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#1
I've recently started writing songs, purely because I feel the urge to do so. I watch bands like "Scouting For Girls", "The Pidgeon Detectives", "Kate Nash" etc etc performing to thousands of people and I think "I could do better than that!" (I don't think I'm alone in that respect)

However when it comes to it I'm struggling a wee bit. Coming up with lyrics, chords and a melody is easy for a very bland and generic song, but attempting to come up with something different, something that is genuinely musically interesting is bloody hard work. How bands like the Smiths, The Stone Roses, The Jam, Pink Floyd etc came up with their sound is beyond me. I suppose on one level I should be grateful that I want to try something different and unique...its just finding the inspiration and the patience to do it thats the issue.

So guys, do you have the same goal of achieving YOUR own sound, or are you happy blending in with other bands in your favourite genre?

P.S. I know total originality in music is virtually impossible, but you get where I'm coming from.

http://www.shurecreativeaward.com/entries/all

58 original songs. All of which sound similar and uninteresting
Quote by RevaM1ssP1ss
Wiggy = legend.

Devil's Advocate
Last edited by wiggy1988 at Aug 29, 2008,
#2
Quote by blue_strat
Name one band or artist who was completely unique at their time.


read the P.S. and stop being so arduous
Quote by RevaM1ssP1ss
Wiggy = legend.

Devil's Advocate
#4
Just keep experimenting with different sounds and you'll hit on something that you find original and unique.
Quote by denizenz
I'll logic you right in the thyroid.

Art & Lutherie
#6
Quote by darkstar2466
Just keep experimenting with different sounds and you'll hit on something that you find original and unique.


I suppose your right...I guess Pink Floyd didn't sit down when they first started and say "hey you guys lets write Dark Side of the Moon"
Quote by RevaM1ssP1ss
Wiggy = legend.

Devil's Advocate
#7
I try to write music as original as possible. Obviously, I'm influenced by other bands, but I (like to) think that, 'cause i have a wide range of influences, and because I care about music, my songs come out quite original.

I think anyone can write something original if they try, and as long as the song's "emotional" (as in, they're writing it 'cause they want to, and they're enjoying writing it, not just writing 'cause they're paid for it or for various other reasons), it will, more often than not, be original and good to listen to.

I find it's easier to write a song if you just play your guitar, and make something up while you're playing around, rather than sitting down thinking "I'm going to write a song".
#8
legends are born destined for greatness. keep trying, it'll get easier!
...because the last thing the world needs is another metal guitarist.

Me.

My band.

I like Fall Out Boy. I don't like you.
#9
Drugs help with inspiration. I suggest taking a bunch of acid and snorting ridiculous amounts of coke.
#10
Shpongle sound completely unique, as well as Afro Celt Sound System.
Soon you will sit on the bench
of those who deny I have my soul
You sell a dream you create
Condemned by what you condemned before
Smooth are the words you sing down and high
Underground is your joy your laws
#11
Quote by KeepOnRotting
Drugs help with inspiration. I suggest taking a bunch of acid and snorting ridiculous amounts of coke.


I'm not really much of a drug person. I alternate heavly depending on my mood, from stupid amounts of Coffee to stupid amounts of Whisky

Quote by TheWickerMan666
I find it's easier to write a song if you just play your guitar, and make something up while you're playing around, rather than sitting down thinking "I'm going to write a song".


cheers for the great reply. I did actually think I'd written a fantastic song a few days ago...before realising that I'd basically ripped off "A Northern Soul" by the Verve...I hate it when that happens!
Quote by RevaM1ssP1ss
Wiggy = legend.

Devil's Advocate
Last edited by wiggy1988 at Aug 29, 2008,
#12
I think it's probably impossible to be totally original, seeing as you have to learn how to write songs from somewhere, however i think if all your influences (not just bands you listen to, but influences) are different enough then the combination of them (which you will hopefully be writing) will be quite original.

I mean, how many great bands do you know that have been influenced by one genre, and one genre only?
#13
Quote by wiggy1988
I'm not really much of a drug person. I alternate heavly depending on my mood, from stupid amounts of Coffee to stupid amounts of Whisky


I was kinda being a sarcastic dick
#14
Quote by KeepOnRotting
I was kinda being a sarcastic dick


...what? its very common pit response that the solution to all problems is either to fap or do drugs!

Quote by 12345abcd3
I mean, how many great bands do you know that have been influenced by one genre, and one genre only?


Very true
Quote by RevaM1ssP1ss
Wiggy = legend.

