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Thread: How do you decide what kind of music to write?

  1. #11
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    The first question, I hear stuff in my head in all genres which I think comes from my willingness to spend a lot of time listening to different genres. If you spend a lot of time listening to the type of thing you want to write, I think you'll start "hearing" that sort of thing when writing. Also, one song writing book I read(which goes with what's already been pointed out) that sometimes the song may be written in one genre but turn out to work better in another. So l spend time sometimes just trying different tempos for the same song, as in tempos that suggest a different genre, as sometimes it will sound better faster/slower with or without swing, etc.
    As far as sounding like ones influences, I sometimes find when listening to some music from my youth I will hear some obscure/forgotten tune that I realize I have internalized and has shown up in some style/tonality in stuff I have created, but I don't consciously try to emulate any one's style. As a player I have, of course , attempted to duplicate tones by players I admire. Not to copy, mind, just to learn.
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  3. #12
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    There have been several of my songs where the process led me to write something "just like so-and-so" did in their song's chorus or
    verse, and it fit really nicely and sounded great.. but it sounded too conventional - or canned. So I intentionally went around it and wrote
    something different. When I rehearse these songs I still feel the urge to play it the other way, and sometimes I do fiddle with them that way
    because I never know what else is going to pop out while I'm in there tinkering.
    Failure - - the path of least persistence
    And, uh, oh - hire a decorator to come in here quick, 'cause... DAMN.

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  5. #13
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    One trick: LEARN a bunch of songs in whatever genre interests you. Learn to do effective renditions of maybe some John Prine, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch, Reckless Kelly, and so on. Or whichever singer/songwriters turn you on.

    By the time you're a year into covering the material you admire, the style WILL be coming naturally.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky99 View Post
    Do you guys try to write songs like your favorite artists
    Artists are magpies. Nothing's original. We all make our nests out of whatever we pick up around us. Whatever's in our heads came from somewhere. It's foolish to try to fight that.

    But it's just as foolish to try to be someone you're not.

    So I don't intentionally imitate anyone. Few things are sadder than Elvis impersonators. W all get our ideas from somewhere, but our voices can only be our own.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky99 View Post
    . . . or do you think maybe there is a certain style that you are better at creating?
    I don't worry about whether I'm good at a style or not.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky99 View Post
    . . . For me, I want to write more singer/songwriter kind of stuff, but riff rock just comes more natural to me. I prefer listening to singer/songwriter stuff, so I get frustrated and I am having a hard time writing right now.

    Anyone else have this issue?
    I do what comes naturally. And there's nothing wrong with riff rock! When you're ready to write "singer/songwriter kind of stuff," it WILL come naturally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky99 View Post
    Do you just end up creating music that maybe isn't your favorite genre?
    No. I love lots of genres and don't have a favorite. I don't set out to write a blues, country, rock, jazz, R&B, or folk song. I just let songs take whatever forms they take.

    Some songs want a mandolin, some want humbuckers. Some want synchopation, some want a steady flow. Some want shouts, some want murmurs. I just let 'em go where they want. I'm not creating the song. I'm FINDING it.

    But if it seems like it wants to be, say, a cowboy song, I put on a cowboy hat and throw myself into a cowboy frame of mind.
    Last edited by Delmont; 3 Weeks Ago at 13:35.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chili View Post
    This describes me somewhat. I seem to go all over the place. I can't keep focused on any one style though I wish I could. Unlike you, I don't let it frustrate me; I'm happy with whatever I can get out of the speakers.
    'Zackly!

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    I follow inspiration i get. An idea pops up and that's what i'm going to work out.
    Eventually i like several kinds of styles and productions off music and songs and their influence will float partly through what i create.
    My biggest problem is that i get a lot off inspiration for instance on the most impossible places which never will be used. Sometimes very good ones which later i can't remember. I wished i could sit in my studio all day and register all inspiration i get meanwhile working it out. But my agenda says otherwise.

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    Through choice, for myself, I like slow music - slow music of almost any genre. Trouble is, I get up in the morning go into the studio (I work from home) and my business partner will have sent me some files for one of the projects we have on the go. They're all very narrow. We don't do popular music for the masses. It could be for video, that's a nice solid income stream, but most of our work is for dance. Not nightclub dance, but real dance - so ballet, musical theatre - that kind of thing. We're currently writing a whole series for a publisher. So the brief reads duration 1:45 tempo 95bpm tigers in a jungle, or duration 2:20 tempo 140bpm walk, run and clap. Worse still 30sec rabbit falling down a hole - no ideas on that one yet. What happens is that we work to our strengths - my colleague is very strong on classical and I'm better at jazz and rock and roll, so I might have an idea, and I send it to him - we run identical (just about) Cubase systems, and he does things with it, and sends it back. I might then replace some awful sounds with better ones, replace some instruments with real ones - typically bass, guitar, saxes, woodwind and maybe a bit of brass. After a few too and fros, they're done. Some of it I truly hate. After doing three or four sessions, like today. I had to stop and record something for myself - and what came out was slow, sad and evolving synth pads. Mainly because I went through a loads of Korg patches and found a couple I'd not used - and these were what drove me. A few days back I got a new vocal sample package, and that impressed me - so I wrote something using some of the chopped up stock stuff with some pads. It's for no client, has no purpose but experience for me on the new VST.

    It's rubbish - but I'll share what I've done so far. I doubt it will get finished - but I wrote it just to experiment, and despite being slow and sad, it cheered me up.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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