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Getting out of a rut???


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I know this has been brought up before but I have a specific question. Let's say I have a song that's at least 2-3 years old. never finished. I am trying to finish it. I need a vocal melody and lyrics. Everything I have come up with SUCKS. I can't seem to finish this song but it needs to be finished soon because it is going to be on my next cd. How do I clear my head to come up with something memorable? I seem to be going back to the same stuff but I need a new direction. Do I just throw the whole thing away??? I have a few like this but the vox seem to be the back breaker. I am having trouble writing good vox for these songs. Any advise would be great!
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Originally posted by ryst:

I know this has been brought up before but I have a specific question. Let's say I have a song that's at least 2-3 years old. never finished. I am trying to finish it. I need a vocal melody and lyrics. Everything I have come up with SUCKS. I can't seem to finish this song but it needs to be finished soon because it is going to be on my next cd. How do I clear my head to come up with something memorable? I seem to be going back to the same stuff but I need a new direction. Do I just throw the whole thing away??? I have a few like this but the vox seem to be the back breaker. I am having trouble writing good vox for these songs. Any advise would be great!

Try a partner,...send the music to someone you knofw and see what they come up with. Play it for your aunt or a neighbour and maybe he starts whisling a melody.

Send it by email to me and see what I come up with,.. post it in the: is my music any good thread and ask people to submit melodies....

Adapt whatever you like of one of them melodies into your own. is that an idea?

Fan, nu pissar jag taggtråd igen. Jag skulle inte satt på räpan.

http://www.bushcollectors.com

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Hmmm...lemme see...you have a song...but no melody or lyrics? ;)

 

What do you just have a riff or chord progression? What sort of song is it?

 

I usually begin writing with a melody and maybe a snippet of a lyric...so everything else comes later. But, that's only one approach. There is no "right" approach. Metallica, for instance, claimed that on their latest CD, everything began with the riff. Makes sense to me, because they're great at writing riffs...and I, on the other hand, rather suck at it.

 

I would say one caveat of songwriting is to know your limitations (don't give in to them all the time)...but use others whose strengths supplement your limitations. Collaborate with someone who, for example is a good lyricist. Sometimes good lyrics will be able to start "singing themselves" in your head (the Elton John approach to using Bernie Taupin's lyrics).

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Originally posted by ryst:

I know this has been brought up before but I have a specific question. Let's say I have a song that's at least 2-3 years old. never finished. I am trying to finish it. I need a vocal melody and lyrics. Everything I have come up with SUCKS. I can't seem to finish this song but it needs to be finished soon because it is going to be on my next cd. How do I clear my head to come up with something memorable? I seem to be going back to the same stuff but I need a new direction. Do I just throw the whole thing away??? I have a few like this but the vox seem to be the back breaker. I am having trouble writing good vox for these songs. Any advise would be great!

FREE ADVICE:

READ the cat in the HAT by DR. SUESS. then read all the rest of the CAT IN THE HAT BOOKS.

Get a sense of rhyme and meter from them. Feel the harmonies in his words.

Then write down ten songs lyrics. Not yours anyone elses.

by hand, feel the words come alive under your pencil. SAVE THESE.

Now learn ten NEW SONGS by three different bands..

MAke them HANK WILLIAMS SENIOR, THE EAGLES and GREEN DAY.. learn and PRACTICE then Record them for your ears only.

now learn a reggae tune, A surf tune, and finally a twelve bar blues song. Study the way they sound to your ears..

write down all the lyrics BY HAND and practice and record them for your ears only..

write a short poem about clouds.

write a shorter poem about rain.

RAIN RAIN GO AWAY

PLEASE COME BACK ANOTHER DAY

 

RAIN IS GOODE RAIN IS BAD

WHY do RAINS MAKE ME SAD

NOW write a short poem about

your legs.

 

Write a shorter poem about your left eye.

I'm a sanger

I put my fanger

in my left eye DANG! 'er.

 

FINDE a rhyme for TESTICLE

 

NOW make a POEM useing these THREE WORDS:

COUGH, DOFF and BOFF...

you cough from your lungs

YOU DOFF your hat at a ladie and you BOFF the wife..

 

then learn TWENTY new songs in three different styles..

ONCE you have done ALL THAT go BACK and finish your three year old tune.

POST it so I may hear and be amazed..

that is all.

ovre and out..

Frank Ranklin and the Ranktones

 

WARP SPEED ONLY STREAM

FRANKIE RANKLIN (Stanky Franks) <<<

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If you just have a chord progression, loop it and just listen over and over (and over again!) into an almost trance mode. You will start to hear overtones and suggestions of melody.

 

If it is groove oriented, dig into the rythm and find a melodic rythm that works - the notes and lyric don't really matter at that point.

 

Like said, don't forget what you were writing about, and once you have established some targets for melody and melodic rythm, "fill in the blanks" with your lyrical message.

 

Works for me, YMMV.

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thanks for the advise, guys! It's still frustrating because when I write, the music is first and the lyrics are second. I don't know what the song is or should be about until later. Is that weird? It seems like some of you know what a song is about before it's written. I wish I could do that. :confused: I will try the advise mentioned and see what happens!
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Try this. Tackle parts seperately. Find anything about any of these song sections that is unique or worth putting into the melody, looking at voice leading or anything else.

 

Sometimes a progression evolves faster into a big full arrangement that never lets in a nice melody because it got dense and full before a melody evloved. Maybe simplify it, you might have 15 great ideas or lines in each section but you might not need them all.

 

Dig through it all and find anything that is "hooky", you've held onto this tune even though it is not finished for a few years-- there must be very identifiable features that you like about it. Focus on them and hammer them out. It might mean you come up with the third line of a verse before the first two, or two words in the middle of an chorus with nothing else. You might not even end up keeping any of it. Hack away and find the part that gives you something.

 

Put what you got on tape or disk and just drive around singing or humming.

 

Good luck.

check out some comedy I've done:

http://louhasspoken.tumblr.com/

My Unitarian Jihad Name: Brother Broadsword of Enlightened Compassion.

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Originally posted by ryst:

...I have a song ...

 

...I need a vocal melody and lyrics.

Not looking to be critical...

 

...but without at least a melody line...or even bits and pieces of one...

...it's not a song...it's just a chord progression...IMO.

 

OK....that said...here's what I would do.

 

Focus either on just the first verse...or...I would try the chorus.

 

And just loop the section over and over and try to think of a couple of lyrics while also humming random melodies against the looping chords.

 

As a word or two pop into your head...they will help steer the melody...

...and after a few pieces, you'll get one line...then another...

...and that will be the cornerstone.

 

Then...just work out the "story" of your lyrics...and lay that into the chords...with complementary melody.

 

Mind you...it could take a day...or...???

 

If you come up empty after you try hard for a day or two...then move on.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Hey...do you know any decent sopranos...?

 

Set up your chord loop...bring some sweet-voiced angel in...

...and let her just improv over the chords.

 

I bet she hits some melody lines that can float on top of it! :thu:

 

(Make sure you are recording it all!!! :D )

 

Then go back and turn it into a formal melody...and then...

 

....the easy part... ;)

 

...the lyrics! :(

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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