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Forget the drugs man. You just gotta combine being a thoughtful person with living your life. You really gotta live. You gotta meet all kinds of people, regularly, in and out of town, try new things constantly, get out of your head and then learn to get back into it at the right time. Then you'll be able to write words.

Obviously you can take ideas from TV, movies, themes, etc - but personally I find these things to be more of a useful tool when you already have things to say, and you can use outside sources to provide a little bit extra punch to your stuff.

Don't force anything, recognize the fact that songwriting is a lifelong journey and you will just keep working at it and getting better every time. The important thing is to make sure you have things to write about that actually mean something to you.

On top of all this, listen to music, always, listen to stories, talk to people you wouldn't normally talk to. Read books, all kinds, watch documentaries, read poetry - you just don't know what will be your trigger. Sometimes all it takes is one little trigger, one hooky idea, one line, one phrase, one thought in your mind about somebody or something that you just can't shake, anything that will start the song. Once it's started you may just be good to go. Allow yourself to be a little fragile. Allow yourself to be raw. Read the paper every day. Talk to the man at the grocery store, the woman at the clothing store, the crazy people on the street, the girl you can't get your mind off.

Fall in love with words. Find your thing. Work out what words make you tick, the ones that make you passionate about writing and reading. Be crafty.

And then be honest. Being really really honest is hard work.

Life's short, man. Don't waste it sitting around waiting for inspiration. What's stopping you from talking to five new people today? From figuring out something new, from starting a new hobby or a thing, from getting involved in something worthwhile, from finding the things you really believe in? Don't be like everybody else. Everybody else is too busy sitting around waiting around for everybody else to do something, so that they can be like everybody else. That's boring and sick.

Anyway that's how I get inspired. Maybe it'll help.
Hey man

I think this is pretty sick actually, nice. There are some very cool ideas in this that stand out, some chord movements and melodies that are quite hooky and I actually really enjoyed this. Some cool triplet stuff!

Would love to hear a decent recording of it when you polish it up - the vocals actually sounded pretty nice to me, suits the style of music, and with a nice microphone and a bit more work this could be something special. Nice. Would be keen to hear those harmonies, could add a lot. Maybe a little bit of multitracking too.
Please, please I beg you, don't do this. I've seen it done and it looks so so so bad. Why are you trying to piss off venue owners and probably anyone remotely close to a 'fan' or potential fan? Unless you're already huge, playing amazing sets with songs that are blowing peoples minds, why would you even think about crippling any potential chance at making something of your band/yourself? I don't get it.
Heya,

Firstly, congrats on your song, and the slot at the festival...I listened to the song a couple times and then had it running around in my head when I was having a shower, nice.

Now to my comments. Hope you don't find them to be digging too far, just trying to provide a few ideas that may or may not work for you.

I'm not hugely familiar with Christian music, but from what I've heard I've noticed a lot of the songs use the moving moutain imagary, and feet, and stuff like that, which obviously holds biblical significance, but I really wish that Christian bands would push themselves outside of the same imagary just a little bit more. It doesn't help that the choruses are also often chord I, V, IV, and then either IV or the V to IV decscend like you have in this song. My feelings that although these chords are tried and true, and they work really well, even slight subtle changes here and there on certain words and phrases can hold so much more weight and take away from the loop-ish standard vibe of a lot of Christian music.

From an arranging point of view, for this style of music I feel like the payoff isn't given the attention it needs, for example in the first verse you have very similar instrumentation as in the chorus, when the chorus comes in there is that piano and then a bit later there's the lead parts, but the impact isn't there because the verse is pretty full as it is - that chorus or even prechorus type thing could hold so much more weight if you played around with the instrumentation so that it wasn't this constant strumming+pad type feel all the way through. That little swelly guitar intro thing could be so cool in the background of a really sparse verse, then in a chorus or prechorus if you had like a bass drop with some subtle piano it could be really effective.

