do on guitar.  Yeah, I can be somewhat improvisational, but mostly I like to be compositional on guitar.

 

It seems to me that you have not planned out what you're going to sing. Things sound rushed at times because you haven't yet figured out the exact timing and phrasing.  Also, it is important to sound natural.  A famous line Pat Pattison said once was "if you can't say it like that, then you can't sing it like that."  One line you sang the words "me in the eye" in one half of one beat!  I'm quite sure that even the fastest talker could never say that line that quickly.  So if you can't say it like that, then you can't sing it like that.  For this reason, before I ever sing, I practice just speaking my lines.  I like doing this when I'm walking the dog, just practicing speaking to my music so that I'm sure everything fits.  If something doesn't fit (it always happens), I rewrite that line.  Only then do I work on singing the melody.

 

How much planning and practice do you put into your singing?  I probably practice singing my songs 100 times before I ever press record.  But when I do, I'm ready.  I know my song inside and out.  I know exactly where I want every phrase and what note.  I'm confident that I know exactly what I'm going to do.  I might not always be able to do it, because I'm not a natural singer and I'm just an amateur hobbyist.  But at least I know what I'm going to do.  It gives me confidence.

 

So I did notice your frustration in your comments.  But you know what?  It can be done. It's your song, you have to own it.  But if you don't know your own song very well, how on earth are you going to get your listeners to know it?  Have a conversation with the listener with your melody.  That would be my suggestion.

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snabbu    435

There are two pretty simple things holding you back a little. You have some good melodic ideas. 

The two things are the pitchiness of the vocal and the rhythmic phrasing of the melody.

In regard to pitch there is the good advice to practice practice practice there is also pitch correcting software. 

I recommend you input your vocal melodies into your DAW single note on a piano this will help you stay in tune it will also assist with your phrasing.

To fix your meter issue is easy here is a simple way to do it.

(1) Enter the lyric into a word processing document.

When mr fox took my hand

He stared me in the eye

And said it's better

Not to have a plan 

He came from over hills

And stumbled over rocks

Never relying on those ticking clocks

(2) say each line naturally just as you would in conversation, note which syllables are stressed bold them in the document.

When mr fox took my hand

He stared me in the eye

And said it's better

Not to have a plan 

He came from over hills

And stumbled over rocks

 

(3) Fix any anomalies in this case a split statement.

When mr fox took my hand (2)

He stared me in the eye (2)

And said it's better Not to have a plan (3)

He came from over hills (2)

And stumbled over rocks (2)

 

The bracketed numbers are line length counts.

 

Now here are two concepts to understand.

In 4/4 time the stress goes strong weal strong weak. The 1st and 3rd beats of the bar are strong two and four are weak.

In 4/4 time strong weak beats are infinitesimally divisible. So if you have 8 half notes it still goes strong weak strong weak. same with 16th noes etc.

Just note that the strongest beat in the bar is beat one beat three is the next strongest, then any divisions created by half notes. Till you get your head around this half note thing just be sure you understand the whole beats 1234 strong weak strong weak.

Now the words that are naturally stressed in speech are naturally stressed in song and fall on the strong beats of the bar.

 

(4) Input your melody into the piano role single note.

Making sure that the stressed notes fall on the strong beats.

Example

Bar 1                            Bar 2

<pick up triplet>           1    2     2.5    3

When mr                     fox took my hand (2)

 

And so on.

 

So if you do your vocals to this guide track it will remove those two issues.

 

Cheers

 

Gary 

 

 

 

Edited by snabbu

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Jenn    169

Thank you @Sreyashi Mukherjee and @Leo!!! To Leo and Dek, this was my second vocal take and it was mainly improv! So definitely will work it out when I can

 

3 hours ago, CapM said:

 

How much planning and practice do you put into your singing? 

