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Thread: I need a f'in efficiency expert

  1. #1
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    I need a f'in efficiency expert

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    My fuckin song writing is sucking right now. I'm a poet by nature and poetry is free flowing and more or less formless. Its not translating well into music.

    Compound that with the fact that I don't know dick about music theory therefore I cant write a fucking melody at the moment so I have no concept of how to sing my songs.

    I am planning to enroll in some music courses next semester, but I'm limited in what classes I can take (med school bound hopefully)


    Don't get me wrong I can play the guitar, but I can't understand it or create my own shiat

    well here are my latest bloated monstrosities. I need someone efficient to help me trim these fucking things down into a more popularized format.

    [Too many nights for a one night stand

    VERSE 1
    This relationship is a vampire in daylight
    It cast no reflection on the mirrors of our hearts
    Because we致e both been bled dry
    We are nothing more than
    A few stolen nights
    Victims of lust fueled fire
    yet you lack substance to feel me
    Or to fill me with anything
    But base desire

    CHORUS
    what fucking chorus???

    VERSE 2
    Tonight we値l meet again
    You値l tell me about your day
    I値l regurgitate some phrase
    Just to fill the silence
    I値l tell you the jokes you致e
    Heard a thousand times
    and you値l pretend to laugh again
    until at last we resort to the only thing we have
    and find brief solace in each others skin
    Somewhere between the afterglow and reality
    Lies the fact that all we ever had was chemistry

    VERSE 3
    In the morning we値l avoid each others eyes
    As our words avoid the truth
    While in our minds we wonder where
    Things went wrong
    And just how a one night stand
    Could last so long
    We値l head our separate ways
    As our days begin
    Speaking vows behind closed lips
    As we depart
    In denial of the fact that night will come again




    UNTITLED
    sHe was that girl you could pass
    a 1,000 times and never see
    possesor of a beauty less obvious
    if only I hadn't been so oblivious
    Might have seen the sun setting in her eyes
    Now that I look back I see the signs
    That this girl was going to take her life
    She had gotten so far away from home
    And lost a little more each day


    She was crying when I left that night
    I remember the tears that wet my lips
    When I kissed her cheek
    I would've found something better to say
    If i'd known that was the last we'd ever speak
    I would have told her that she was my friend
    and that I loved her for what she kept within
    but we were young and it never dawned on me
    that theres no such thing as immortality




    UNTITLED
    I understand you because I see
    The beauty in your frailty
    To me you are poetry
    You will always be the meter
    and the verse of my humanity
    I am the flower that your tears
    have nourished
    I hope I've bloomed to be
    a worthy product of your devotion
    I can only repay your beauty
    by letting it shine through me

    CHORUS
    I've loved you all the time I've been
    Before love was known to me
    Your the well where life began
    and your waters still run deep in me

    VERSE 2
    Doesn't matter what anyone says
    I will never forget what you are
    You spark all creation
    and birth all creativity
    bold as golden sunrise
    shining down on me
    You illuminate all hope
    and embody all possibilities
    I will never be more
    Than a sum of the love
    you've given me
    I feel blessed to be that
    and its all I'd ever want to be


    Bridge
    Remember the way I'd raise my chin?
    afraid to show I hurt inside
    You'd wrap me in your warmth
    And tell me (that) it was ok to cry
    Its a fear I have yet to overcome
    but I'm back in your arms
    Everytime I close my eyes
    and all my fears subside
    although I've grown into a man
    I'll always be your little boy inside


    I've pretty much stopped attempting to write choruses as I have yet to come up with a decent one. i think I've covered all bases here the obligatory bad relationship song, the obligatory song about loss, and the obligatory song for mama.


    Thanks for reading,
    JF

  2. #2
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    Dear Lend_Me,

    You asked, so here goes: as you know, poetry and lyrics are two completely different things. It's clear that you are approaching songwriting from a poet's background. Here are a few tips:

    1) If you have a full set of words and the title isn't absolutely, undeniably, painfully obvious, you have a poem, not a lyric. The fact that two of your works are finished and you're still calling them "Untitled" is a dead giveaway... they're poems.

    2)A modern lyric should be conversational. Lines like "possesser of a beauty less obvious" are a dead giveaway: poem. People don't talk like that in conversation. If you want a good lyric, don't use archane words or figures of speech.

    3)Songs are stories 90% of the time. They have a plot and go somewhere. You've approached that with some of your lines, but it could be stronger.

    4) In a good lyric, everything, and I mean everything, leads back to the chorus. A lyric is all about the chorus. The chorus is everything. The chorus is the hook of the song. Nothing is as important as the chorus. Know what I'm sayin'?

    5)Verses tell the story and move the plot along. Choruses tell what the song is about - over and over again. And the hook goes there. And they're really important, remember? Bridges are the plot twist.

    I did like some of your imagry, particularly the vampire stuff, but I'm telling ya... a lyric almost always starts with a title and hook. A perfect stranger should be able to read through it once and say "I know what the title is." If that isn't the case, you have a poem.

    got mojo?
    www.voodoovibe.com

  3. #3
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    And by the way, if you're having trouble writing music the best place to start is with the trusty old IV-V-I. If you're not sure what that is, gohere .