Although the intensity does build around the later choruses, with the key change helping alot too, so that's cool..

Anyway just some general comments and ideas...

Nice work and I like the vocal.
This is an interesting topic for sure...

I think it's missing the point to say just write happy songs - I think there's a difference between being in some sort of feel good place and being able to actually write happy lyrics. I write my best words when I have some sort of muse, usually it's when I'm hanging out with a new girl, or moving around a lot, or have built up a certain amount of experiences without reflecting much.

I think you can be happy and write good words down obviously, but if you're super content with life, nothing much to do, days are just rolling over, not meeting new people, not taking interest in anything around you, there's where you have a problem. It's all about just trying to get into something new. Then the words will flow. Get moved. Get hurt. Get happier.
Some great advice from KidCanary. Especially the comment on trying to use complex words or uncommon words. One thing I've noticed after a few years of writing lyrics is that you really can be super crafty if you want - the difference between a line that's great can be really subltle, the difference of one word even - the use of a certain tense, or the specific words you choose. Every single syllable should be precious. The more you write, the more you will learn what works for you and what excites you and all the rest. It's just a matter of reading lots and writing a lot.

Think about the 'bite' of the line, say it outloud, don't always look for a rhyme because sometimes a line can flow perfectly fine without one, though realize there are always words and phrases that have the punch, and then those that don't.

Aside from writing you need to live. Combine learning and practicing the craft with some real experiences. Be a thinker. Take the weight of experiences you've had and slowly you will learn to translate them to paper. Be analytical and think about things - having a lot of experiences and time to let things sit will help with this. You gotta leave the house, move around, find new people. Find things that really inspire you to put the words down and mean it. I mean really mean it. Build that burning desire.

About your lyrics, I also don't have a problem with them or much to say, however just note that a lot of beginning lyricists do often use very similar phrases and often times they are throwaway lines - not because you shouldn't use certain phrases, but because you really don't mean what you're writing with all the weight it should have.

For example 'flying high to the skies' is a lyric a lot of people use when they first start writing. 'Light in my eyes' etc can be really powerful phrases if they are connected to things that hold importance to you. If you're sort of just chucking things together that you think sound alright, it won't have that sense and it won't read like that.

Tell the truth. Sometimes that's the hardest part of writing a song. Personally I always write the music and lyric together, usually in a pretty fast spree of inspiration, say like 20 mins and then a bit more time to polish the edges. Some people spend hours or days on songs but I've never been able to do that approach. And sometimes you look back at songs and think, wow, what was I thinking? But that's just being honest. That's how I look at songwriting - you put something out there that's true, and you move on, and maybe bits of it stick with you, maybe they don't, it doesn't matter, because you got it down and wrote what was completely true at the time. You can't fault that.

Anyway maybe that will give you a starting point. Good luck.
Just a couple of notes, OP.

I wouldn't be too concerned about people understanding it on a read through - at least in one sense. What you want to do is paint a picture and create images in peoples head. Generally if you do a good job of that, the songs message will get across, though it still may have many different meanings to different people around the same themes.

That said, this is a very clear song to me. This is just my personal preference, but in the future look out for ways you can create a moment or go back to a situation or one tiny thing that makes it special for you - and build something out of that. Your song is built from many sort of general phrases that can sort of blend together, all sort of saying the same thing. Your smile, being together, rainbow, you know, I'm not getting huge images here. I don't feel any insight or an experience.

When you mention anything like a rainbow or a smile or something you need significance and context. No lyric will ever be 'bad' or 'cheesy' if it means something special to you because it comes through in the writing - but you have to think of it in a deep analytical way. What did you learn from the experience? Who are you because of her, or who are you not, who were you trying to be, why, why not? Where were you? Any significant places or smells or touches, or anything? Now that's not to say that every song should be everlasting dripping metaphors of locations and senses, but it's just all part of the thinking process. The bigger picture. You may never put those type of images into your song, but it will come through.