I basically never get to practice my songs. Someone is always home and I am too embarrassed to sing at home. So whenever I do recordings, it's usually 30 minutes of me figuring out a melody, practicing it once or twice and then hoping that I have something that can pass as a song. If I had the opportunity, I would spend days recording my vocals.. Just getting them exactly how I want them to sound.. and backing vocals. ohhhhhhhhh that is my dream. When I go back to school, I'm going to go record in the music classrooms we have because I'm sick and tired and not being able to sing my songs because there's always someone around!!! When I'm singing along with my favorite songs, it's amazing. I don't have to think about pitch as much, or the lyrics. I can just be with the emotion. I am determined to get to that comfort with my own songs. Because damn it, I know I can do it!!!!!:angry2: Sorry this was a little bit of a rant.. but AhHHHHHH

 

1 hour ago, snabbu said:

There are two pretty simple things holding you back a little. You have some good melodic ideas. 

The two things are the pitchiness of the vocal and the rhythmic phrasing of the melody.

In regard to pitch there is the good advice to practice practice practice there is also pitch correcting software. 

I recommend you input your vocal melodies into your DAW single note on a piano this will help you stay in tune it will also assist with your phrasing.

To fix your meter issue is easy here is a simple way to do it.

(1) Enter the lyric into a word processing document.

When mr fox took my hand

He stared me in the eye

And said it's better

Not to have a plan 

He came from over hills

And stumbled over rocks

Never relying on those ticking clocks

(2) say each line naturally just as you would in conversation, note which syllables are stressed bold them in the document.

When mr fox took my hand

He stared me in the eye

And said it's better

Not to have a plan 

He came from over hills

And stumbled over rocks

 

(3) Fix any anomalies in this case a split statement.

When mr fox took my hand (2)

He stared me in the eye (2)

And said it's better Not to have a plan (3)

He came from over hills (2)

And stumbled over rocks (2)

 

The bracketed numbers are line length counts.

 

Now here are two concepts to understand.

In 4/4 time the stress goes strong weal strong weak. The 1st and 3rd beats of the bar are strong two and four are weak.

In 4/4 time strong weak beats are infinitesimally divisible. So if you have 8 half notes it still goes strong weak strong weak. same with 16th noes etc.

Just note that the strongest beat in the bar is beat one beat three is the next strongest, then any divisions created by half notes. Till you get your head around this half note thing just be sure you understand the whole beats 1234 strong weak strong weak.

Now the words that are naturally stressed in speech are naturally stressed in song and fall on the strong beats of the bar.

 

(4) Input your melody into the piano role single note.

Making sure that the stressed notes fall on the strong beats.

Example

Bar 1                            Bar 2

<pick up triplet>           1    2     2.5    3

When mr                     fox took my hand (2)

 

And so on.

 

So if you do your vocals to this guide track it will remove those two issues.

 

Cheers

 

Gary 

 

 

 

Thank you for explaining this. I understand the concept of strong and weak syllables and that that should fall on the strong beats.. I just had overlooked it because this melody has been with more for a year. 

WELLLLLLL.... I was just looking at the original of this song.... And I realized that I changed chords every 2 beats instead of every measure. IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW...

So I fixed the verse so that the chord changes resemble the first, and this helps with the phrasing!!! Somehow I deleted the vocal line... but some of it is still there.

 

Anyway..

Here is the new version

Does it make a lot of difference? Do you prefer the other version? 

This makes a huge difference! Please let me know... Oh thank you everyone!

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer8169456/mr-fox-take-1-fixed-verse/s-pMUkI

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zzeb    23

I like your musical idea. It's creative and groovy. I see that you got lots of good advices about your singing.

I think you got a melody that can work if you get the time to practice.

 

zzeb

 

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MonoStone    820

Are you sure it shouldn't be -

 

Dm         Am
Mister    Fox took my

 

Dm         AM

Hand              he

 

Dm                             Am

Stared me in the       eye    and said it's

 

E                          Am

Better   not to          have a plan      he

 

Dm                             Am

Came from over        Hills      and

 

Dm                          Am
Stumbled over         Rocks

 

E                        E

Never relying on those

 

Am                  Am

Ticking     clocks

 

 

 

So the progression is changing chord every half a bar - Bar1 = Dm, Am, Bar 2 = Dm, Am, Bar 3 =  Dm, Am, Bar 4= E, Am, Bar 5= Dm, Am, Bar 6 = Dm, Am, Bar 7 = E, E, Bar 8 = Am, Am  then back round to Bar 1. 

