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hey, help! need help! #1626448 03/07/01 10:00 PM
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rockstar Offline OP
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hey everyone!
im in a band and we are doing well, except we are trying to improve our lyric writing. We were wondering if you could give us any helpful hints or advice on writing some clever songs that would be good for a 14- 16 year old band.
that would be really great. we are trying to write songs as cleverly as the beatles did, but we arent as good as them. so if you could give us advice to write better lyrics, we would really appreciate it. thank you so much!

Re: hey, help! need help! #1626449 03/07/01 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockstar:
[we are trying to write songs as cleverly as the beatles did, but we arent as good as them]



You and everyone else has been trying to reach that plateau, with varying degrees of success for 37 years....ain't nobody reached there yet.....

Re: hey, help! need help! #1626450 03/08/01 12:41 AM
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hey,
i know, you're right. more specifically, i just need some advice on lyric writing. and hints and such. i didnt exactly mean 'tell me how to write like the beatles'. because i think thats far fetched. its a dream thats yet to come true by someone.
anyways,
any suggestions? helpful hints? advice? for song writing and lyric writing?

Re: hey, help! need help! #1626451 03/08/01 01:51 AM
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Lee Flier Offline
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1) Read a lot. Good fiction, poetry, the newspaper, online zines, whatever. All these things will give you good ideas for songs and also it'll fill your brain with good writing. Lennon and McCartney got a lot of song ideas just from looking at ads, news stories, etc. And of course, listen to your favorite songs that have great lyrics.

2) Write about what you know. Since you're teenagers, write about things that teenagers think and feel. You may take those things for granted, but other teens are feeling lonely and alienated in their own worlds and would be glad to know someone else felt the same way. Write about those things that you secretly feel but which you would be afraid to say at school because you might get laughed at.

3) Resist the temptation to get too poetic or "try to be clever". A good song to me is like a good conversation. Rock songwriters who try to get too "literary" nearly always come off as really pretentious and make idiots of themselves. Write as if you're talking to your best friend, or even your imaginary best friend - the one who understands how you feel. And just be real about it. If it's sincere, people will relate to it. If it's not sincere it had better be DAMNED clever!

4) Don't be afraid to write whatever comes into your head, even if it's something a little whacked out. If thinking about a girl you like makes you think of peeling an orange, it's OK to write a song about her that includes a line about peeling an orange. Don't blot out your daydreams just because they make no "sense". Dreams are good sources of lyrics too. Keep a dream journal.

5) A diary is good too - events from your own life can make great songs. So can events in others' lives that you observe. Just pay attention to the world around you as well as inside of you - both will give you mounds of things to write about!

6) Buy yourself a dictionary of quotations, a thesaurus, and a rhyming dictionary. Playing with words at random can really help you get ideas, and all these books will help you find the right words and phrases to say what you mean.

Hope that helps!

--Lee


This message has been edited by Lee Flier on 03-07-2001 at 05:53 PM


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Re: hey, help! need help! #1626452 03/08/01 02:08 AM
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hey, thanks! thats really good advice, and i think it would be good to try some of those suggestions. i needed some suggestions, and those certainly look helpful!
if anyone else has any other suggestions, feel free to continue posting them up! i need all the help i can get. hints? suggestions? advice? and all the things for song and lyric writing

Re: hey, help! need help! #1626453 03/09/01 07:40 AM
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Whoa, Lee, dudette, like wow, some really good advice.

Sorry for sounding like a surfer there for a second.

To Rockstar:
I just wanted to add how cool it was that people your age are listening to The Beatles.

I'm not a lyrical genius by any stretch, but, y'know, a lot of times when I come up with a song idea, a certain lyric will be singing itself around the hook line. I've found that, for me, it's usually best not to fight it, unless it's REEEAAALLY dumb. Take that idea and write around it. Don't be afraid to bounce ideas off of your bandmates.

There are a couple of younger Kansas City bands that have been favorably compared to having a "Beatle-esque sound". One actually went onstage (after winning a battle of the bands) at Sandstone Amphitheatre last summer and backed up REO Speedwagon (I think it was REO) for a local radio station's birthday party. They were not much (if any) older than you all. Another bunch of Beatle-esque sounding guys from KC are called "The Daybirds". Do a search...hmmm, perhaps

http://www.daybirds.com

will getcha there. Try it and see. At any rate, take Lee's advice about the lyrics. And have fun.


"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
Re: hey, help! need help! #1626454 03/09/01 04:47 PM
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hey,
thanks for the advice!
yes, we really like the beatles. they were really talented, and it showed.
but yeah, thanks for the advice, and ill try to check out that site.

Re: hey, help! need help! #1626455 03/10/01 12:18 AM
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Lee gets my vote for Helpful Answer of the Year!

Re: hey, help! need help! #1626456 03/12/01 03:42 AM
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yeah, that was a really good answer.
keep them coming!

Re: hey, help! need help! #1626457 03/13/01 07:03 AM
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I think Lee got all the good answers, but let me toss this one out.

one thing I used to try - and if I would have been good at it I'd be rich maybe, but maybe you'll do better:

think of a story or event and write down phrases to describe it - don't worry about the order, the meter, or anything - just get the ideas down.

then go into edit mode and take the best ideas and use them - look for hook phrases.

it won't matter if it has continuity in the end - what you leave out leaves room for listener imagination.

making things rhyme is usually not important.


