Jump to content

Your Ad Could Be Here


About This Club

A club for singer-songwriters to discuss singer-songwritery things!
  1. What's new in this club
  2. I wrote this song 10 years ago when I was 17. It's my favorite song on my debut album [Track 2], and my oldest song I play in Kono! Evolution of my song featured in: "Progression of a Song: The Swan & the Ram"
  3. I totally get what you mean. But one maybe surprised how a bad open mic can be just the perfect circumstance for a good musician to make a big impression with a story, a personality, or a song or two that describes both! Having said that, it'd still depend on the right kinda venue, the right audiences (besides the excited, nervous or desperate participants), and most importantly - the right time slot 😄
  4. Well, exactly. Sitting through beginners blunder through epics at a snail's pace because they haven't bothered to practice isn't my idea of a good night out. Open mics seem to be essentially set up for beginners - opportunities beyond that seem to just be for cover bands. You can get up and play Wonderwall very badly and get a great response if at either however, so there is some crossover.
  5. It’s a shame. A lot depends on local venue and promoters. There might be a local songwriter circle meet, but the trouble is you largely play for each other…. The audience is small. Local venues prepared to give decent stage time to chosen singer-songwriters can make a world of difference. I say “chosen” because there needs to be some selection, to only put on stage objectively good artists. “Good” attracts listeners. “Bad” scares them away.
  6. Hi John, Great topic! The thing that probably helped me the most was spending a few years in a community choir that had a really good choir director who taught us lots of things about vocal technique. I think it's the same with anything - if you're self-taught you can miss the obvious very easily. With music where there's an emphasis on self-expression, it can be seen as a virtue not to have a formal training but looking back I can see that it has most definitely helped. I found recording myself and listening back with a critical ear very useful too. I'm sure singing regularly (i.e. practising) has made a difference as well. Another thing I would say helped me is just getting out there and singing in front of people. It's easy to sound good at home but it it's a whole different scenario in a live setting.
  7. Good topic. A good friend once told me that you learn most when you play in front of people, and he's absolutely right. There's no avoiding going through those times when your mind goes blank mid performance, you sound horrible and you're incredibly nervous if you want to get any better. I hear so many people tell me about some amazingly talented friend of theirs who we have to hear - but we never do because they can't get up and play in front of people. Once you've got past that though... do you prefer NOT to perform in public is still a very valid question. The problem I find is finding somewhere to play. There are open mics of course, but they seem in the main to be so poorly run it just isn't worth the petrol money and time. It's more usual than not to get the least stage time of everyone there - my 3 songs are gone in a blink of an eye, and the bulk of the evening then spent sitting through beginners struggling through very long drawn out epics or the local dad band self-indulgently collaring the stage all night with extended jams and medleys. So to answer the question at the top of this thread - at the moment the answer is yes - but that's really just down to the mismatch between wanting to play originals and less obvious covers vs the venues available to play and what the audience wants to hear.
  8. Hey It is interesting to me, just how few singer-songwriters work on their voice. They write songs, learn chords, improve their guitar or piano playing, work on their ability to sing and play at the same time, but… do nothing, or next to nothing, to work on their voice. A few questions: What do you think you could do to improve your voice right now? What do you currently do to improve your singing voice? Do you have plans to do anything to improve your voice? Cheers John
  9. Streets ahead of all others ... Joni Mitchell 50 years of whip-smart and finely-sculpted lyrics embedded in inventive music like no other, she rips my soul apart again and again. Her songs are delivered by one of the purest and most emotional of voices that seems to represent all humanity and are underscored by her unique playing style both on guitar (with 40+ tunings) and piano. This solo performance is prefaced with the songwriting story ...