Feel free to play around with tenses, half lines, tease lines, paint something strong. Don't put in placeholder lines that more or less go over the same territory. Every line is precious. Every syllable is important. Say what you mean to say but say it in a way that brings out something in you. The more you do this, the tougher on yourself you will be when it comes to writing words, but you will eventually reach a point where you instinctively go for the gems.

Finally, don't be afraid to bring in other experiences into your songs. Even if you're writing a song about a girl, or a breakup, don't feel like every little verse and line should be exactly about her. You can branch out to other things, other experiences, other insights that relate to the girl or the moment, or how you feel. If you can find clever ways to bring it all together, you will have a good song. Be crafty about it.

Keep in mind that using cliches and all that stuff is perfectly acceptable - it's not really about the cliche or general thing itself, it's what its painted around. If you use it as a sort of throw-off into a deeper explaination or as a tag, or a hook or something then it can work pretty well, but when every line sounds real same-y that's when you need to step back a bit.

Sometimes all of this will make your song a painful experience to write, in terms of it really digging up some dirt. But that's good. If you're just sitting around writing in lyrics that sort of go with what you're feeling on a very ritualistic level, the song will have no weight, no real emotion. Sometimes writing a song is real hard work, real painful. Brings up all kinds of images that stay with you for a long time. Then you know you have a good song. Therapy in the arts, man.

All that said, this is just general stuff to think about in the future. Good luck with your songwriting.
Am I the only one who thinks it's important to know what the TS means by "show"?

For all we know, his "show" could be playing at his grandma's tea party. Or a highschool battle of the bands.


A good band, in my opinion should treat Grandma's tea party the same way as a legit show people are paying serious pennies to see.
I use this interface with an SM58 and for my guitars. Considering its price I find it very good and have had no problems with it at all. M-Audio seem to offer pretty good support too. I'd say go for it. It's simple, gets the job done.
Thanks, I'll give that a try. I plan on re-recording everything, usually I write these songs and record them in the same day, so I can hear them, then I make another version or two.

I agree with you on the guitar sound too, I used a cheaper accoustic-electric than in Don't you forget which was accoustic guitar mic'd, I think I'll go back to that.

John, the strings are East West Silver. I notated and recorded everything in Sonar. Let me know if you have any more questions about that I'd be happy to help you out. But they are good and pretty affordable.

Chris
Hey everyone. New track up. Let me know what you think. Recorded in my bedroom.

http://www.myspace.com/chrishurnsolo
The Growing man (3rd track)

Please give me a link to your song and I will listen to it. And if you have myspace, add me if you like the tunes.

Chris
Breathing is one of the most important things in singing, and even if you spent 10 lessons on just breathing alone, with a good quality teacher, that would be money well spent.

Pretty hard to judge your teacher from one lesson, I'd say give it a few lessons and see how it goes. That is really expensive though, so I guess it's up to you to find out about your teacher, see what they can do for you, make sure you know what you're in for, compare teachers in your area, etc.

But yeah, vocal training usually involves a lot of breathing, posture, etc. Pitch comes into play, but it's always connected to the technique.

Good luck
Abe Thanks! I'll check out your stuff and add you on myspace. dstone16321 thanks...I hope so! I want to do an album...written most of the tunes. But I'd really like to do it all in a studio...we'll see! avafreak252, thank you!
A few things to consider:

Giving different instruments/sounds in your mix its own space, using EQ etc to sperate the sounds. For example the bass fills a whole that the other instruments leave open, etc.

Reverb, compression and EQ are three very important plugins to learn (as well as many others, but these three are very helpful). Just remember that you need to use moderation and simply using presets is not the best idea. There are so many tutorials online that can help you with the basics.

Multitracking is a great tool, especially when you say, record a vocal three times, one center (the main track) then two more, one to the left, one panned to the right, lessen the volume on the multitracked takes and a touch of reverb as an example.

