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Thread: Were all a bunch of songwriters with nothing to say

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    Were all a bunch of songwriters with nothing to say

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    I was just thinking that there aren't that many new threads on this songwriters forum and when they are the content is somewhat limited.

    Is it that songwriting is so hard to explain (as opposed to somwthing like playing the guitar or recording)?

    Writing songs should really be the goal of a any true musicain in the long run yet I also find that there is very little information (good, clear and relevant information) on the internet relating to it. It surely has to be that there are no real rules and also I suppose you don't need to spend hours practicing (well that's up for debate as a new thread (ie anyone can do it)).

    If you want to keep your your presonal life and feelings personal, never write a song.

    I'm just thinking out loud. Any response welcome as always, even if to tell me I'm a fuckin' .................................... (as always).

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    I think that is an important point - the only rule is that there are no rules.

    Sure, there seems to be a formula for "hit writing" but as far as just writing a song - anything goes, just ask yoko or John Cage (sp?) or Roy Orbison.

    I have always been fascinated with people who want to learn how to write songs. You know, the people that just wake up one day and say "I want to be a songwriter." The reason it fascinates me is because I always just thought it was something inside that burned, the need to express, the need to be creative - not a career choice.

    I think when too much emphasis is placed on "How to's" and "Don't do's" the essence of the song is lost - although it may sell a million records. I'm not one of these purist people who thinks that a good song can't be built from blueprint, I just don't tend to enjoy that kind of assembly line stuff. And although I do own a few songwriting books, I don't understand how a person with songs in their soul needs to read a book to learn how it should be expressed.

    Just my 2 cents - forgive me, I just had coffee.

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    The problem with this forum is that few of these folks are actually songwriters. They're mostly concerned with recording, the gear, toys, etc. The only reason I ever began recording was to try to get my songs heard, cut, performed without dealing with demo studios and their cost. I'll admit that I love the actual recording process, but I've never lost sight of the real purpose.
    The technology has allowed just about anyone to program and record "music", but layering tracks over a drum sequencer doesn't make one a songwriter! All of the good songwriters I've known were like skitzophrenics(sic), hearing voices, melodies and lyrics in their heads that they can't block out. What made them great writers was the ability to get the melodies into a form that people could relate to.
    I'm always trying to write "commercially viable" songs, but that determination only comes after the song is written. (I like this, but does it have any commercial value?) The only way to tell is to play the song live to an audience. The most well-received songs I've written were ones I had little faith in commercially. It's never failed to amaze me.
    You're right about the need to create. Brad. There is absolutely nothing that compares to someone telling you that one of your songs really touched them or made them think. You can't learn how to do it - you either do it or you don't.
    To paraphrase Paul Atreides from Dune.......Long Live The Writers!


    Bob

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    Cool

    ...those damn voices....

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    Buffalo Bob:

    I can agree to an extent that an audience will tell you what a good song is. On the other hand, the audience isn't without it's own biases. It's important to take into account that pandering to an audience can quickly pigeonhole you. In a strictly entertainment sense, audiences are generally happy with one-trick ponies. They can have you for this one feeling or style they like and somebody else for another.

    I think this plays into the whole mystique of the rock star--a lot of the really good ones are those who are brash enough to tell the audience "I am the real thing." Inside he or she may crave the audience's approval, but the image is more one of letting the audience in on a good thing rather than offering something up for their tastes. The artist should lead and the audience follow. Am I making any sense? I'm certainly not disagreeing with what you've siad, just trying to get into the dialogue.

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    it may be true that one cannot learn songwriting (you either have the gift or not, I'd say), but I think one can learn to write better songs.
    my new songs are a lot better than my old ones, and can't even be compared to my first ones (which are kind of crap).
    maybe there are songwriters out there who write hit songs from the very beginning and don't improve (or even can't keep their standards up), but I once read a quoting (don't know who said it):
    the content of it was: write some 50 songs and throw them away, and maybe then you will be able to write really good ones.

    I also read that Lennon and McCartney wrote at the start of the Beatles bunches of songs, but only one of them was actually cut ("Love me do", I think). so maybe their first ones were also crap (I'd love to hear them, though).

    U2's Bono once said that it is easy to create sadness or melancholy in the audience, but it's far more difficult to create joy.
    maybe one can learn (over time) to create this kind of joy that makes the audience sing along and really have a good time.


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    little to say

    There are 2 reasons to write songs. the first being to express something deeply felt that may be hard to get to by any other means. It's like emotional therapy, you dig around within yourself
    and put words on feelings. Joy, sadness, whatever. By examining this stuff, we dump it out so that we reveal ourselves to ourselves
    and gain some degree of self knowledge and acceptance.
    The second reason to write is to make money. Then we are crerating an entertainment product, nothing more. This can be a lot of fun, even theraputic for the writer, but the point is that it's for sale. You could say that reason #1 is a form of masturbation and reason#2 is a form of whoring. In a sense, both are entertainment products. If you are going to masturbate, you owe it to yourself to get all the pleasure out of it that you can. If you are going to be a whore and you want to be a SUCCESFUL whore, then you owe the customer the best time you can give them for his (her) money. Hope this helps you to understand some aspect of the essential nature of being a songwriter
    By the way , I guess he was right, we don't have much to say.........writeon....Chazba

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    furthermore

    If you are going to write for reason#1, learn to type one-handed
    LOL...c

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    Lazyboy-
    I may be a bit biased on this, because I started working in bands at the tender age of 15, and therefore come from a performance mind-set. What I was trying to say is that anyone can call himself/herself a "songwriter", but until you lay it on the line in front of an audience, or an A&R man, publisher, etc.;and risk the negative impact of rejection, you are, as Chazba so elegantly put it, 'masturbating'.
    And Chazba - the concept of commercial success being somehow like "whoring" is a tired old cop-out used by those who lack the talent or drive to succeed in the music business. There are considerably more than 2 reasons to write. In my experience, the good ones write 1st because they have to (the voices again),and the great ones write because they love to.
    Smirky -
    You're right on with Bono's quote- creating joy and excitement in an audience is the opitome of songwriting, but it takes years to get the chops to actually do that. You've got to take the time to learn from audiences what they respond to, and you can't do that sitting in front of a computer.

    Bob

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    I can't believe I said that...

    Bob and everyone else...
    You're right about the difference between writers and great writers......
    I come from a background of performance, and I have written a few successful commercials and some regional hits. I guess I was in a sarcastic mood, oh well...putting aside my poor choice of anology, what I said still goes. Lots of people write cause they think it's cool, to say 'I'm a writer" The best write because they are driven to write, to share their view of the world. Maybe someone will start a thread called "Songwriting as....."
    writeon....chazba

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