And the vocal on Bar 1 starts with Mister (so 'When' comes before that)..... 

 

In my mind that's the only way it all sounds right.... but I am often very, very wrong!!! ;)   

 

I might not have your melody exact but I think it's how the chords go. Maybe you could just loop the 1-4 progression but to me it sounds right to change it in the bars 5-8 as I did. 

This is how I hear it should be -

 

 

 

Edited by MonoStone
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MonoStone    820

Edited, I meant E major rather than E minor.... 

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Jenn    169
4 hours ago, MonoStone said:

Are you sure it shouldn't be -

 

Dm         Am
Mister    Fox took my

 

Dm         AM

Hand              he

 

Dm                             Am

Stared me in the       eye    and said it's

 

E                          Am

Better   not to          have a plan      he

 

Dm                             Am

Came from over        Hills      and

 

Dm                          Am
Stumbled over         Rocks

 

E                        E

Never relying on those

 

Am                  Am

Ticking     clocks

 

 

 

So the progression is changing chord every half a bar - Bar1 = Dm, Am, Bar 2 = Dm, Am, Bar 3 =  Dm, Am, Bar 4= E, Am, Bar 5= Dm, Am, Bar 6 = Dm, Am, Bar 7 = E, E, Bar 8 = Am, Am  then back round to Bar 1. 

And the vocal on Bar 1 starts with Mister (so 'When' comes before that)..... 

 

In my mind that's the only way it all sounds right.... but I am often very, very wrong!!! ;)   

 

I might not have your melody exact but I think it's how the chords go. Maybe you could just loop the 1-4 progression but to me it sounds right to change it in the bars 5-8 as I did. 

This is how I hear it should be -

 

 

 

the link doesn't work for me... But I'm gonna try that order right now!!! hang on one second

 

Oh!!! Never mind it's working now. Holy shit I've never heard one of my vocal melodies on a piano like that before haha that's amazing..

I agree this works better.... What are your thoughts about the chorus

 

 

Ok ok how does this sound... (also, I made an outro that I think I may actually marry) 

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer8169456/mr-fox-revised-chords/s-KoJWq

 

 

Thanks so much Dek

Edited by Jenn
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MonoStone    820
3 hours ago, Jenn said:

the link doesn't work for me... But I'm gonna try that order right now!!! hang on one second

 

Oh!!! Never mind it's working now. Holy shit I've never heard one of my vocal melodies on a piano like that before haha that's amazing..

I agree this works better.... What are your thoughts about the chorus

 

 

Ok ok how does this sound... (also, I made an outro that I think I may actually marry) 

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer8169456/mr-fox-revised-chords/s-KoJWq

 

 

Thanks so much Dek

 

The chorus music is great... your chorus vocal melody (heard previously...) isn't....BUT... I know what is... you already have it. You're playing the melody in the music.... just sing along with what you're playing on the piano and strings in the chorus ... Laaah laah laaaah ...la la laah le laah lah laaaaa   exactly the way you play the top line, just sing that (with words... although lah lah's would be catchy too)

 

 

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MonoStone    820
On 5 July 2017 at 3:16 PM, Jenn said:

Time always breaks

And love leads you astray 

Don't leave hope in a far place

 

Change this to fit the melody you're playing so...

 

Tiiiime aaalways breaaaks

And love leaads youu aastrayyy

Donnn't leave your hope

When your world is far awaaay

 

Or whatever... you can make it slightly different by adding more syllables...see what works...but the top line you play there is lovely so it would be a shame to waste it...sing it...

 

Also, the way I hear this song it is (and always has been) a kind of pseudo reggae/ska/dub ish thing ... so consider using a melodica somewhere... 

 

 

Edited by MonoStone

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Matthew76    232

Very nice to listen this new version...

I always find the passage at 1:45 is a killer... surely the strong moment of the song...

Concerning the singing, it's not easy (I already tried and I know how hard it is to sing on a melody...) but I'm sure if you try and try again, you will manage to ameliorate the way you sing... In any case, you have very good ideas to create melodies... It's already a very good point... Hope you will manage to reach the right balance for this cool song!

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