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snabbu last won the day on December 23 2018

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    Gary Yeomans
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  1. Hi John

    I have posted the article 





    1. john

      Great Gary, great job mate. I sent you a PM with a couple of comments...

  2. In that instance the person at pronoun is stressed rather than the noun to make a point. ie your asking too much and I'm not the one for you. " it ain't ME babe" and that is a normal exception. And you can do whatever you like as long as there is a good and valid reason for doing it. Cheers Gary
  3. It used to be simultaneously for me, but now it's lyrics first.
  4. Music is the most important, which is hardest depends on your natural talents. Having said that a properly crafted lyric combined with basic music theory determines 80 percent of the music content. The groove the speed the chord pattern are pretty much proscribed by the lyric. Melodic tension and release also, theory has its cadences to be dealt with, types of pattern repetition so there are only a few notes to actually put in out of choice. Cheers Gary
  5. If you write enough songs you are going to make a mistake something is going to come out if your subconscious and end up in a song. If it does it's not a big deal if it's unintentional. The infringed party is going to get a share of the royalties. Which is fair so it's only a drama if you are in denial. If you had access to the infringed work and it's substantially similar then you need to come to an agreement. And try to stay out of court. Look at Lennon's result as apposed to Harrison's. So I don't worry about it. Other than if someone points out that it sounds like something else and if I agreed I would imeadiately take it down. But that has never happened. Cheers Gary
  6. I only stick with a first draft lyric if it's right. If it's nearly right I will amend it in the studio as I record. My editing is less than it used to be. I never start a lyric I can't finish. I allways right in one sitting. Cheers Gary
  7. snabbu

