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actual good songwriting forum?
Old 20th May 2020
  #61
Lives for gear
A discussion of composition and modern pop music production tools and techniques some may find useful. . .




I did,

Ray H.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #62
Lives for gear
Are you a composer? Then this is for you. . .




I just love it,

Ray H.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #63
Gear Addict
 
jugetsu85's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by death View Post
is there an actually good-current songwriting forum? no offense, just don't like the culture on this board.

thanks
Not sure if it has been mentioned already but Graham Cochrane hosts decent forum for songwriters called the VIP. The downside is that t's behind paywall..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #64
Cochrane? He charges per mouse click.

Old 3 weeks ago
  #65
Lives for gear
Of course, associated with the stinging, funny humor about mouse clicks are considerations of how songwriters can actually get paid for doing something that allows them to focus at least some of their energies on songwriting.

Although I live in the Tampa Bay Area, I don't know Graham - but I do have respect for his success. And I do see free, useful bits of content here and there. If what he does is of value to anyone here, I would say: Don't cheap out on me. Find a way to invest in those who bring you value.


Call me crazy,

Ray H.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #66
Gear Addict
 
jugetsu85's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
Cochrane? He charges per mouse click.

Well I dunno man... I paid $100 for two years of membership that includes access to virtual mixing courses. And during that time I won a $200 Sweetwater voucher through a songwriting challenge Graham organizes on the VIP forum.. can't really the blame the man then can I?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #67
Quote:
Originally Posted by jugetsu85 View Post
Well I dunno man... I paid $100 for two years of membership that includes access to virtual mixing courses. And during that time I won a $200 Sweetwater voucher through a songwriting challenge Graham organizes on the VIP forum.. can't really the blame the man then can I?
You're not supposed to pair loose quips with dour fact. But, yes, ok, I see your point.

Old 3 weeks ago
  #68
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
Of course, associated with the stinging, funny humor about mouse clicks are considerations of how songwriters can actually get paid for doing something that allows them to focus at least some of their energies on songwriting.
Yes, or they could go out and get real jobs



Sensitivity warning...come on kids...I'm...kidding around
Old 2 weeks ago
  #69
Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
Yes, or they could go out and get real jobs



Sensitivity warning...come on kids...I'm...kidding around
When I got into doing computer work in the 80s, it seemed like almost everyone else I met in the field was a musician of some kind. (Except for this one guy, a classic 'science nerd' who'd bulleted through college and got a masters in computer science; and he really wanted to get into algorithmic music creation someday but right then he was deep in ray-tracing and vector animation. It was the 80s, after all.)
Old 3 days ago
  #70
Gear Head
 

The whole concept of offering up songs for critique is fraught with problems, some of which theblue1 and others have touched on.

Asking for a serious, critical listen is a really big request. How much would a serious critique from a qualified person really be worth? $1K? $10K? The artist may assume that making the song was the hard part, and listening is easy, if not enjoyable. But the reverse is more likely. The less development has gone into the song, the harder you may have to work to find the song's center and what it's trying to become.

And is anyone really qualified to listen to a song, especially in demo form?

When Vince Clarke recorded the demo of "Only You", he naturally took it to Daniel Miller at Mute Records. Given their shared success with Depeche Mode, you would expect Miller to be a receptive audience. However the label head, immersed in his ARP 2600, showed no sign of interest in the new song.

Quote:
All that I can remember is that when I started Yazoo, and played the demo of ‘Only You’ to Daniel, and he didn’t respond, I thought, ‘Well, that’s it, then. I’m back to working again. I’ll have to get myself a proper job now. It’s over. That’s the end of my music career.’ And it almost could have really ended for me there, I suppose.
At least that one ended well. A similar incident occurred when Thomas Dolby wrote a song at Michael Jackson's request. Dolby ended up singing the song into a pay phone while on tour in the US. Jackson's reaction was to simply walk away from the phone, not bothering to say anything or hang up. (That song was Hyperactive).