    You can't go wrong with that. Once you've written a few simple songs you'll develop the courage to try some new stuff.


    got mojo?
    www.voodoovibe.com

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    Aaron pretty much told you ...But lets see if I can help you with your chour section... only for example..Im rusty


    Waters runnin' deep
    your hearts a well
    I got a bucket
    Waters runnin' deep
    In your spell I fell
    I got a feelin'
    Waters runnin' deep...


    Anyways keep it simple..No big words..Allmost "simplex"if you know what I mean..Good luck



    Don
    blessed are the cheese makers


    Don

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    Aarons comment #5 sums it up...discard your poetry approach, come at each song from a story writers perspective...

    make a brief outline of the subject if you need too (this helps with exploring dynamics also, among other things)

    Try limiting yourself to a word count per verse (I suggest 25 words per verse MAX including a's, the's etc. and a line limit. A LOT of music is based around 4-line verses.

    Limit yourself to force yourself to tell the story quickly and succinctly.

    Good luck!

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    Hi. Just wanted to add my 2 cents. Here's what I do:

    I have a ton of poems that I have written. They are all stored on my computer in text files for easy access and backed up on CD-RW's. I never try to convert them directly into songs, but instead use them for ideas.

    What I do is mess around with my guitar until I find a riff or chord progression that I find interesting. I don't worry about how simple or complex it is, I just try to find something that appeals to me. Then I'll kind of mumble and hum a bunch of "la da da de de de dadada laaaaaa" kind of stuff. If it seems to go well, then I'll decide what the song will be about and I'll use the poems for ideas. Some of my songs have taken lines from several different poems. I almost always have to rework the poem to get it to fit into the rythm of the song and I usually write several different choruses and verses and pick the best one. That's just how I go about it. I really don't think you need to take any courses on music theory to write music...I never have, but I don't have a wall full of platinum records either. It couldn't hurt.

    Welp, that's my 2 cents for what it's worth
    A good friend will come and bail you out of jail. A true friend will be sitting beside you saying "Dude, we f----- up!"

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    Conversation

    Try writing like a conversation. The Verse is one person and the chorus is the reply the other person gives. The Bridge is where the person answering on the chorus says something different but is the same subject as the chorus response. I like your lyrics though, I don't how much you could make this format that just described work with your lyrics, but you seem like coming up with lyrics is your strong point. Try writing a song like that and see were it leads you. As far as a melody, when you are not sure about it, play each chord in your song and try not singing the exact chords for notes. Stay in key but go higher then the chords and then you will be doing a 5th of the chord, or other harmony notes(3rd,6th etc). You don't have to know music theory to do this, all it requires is if you know your going off key or not. thisis one way to start writing a melody before you take the music theory class which will help you. I also took a music theory class and it help a lot with writing melody's and coming up with harmonies. I hope I didn't confuse you or anything, just giving you some suggestions.

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    my take on this

    Hey lend_me_talent,

    I think you definitely have a way with words and I encourage you to expand on your gift. Don't try to "dumb down" your words to turn them into some kind of insipid pop song.

    There are many great poetic songwriters like Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, and Pete Townshend ...just to name a few...

    Think about the natural rhythms that your words evoke and try to create grooves to compliment them. Once you get a groove of some sort established sometimes it only takes a few good chord changes and a simple melody to create a powerful song.

    I repeat...do NOT try to "dumb down" your words. It's obviously your strength and something you want to work with not against!

    Be who you are and allow your music to express that!

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    keep at it, lend_me_talent

    ... i think the constructive critisism given you so far, is basically telling you that you might try to make your lyrics a little more focused. a few well chosen words can do the work of many, and sometimes better. i agree, that i think you have some nice imagery here, and there is nothing wrong in my book with "poetic" lyrics. kesterdevine mentioned patti smith and dylan, and i'll add elliot smith, nick drake, and jeff buckley to a long list of such songwriters. with all due respect to commercial songwriters, who often adhere to a "right" and "wrong" way of doing things, and a strong definition of what is a lyric, and what constitutes a song... i think there is something to be said for following your own vision, and creating what you best feel represents what you are trying to get across.
    this is a very intricate subject that requires lots of trial and error, and time to find your voice. might i suggest doing some serious listening to the music that inspires you, and try to notice all the little details that make it effective or beautiful in your eyes (and ears). experiment with different melodies and how lyrics flow with them, and create something that is uniquely yours. don't settle for anything less than what YOU feel captures your intent, no matter what anyone tells ya... including me
    peace- jv

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    Sigh......

    Music is art. You can do with it whatever you wish. You can make a 14 minute song with lyrics that are only two words over and over again if that floats your boat.

    It all depends on what your intentions are. If you are writing for your own amusement, or for "art's sake", the sky's the limit. If, on the other hand, you are hoping for a reasonable chance at commercial success, you need to write within an established framework. There are still plenty of ways to be brilliant, express your own voice, and be creative, you just have to approach things differently.

    And yes, there are tons of poetic or unconventional songs that are well-written and have been very successful, however 99% of them were written by an artist that was already very well established with a big fan base. To get to that point you have to be willing to "play the game" a little.

    got mojo?
    www.voodoovibe.com

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