Devil's Advocate
#16
Quote by wiggy1988
...what? its very common pit response that the solution to all problems is either to fap or do drugs!


Well I'm an august 08er so it's natural that I wouldn't know this...or so people say.
#17
There's a very simple formula I've worked out for creating 'original' material, that is material considered to be original. In reality, no music has ever been original, because it doesn't just emerge from nothing.

Anyway:

Conformity or nonconformity to a current musical movement.

plus

Influence of previous musical or art forms, particularly if obscure.

plus

Influence of social movements, philosophical values or use of psychoactive substances.

plus

Adoption of contemporary technology or use of old technology in a newly possible context.


That's the formula that I've come up with. Think of any original band, and it fits. Go ahead, try it out.
#18
Quote by wiggy1988
I've recently started writing songs, purely because I feel the urge to do so. I watch bands like "Scouting For Girls", "The Pidgeon Detectives", "Kate Nash" etc etc performing to thousands of people and I think "I could do better than that!" (I don't think I'm alone in that respect)

However when it comes to it I'm struggling a wee bit. Coming up with lyrics, chords and a melody is easy for a very bland and generic song, but attempting to come up with something different, something that is genuinely musically interesting is bloody hard work. How bands like the Smiths, The Stone Roses, The Jam, Pink Floyd etc came up with their sound is beyond me. I suppose on one level I should be grateful that I want to try something different and unique...its just finding the inspiration and the patience to do it thats the issue.

So guys, do you have the same goal of achieving YOUR own sound, or are you happy blending in with other bands in your favourite genre?

P.S. I know total originality in music is virtually impossible, but you get where I'm coming from.

http://www.shurecreativeaward.com/entries/all

58 original songs. All of which sound similar and uninteresting


Songwriting is like any other technique... Practice! Practice! Practice!

You'll write 50 generic and bland songs, and then come up with one great. Don't let anything stop you...
Quote by Johnljones7443
my neew year reslosutions are not too drikn as much lol.

happy new yeeae guyas.
#19
Yeah I struggle to come up with original things. There's a certain balance in music I'd love to achieve and no band that I've found out there has quite hit that perfect balance for me. Problem is, I know vaguely what that would sound like in my head, yet putting it onto a guitar is virtually impossible. My riffs tend to be hugely influenced by what I listen to, instead of me creating my own sound. I'm gettin closer to it but I'm still very far off.
What have we learned.....

Words are weightless here on earth,
because they're free


.....from this wee exercise?
#20
Also, forget whats on the radio, because even though it's usually crap that's what people like.

Listen to bands like The Shins and Belle and Sebastian to listen to original music that sounds good (because it's there's sometimes a reason why it sounds no one else has done it, because it sounds like crap!).
#21
I often find stopping listening to music for a couple of days before you start to write helps so you don't end up ripping something off unintentionally. Plus, I find writing tricker stuff helps both in terms of lyrics and music to stop yourself writing generic songs because if you listen to the Indie Pop scene that you mentioned earlier you can see it's so easy to play and repetitive you want to shoot yourself in the foot.

I don't mean you have to be mind blowingly awesome to write original songs but just something that sounds decent whilst having technique behind it.

Feel free to add me and listen to more hilarious jokes such as the above.
#22
Would you rather be original or rich? Original or popular? Original or able to have a career in music? Original or have a record deal? et cetera.
#25
Quote by smb
Would you rather be original or rich? Original or popular? Original or able to have a career in music? Original or have a record deal? et cetera.

I think it is possible to be original and succesful because to be succesful you have to have something to set you apart from the mass of bands making generic rock songs.

If it was impossible to be original and succesful then popular music would never change, which it obviously has.
#26
I honestly don't care about being original. If I write a tune and it sounds like nothing else I've ever heard, then that's great. If not, oh well.
Quote by justinb904
im more of a social godzilla than chameleon

Quote by MetalMessiah665
Alright, I'll give them a try, Japanese Black Speed rarely disappoints.

Quote by azzemojo
Hmm judging from your pic you'd fit in more with a fat busted tribute.
#27
Quote by smb
Also I'd have to hate you like I hate that video and the guy that posted it.

I'm sure you can do something original and better


Saying that, I have been working on singer/songwriting with me bass recently, but with chords and flamenco strumming as opposed to OTT slappery andshizz.
#28
Quote by con job
Problem is, I know vaguely what that would sound like in my head, yet putting it onto a guitar is virtually impossible. I'm gettin closer to it but I'm still very far off.


The trick is to get better at transcribing music. Eventually you'll be able to play what's in your head straightaway. I've been consciously practicing for a couple of years.