Just be careful with any effects, sometimes what makes one part of your mix sound good, makes the rest sound awful, getting everything working together is the tricky part.

Listen to mixes in your genre and work out what makes them stand out, sound good. The more time you spend with things like EQ etc the more you'll start to hear what frequencies are good and bad for your purposes. To start with there are some good tutorials and guides for EQ that will get you going.

Make sure you get everything clean as tenfold said, the cleaner the source, the easier it is to fix up. If you have any hissing sounds or wierd pops and clicks it makes the rest of the process difficult. One of the advantages of home recording and mastering is you can spend as much time as you want on your tracks without worrying about studio fees, so it's great for demos etc.

For mastering, if you don't have any experience with that, try a plugin like Izotope OZone, which can be applied to your master track. There's a great guide that comes with it on their site, and this plugin is pretty decent. Can really bring your mixes to life if you spend some time learning to use it. I highly recommend looking into this. If you have the budget I'd get someone else to do your mastering for you, but it depends what your situation is, and your target.

Anyway those are a few things off the top of my head...goodluck
Accutane. Look it up. Get your derm to put you on it if you are having trouble.
I think I said "fool" as well, not "tool".


Nobody's said they do, tool. The options are not "wear skinny jeans" or "deliberately dress badly".


I'm not having a whine about it, so that picture isn't funny. It's just stupid to keep a thread like this open when obviously jeans can't be gay, and now people are just attacking each other for liking one thing or the other.
I dunno, but if you keep reminding your girlfriend about your ex girlfriend then you won't have to do anything.
Okay...

This thread has become plain offensive and I am suggesting that a mod do their job here and lock it. This has gone on far too long. Personal attacks in a clothing thread, huh?

People - these are clothes. Some of you claim not to care, yet you write walls of text stating how much you don't care.

We've got people sitting here calling others a "tool" for wearing skinny jeans and having a fair opinion about it, and then they go and sit down and write paragraphs of text somehow trying to outline their elite status as "non conformists". Give me a freakin' break.

Clothes are not gay. People can be gay. People have tastes. Not everyone wears a certain type of clothing to be perceived a certain way. Some people just have tastes. Who are we to judge anyway.
I've never been in a band - it's not this, it's observation


That's all I needed. Observation? no. You are making a generalization.

Dude, you've never been in a band, so you don't know. Can't you see you are making a huge generalization?

Just because you are the lead guitarist, and the "lead" singer, that doesn't make you an egotistical prick. It simply means, you either like being a smaller band - OR - You can play really well, and you don't want or need the back up from an extra guitarist, or probably several other reasons.

YES there are people out there who like to take control of everything. But that applies to EVERYONE ELSE and not just lead singers and guitarists.

people pay more attention to Lead and Vox, therefore, if you're adamant to play both, then it's VERY likely you're being egotistical.


You said this..Okay, let's look at the Strokes. Julian gets more attention than anyone else. He writes all the songs. HE arranges them, all the parts, for the most part. Most people know his name more than they know the others...He is the singer, only.

What about the Foo Fighters? Even though Dave is not the lead guitarist, he gets the most attention, he also writes most of the songs and the other members of the band have been quoted saying they know it's a Dave project, and are happy with that.

What happens if you're 3 friends who don't want an extra member in the band? Again this is where the fact you've never been in a band shines through. You might be 3 mates, one of you might be a singer/songwriter/guitarist and why have an extra guitarist if you're fine by yourself? Why do that if you like the dynamic of a three piece?

Again, yes some people are dicks and like to control everything but that is not, and never will be restricted to just lead singers/guitarists.

What about in other things, like movies. Ask ten of your friends who wrote the score for the last film they saw. Everyone knows Megan fox from transformers. She doesn't even do the most work. What about the poor writer? It's just simply the case that the frontman, no matter what they do - will be the one people might take notice of FIRST. But not ALWAYS, and definitely not all the time. Again, it's a dynamic thing.
Jimi Hendrix: Not letting his bassist have fills since 1966

The funny thing is I am not.