  10. I've never wanted to play in any particular key. I've played 12-string exclusively for 50 years and, for the past 30-odd, I permanently downtune 2 semitones (equivalent to DGCFAD). This makes it easier to play and better suits my lower-with-age vocal range. Learning finger-picked blues/bluegrass tunes in my teens, I never came across the requirement for barre chords ... instead all the shapes were based around chords that allowed the fullest range of open-string notes. While the pitch may be a 'flat' key, I use more finger-pick-friendly chords along with a capo. My songs have used every chord known to man (and woman) and song sections often include them, but I've never started a song with any of the concert-pitch 'flat' chords. Greg
  11. Oh not at all! Bob is the OG "singer-songwriter". Haha
  12. Posted in "Introduce Yourself", this may be more relevant here
  13. Awesome tiny tunes Mahesh! It’s a great way to quickly explore ideas, genres, style and production.
  14. New member finding my way around... these are great! - your haiku model is perfect for TT and your very short story resolution, lyrics and singing are brilliant. Thanks for the inspiration!
  15. I agree. I've skipped a few when the music itself is not to my taste ... or the talk style is not pleasant on the ear. I've listened right through a dozen or so, an overall thumbs-up for the series. Can't say any of the information has been ground breaking ... more that it is affirming that everyone works through the same struggles, although no-one I've heard yet has been the performer AND engineer/producer. I often have to remind myself that before the 2000's, such shows were only available on radio (if they could even GET picked up by the limited number of stations). Podcasts, like any other audio-engineering task, require a considerable amount of editing. For example, I can't believe that the content ... flipping between songs, honing in on particular sections, to play the constituent relevant elements that are being talked about ... can be done in real time (my memory, brain and DAW certainly couldn't work that fast!). So I give every podcaster a huge amount of lattitude before unsubscribing. The host and format is very good but each episode inevitably hinges around the specific guest, their musical style , personality and ability to communicate. Like most podcasts about music, the things that bugs me are high-energy talk, self belief, confidence, and seemingly endless enthusiasm and optimism. My own experience has been of constant self-doubt and critique. **SIGH***
  16. Hi. I've just come across this gem ... "TapeNotes" hosted by John Kennedy. Each ep features an artist plus their producer and discussions reveal how songs were developed, and they play bits from the studio masters, demonstrating the arrangement and effects options ... very much like the 'Classic Albums' docos from a few years ago. https://tapenotes.co.uk/episodes or search in your podcast app.
  17. Totally! Some people really started catching on to these Tiny Tunes & have even requested me to perform them on my live streams (I didn't do it ofc, that'd be awkward af ) But it is a good way to cater to the little attention span social media provides with these days while offering a little musical story. Here's the latest one from this week called "What is Love?" Lmao I hear you. In a way, it also leaves them wanting more. Which is always a good place for a listener to be in from a musician's perspective!
  18. But it is a good topic Greg. One size does not fit all, and discussions should explore, probe and where possible find common ground. At the very least we understand ourselves and the differences between us that bit better.
  19. My answer is "NO" ... and I DON'T worry about it 😄 But I do get frustrated when listening to interviews/podcast that feature singer-songwriters where most of the focus is on gigging, tours, performance, other band members, etc. rather than the songs themselves and how the music was developed and shaped. Then again, if 99% of singer-songwriters DO perform in public, then I suppose such program content IS addressing the intended market. Perhaps I need to start a niche for others who shun the stage? Greg PS. I'm never emotionally invested in anything I post on these pages ... it's just stream-of-consciousness mutterings to help stop my brain seizing up and, you never know, the conversations may spark a new song idea! 🙂
  20. personally, I miss that direct connection to the audience for my songs. Not just the performance but particularly on more intimate gigs there’s the chance to talk to people before and after the gig, to add to the immediate connection while performing. For me, music is a conversation between the writer and the performer, the performer and the listener. Playing a gig is the most direct way of hearing their response. In fact, for songs that are more open to interpretation, the writing process is only finished within the head of the listener. By having an actual conversation, I get to find out what my songs mean to the listeners, how they connected to the song, and ultimately… do they have a reply! Maybe for writers who are not interested in interpretations, or connections, but only in their own interpretation, or those whose lyrics are more literal, or who think of it less like a conversation and more like a speech… audience interpretation means little. For me, it answers the questions about “how am I being understood? What do they take from what I say?”. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a literal writer, or thinking of it more like giving a speech. My own curiosity simple doesn’t compute disinterest in the effect (or lack of it) of my songs. I have no sense of right or wrong about it, simply noting there is a difference in approach that I struggle to understand but at the same time just accept as a different perspective. I’m warbling now lol