At the time of writing, If I come up with something, provided it isn't too fiddly and complex, I can usually identify it pretty quickly and accurately, usually in the right key from the first few notes. It'll be a while before I can instantaneously do it though.

What throws me off is harmony. I'll sometimes percieve a note to be say a fifth higher than it should be, if that makes sense.

Quote by smb
Would you rather be original or rich? Original or popular? Original or able to have a career in music? Original or have a record deal? et cetera.


And just because something is unique, it doesn't mean that it won't be popular. Of course, the uniqueless will be greatly lessened because of strong contemporary production convention, but that's not to say that the originality will be completely removed.
#29
A good tune is a good tune, no matter if it's original or not.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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Voted for Patron Çıldırdı.

Thanks
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#30
I really value originality in songs that I listen to. I would rather have an artist take a risk and do something strange, even if it doesn't work out too well, instead of playing a cliché song.
#31
Quote by BrianApocalypse
And just because something is unique, it doesn't mean that it won't be popular.
It pretty much guarantees it won't be popular, simply because no-one is going to invest in something they don't expect to get a return in, and in this instance popular means making money.
#32
Quote by smb
It pretty much guarantees it won't be popular, simply because no-one is going to invest in something they don't expect to get a return in, and in this instance popular means making money.


Just because it's unique doesn't mean that nobody can see a selling point in it.
Quote by justinb904
im more of a social godzilla than chameleon

Quote by MetalMessiah665
Alright, I'll give them a try, Japanese Black Speed rarely disappoints.

Quote by azzemojo
Hmm judging from your pic you'd fit in more with a fat busted tribute.
#33
Quote by duncang
Just because it's unique doesn't mean that nobody can see a selling point in it.
Depends on what you mean by "unique". I mean every song, or even every recording is slightly different to every other. But if I was Mr Big from some record label then I wouldn't be putting my millions into someone who sounds like nothing anyone has ever heard before when I know that I could easily shift a million copies of some generic pop.

Even Southern Lord, for example, have their own style, and fans of that label know what to expect from their recordings.

I don't think anyone has ever found serious success with something that was entirely different from previous sounds - just slight advances on what came before.
#34
Quote by smb
It pretty much guarantees it won't be popular, simply because no-one is going to invest in something they don't expect to get a return in, and in this instance popular means making money.

As i said before, uniqueness can often be something that a record executive might be looking for because it makes you stand out from other bands. There are a hell of a lot of uknown bands who might have got a record deal but aren't popular because they just sound so boring. And when you look at the popular bands you see that they all have something that made them stand out (catchy songs, good singers, whatever).

For example, The Ting Tings are very popular but they are very unique because of the vocals which just tend to stick in your head.
#35
Quote by smb
It pretty much guarantees it won't be popular, simply because no-one is going to invest in something they don't expect to get a return in, and in this instance popular means making money.


Good point.

While it might not get financial attention at first, provided all dimensions with the original act are good enough, you'd see a buzz VERY quickly, which is the pollen of label scouts.

Before they're signed, the overwhelming majority of artists are actually a very small and insignificant underground cult. It's the signing, of course, that makes them popular. Popularity of an artist is almost completely controlled by labels advertising and the music press.

Just look at 4music. They've recently done a series, I forget the name, where they do 20 minute programs on recent label signings, then they perpetually re-loop them. All of those bands got a year's worth of publicity in 20 minutes, and then again to a lesser degree each time the shows are repeated.

The shows are repeated a lot, because the industry and the press have spoken. They could legitimately show a new band every night, but they don't, because promoting too many bands will confuse people and thin out the money pouring in.

tl;dr - the media plays a big part in the machine.
#36
Quote by 12345abcd3
For example, The Ting Tings are very popular but they are very unique because of the vocals which just tend to stick in your head.
There is nothing original about the Ting Tings.
Quote by BrianApocalypse
tl;dr - the media plays a big part in the machine.
Well obviously. Look at the BBC "Sound of" lists for example. Getting picked for that leads to a slot on Jools Holland and the Radio 1 playlist which pretty much guarantees some success.
#37
Yep, that godawful Seasick Steve did Hootenanny twice, and now he's all over the tour adverts.

He has a cube 15 that's made up to look like it's an old country and western amp, the f*cking tosser.
#39
Are the ting tings the 3 piece band with the mousey female bass player with the ear length dyed hair?

Or am I getting confused, because all these godwaful scene kid bands conglomerate into a big generic wash to the un-initiated?
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