I am the rhythm guitarist of my band, and I got my friend to play lead, because he's a better lead player than I am, and I didn't want to be a three piece band. I liked the dynamic of four piece better.

You don't know what you are talking about. You're making incredibly generalized statements based on either, your personal experience, or some friend. But the reality is, lots and lots and lots of bands are 3 piece and get on fine. There are so many of them it's not funny.

It doesn't make any difference to the drummer and the bass player though, they get the same amount of attention. Having an extra guitar player doesn't mean anything to them. It's a matter of band dynamic, not just having a singer/lead guitarist.
Because generally speaking, they begin to think they're God's gift to the world of music, because their band pretty much revolves around them, and it can be seen that they hog the spotlight, taking the two most recognised positions in a band at once, leaving the others feeling in the shadow, and unapreciated.


That is completely...just WTF.

Not everyone who plays instruments can write their own songs - that are good.
Not everyone can play lead guitar.
Some people LIKE playing rhythm guitar.

Every band is different. The dudes from Muse probably LIKE the fact they are not the main guy having to do all the work and enjoy their positions. And actually, truth be told, fans of muse know the names and respect all of the players of the band as equal. Obviously matt gets a lot of credit for what he does, but people don't see it as the "matt bellamy band" they see it as MUSE.

The guys who played with Hendrix respected him as a player.

There are people who WANT to play with John mayer because he is a good player.

Why the hell would you dumb yourself down to rhythm guitar, while some other tool plays lead on the songs you wrote when you can play your own parts 10x better than he can?

It's not a question of Ego. It's a question of Band dynamics. Some bands have a dynamic where the singer sings, and that is that. You could reverse your statement on people like that.

If you're a bass player who doesn't want to be in the shadows, then either you sing, or be in a band where the dynamic is not centered around the lead guitarist.

Having said that, being the lead guitarist and singer does not mean you are the center of attention, it just means you're a 3 piece and you like it that way. Maybe you like being a small band. Maybe the guys you play with don't care that you play lead.

You could say the same to ANY Solo artist. Do you think most people who go to watch (insert soloist here) know the name of the drummer? sometimes it changes anyway, it's called a touring band. And those people respect the person who has the passion, writes the songs. They're not looking to be famous for playing 4/4 beats over a pop song. They're there to make music.

What do you say to Jack White? Sorry bro, could you just let spaceman_55 from UG have a go on lead, because, well Jack, you're just not....well...we want to give everyone a go...and some of the crowd thinks you're hogging the guitar....

WTF.

Your statement probably revolves around a local band you've been in, and a crappy dynamic, and a crappy singer/guitarist. But in the real world, that is not the case. There are egotistical maniac lead singers who all they do is sing and think they own the stage. What do you say to them?

Let's all just forget about what skills we may have, and let someone else who does a worse job take our place.

That's the way the world is going now guys, don't be good at anything because you have to share the love, man. **** that.
that made no sense


orly. It makes more sense than "Lead Guitar + Lead Vocals = Douche". Don't you think? That wipes out a lot of guitarists/singers.

I'm surprised no one said BB King yet.


Very true. Among many other blues legends.
Care to elaborate?


Are you kidding me? LOL. Sorry guys, Hendrix was a douche. If you're going to play guitar that well, then please, at least get another lead guitarist OK? Same goes for you John Mayer and Matt Bellamy. And Eric Clapton. And Buddy Guy. And Jack White And every other 2/3 piece band where the singer also plays guitar...
Lead Guitar + Lead Singer = Lead Douchbag in the band


This makes no sense. Yeah, if you play in a band without a 2nd guitarist, you're a douche. Guys, take note.
John Mayer, Jack White...
Some pretty interesting points of view here.

I haven't read any of the books, but I have followed the films, enjoyed all of them, and am happy not digging any deeper into the characters by reading the book, I'm happy just taking what the films give out.