If both Miller and Jackson reacted with such subzero indifference to a very good and stylistically matched song from an artist they respected, what does that say about one forum poster's ability to evaluate the music of another?
Old 2 days ago
  #71
Lives for gear
 
clump's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OliverOctave View Post
The whole concept of offering up songs for critique is fraught with problems, some of which theblue1 and others have touched on.

Asking for a serious, critical listen is a really big request. How much would a serious critique from a qualified person really be worth? $1K? $10K? The artist may assume that making the song was the hard part, and listening is easy, if not enjoyable. But the reverse is more likely. The less development has gone into the song, the harder you may have to work to find the song's center and what it's trying to become.

And is anyone really qualified to listen to a song, especially in demo form?

When Vince Clarke recorded the demo of "Only You", he naturally took it to Daniel Miller at Mute Records. Given their shared success with Depeche Mode, you would expect Miller to be a receptive audience. However the label head, immersed in his ARP 2600, showed no sign of interest in the new song.



At least that one ended well. A similar incident occurred when Thomas Dolby wrote a song at Michael Jackson's request. Dolby ended up singing the song into a pay phone while on tour in the US. Jackson's reaction was to simply walk away from the phone, not bothering to say anything or hang up. (That song was Hyperactive).

If both Miller and Jackson reacted with such subzero indifference to a very good and stylistically matched song from an artist they respected, what does that say about one forum poster's ability to evaluate the music of another?
I think this just shows that 'song critique' is purely subjective, but surely everybody knows that...for example I would sooner have a tooth extracted than listen to a complete album by Adele or Ed Sheeran, but MILLIONS of others do not share my preferance.

I've heard that MJ story before, have to say I think it is a case of 'Chinese Whispers' if not completely fabricated...if you had the opportunity to pitch a song to one of the biggest sellers in the world, would you really sing it down a phone line to them?
Old 2 days ago
  #72
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clump View Post
I've heard that MJ story before, have to say I think it is a case of 'Chinese Whispers' if not completely fabricated...if you had the opportunity to pitch a song to one of the biggest sellers in the world, would you really sing it down a phone line to them?
It's in Dolby's book, which I can't seem to find at the moment. There is a bit more to the story. Dolby was attempting to upload a file of some kind to MJ's producer via acoustic modem. I guess MIDI would be more likely than audio, right? The upload failed, and MJ said "why don't you just sing it?"
Old 2 days ago
  #73
Gear Nut
 
drcmusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OliverOctave View Post
The whole concept of offering up songs for critique is fraught with problems, some of which theblue1 and others have touched on.

Asking for a serious, critical listen is a really big request. How much would a serious critique from a qualified person really be worth? $1K? $10K? The artist may assume that making the song was the hard part, and listening is easy, if not enjoyable. But the reverse is more likely. The less development has gone into the song, the harder you may have to work to find the song's center and what it's trying to become.

And is anyone really qualified to listen to a song, especially in demo form?

When Vince Clarke recorded the demo of "Only You", he naturally took it to Daniel Miller at Mute Records. Given their shared success with Depeche Mode, you would expect Miller to be a receptive audience. However the label head, immersed in his ARP 2600, showed no sign of interest in the new song.



At least that one ended well. A similar incident occurred when Thomas Dolby wrote a song at Michael Jackson's request. Dolby ended up singing the song into a pay phone while on tour in the US. Jackson's reaction was to simply walk away from the phone, not bothering to say anything or hang up. (That song was Hyperactive).

If both Miller and Jackson reacted with such subzero indifference to a very good and stylistically matched song from an artist they respected, what does that say about one forum poster's ability to evaluate the music of another?
The forum critique is somewhat worthless simply because of the natural bias imposed from being a musician. We hear differently than standard, run-of-the-mill consumers.

So, in other words, we don't count.
Old 2 days ago
  #74
I have to say that, despite the obstacles, I think peer critique can be enormously valuable to those looking to improve their craft.

