HMHS 145 - The Work Made Hit Show (1/23/09)

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Re: HMHS 145 - The Work Made Hit Show (1/23/09)

Post by Polly » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:55 pm

Good show guys.
It's a Fine Line - Unknown Component; Good song. I like the chorus especially on this, its very different to the verse and the move into it brings a great deal of energy to the song. Nice vocal work too, fits the style nicely.

I can't get onto the Zoom forum from work these days - probably a good thing :(

I long for the time to try all theses new free gizmos. That said, I don't care much for free synths. I had a look at the site though and it is real good; there are so many sites with crummy freebies on.

Dave Chick - don't rhyme, all the time, all you'll write are songs like mine. Save that rhyme for the main idea and you'll have a big hit no fear. This sentence rhymes in starts and fits but I'll stop now as it's getting on my nerves.

The challenge is to write the tune and lyrics before the chords - then it will really have a strong, melodic core. But it's really had to do for a guitarist as we tend to start with neat chord changes or licks (do we not?) I did it once actually.

Undertow - Rogue Thief. I get what he means about his writing style I think. The connection between lyric and song is not the usual one, it seems. I'm not sure how I can justify that though. The lyrics are the point of the song (so I'd like to hear them better), the music is almost incidental, a wall of sound and mood to support the feel of the song maybe. :shock: There is no musical journey in this song as it's all about the lyric.

Crappy Song of the Week - Fleet Foxes - 'Sun it Rises'. AKA "The King is in the altogether, the altogether, the altogether as naked as the day that he was born". The ultimate put down for arty pretention really. To say it starts slowly and builds is true but it doesn't justify the weight given to the notion - million songs do that, as do car journeys.

great harmonies I'll give 'em that

But that's about it for me. 'Hey guys, lets record a song' - 'But we got no ideas' - lets be pretentious then!' Huzzah, into the studio, beer and spliffs all round. Oh look here's a guy from a record company... wow... he wants to fill the alternative slot in his portfolio! Cheques out for the lads! :o

Unlike nature, art seems to survive in a vacuum. :roll:

Epiphany - Laurier Tiernan. A vast improvement on the song that preceeded it. It's not simplistic to want to have a song to have something to say its a basic requirement of communication. Words or music can speak. I couldn't quite pick out all the lyrics here, but I got the point and it spoke to me - thanks. I am happy to be who I am, and I realise I've made a mistake when I'm dissatisfied. Nice shift in texture between verse and chorus.

Pip pip my old pooties

Pol
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Re: HMHS 145 - The Work Made Hit Show (1/23/09)

Post by criddlerus » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:50 pm

Polly wrote: The challenge is to write the tune and lyrics before the chords - then it will really have a strong, melodic core. But it's really had to do for a guitarist as we tend to start with neat chord changes or licks (do we not?) I did it once actually.

I like it, I like it! Good idea. I have kkkiind of done this before. I have come up with melodies while walking down the street without any instrument. Those are usually my best songs actually. You are right about strong melodies. Good idea for the challenge! It is both a challenge and a tip.

Good post Polly. I like a post with some attitude, even if he ripped my "tune of the week" to shreds! :shock: :lol:

Ta ta,

Dave
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Re: HMHS 145 - The Work Made Hit Show (1/23/09)

Post by tonyoci » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:09 pm

Now hears a funny thing. I have been thinking about why I am having recording problems. I also talked to Zoetrope who mentioned he 100% does the music before the words and melody.

This got me thinking how much easier it was for me when I worked that way. I think I need to start doing that, which is the opposite of what you guys are saying, I need to write some music, then layer a melody on top of it. That stops my primary problem of not being able to record what's in my head. I'll just lay down the tracks and do the singing and melody last.

I planned to mention that on this weeks show but you forced me to prematurely ejaculate it.
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Re: HMHS 145 - The Work Made Hit Show (1/23/09)

Post by Polly » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:44 am

criddlerus wrote:
Polly wrote: I like a post with some attitude, even if he ripped my "tune of the week" to shreds! :shock: :lol: Dave
I'm not merely being senstaional, but I am stooping to parody! :D It does help debate if one states a point with hmour and force however. I was ripping the tune and not you old chum!
stops my primary problem of not being able to record what's in my head.