    Song Form

    Hi Omenrama I'm glad you got something from it. Cheers Gary
  8. Hi Joe This is a good example and something that I missed pointing out in my original post. That is if the stress isn't working, going with word reordering is a good option to avoid problems with melody variation. Also the phrase "In your eyes.. I can see.. so many wondrous things.." Is interesting because it can be stressed different ways to give a slightl different flavour. If for example the "I" fell on a stressed first beat. It could be, that you don't think your up to much, but "I" do. This would be an example of stressing a pronoun which is normally unstressed, but doing it for a purpose, and it subtly alters what the lyric is saying. If on the other hand the stresses fell on "eyes" "see" "man" and "drous" as you have written it, then it just means what it says. Without that connotation. I guess the point of this is, to go back over your lyric and consider every line,and use stress as tone of voice for your song, as well as making it flow conversationally. To use stress to put lines in context and to show what the lyric is saying. It is that extra bit of communication that will make the song the best it can be. Cheers Gary
  9. Why bother getting stress right? The purpose of a lyric is to communicate something. An emotion a feeling or perhaps a story. For that to be put over the best way it can be, it needs to sound natural. For a lyric to sound natural and conversational, it needs to use language that we use everyday, in the way we use that language when speaking to each other. Now every multi syllable word in the English language has an agreed stress pattern. These can be seen in a dictionary. Not only that but each multi syllable word has a melody. Some syllables are pronounced with a higher or lower pitch than others. The reason for this is when we hear a multi syllable word for example "evenhanded" You will notice that the stressed syllable "hand" is a higher tone than the others. Why is this so? It is because we do not hear a multi syllable word as four separate syllables, we hear it as one entity. It is like driving a car when you turn a corner you do several things automatically without thinking about them separately. You are just thinking I am going to turn the corner. The things you need to do that happen automatically it is a learned response. So if you hear someone speaking a foreign language it always sounds as if they are speaking really fast. The reason being you do not know the agreed stress patterns and tunes of that language, so you are hearing it as separate syllables. They are not speaking fast at all. Now what does this mean to song writing? Several things. It means if you do not place your stressed syllables in the corresponding positions within matching meter lines, within a section of a song. You will end up with unnatural stresses, and forced rhymes. If you do not match the stresses in the same lines verse to verse, you are going to end up with a lot of melody variation between the verses, or a stumbling meter when it's read out aloud. What about single syllable words? Normally verbs nouns and adjectives are stressed other parts of speech are not. The exception to this is some times you may want to stress a pronoun to get a particular point across. For example "it ain't ME babe" the idea being that it is not me your looking for. Because I am not going to meet your expectations. Ok enough of the boring English lessons what to do? Well you can sit there in silence and say each of your lines as you would say them in normal speech, then go through and underline each stressed syllable. Then check that you have the right number of stressed syllable per line, in approximately the right places. Note and this is important. line length is determined by the number of stressed syllables per line. Line length is not, I repeat not determined by the actual number of syllables in a line. Now I don't know about you but this seems to be a boring and laborious way to go about things. So what else can you do? You can write new lyrics to existing songs making sure the stresses all work and you can do that in your head. Or you can get, or make yourself a series of loops. Either straight drum loops, or drums and pad, or drums and base. Then say your lyric out loud to the loop. Test the stresses, just hear them. If English is your mother tongue you will instinctively hear what is correct and what is not. So no need to go through the stress analysis on paper. Just feel the meter of it naturally. Now this can also be done by tapping a pencil in time on the desk. It is however easier to begin with to use loops. Especially if you are writing to a groove. Less to think about. Songs are meant to be heard and felt, not read. So it doesn't make any sense to be writing in silence. It is like writing in a vacuum. Say the words out loud, hear how they feel. Now and here is a bonus for writing or polishing a lyric to a loop. Prosody. Make your line FEEL the same as what you are saying. This is achieved by how the lyric is phrased, where it is positioned in the beat. To test this put on a drum loop in 4/4 time and recite this line to the beat. " I feel good today" Now the first time you recite it just say it naturally with out the drum loop. You will hear that the natural stress of this line is. "I feel GOOD to DAY" So the first way we are going to try it is as a positive statement, simply it's a great day and I feel good and all is right with the world. To FEEL this from the lyric the first stressed syllable "Good" will fall on the first beat of the bar. "I feel" are pick up notes from the previous bar. So count one two three "I feel good today" with the "I feel" as half notes on the fourth beat of the pick up bar, "good" on the first beat of the bar, "to"on the second and "day" on the third, rest on the fourth. Say it several times like that and note how it feels. If you then try this, you can get a slightly different feel. This time count one two on the pick up bar and say "I" on the third beat and "feel" on the fourth beat, then the rest of the line the same as in example one. Now it could be saying "I" feel good today, you may not , but "I" do. Now if in the context of your song this line is conveying I feel good today, but maybe I won't feel so good tomorrow, because today I'm drowning my sorrows, and tomorrow the hurt will come back. Then try it like this. Count one "I feel" as half notes on beat two, "good" on beat three, "to" on beat four, and "day" on beat one of the following bar. Now it should feel as if your actually saying "I feel good today, but". You should feel a certain doubt or anxiety to the sound of the line. Now having said all this, if you write your own melodies you should be having an aha moment right now. Because the lyric is dictating the grove, meter and feel of the melody. You will also notice the pitch. " good" will be a higher pitch and "today" will be descending, because that is how we say it in natural speech. This has to tell you, that if this statement is in a verse, Then in the corresponding line in the next verse, if the natural shape of the language doesn't move pitch wise in the same direction,you are going to have a melody variation. That is ok, easier if you don't, but no big deal it is done all the time. Just note that it is there, so that when you set the melody, in one verse you may be going up in a spot, and in another verse going down. Even if you are not writing the melodies it is your right and responsibility to get the feel to the lyric that you want. So make Margin notes. For example if you need the "I feel good today" line to be simply I feel good today. Note that you want "good" on the down beat. IE, beat one of the bar. The technical term for these phrasing techniques is "back heavy" and "front heavy" phrasing. Front heavy being the first stressed syllable on the first best of the bar. Back heavy being the first stressed syllable on the third beat of the bar. When I am preparing a lyric for melody writing. I make notations on the lyric sheet, for the phrasing notation I will write ( BH) at the end of any lines I need to have that feel, the assumption is that if it's unmarked it's front heavy. This is not a convention it's just my own short hand. So if I ask the question again: Why bother getting stress right? The answer might well be because if you don't, you have some nice words on a page. But what you don't have is a song. In summary Write to drum loops it's so much easier. Play with the phrasing to get the feel of how the lyric sounds, to match what it is saying. Happy writing. Cheers Gary