  21. I should add to my original post that I only ever continued to occasionally perform live purely to prove to myself that I COULD overcome the challenge of making myself vulnerable to an audience. I still remain vulnerable when writing/recording/releasing a song BUT, with the controlled 'studio' process,: my music can be presented without the many overheads previously mentioned, the music can be more complex than I can ever do as a live solo act, I maximise my own satisfaction while minimising potential audience pain (pitching, playing mistakes, etc.) the song is done ONCE to the best of my abilities. That recording lives on for ever without the need to perform it ad nauseam into the future. Greg
  22. Hey Gregg It’s funny. It’s two experiences for me. 1. The place my fear lives 2. The one place I feel at one with myself, truly at peace 1 exists until somewhere between halfway through the 1st song and halfway through the 2nd song. On only 1 occasion did it last an entire gig. When I gig regularly I generally start unwinding as soon as I start singing. I prefer to make the first song something I am very familiar gigging to ease unwinding. If I place something less familiar as the first song I struggle to settle. When I rarely gigged I used to find it hard. I’d really struggled to settle since I was performing as a kid. Then in my late teens, early twenties, I was gigging several times a week at some points. It was at that point that I learned to be comfortable performing. There’s an axiom that I use a lot: An amateur practices until they get it right A professional practices until they can’t get it wrong For me, playing live has me practicing playing until I know what I am performing better than almost anything else. I get to a point where I know the songs so well that I don’t care. I get confident that I will cope no matter what happens. My aim is to be relaxed, enjoying sharing the gig, the experience of the music, with the listeners. If I don’t know the material really well it’s very hard to get to that point. My confidence comes from not being afraid of making a mistake. I have practiced to the point that I am unlikely to make a mistake, and in the unlikely event that I do, I am not worried at all. I will know what to do. One great plus is that I get to enjoy the gig! Cheers John PS I edited the above post because I accidentally hit submit, mid-sentence, halfway through!
  23. Hello Greg, Hope all is going well with you. Thank you for sharing these super interesting thoughts. Okay, before I respond to it, it is probably best to put a disclaimer that any variation in opinion that I may have probably comes from the differences in kind of music we play, what instrument, band format or solo etc. And that I do resonate with you with most of what you're saying! I completely agree with you that with the way things have been, musicians have been working way too hard for way less money that it deserves. I think we need a shift in the way society addresses the value of music and art in their lives. I chose to pursue my music itself as a career & a way to make a living by quitting my IT job and putting it all into it. Been a singer-songwriter (solo-duo-trio set up) primarily but have also been part of a psychedelic funk band that used to travel regularly across the country for gigs. It wasn't a lot of money, it was waay too much effort and all the other things you mentioned as well. It was annoying. I still used to LOVE doing it every single time. Even though there's been drunken stories that has f*cked my evening up completely, I could never stop myself from looking forward to the next one. Why? Hmm. For starters, it was the adrenaline rush to be able to go up on stage & present my expression in the way it needs to be expressed. In order for me to get things right with my voice and my guitar with just one chance available in front of everybody watching you, I was 'forced' to address my body's ability to practice more and more and more. Consequentially, it also 'forced' me to make a decision - either love practice or hate practice. I chose the former. The very idea of going up on stage, regardless of how prepared you are is unnerving. A lot of thoughts consume you quite similar to how certain personal life situations might do so. Being able to express anything you've practiced can get compromised if your mind is distracted and noisy. So it forced me to address my mind's ability to stay quiet. To address