Notice I said, improve their craft. If one wants to gauge 'hit potential,' something more like a traditional focus group of consumers would likely be more helpful, since other songwriters will tend to be more focused on offering suggestions to improve the song in question, help it come closer to its potential as a composition rather than simply evaluating commercial potential.

(THAT said, it should probably be remembered that back in the 'good old' 'golden' days of 20 or 30 years ago, fewer than 5% of major label first releases even sold 1000 copies. Those albums were vetted by loads of supposedly well-informed, industry-watching label veterans. Yet... well. Industry veteranos as well as consumer focus groups come with their own sets of problems.)

Not everyone, of course, is particularly comfortable or well-suited to receiving such peer critique. But for those who can listen to comments somewhat dispassionately and then actually consider them in relation to the work in question, the process can offer valuable insights and the enlarged scope of broader perspective.
Old 2 days ago
  #75
Gear Nut
 
drcmusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I have to say that, despite the obstacles, I think peer critique can be enormously valuable to those looking to improve their craft.

Notice I said, improve their craft. If one wants to gauge 'hit potential,' something more like a traditional focus group of consumers would likely be more helpful, since other songwriters will tend to be more focused on offering suggestions to improve the song in question, help it come closer to its potential as a composition rather than simply evaluating commercial potential.

(THAT said, it should probably be remembered that back in the 'good old' 'golden' days of 20 or 30 years ago, fewer than 5% of major label first releases even sold 1000 copies. Those albums were vetted by loads of supposedly well-informed, industry-watching label veterans. Yet... well. Industry veteranos as well as consumer focus groups come with their own sets of problems.)

Not everyone, of course, is particularly comfortable or well-suited to receiving such peer critique. But for those who can listen to comments somewhat dispassionately and then actually consider them in relation to the work in question, the process can offer valuable insights and the enlarged scope of broader perspective.
I would tend to disagree on the simple premise that we all, in our own musical songwriting bubble, understand and rate what we believe is a good song. It is not a secret.

The missing piece is research on the part of the songwriter as well as appropriate self-critique.

When we write something or compose something substandard, we either know it is substandard or we are flying blind (lack of research and self-critique).

What dilutes this even further in today's musical landscape is production and the amazing resources available. Hence, a high percentage of chart topping songs, when deconstructed, are not even close to great. Most of what people aspire to today is mediocrity when your gauge is set to that dial.

I'll say it like this: I've seen songs that have 14 writers. That song HAS to be transcendent, right? I digress...
Old 2 days ago
  #76
Quote:
Originally Posted by drcmusic View Post
I would tend to disagree on the simple premise that we all, in our own musical songwriting bubble, understand and rate what we believe is a good song. It is not a secret.

The missing piece is research on the part of the songwriter as well as appropriate self-critique.

When we write something or compose something substandard, we either know it is substandard or we are flying blind (lack of research and self-critique).

What dilutes this even further in today's musical landscape is production and the amazing resources available. Hence, a high percentage of chart topping songs, when deconstructed, are not even close to great. Most of what people aspire to today is mediocrity when your gauge is set to that dial.

I'll say it like this: I've seen songs that have 14 writers. That song HAS to be transcendent, right? I digress...
Well, that's certainly an interesting perspective.

With regard to knowing whether something is 'substandard' -- that seems to directly imply that one is measuring against some objective aesthetic standard. And such an aesthetic standard does not flow unbidden from the protean, inner artist of the id, but rather from experience, and, perhaps, exploration and analysis.

While there are certainly formal approaches to songwriting, they are NOT innate to the natural human animal. They must be learned. And, like all aesthetic systems, they, inescapably, lie within the subjective realm.

One can set oneself up as a pedagog and establish various aesthetic rules, but they will nonetheless, necessarily flow from that person's aesthetic, derived from his own experiences and his influences. It's a bit of a solipsistic island unless one makes a formal attempt to ground his own approach within the context of aligned or competing pedagogies.

