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Thread: Ability to write better than playing ability

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    does anyone else ever have the problem where they write a song that they can't play? I do that all the time. I feel dumb sittng and practicing leads and riffs that I write. I mean, I should just be able to play them. Sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I can't play stuff that I have written. I occasionally have friends come over to help out if I record the song, but I feel dumb saying "it goes like this, but I can't play it." Anyway, Just curious...

    MIKE

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    Mastahnke,
    I think you have just nailed right on the head the difference between musician and composer.
    I often write things that I can' play, but I can convey what and how I want something played. The musician will play what the composer is trying to get across. Of course musicians can be composers and vice versa, but it is a great point. Listen to the works of the great classical composers and ask yourself "could they play all those parts?" and the answer is most likely "no".

    So I guess what I am saying is this: when you write something that you can't play, think of yourself as a composer and bring in musicians who can interpret your emotions in music.

    Brad

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    Same problem here. I write songs I can't sing. Funny thing is , I didn't know I couldn't sing until I started singing my own songs. I think voice lessons are coming my way , 'cuz aint nobody singing MY songs!

    Shana

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    I guess I sort of suffer the reverse of the problem... I can play all the stuff I write but wish I could write better!

    Having said that I am the bassist in our band and so tend to write bass lines against the main body of the songs we have (although I have input into all of the songs and some of our songs have developed from bass lines) so maybe thats a bit easier... by that I mean I basically just play something that fits and then make it as complex as I feel necessary. (thats the beauty of bass - simplicity is often the key).


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    Question

    Shana,

    What is your vocal range? Or, which artist do you compare your vocals to?

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    Make Lemonade! What I mean is,don't sweat your playing skills,use what you CAN do to your advantage.MY skills in descending order are: pretty good guitar player,pretty good bass player,fairly good songwriter,average singer,under average keyboard player.I would love to write songs that are better songs than the riffs etc, I can play on the guitar,because SONGS ARE MORE IMPORTANT! Non musicians remember songs and lyrics much more readily than hot solos,IMO.Many people have made millions of $ from songs that only have 3 chords,so don't sweat it,write,write,write some more! You'll find all the help you need coming to you when you consistently write strong,catchy songs(in terms of hot accompaniment).Cheers!

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    Migo,
    I have a simple sweet voice and i tend to sing on high keys like Bette Midler's "From a distance" which is quite hard to sing for most people. My voice doesnt go that low and i find myself singing from my throat in order to gain volume. I just cant get the sound out of my stomach- my voice will come out too weak to hold the long notes. So actually my voice sounds different depending how im singing. I have a nice voice though and I dont get too fancy with my songs because my voice wont allow it.

    Thats all
    Shana

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    i cant really sing...
    then again thats irrelevant coz i cant really write well either?!

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    Angry

    I get that problem when I write something on one instrument and then figure out it would sound better on something else.

    For example, having a nice arpeggio type keyboard thingy and figuring out that "hey, this should be a nylon guitar" and not being to able to grep the weird chords that it translates too... And, no I can't sing either.

    But hey, if you have friends that CAN play it, don't feel wird about it. Fell GOOD about your songwriting ability, and that you can imagine how it should be done. Then feel like a super professional producer using studio-artists!

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    masta ,

    although i cant directly relate to you , i do know how you feel.. i can choreograph sexual fantasies much better than i can perform them in real life.. woe is us...

    - eddie -

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