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ShawnDavid

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  • Musical / Songwriting / Music Biz Skills
    Lyrical, composer

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  1. A great lyric wows me. Though I dig hooks in the melody, you can have a dry sounding piece, but still knock me out lyrically. Early Dylan is a great example, his harmonica squeaks, his voice can sound like an alley cats howl. Sometime the timing is off and he misses a note.... and there's a charm in that... but what brings me back are those words. Course I do love a catchy rock number with a steady back beat. When I bought the Beatles Mono and Stereo box set I spent 4 months straight listening to nothing else, and it was just as fresh and exciting as the first time I heard them. But the Beatles were special, they found a way to be both commercially and artistically viable. Great hooks, great lyrics, great production and arrangement. I also like psychedelic stuff, because it's like listening to painting. The music and lyrics are both colorful illustration that meld to perfection... and often go off on some skewed path that I find appealing (The Red Krayola's "Hurricane Fighter Plane" kind of disturbs me, but I also am drawn to it). All of this has found its way into my own music.
  2. ShawnDavid

    Cut-Ups

    I've done a lot of weird things in the persuit of inspiration, but I've never tried this. I'll give it a whirl and see what shakes.
  3. I focus a lot on lyrics, I was a quiet kid and when I discovered The Beatles and Dylan, it was like a door opened, and I found my voice “You mean I could spill my guts like that too?” kind of thing. So I often start with something I want to say. I tend to let it all pour out of me at first, then go back and take the time to think about what I’m trying to say, clean up the clichés that inevitably come to the fore on the first draft and make it more structurally sound, add color/poetry to the lyrics or whatnot. When I was in Nashville I really hated what I perceived as this ‘machine’ mentality. But it did help me to improve, to be more disciplined and gave me the tools I needed to be a better storyteller (when I’m in storyteller mode. Sometimes it’s just about illustrating emotion). Still, I’m pretty free and loose, I’ll hum melodies while I’m driving and if something strikes me, I’ll grab the guitar when I get home and see where I can take it. I rarely sit down and say, okay here’s the model I’m going to use. It either hits or it doesn’t. I also like to do these mad experiments just to shake things up. Lay down the drum track first, or write a song around a sign I see while I’m driving (last song I wrote started after driving by “Bates Pharmacy”). Or I’ll go find a chord I’ve never used or used rarely, see what I can do with that. Things like that get me out of a routine. It challenges and forces me to work outside of my normal way of doing things and helps with blocks.
  4. My page, full of Beatlesque pop rock... Opheliaskiss.com
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