And that which must be learned can be learned poorly or incompletely.

It seems apparent to me that while some may feel a given person may be seen to be 'born to be' a poet or songwriter or artist, that no one begins creating immediately at their full potential. That, in virtually all cases, requires study and work to achieve.

One can try to 'go it alone,' but even there, one is shaped by his prior aesthetic experience and has likely performed some kind of analysis of others' works, attempting to abstract principles or rules or best practices from those works.

In addition to passive education (books, videos, etc) -- which many DO find helpful -- over the years many tyro writers have found workshops, writer's circles, song circles, and that sort of thing, to be helpful in identifying the properties and characteristics often associated with good songs and learning to use those approaches and techniques.
Old 2 days ago
  #77
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drcmusic View Post
I'll say it like this: I've seen songs that have 14 writers. That song HAS to be transcendent, right? I digress...
I have several cowrites like that, and so do tons of players and singers I know. All it usually means is that people who contributed to the record (played/sang/engineered) took a percentage in lieu of cash.
Old 2 days ago
  #78
Gear Nut
 
drcmusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Well, that's certainly an interesting perspective.

With regard to knowing whether something is 'substandard' -- that seems to directly imply that one is measuring against some objective aesthetic standard. And such an aesthetic standard does not flow unbidden from the protean, inner artist of the id, but rather from experience, and, perhaps, exploration and analysis.

While there are certainly formal approaches to songwriting, they are NOT innate to the natural human animal. They must be learned. And, like all aesthetic systems, they, inescapably, lie within the subjective realm.

One can set oneself up as a pedagog and establish various aesthetic rules, but they will nonetheless, necessarily flow from that person's aesthetic, derived from his own experiences and his influences. It's a bit of a solipsistic island unless one makes a formal attempt to ground his own approach within the context of aligned or competing pedagogies.

And that which must be learned can be learned poorly or incompletely.

It seems apparent to me that while some may feel a given person may be seen to be 'born to be' a poet or songwriter or artist, that no one begins creating immediately at their full potential. That, in virtually all cases, requires study and work to achieve.

One can try to 'go it alone,' but even there, one is shaped by his prior aesthetic experience and has likely performed some kind of analysis of others' works, attempting to abstract principles or rules or best practices from those works.

In addition to passive education (books, videos, etc) -- which many DO find helpful -- over the years many tyro writers have found workshops, writer's circles, song circles, and that sort of thing, to be helpful in identifying the properties and characteristics often associated with good songs and learning to use those approaches and techniques.
To me this is a very deep perspective. I just think it's too much.

If you know what you like (we all do), then analyze the heck out of that and, upon deconstruction, think about your own writing. Pretty simple until you factor in all the natural and learned bias.

I think one of the dangers (and I will appreciate your perspective here), is really not being honest.

For example, if a live recorded drum take is not grooving (as folks should be able to discern), then the take is not good enough. Waiting for a songwriting forum's analysis and feedback is silly. Just cut it correctly.

Even easier to evaluate: if you cannot sing, please get a singer. Or, if it is your desire to have wacky vocals, great. Either way, you should know simply because you are hopefully self-critical and not precious about your art. I would think someone would care enough to be honest with themselves.

Posting on a forum in order to have biased folks who very likely cannot write at all is an exercise in futility and probably vanity.

I know this will not be a popular take but that is ok. I am not seeking opinion validation but rather just bouncing ideas and thoughts out there given this forum's subject.
Old 1 day ago
  #79
Quote:
Originally Posted by drcmusic View Post
To me this is a very deep perspective. I just think it's too much.

If you know what you like (we all do), then analyze the heck out of that and, upon deconstruction, think about your own writing. Pretty simple until you factor in all the natural and learned bias.

I think one of the dangers (and I will appreciate your perspective here), is really not being honest.