my emotions in the way I should & shouldn't. I've played in drunken bars, amphitheatres, concert venues up on the hills & next to the beaches, in the desert & in freezing temperatures - each experience was really an experience of its own. And I do not mean necessarily in a good way either. Though, it made me find myself in the moment every time. Or at least motivated me to learn how to! Am I being paid enough for doing any of this? Hell no. lol Do I always enjoy it? Hell no. Do I want to stress myself in the future and play lots of gigs instead of easier ways of actually making money for a living? F*ck no. (This is where my vocal coaching side has helped me to not take all gigs out of necessity and instead pick & choose. I still get to involve myself in something I'm so passionate about - music without all the added stress you articulated so well) Will I still want to play gigs in the future? HELL YES. To get the rush of just doing it ; either to challenge myself & my skills or to reminisce all the rewards & regrets it has given me over the past decade of doing it. There sure is a thrill being able to do the kind of gigs that YOU want to do. I don't want to lose hope of being able to do that. Cuz even if I don't, the journey there seems fascinating to me! Please do know that I'm not disagreeing with you and I would be lying if I haven't been in the same thought process as you before. I really don't think performing is to be on your priority if you don't seek it. I do see a lot of indie musicians being able to do just fine thru TikTok/Social Media/Youtube, online gigs and music education!
  24. I have performed solo in public on occasion over 50 years, but it has never ever delivered anything for ME personally ... apart from mental and physical discomfort! Preferring complex songs and being a control freak, I would have to practice a set for hours to get things right as I believe a performer should not use cheat sheets. Songs I perform usually have instrumental breaks and embellishments, requiring substantial extra effort in the arranging and practice. So, totaling the hours for preparation/practice, travel, setups/teardowns, backup gear, wear and tear on equipment (and sanity) ... the true hourly rate earned (prior to COVID) was way, WAY below the bread line! There's also the nerve build-up, on-stage discomfort, plus inevitable bad acoustics and audience noise. Also, there is the heat. under bright lights ... I HATE playing guitar with sweaty hands. My last ever gig was as a community-volunteer performer at a conference dinner with approx. 200 guests. They were appreciative but as soon as the wine was served I discovered I was playing purely by sense of feel due to the raised volume of normal dinner conversation ... my PA speakers were within 3 metres of my head but I still couldn't hear a thing!! Even though I had been volunteering, and playing for free just to remove any pressure of having to give value for money, I finally accepted that performing is just not my thing. By contrast, I find there are many benefits when writing, performing and recording at home: · no preparation, practice or travel · no time pressures and no backup for gear/travel etc. · only playing/writing when the mood is right · no pressure to be 'entertaining' at all times · not having to be upbeat and smiley with venue owners/customers · no haggling over money · no insurances · no worry about gear getting stolen/damaged · no problems with acoustics or boozed-up audiences · not being a living juke box · freedom to create multi-layered and multi-instrument productions · no need to wear a stupid “performer’s hat” or close my eyes to show a faked deep emotional connection to the music I’ve played a 100 times before I'm always amazed and amused by the frantic and competitive scrimmage involved with getting names on boards at Open Mics. Practically every article, interview, podcast about "singer-songwriters" focuses on gigs and touring ... i.e. the public performance of songs ... with the artist then playing material live rather than playing a recording. Do YOU prefer backroom/bedroom recording compared to public performance? If so, how hard is it to get your music heard? What forums have you found for non-gigging singer-songwriters? Greg (Australia)
  25. Thank you Peggy! I really don't have any intention at the moment to expand on these tunes. TBH, I wrote these tunes with the mind set that they need to be complete on their own as a unit. Like Haiku or a poem. So I'd introduce a narrative/plot and try to resolve it by the time it reaches the end, in a sense. It'd be interesting though if any or some of it would become part of a bigger idea in the future sometime.

Your Ad Could Be Here

  • Create New...

Important Information

By continuing to use our site you indicate acceptance of our Terms Of Service: Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy: Privacy Policy, our Community Guidelines: Guidelines and our use of Cookies We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.