Steve Powell - Bull Moon Digital
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Re: hey, help! need help! #1626458 03/13/01 09:33 PM
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Here's a trick I've found really useful - go buy as many 'refridgerator magnet word' sets as you can, then mix them all up and chuck them on your fridge. You would be surprised at how inspirational they can be - you'll start associating words you normally may have never thought of...

Re: hey, help! need help! #1626459 03/14/01 11:37 AM
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Sit down in a room by yourself, turn out the lights, turn off the phone, and think about the things you would never discuss with anyone, not even your closest friend. Think of things about your nature that you would not even admit to yourself. Go deep.


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Re: hey, help! need help! #1626460 03/14/01 02:08 PM
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Most of the good answers have been given, but here are a couple of ideas, using the Beatles to illustrate:

When people get emotional, they exaggerate. Music is mostly about emotion. For instance when the Beatles sang "Eight Days A Week," they knew a week has seven days, but they were exaggerating for effect. The same goes for "Hard Day’s Night:" the workday was so hard, it went into the night.

Be careful though of exaggerations which are cliches. How many times have you heard, "I will love you forever" in a song? When you think of a line like that, recognize it as a cliche and replace it with something new and fresh. The Beatles did this by reversing that line into the question, "will you love me forever?" and then sang it as, "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four?"


Enthusiasm powers the world.

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Re: hey, help! need help! #1626461 03/14/01 10:39 PM
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Actually, "a hard day's night" was a phrase coined by Ringo, and referred to the fact that musicians generally work at night. "A hard day's work" in the studio would really be a night, thus, a hard day's night.

And that brings up another helpful suggestion: playing with words and twisting their meaning, doing a new twist on a cliche phrase, can make a great lyric. Also pay attention to the SOUND of words. Sometimes a line may not much much sense or have much meaning (like "Yeah! Yeah! Yeah" or "Be Bop A Lula") but it SOUNDS cool. Ever since jazz and blues musicians came up with "scat" singing, people have been using words as percussive phrases, not just words. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith is one example of a rock singer who does this really well. Listen to "Walk This Way" or "Rag Doll"; you don't really even have to understand what the lyrics are to think the phrasing is cool, because the words actually just SOUND cool. Tyler began his career as a drummer and that significantly affects the way he phrases words, I think.

The Stones did that a lot too - who the hell knows what a "Jumpin' Jack Flash" is but it sure sounds great dripping off Jagger's lips. Beatles examples of words that sound cool: "Come Together" and "I Am the Walrus".

'Course, if you listen to hip hop, the phrasing is the whole enchilada. Those guys make their entire living figuring out how to phrase things so they sound rhythmic and funky. Language as percussion is a way cool thing. If you listen to a lot of world music, it really makes it obvious because you won't understand the language but somehow you can still relate to the sound of the words. I love songs that have a lot of chanting, grunting and other strange vocal noises in them too, especially when sung by a whole group of people. Sly and the Family Stone comes to mind.

Words are fun toys!

--Lee


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Re: hey, help! need help! #1626462 03/15/01 12:39 AM
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From Rolling Stone Magazine at:

http://www.rollingstone.com/features/beatles/song.asp?id=6

<< "A Hard Day's Night" opens with the most famous chord in all of rock & roll: a radiant burst from John Lennon's guitar evoking the chaos and euphoria of Beatlemania at its height. The song was written by Lennon (the chorus and verses) and Paul McCartney (the bridge) for the opening scene in the Beatles' first movie. But the sunlight in that chord, the exhilaration of the Beatles' performance and the title's sigh of exhaustion make "A Hard Day's Night" a movie in itself, a compact documentary of the Beatles' meteoric rise.

The song title started as a throwaway crack that Ringo Starr made after an arduous stretch of filming, although he might have borrowed the phrase from Lennon, who coined it in his book debut, In His Own Write. When Lennon passed Starr's remark on to director Richard Lester, who was still looking for a name for the film project, the Beatles were told to write a theme song to go with it. >>


Enthusiasm powers the world.

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Re: hey, help! need help! #1626463 03/15/01 01:31 AM
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d gauss Offline
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you could try this:

take your band to hamburg germany for 6 months and play 8 sets a night 7 nights a week a night at a strip club, sleep in a rat/roach infested room behind the stage, have sex with the strippers, drink lots of beer, and do lots of uppers to stay awake.

i dunno for sure, but it worked for the beatles....

Re: hey, help! need help! #1626464 03/17/01 06:46 PM
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d gauss....I see you've played that game too!!

Re: hey, help! need help! #1626465 03/17/01 08:01 PM
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My advice would be to study Prince, his music and his lyrics.

Re: hey, help! need help! #1626466 03/18/01 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by d gauss:
you could try this:

take your band to hamburg germany for 6 months and play 8 sets a night 7 nights a week a night at a strip club, sleep in a rat/roach infested room behind the stage, have sex with the strippers, drink lots of beer, and do lots of uppers to stay awake.

i dunno for sure, but it worked for the beatles....



no way , this is the best idea I've heard from anyone. (Prince would be plan B maybe at best)


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