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Song Writers Needed

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BassnForGod View Drop Down
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    Posted: Nov 10 2008 at 8:14pm
All right guys,
 
Tell me how you do it.  How do you come up with a song?  Music and words please.  Just give me just plan of attack.
 
Thanks and God Bless
Robert
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2008 at 7:38am
            Robert,
        John Lennon said in a interview that the best rock song he ever
 heard was, "Whole lotta shakin' goin' on" -Jerry Lee Lewis
    The tune has all you could ask for. It starts out with a solid tempo
and the lyrics set the message. A great piano bridge, and then...
 suprize! he takes the volume down, and talks rather than sings.
 He then starts to build and build the intensity untill the tune
 climaxes at the end. All this happends in less than 3 and a half minutes.
     A perfect example of how to set up a tune to be a hit.
  The tune takes you on a little trip, with it's transitions from
 normal, to soft and easy, and then strong. A magic formula, in
 a short period of time. The tune grabs your attention, and holds it
 untill it is over. Short, sweet, and never boring.
      I agree with Lennon on this pick. Jerry lee was a threat to Elvis
untill he started up with his 14 year old love interest... Yikes !!
     One tune, less than 4 minutes long, that makes a life-long career
 for the artist. Sound like a plan to you?
 
 toad
Down, and nearly out in Detroit......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Joe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 24 2009 at 6:45am
Let's bring this one back to life a little. I'm not sure what you're looking for Robert. I don't think there is a process or formula. I think that there is for "Country Music" produced out of Nashville, TN. but the songs are still creative. LOL

You are a bass player. Have you ever had a riff, a lick,  a pattern get stuck in your head? This happens to me. I simply won't let it go. I will find myself playing it out and taking to the the next level perhaps adding grace notes, stingers, slap. pop... and then where does it go from there.

Progression - Chord progression and structure. Major, minor mode. Does it use modes? Is it Ionian, Dorian, phrygian, Lydian etc.?

Voicing - Not vocals and lyrics (yet) but it will affect things greatly from how I like things. What I'm talking about here is instruments and sounds. Here is an example. I have a personal friend Steve Lawson in London. When I first met Steve in Camdentown, London he was very excited about playing for Jason Carter (Spanish guitar) on a new recording. http://www.jasoncarter.net/indexeng.htm
Jason is a magnificent guitar and string player. I purchased that recording called "Fragments of Grace" by Jason Carter and Ragatal. Ragatal consists of Tabla, Electric Violin, and Bass Guitar. I think this is a very unique voicing. Steve also used a fretless bass on "Celestial Hymn" where he plays the melody in the upper range and a short solo on the recording.

 http://www.stevelawson.net/wordpress/

Robert, have you ever used an e-bow? Steve likes these as well on his solo recordings.

I am currently working on a piece and the piano part is written. Perhaps not it depends on when I record it and decide to make some minor changes. I have been working out the electric bass guitar parts. One morning I grabbed the Breedlove acoustic 5 string to just noodle around with, and decided to hear what it might do with the piano part. I have decided to use the electric for the bottom end bass line, and the acoustic for a mid range and top end voice.

Vocals  - One of my very favorites is YES the British prog. rock band. Anderson and Squire became the trade mark sound of that band. I've always been impressed with the absolute instrumental prowess of these guys. Even better has been their use of vocal harmonies instead of the magic that they made on many "Yes Songs." 

Lyrics - I really want to be a Steven Curtis Chapman, Tim Mullins or Michael W. Smith. I'm not real inspired writing lyrics. Perhaps I should start by trying my hand at some poetry. Although frustrating at times. I find this funny, because I like to talk. I have many stories to tell from years of Navy adventures, technical nightmares, cross country bicycling, skiing in the Blue Mountains in Iceland, being robbed... the list goes on. Freddie Mercury seems to have sung a bit about nothing.
Wink



Special Effects -  To much to cover. As a bassist I'm not inclined to use to many. That is coming from the standard in the pocket/groove view point and requirements. YOUR THE COMPOSER! Go for it!! Back to "YES", Chris was outstanding and extemely creative. I personally like a chorus, and have written a few things specifically utilizing my antique BOSS pedal.

Other thoughts?

