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Lazz last won the day on July 29 2011

Lazz had the most liked content!


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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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  1. I was honestly trying to be realistic - especially in terms of making your own luck. When I was still a dreamer, an incipient mogul in pursuit of the big cigar, and attended conferences and events where such big-wigs gathered, the possibilities for getting next to them and for engineering such accidental encounters were always on my devious and unsuccessful agenda - and so I always aimed to know who they were and what their situation was. Old habits die hard, and I still pay some attention to what's going on in the business. Even though Rob Stringer's Wikipedia entry is slim enough to be irrelevant, that was all stuff I already knew about him - apart from those recently released operational figures. But that was all yesterday. Today - I honestly don't think Stringer would give you the time of day - unless maybe you had a TV production company and populist project-ideas that made a good fit with his desperate straw-grabbing survival mode.
  2. I hear you. Thanks for taking time to respond to my curiosity. Much appreciated. .
  3. Just to queer the pitch a little further - but well worth knowing about - let's not forget January’s IFPI digital music report showing that, despite digital revenues growing by 1,000% in seven years, the value of the entire recorded music industry has dropped 31% - which is certainly why Vivendi has ordered Universal Music Group to cut costs by $100 million this year - and why Sony Music has just this minute reported a 12.9% fall in revenue. .
  4. Humour is good, I think. Research also - he has come a long way from Aylesbury, for instance. Loved The Clash, went to art school, Goldsmith's College, student ents, older brother Howard (Vietnam Vet) happens to be Sony CEO, views Simon Cowell as A&R perfection, sees TV as central to corporate future. .
  5. I sincerely apologise for derailing John's intention with my misplaced humour, Thinking about getting Rob Stringer to pay attention, let alone being allowed to share his elevator, just cracked me up. But thinking about and preparing 'the pitch' is an essential exercise for all. Can we have some serious responses now, please? .
  6. "Mr Stringer, I am holding your wife and children captive....." .
  7. 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 .
  8. 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.) .
  9. What a novel idea! But reading is just so 20th Century, so pre-Twitter, so born-before-texting. .
  10. 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. .
  11. 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 http://www.pgmusic.com/ More affordable than Sibelius. .
  12. 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. .
  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. Crikey! What a fog that must generate. I'd suggest that reading through lyrics by Johnny Mercer and by Oscar Hammerstein would be a good place to start. (Contemporary pop-writers don't offer particularly good examples and don't seem much concerned with issues us old fuddy-duddies think about.) Look at what they do and how they do it and pay less attention to what 'experts' tell us about it as commentary. That's my suggestion. Start with the best. They can be. They might be. If you want. If it works. If it SOUNDS right. Ha ha. Well done. I smell danger, Dee. I know it's only an exercise (top marks) but I have some comments if you can bear it and without wishing to add to your load. There's a hoary old William Wordsworth poem which has the same insistent rhythm as your exercise: "I WANder'd LONE-ly AS a CLOUD That FLOATS on HIGH o'er VALES and HILLS When ALL at ONCE I SAW a CROWD A HOST of GOL-den DAFF-o-DILS Wordsworth was/is rightly regarded as a major Romantic poet - but, if this offers any guide or warning, he would have been a crap lyricist. Why? Because of that constant marching rhythm like a damn drum - it's a straight-jacket leaving no room for flow of melody. It works for poetry - but, whatever anyone else says, song-lyrics are a very different animal. (That's why Mercer and Hammerstein may be my favourite places to start) Most composers are quite wary of working lyrics-first for that reason - they say you'll end up with doggerel. Be careful. Ah. Here we go. That is only important if they are the rules you have set for yourself in a particular piece. What IS important is that the emphases of line one in Verse 1 should be reflected in line one of Verse 2 ........and that the emphases of line two in Verse 1 should be reflected in line two of Verse 2 ....... and so on. That's the same pattern our ears would expect the melody to follow. After that - it is common for the last line of a verse to change its flow and accent and rhythm when it is musically turning around differently because it is leading into a separate different section like a bridge or a chorus or whatever you want to call it. I hope this does more than merely add to the fog of confusion. Now clearly I have my own biases and preferences, but I have never personally found a single one of these "How To Write Better Song Lyrics..." to be worth the price of bog-roll. Even if your aim is to fit snuggly into the styles of contemporary pop, I believe it will be well worthwhile heading to your library and ordering up these little gems for bed-time reading: "The Complete Lyrics Of Johnny Mercer" "Lyrics on Several Occasions" - Ira Gershwin "The Complete Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II" Yowzer!
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