Yes. I had a very frustrating night on Tuesday trying to do this on the piano. I was doubly frustrated by the fact that I cannot play the piano. I was arrogant to try, I'm lucky to be able to play a guitar and should count my blessings.

Time to go to work. I won't mention your premature ejacualtions.

Pol
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Re: HMHS 145 - The Work Made Hit Show (1/23/09)

Post by Zoetrope » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:36 pm

tonyoci wrote:Now hears a funny thing. I have been thinking about why I am having recording problems. I also talked to Zoetrope who mentioned he 100% does the music before the words and melody.
Just to amplify on this, my normal procedure is to strum the guitar till something hits, some chord progression grabs me. Then I figure out if that's a verse or chorus and come up with the missing part. Then I keep playing it till words come to me, which generally come with a melody already attached in the same brain package.

Lately I've been playing with Mixcraft, so I'm starting with a bass line, adding drums, then some chords triggered via midi and playing a virtual instrument. Mary Sweet Mary is an example of this. Then when that's done I come up with lyrics and futz with the song structure.

I don't think I've ever started with lyrics. Occasionally a song segment will come to me with chords, instruments, melody, and some words all together and I build from that, but it's pretty rare. Normally, the chords tell me what the words should be.
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Re: HMHS 145 - The Work Made Hit Show (1/23/09)

Post by chckn8r » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:30 pm

Writing lyrics, melody or chords first ... seems as though we've talked about this before... maybe not ;)

I can't really believe that there's really any ONE way that's THE way to do it. It's really what is most comfortable for the situation in my books.

I wouldn't say that coming up with a melody first guarantees a strong melodic core or vice-versa on the harmonic progression.

I can see the song as something that evolves from a kernal whether it be melody, chords or lyrics. I write in iterations - each iteration feeding off of the last - sometimes a melodic idea will spurn a chord progression and sometimes a tangent of a chord progression will pop out a cool melody I'd never have thought of. Adding lyrics on top of all that just adds another ingredient to the mix - maybe the lyrics will suggest that the melody, chords or arrangement need to reflect something.

For me, there's no ONE starting point, nor is there one component of a song that drives the rest ... I think of it as an odd balancing act that's up to the songwriter to work out.

Where all this blather came from, I have no idea ... now back to your regularly scheduled programme...
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Re: HMHS 145 - The Work Made Hit Show (1/23/09)

Post by joepop » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:48 am

My best songs come from writing words and music at the same time, sitting at the piano and working out each line of the song. I may come back and edit a bit later but the core of the song is probably done in 5 minutes. I can do that if I have something to say and know how I want to say it. The music part just seems to come naturally to compliment the words and the sentiment. I have had ideas for lyrics when I was not close to a piano or guitar, so I write then down and try to do something later. It never works out as well. I always end up having to make drastic changes in the lyrics so I usually don't finish. I have also created music that I later put words to but that seems equally awkward.
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Re: HMHS 145 - The Work Made Hit Show (1/23/09)

Post by famouspatrick » Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:36 pm

Damn! I just got done typing all of my comments in, I didn't save them, and the power went out just long enough to shut down the computer! So I am retyping everything, and I have to go to work shortly, so I will be fairly terse, at least for me. I am sorry I missed last week's show, but family and my grown up job got in the way.

It's a Fine Line - Unknown Component: I enjoyed the song, although I had a hard time understanding the lyrics, until I adjusted my EQ a bit, then they were more distinct. Although I found it distracting at first, I liked the use of the guitar to emphasize the rhythm. Took me back to the 60's, when they used the ping pong effect due to equipment limitations more than artistic expression. Nice tune.

Print vs. online thesaurus: I have to say that I agree with Tony 100% on this one. When you go for one idea and move a section or two ahead or back and you can get a clarification or even a transformation of the original which can be more true to your first idea. I always have two rhyming dictionaries, a regular dictionary and a thesaurus with me when I start writing. I don't often use them, but they can help me save a song from the wastebasket.