Here is one idea I've been carrying around for a long time. Some of it has been done. I would like to take highly recognizable Hymns and do jazz versions of them. Some smooth, some fusion.

JJ  Star




John Joseph
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M I X E Y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2009 at 1:11pm
Robert... where are you?  You've got to see JJ's post!!  S. P. A. T.  Go find him.  Smile
 
Toad... you're right about Jerry Lee re Elvis; and it pissed him off no end, because Elvis was shacked up with PB, who wasn't much older, but they played it more successfully.  Whole Lotta a Shakin...  I'm not so sure I agree about it being the best ever rock lyrics... chicken in the barn... my barn... your barn... the neighbor's barn... bull by the horn... maybe I'm and idiot, but I never liked that song too much. lol
 
Johnny Joe... I like the Ray Charles method of finding lyrics... start tapping your foot until it feels good, and just start singing anything. 
 
Anytime I purposly start to write, it sounds like a Lewis Carroll poem.  I get too structured, counting beats and such.  Truly annoying! I'ts easier for me to just let it flow out of nowhere, like while driving.
 
To follow the YES methodology, all you have to do is open a Yoganada book or Ramtha... or better yet, anything off the shelf from The Bodhi Tree Book Store, pull out a line and go from there + something from King Arthur, preferably.  Smile  I  like those guys too, by the way.
 
David Bowie uses a cut-up method for finding lyrics.  Check out the "travesty generator" programs too.  Good grief! Kurt Cobain used the cut-up method too... a mulloto... an albino... a mosquito... my labido... hey.... danna... na... na... naaaa.... hey
 
 
Dorian... Ionian... sounds like scales + Greek architecture, while building a song.  I was so jazzed about finding the site for Hang drums, that has all of the scales listed... plus a quick sound reference if you follow the link, within the link.
 
 
Mixey
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2009 at 1:59pm
My two cents...
 
At the end of the day ... you gotta be you. Trust yourself.
 
Apply this strategy to songwriting, especially if you haven't been in the practice of writing songs, and are not fully in touch with your muse. Even if you don't fancy yourself a good writer.
 
Do not overthink things. (Unless you feel compelled to put every molecule under the microscope and measure it against the next molecule, in which case all the joy may be sucked out of the process and you'll wonder why you ever wanted to write songs in the first place!)
 
Remember Lennon and McCartney ... they hammered out songs. On hotel beds. In the back of lorries. They knew when it sounded right, trusted to that, and didn't fuss too much. They got it out, and moved on.
 
Do not try to be like anybody else. If you wind up sounding like another artist, fine - but the world already has these peoples' songs. If we haven't heard your work yet, we might like to hear what you do.
 
Sometimes, a song is structured around, or inspired by a simple sound. Or just a riff. Or a simple phrase that lays out an attitude, or an idea. Sometimes, you wake up with multiple tracks all synched up in your head already, with effects! It may be entirely done - and all you gotta do is get it out of your head and onto tape, or a hard drive!
 
However it comes down: Go with your inspiration - whatever its' origins. However fully formed the idea is. Or isn't. That doesn't matter. The journey is what's fun, and informative. And quite often leads to more ideas.
 
 
Jeff
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M I X E Y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2009 at 7:15pm
Oh this is gonna get good Jeff.  Wait till you hear what's in my head.  lol
 
Mixey
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2009 at 8:40pm
Go, MIXEY.  Let's hear it...
Jeff
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2009 at 9:47pm
Robert and John ...
 
Seeing as how you're both bass players I wanted to refer both of you to an example of what one of my favorite bass players ( Brian Bromberg) has done compositionally with electric bass. And has been doing for years, actually.
 
Brian largely writes instrumentals. His song "Top Down" is a high energy, straight-ahead rock instrumental, tinged slightly with some jazz chords thrown in for flavor.
 
The reason I think you would both be intrigued by this track is because ALL sounds were created by bass and drums ONLY. But it sure doesn't sound like it! I have linked "Top Down"onto my MySpace page so you guys can listen to it.
 
To hear this song, CLICK THIS to go to my MySpace page where the song will load in a few moments and play for you. Crank it up and hear what a bass guitar can do in the hands of a very talented player, composer, and builder.
 
