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Hi, I am MOTIS, aka M Otis Beard, and I have come to this planet looking for constructive criticism of my work, other musicians with whom to discuss the art and craft of songwriting, and tips/resources on getting my finished tracks heard by all the ears everywhere.

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Hi and welcome Motis! Any particular interests musically?

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15 hours ago, john said:

Hi and welcome Motis! Any particular interests musically?

 

My range of musical interests is very, very broad. I usually find it easier to talk about what I don't like, since there's so much less of it. Even genres I really don't like inevitably have something to offer me, like a big mountain of poop with a couple of nuggets of gold hiding in it. I don't like hip-hop or most rap; I don't like most opera; I do really love a good number of old reggae artists but don't like most of it (and what I like does not include Bob Marley); I like old-school country but don't like 99% of the rock-and-twang that has been passing for country since Garth Brooks; and that's about all I can think of off the top of my head that I don't like.

As for writing songs, when I do that by myself I'm limited to the extent of my own skills. . . and my guitar playing is pretty mediocre. I try to make up for it with the lyrics and my singing, and I end up writing a lot of ballads and slow stuff, because I can play it.

Fortunately, I have a bandie / songwriting partner, and working together we are greater than the sum of our parts. He's a brilliant player but not much of a singer, so we complement each other well. He does come up with some pretty great lyrics, but he has a hard time finishing them so they're usually fragments. I'm a writing machine, so when he's got something good going on I tend to finish it.

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7 minutes ago, motis said:

 

My range of musical interests is very, very broad. I usually find it easier to talk about what I don't like, since there's so much less of it. Even genres I really don't like inevitably have something to offer me, like a big mountain of poop with a couple of nuggets of gold hiding in it. I don't like hip-hop or most rap; I don't like most opera; I do really love a good number of old reggae artists but don't like most of it (and what I like does not include Bob Marley); I like old-school country but don't like 99% of the rock-and-twang that has been passing for country since Garth Brooks; and that's about all I can think of off the top of my head that I don't like.

 

It's good to have a broad range of interests. It's maybe a little harder to stay focused, but ultimately, as a writer, you end up with a diverse sourse of influence and that shows in the creative diversity of your songs. You start combining techniques, elements, sounds, language from a broad range of influences. When you do hit a road block, you tend to find that the range of options for a way ahead is very different... that thinking outside the box help us to sound unique. :)

 

11 minutes ago, motis said:

As for writing songs, when I do that by myself I'm limited to the extent of my own skills. . . and my guitar playing is pretty mediocre. I try to make up for it with the lyrics and my singing, and I end up writing a lot of ballads and slow stuff, because I can play it.

 

That's one of the benefits of offering critique to others. Even when not working with other writing oartners it still expands your songwriting vocabulary, exposing you to new techniques and perspectives. As for getting critique of your own work, it can certainly give you a fresh perspective from someone not invested in your song... among other things!

 

Working with others has a broad range of benefits, absolutely. It is also worthwhile forging ahead on solo projects because of the focus you can have. You might have issues with motivation and in that case I would suggest making solo projects small, if not immediate.

 

Sometimes it can be good to force yourself to work within your own limitations. At least as a starting point. It forces you to come up with creative ways forward in order to overcome the restriction of the limitation and sometimes you can come up with pretty unique solutions... especially if you have been exposed to other solutions by working with others. That experience lets you peek at other ways of reaching beyond limitations. While new solutions may not be entirely as good as the alternatives available when working with others, they will improve with practice and importantly they have pushed back that limitation. :)

 

25 minutes ago, motis said:

Fortunately, I have a bandie / songwriting partner, and working together we are greater than the sum of our parts. He's a brilliant player but not much of a singer, so we complement each other well. He does come up with some pretty great lyrics, but he has a hard time finishing them so they're usually fragments. I'm a writing machine, so when he's got something good going on I tend to finish it.

 

Awesome. Sounds like you have something special worth nurturing there :)

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8 hours ago, john said:

Working with others has a broad range of benefits, absolutely. It is also worthwhile forging ahead on solo projects because of the focus you can have. You might have issues with motivation and in that case I would suggest making solo projects small, if not immediate.


Absolutely. Also, working with others is hugely valuable to me because, when left to my own devices, I'm apt to put things off; if I have a deadline -- or just someone patiently waiting for me to do something -- I tend to get right on it. This is a habit I picked up working as a journalist; I have never missed a deadline in my life.

 

8 hours ago, john said:

Awesome. Sounds like you have something special worth nurturing there :)

 

Definitely. It's more than just complementary skill sets; we're on the same page about a lot of stuff, so when he writes one verse for a song and I write the next, the results are seamless. If I set those lyrics aside for a while and revisit them, I'd have to think about it to remember who wrote what.

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