Scheduling vocals: I am sorry for you guys on this one, because, with my setup, I can sing any time, as loud as I like, and I have a voice that carries very well. There is just enough buffer between my studio and my bedroom that it doesn't wake my wife, and I am far enough from my neighbors (as long as the windows are closed) that they don't hear me either. :P :lol:

Not rhyming??!?? I usually feel that if a song doesn't rhyme, it is a sign of lazy songwriting. I like the verbal gymnastics that one has to go through to come up with the right rhyme at the right time. The only exception to this is Dave Chick, who, apparently, thinks that "bitch" rhymes with "Tony." Or maybe that was "butch?" :!: :?:

Arrangement before melody? The eternal "chicken or egg" question. Always melody first for me, and lyrical idea before that.

Control surfaces: I have two that I love, both by Frontier. The Tranzport is a wireless device that has transport controls, as well as track selection, undo, arm, mute, solo - very handy when I am doing multiple takes. I also use the Alphatrack, which is, at its most basic, a USB track strip controller with a motorized 100 mm motorized fader. Both are a little pricey, at $200.00 US, and more info is on their website. I haven't found a need for a multiple fader controller; I record the fader moves one at a time. I haven't noticed any latency on either of these products.

Undertow - Rogue Thief: Boy, it's been a long time since I had to say this, but I just don't get this genre. Jeez, this makes me feel like my father, who couldn't understand the Beatles or Cream. It's probably a great song, but I don't get it. Sorry.

Sun It Rises by The Fleet Foxes: This particular song is pleasant enough to listen to, but I have to listen to it as an instrumental, because the words mean nothing to me, and I do like songs with poetic lyrics, but these are just too opaque. My nephew sent me a link to these guys a couple of months back, and all of their stuff seems to be a lot like this. It's harmless enough, a little at a time, but after two or three songs like this, I want something with a beat, and I haven't heard anything like that from this group.

Epiphany - Laurier Tiernan: I like this one, especially the way the sections change textures. I need to learn how to do this. Very nice.

Good show! Sorry I missed last one.

Thanks, Tony and Dave, and all the contributors.
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Re: HMHS 145 - The Work Made Hit Show (1/23/09)

Post by famouspatrick » Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:43 pm

chckn8r wrote:Writing lyrics, melody or chords first ... seems as though we've talked about this before... maybe not ;)

I can't really believe that there's really any ONE way that's THE way to do it. It's really what is most comfortable for the situation in my books.

I wouldn't say that coming up with a melody first guarantees a strong melodic core or vice-versa on the harmonic progression.

<snip>

For me, there's no ONE starting point, nor is there one component of a song that drives the rest ... I think of it as an odd balancing act that's up to the songwriter to work out.
Amen, brother, whatever gets the tune out and recorded! :agree: :!: :!:
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Great Thread...!

Post by Dave Watson » Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:18 pm

Hi All,

I just came back to this thread and really enjoyed reading the posts, great forum comments this week. :D

Going back to my idea for a picture as a stimulus for a song.
Good try Tony :shock: but I think Dave's pictures were more along the line I had been thinking.
You need a picture that offers all sorts of avenues to explore.

I'm afraid Tony's picture is a big arrow pointing down a well worn path.
Plus, I've heard looking at pictures like that can lead to premature ejaculation :oops: when you least expect it...
Anyway, thanks for giving the idea a bit of oxygen, I trust Dave will get onto the case whilst Tony is mopping up.

On the age old subject of what comes first, chords/melody/lyrics I tend to agree with the idea of 'whatever works...'

I just completed a song which started from just the liking of a particular chord shift and the pitch it encouraged me to sing in. I researched the song and then used the same chords to build the right chorus section. Only then did I write any lyrics, having no idea what the song was going to be about. As I played the chords a snatch of lyrics just came out, "It's fine sight, the moon's so bright, I'm sitting here in this cold hard light" and the rest of the song was built from that. I had several attempts at refining the lyrics to get some point and flow to them, echoing earlier comments from others.

I also rhyme some time, and get the bends from avoiding dead ends.

Anyway, I guess this ramble typifies one way in which I compose, probably my most productive.
So it makes me a card carrying chordist, with lyrical leanings but agnostic on the melody.

Again, great thread...
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