In "Top Down", the melody is carried by what sounds like your typical overdriven electric guitar lead - but is actually played by Brian on his Piccolo Bass - an instrument with lighter gauge strings that is voiced and processed to sound like an electric guitar. And it does! There is NO GUITAR on this track.
 
All other doubled lead and rhythm parts are all played on bass ... different axes, tweaked for different voices to round out the sound. Brian plays all bass parts. His friend, collaborator, co-writer, and excellent drummer Joel Taylor plays drums. These two guys make all the noises on this very enjoyable, upbeat piece.
 
Brian is a monster player on upright and electric but aside from that, Bryan has also designed some really cool basses over the years and a number of them have been put into production. Visit Brian's web site for more information on these instruments, and on Brian's work.
 
Jeff
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Joe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 27 2009 at 6:18am
Yea, I think I like Ray's way (raceway?) anyway.... Gyzmo I think does it that way with The Slammin' Betty Band. He draws a lot from failed relationships - two ex-wives, a special girl friends. He seems to have a knack for putting the words together quickly. Maybe I haven't suffered enough.Cry

I'm not sure the cut up technique, email or behavioral will work for me on what I would like to do with a few compositions in the contemporary Christian realm. I think I might try and find a lyrical "hook" from a scripture reference. I think that it still must really come from heart then.

Yes, I guess you would say it is architecture in the sense that you are building scales at different degrees of the scale. A friend in Georgia that I traveled with from time to time doing bass stuff was writing an educational document on using modes to do bass soloing. To many times in an open jam they'll throw it to the bass player and they end up doing fancy scale patterns, instead of creating a melodic or rhythmic solo. (Another thread - probably).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Joe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 27 2009 at 6:49am
Probably a whole ten cents worth.LOL

I usually am going from that perspective. In my initial response to Robert's question I was just going through some of the thing he might consider of course. Many of these attributes are already a construct of the song in my mind. Some of even to the particular sound I want. I have a funky Latino "thingy" (that's technical jargon) that I love on my 73' Fender P with the flat wound strings. The top is almost a Carlos Santana type melody on a very bright snappy Spector... lots of percussion. BUT I hope that doesn't sound as if I'm trying to sound like Carlos. It just kinda came out that way.

The band was at Bear's house for some burgers, beer, dogs, beer, chili, beer, fries, beer, salad, beer, chips & salsa, and some beer. We carried acoustics over and sat around the table and just jammed and spewed out a few half-way creative things. I would like to collaborate with someone on the level that John and Paul did. Are you that is all they hammered on hotel beds?

I'm really not over thinking things. I'll get a wild hair and try something. It may not work, but will obviously spur other ideas to give a whirl. In fact that isn't a bad idea either. It's been awhile since anyone has really done anything with a Leslie.

J
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote QUEENY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 10 2009 at 11:56pm
here's my 1/2 cents, I think it depends on what U want to sing about .
I write poetry, if that's anything to smooth the edge (LOL)
AINT UNDERSTANDING MELLOW
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Joe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 12 2009 at 3:07pm
Most certainly worth more than 1/2 cent. Most definitely what you want to sing about will affect all the aspects that I have mentioned. Your profile is very thin, so I'm not sure what musical period to use as an example, but I certainly wouldn't use "Revolution" with the lyrics from "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".

So post us a poem, and tell us what stirs in your heart "musically" about it. What sort of instruments, dynamics (soft, loud)... etc.

JClap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote s. p. a. t. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 22 2009 at 12:53am
Queeny...
 
I remember enjoying your poetry!!  You're a wonderful writer!
 
Jeff...
 
I've been having a good time on Brian Bromberg's site.  I missed your post somehow. I love hm too!
 
Johnny Joe...
 
I have a natural cut up way of doing lyrics.  I don't get into the mechanics of cutting up paper... but just like you were saying that you'd gravitate toward a scripture line and go with that... I do that with seemingly abstract concepts and build off of it.  It's odd where it goes.  Sometimes it's not about lyrics at all. It might be about working out a life stuation.
 
Mixey
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote QUEENY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 12 2009 at 12:00am
I want to think that most songs come from life's experiences also
AINT UNDERSTANDING MELLOW
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