For example, if a live recorded drum take is not grooving (as folks should be able to discern), then the take is not good enough. Waiting for a songwriting forum's analysis and feedback is silly. Just cut it correctly.

Even easier to evaluate: if you cannot sing, please get a singer. Or, if it is your desire to have wacky vocals, great. Either way, you should know simply because you are hopefully self-critical and not precious about your art. I would think someone would care enough to be honest with themselves.

Posting on a forum in order to have biased folks who very likely cannot write at all is an exercise in futility and probably vanity.

I know this will not be a popular take but that is ok. I am not seeking opinion validation but rather just bouncing ideas and thoughts out there given this forum's subject.
I second this. You could post your very favorite underground artist and you'd never know how random people on a forum would critique it. You could end up showcasing ballet for a room of breakdancers. or vice versa.
Old 1 day ago
  #80
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by death View Post
is there an actually good-current songwriting forum? no offense, just don't like the culture on this board.

thanks
I've left step by step processes that I've been thanked for umpteen times. Maybe your lazy ass needs to look a little deeper.
Old 1 day ago
  #81
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post
I've left step by step processes that I've been thanked for umpteen times. Maybe your lazy ass needs to look a little deeper.
I wonder where the 'terrible' handle on @ terrible.dee comes from?

The appalling directness in your post is terribly fun.


I enjoyed it anyway,

Ray H.
Old 12 hours ago
  #82
Quote:
Originally Posted by drcmusic View Post
To me this is a very deep perspective. I just think it's too much.

If you know what you like (we all do), then analyze the heck out of that and, upon deconstruction, think about your own writing. Pretty simple until you factor in all the natural and learned bias.
I suspect most non-musician music fans actually only know if they like a given piece of music/song when they are hearing and reacting to it. That said, as most of us probably recognize, many music fans can also take a while to 'warm up' to a given release -- which is why record labels have worked so hard over the decades to 'seed' music in folks' ears/minds by radio, movies, TV, and other media exposure.

We musicians and composers might like to think our own aesthetic framework is far more sophisticated and flexible... but we are human. All of us.

When you talk about analysis and deconstruction, these are the fundamental process of literary criticism/critique.

Quote:
I think one of the dangers (and I will appreciate your perspective here), is really not being honest.
I'm guessing we're talking about self-honesty here -- and that can (and maybe should be) a part of an artists approach to his art. (That said, there are certainly many artists who reject analysis and intellectualism and more or less ONLY write what they are feeling. They have their followers.)
Quote:
For example, if a live recorded drum take is not grooving (as folks should be able to discern), then the take is not good enough. Waiting for a songwriting forum's analysis and feedback is silly. Just cut it correctly.
To be straightforward about this: As crucial to a track's success as it can be, I really don't see getting a good drum track as part of the songwriting process. It's an arrangement/production issue, seems to me -- and best addressed in a forum specifically addressed to such concerns. (Others will not see it that way, preferring to jumble all feedback together in one discussion forum.)
Quote:
Even easier to evaluate: if you cannot sing, please get a singer. Or, if it is your desire to have wacky vocals, great. Either way, you should know simply because you are hopefully self-critical and not precious about your art. I would think someone would care enough to be honest with themselves.
Interesting you should talk about avoiding a protective/precious attitude toward one's own efforts -- as this is key to being able to intelligently process feedback from others.
Quote:
Posting on a forum in order to have biased folks who very likely cannot write at all is an exercise in futility and probably vanity.
I could not agree more. You will never see me, for instance, posting a track to FB and then asking for critique -- for one thing, my FB 'friends' are all over the map, culturally. Many, maybe most are musicians. But they cover a wide variety of styles from total outsider/noise to folk to jazz to classical. I would LISTEN to anyone who volunteered an opinion -- but I don't think it would make sense to solicit opinions from such a diverse cohort.