  10. Verse I am just a simple guy Some say dumb I don't know why Could it be that I can't read the forum rules Yea that's must be it am I a fool Chorus Yes yes yes I'm an idiot Yes yes yes I'm an idiot Yes yes yes I'm an idiot Now Gary that's childish stop it. Yes I know but I promised myself I'd never grow up. Yea well talking to yourself is not Normal.
  11. Hi If you are talking about the set up which I think you are. It is very important say in country story telling songs. You can't say either which is the most important part of a song like that because they are all interdependent. And to a large degree this post is about unplanned writing. If the writing is planned that is you have the beginning middle and end of the story written down then you know where you are going with it before you start writing the actual song. In that case I think you can write in what ever order you want. I have the feeling that armature song writers would hate the concept of planned writing because it becomes more like work rather than play. But it is quite efficient, working writers have to produce songs when they have no inspiration because the song is due Monday for a session. And it just has to be done. So that is totally different than writing when the inspiration hits you. It is impossible to tell with a writer like Lennon for example which songs are jobs of work and which ones came from inspiration. Yet 50 percent of his Beatle stuff was written as jobs of work. Because McCartney drove the album making process to a large extent so when he had eight songs or so they would start to record. Lennon would usually only have three or four and would have to sit down and write four more for the sessions. And even when you know which ones they are there is no difference in the quality of the writing. So it sounds to me like you are writing to a plan of some sort and if you are doing that then it's more like a professional approach. And because you know what is going to happen in the song, you can write whatever bit you like first. And alter what happens to suite. I do find planned writing very efficient because if I can't get the development and the conclusion of the story to work in story board form I can move on to another idea without wasting time writing something that isn't going to work. But I have to say it is more like work than play when I do that. Cheers Gary
  12. We must do a lyric one day where we are all writing from the same hook. It is interesting the different slants people come up with. Cheers Gary
  13. The easiest songs I ever wrote were from the hook. Because it is almost like doing no work at all, if you have a hook running around in your head for a week while your driving around or whatever. When you actually sit down to write the words just seem to come straight out of your mouth. I guess Kel out of your sub conscious mind where they have been brewing for a week or so. Cheers Gary
  14. Yes James you can not stop that happening. But when it does it is so hard to write the rest because it's got to sit alongside the killer inspirational lines. So sometimes you get uneven quality in the verses. And issues getting in and out of the chorus. But there is nothing you can do about that because it just happens. But to write like that deliberately is making life hard. I actually don't even write the chorus until I have written a plan of the song and I should really have done a post about that before the writing order. Because you know whether a songs going to work or not before you start writing it. Some ideas just don't work so that is a time saver.
  15. Now the following applies to songs that contain some element of narrative. A lot of song writing techniques are genre specific. So for songs with no story this would be less applicable. But even so, still I think of some help. Now what this is about is, what to write first in the writing process. When you are writing there is a hell of lot to think about at once. Rhyme, meter, story, flow, Prosody, making the chorus work with all the verses, making the bridge work. This can do your head in. And your chances of getting it right are much diminished, if you try to do everything at once. This is my opinion and while I will give good reasons for writing like this what you do is up to you. It is a matter of personal choice. But this may save you a bit of heartache, or headache. Write the chorus first. Why? Because each verse should support the chorus, give it more weight, and each verse must move into the chorus, making sense. If the chorus idea is in your head, unwritten, you have to think about the chorus as you write the verses. This is an unnecessary waste of brain power. If your song idea can not be summed up in a great chorus with a good hook, don't waste energy writing the song, or at least not in verse chorus form because it's a waste of time. Maybe it needs to be in AA form with no chorus. If you have written and honed the chorus, creating hook emphasis, and a catchy rhythm, it may generate ideas for the verses. Also having a completed polished honed chorus done and dusted you can stop thinking about it, which means all your concentration can go to writing other parts of the song. That may just make for a better lyric. Write the bridge second Why? Usually the best place to put the why of the song or the pay off is in the bridge. Because if you put it anywhere else it's too early in the song and the interest is not held till the end. The why of the song is the main song idea as opposed to the song hook which is in the chorus. Why are you telling me this, why has this happened etc. sometimes this is a reveal of what the song is actually about. Sometimes called the pay off. The function of the bridge is to get you from chorus two to chorus three. At the same time revealing some extra information about the story. As I say normally the why of the song. So it follows if you think about it you can't write the bridge until you have written the chorus or you are writing a bridge from nowhere to nowhere. Write the verses last. Now knowing what the reveal or the pay off is in the bridge and knowing what the summing up or answer to the question is in the chorus, you can now write the verses. Making sure every image in the verses sets up and supports either the chorus and/or the bridge. You can't do this if you don't know what's in them. So in summary write in this order. Chorus, Bridge, Verses. It is a lot less work and that has got to be a good thing. Cheers Gary
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