I think the films are very well made, and this most recent one I think is pretty good.

I find it funny a lot of people rate a film on how much "action" there is. That's like saying "Oh this song sucks, there's no beat!"....Yeah because it's an acoustic song, you idiot. Some people say acoustic songs are boring. And same with films with less action. Or no action. People need to start listening to the words instead of waiting for the freakin' drums to come in.

I also think a lot of people, particularaly die hard fans, don't understand that film and novel are two completely different mediums. And they get bitchy when not every paragraph of "their" precious book is delivered on screen. J.K Rowling has stated publicly that she has really liked the way the films have turned out. So if the author of the books is a fan of the films, then what is the problem?

I hear a battle scene was missed out. Again, film and book - two different mediums. Perhaps there is a good reason why it was missed out. I liked the film just fine without this extra battle and feel any more action would have ruined the emotional SETUP that they have put together for the next film where David Yates has said the action will be brought into in a big way.

Many people have mentioned it could have been "written" better. Well, anyone who knows ANYTHING about screenplays will know that this is a pretty good script. So so so so much better than other blockbusters this year ie Transformers 2...ironically, a lot of people say that has a good script, solely based on the "entertaining" factor, when anyone with half a brain knows the film has a useless script.

But back to HP. I think diehard book fans need to let go of the thing in their heads that apparently gives them the right to see every word put to cinema. It's just not possible. They should be treated separately. Remember, these films are simply adaptations - nothing more.

Films like this are so hard to put together, and so many factors are involved. The studio at this point has so much control over what goes in and out, so really, even if the writer wanted to put something from the book in, the studio may say no - not for this film.
Not such a bad thing? You could say that about a lot of things. He's saying it's been a stressful time. If this in fact a true story, then the girl would have been under a lot of pressure, and consequently so would the original poster. So yes this is a bad thing. And it's a potential child dying. It's a pretty heavy emotional involvement for everyone involved.
I know she didn't. You can't fake cry for almost a week straight.


..You can if you've just broken up and you changed your mind about it, and you're a teenage girl....

Either way, if that's true, that's pretty heavy man.
Girls who can't make up their own minds about what they want to do, in everything.

Girls who walk around and pretend like they're hot when it's obvious that last week they discovered a hair straightener, some new makeup, some way-too-high heels, and then they wear clothes that they like to pretend are really hot, when really, it's cheap **** from a department store.

Girls who like music with "a beat that you can dance to" and just want to text and "hang out with mates". Generalizing here...but, many, many of the girls who go to bars and clubs on a regular basis.

Really drunk girls. Hungover girls. Etc. etc. etc.
haha from your story, you make your friend sound better than you. Fail.
There should be a scene where Michael bay spills his load all over the transformers. He wanks so much in these movies, he's well overdue for a climax.
I wear them. But I am very skinny, so even the really tight ones which I wear on occasion don't stick out because I have no muscle shape for them to reveal. The level of "skinny" would definitely depend on the person because obviously people are different weights and shapes.
Hmm. You can't really pick a key that suits the singer until you know what the vocal melody will be, because that is one deciding factor. For example if you want the chorus to sound really belty, then you pick the key that the singer will be at the top of their range in - for that particular melody - not the key itself.

So for me often a song just comes out in the key I'm "writing in", whatever that happens to be. And then once I have a melody I might change keys, usually quite early on, and then continue writing the song in that key.

If you don't have a singer like you mentioned, then just write the songs in a key you like, and then you can change the key later when you have a singer, or whatever.
Anytime, miss.
Not too shabby at all! . This tea is rather delicious! What a fantastic occasion, and so great to share this tea with you all. Australia I see, lovely. I'm heading that way myself next year.

Fancy a cigar, young mam?
Gentlemen, So glad to see you all. Swell of you to have me on such short notice. I don't suppose there's any more tea to go round'?