But I did post many songs into the dedicated songwriter workshop forum I mentioned earlier -- and, to be sure, the songwriters who passed through that forum did cover some cultural ground. Was all the critique pertinent to what I wanted to know about others' reactions to the works? Of course not. This is the real world.

But much of the feedback was useful, even from those who had to stretch to give a good listen to something outside their normal ken. Sometimes someone would write several paragraphs and only one observation would really click -- but in a surprising number of cases, that one observation really had merit, was really worth considering.
Quote:

I know this will not be a popular take but that is ok. I am not seeking opinion validation but rather just bouncing ideas and thoughts out there given this forum's subject.
Obviously, such writers' workshop type peer critique groups are not for everybody. They can be a lot of work for both organizers and participants. But writers getting together to discuss writing and give feedback on each other's efforts is something that has been going on since the first stylus dragged a rut through the first clay tablet.

For those so inclined, they can, indeed, be worth the effort.
Old 7 hours ago
  #83
Gear Nut
 
drcmusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I suspect most non-musician music fans actually only know if they like a given piece of music/song when they are hearing and reacting to it. That said, as most of us probably recognize, many music fans can also take a while to 'warm up' to a given release -- which is why record labels have worked so hard over the decades to 'seed' music in folks' ears/minds by radio, movies, TV, and other media exposure.

We musicians and composers might like to think our own aesthetic framework is far more sophisticated and flexible... but we are human. All of us.

When you talk about analysis and deconstruction, these are the fundamental process of literary criticism/critique.

I'm guessing we're talking about self-honesty here -- and that can (and maybe should be) a part of an artists approach to his art. (That said, there are certainly many artists who reject analysis and intellectualism and more or less ONLY write what they are feeling. They have their followers.)
To be straightforward about this: As crucial to a track's success as it can be, I really don't see getting a good drum track as part of the songwriting process. It's an arrangement/production issue, seems to me -- and best addressed in a forum specifically addressed to such concerns. (Others will not see it that way, preferring to jumble all feedback together in one discussion forum.)
Interesting you should talk about avoiding a protective/precious attitude toward one's own efforts -- as this is key to being able to intelligently process feedback from others.
I could not agree more. You will never see me, for instance, posting a track to FB and then asking for critique -- for one thing, my FB 'friends' are all over the map, culturally. Many, maybe most are musicians. But they cover a wide variety of styles from total outsider/noise to folk to jazz to classical. I would LISTEN to anyone who volunteered an opinion -- but I don't think it would make sense to solicit opinions from such a diverse cohort.

But I did post many songs into the dedicated songwriter workshop forum I mentioned earlier -- and, to be sure, the songwriters who passed through that forum did cover some cultural ground. Was all the critique pertinent to what I wanted to know about others' reactions to the works? Of course not. This is the real world.

But much of the feedback was useful, even from those who had to stretch to give a good listen to something outside their normal ken. Sometimes someone would write several paragraphs and only one observation would really click -- but in a surprising number of cases, that one observation really had merit, was really worth considering.
Obviously, such writers' workshop type peer critique groups are not for everybody. They can be a lot of work for both organizers and participants. But writers getting together to discuss writing and give feedback on each other's efforts is something that has been going on since the first stylus dragged a rut through the first clay tablet.

For those so inclined, they can, indeed, be worth the effort.
I assumed your response would be very graciously detailed, thank you for the time.

I also believed you would say the benefits you've gained through the forums. That's great, certainly.

It is fair and acceptable of course that our opinions about songwriting forums are very different. I'm guessing you believe your songwriting has exponentially improved over the many years you've written and composed and participated in these forums. That's really for you alone to assess. If so, great.

Maybe the vast differences in approaches is the magic of these sites and, for some reason, this doesn't translate for me. Maybe I'm a curmudgeon and pessimistic.

I suppose the principle idea of song forums is really community rather than songwriting. It's a bit like AA or a Tupperware party both in substance and attendance.

Damn I'm gonna be in trouble now.....
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