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#443355 - 12/07/17 11:06 AM [Songwriting] Coming up with Songs
Islansoul Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 05/15/15
Posts: 703
Loc: St. Petersburg , FL
How do you all make such wonderful songs in the user showcase? I can barley come up with one.
_________________________
Computer: Mid 2014 Macbook Pro,
DAWs: Pro Tools, Logic, and Maschine
plays drums, percussion, bass, steel pan, keyboard,
music producer/engineer

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#443361 - 12/07/17 11:19 AM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
Guitarhacker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5402
How does one create? That's a hard question to answer. Kinda like my dog.... she's a cadaver dog. We taught her what she's looking for and we know she can find what she's looking for, but we don't know how she does what she does. Same thing with writing songs..... it just happens. Some people struggle and some people can write a good song in 15 minutes and do it consistently. If you dig deeper, you will generally find that the ones who struggle don't spend the time writing or learning about writing, and the ones who can consistently knock out good songs every week are students of the craft and have thousands of hours invested in their instrument, their recording techniques and in their writing and you'll find them writing lots and lots of songs.

The more you write and create, and study the art and craft of songwriting and actually spend hundreds and thousands of hours doing it....and become knowledgeable with the software tools you have to the point that they don't impede your work flow, the better your musical creativity becomes.

Study the songs in the genre and style you really like and try to use those songs as a template for writing your own. You'll often see people commenting on a song here say that the song sounds like a certain song or artist. Chances are really good that the writer is a huge fan of that artist. I know I do that and I've seen it in so many other writers as well.

This doesn't even scratch the surface but it's a starting point. Songwriting, while having a natural talent for it helps, is, for the most part, an acquired skill. Acquired through endless hours of writing songs.
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You can find my music at:
www.herbhartley.com

Add nothing that adds nothing to the music

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#443363 - 12/07/17 11:32 AM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
Islansoul Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 05/15/15
Posts: 703
Loc: St. Petersburg , FL
Thanks, I see so many songs on the forum and I feel sad that I can't come up with songs most of you do. I end up writing backing tracks to famous songs.
_________________________
Computer: Mid 2014 Macbook Pro,
DAWs: Pro Tools, Logic, and Maschine
plays drums, percussion, bass, steel pan, keyboard,
music producer/engineer

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#443382 - 12/07/17 12:30 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
Samuel Davis Online   content
Apprentice

Registered: 08/09/17
Posts: 204
Loc: Florida
I agree with what Guitarhacker has said above. Like the old saying goes "Practice Makes Perfect." I find my recording and producing techniques becoming better and better the more I do it. Same with my songwriting skills. (Always remember there is a difference between writing a song and producing a song.)

As far as producing I am probably not the best at describing how to go about that. Half the time I'm not even sure exactly what I'm doing. I just try to make it sound good and BIAB has helped make that a lot easier.

As for writing a song itself there are many different ways to go about it. Nobody does it exactly the same. You have to experiment until you find something that works for you. If you are rather new to songwriting I waould suggest reading a few books about the subject and the techniques that others use. Perhaps you will find something that works for you. As for myself I use different methods when writing different songs but let me tell you what I do a lot of the time.

I like to strip things down to the basics when writing a song. Usually I will start with just my acoustic guitar, a pencil, paper and my phone. Once I have an idea to write about I will usually start by coming up with a chorus or hook. I sing a melody and strum the basic chords sometimes recording it on my phone for a reference. I'll write it down and go over it a few times to see if I like what I have. Then I move onto the verses following the same steps as I used to write the chorus. I find it useful here to have an online rhyming dictionary and thesaurus at your disposal. (It will help you find word to tell your story that rhyme) Once You have all the verses and chorus written you have your song. Then you can move onto putting your chords into BIAB and finding a style you like to start producing your song.

I hope this helps you out.
_________________________
Samuel Davis Jr
BIAB 2018 + Cubase + Ignite
BMI

www.sammycountry.com

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#443406 - 12/07/17 01:54 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
JohnJohnJohn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/25/12
Posts: 2069
Join a songwriting group and write lots of songs.

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#443440 - 12/07/17 05:17 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
Guitarhacker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5402
many songwriters simply observe life and write about what they see.

I get song ideas all the time and titles for songs from what people say. Example.... I was out with my wife and we were in WalMart when we met a friend we hadn't seen in a long time. In the conversation something was said and I instantly thought..... Hey that's a damn fine title for a country song.... I gotta remember that and I did..... I'll be working on it as soon as I finish a few other projects first.

I also get ideas to write about from listings. Some of the publishers I work with put out listings with specifics as to what the producer is looking for. If you really want to sharpen your skills, try writing for a subject that a producer wants and has to have in a day or two. Deadlines either blow you out of the water or force you to focus and get the job done. Fortunately, the last one I did like that was a cover tune, but I still had to put the music together, record it, sing it and get the wave to them. With BB/RB/SONAR, I had it done in a few hours.


One song on my website..... RAINY DAY was an original that was done under a very tight (2 days IIRC) deadline. They gave the details of how they wanted to use the song in the movie and the details of what it needed to be about. I had to write it, record it, and get it to them before the deadline expired. That one was a TAXI listing. That is a good place to get song ideas and songs that have deadlines. Even if you're not a member, you can go there, see the listings, and write to the listing. You can also hear what others are writing for the very same listing if they post it.

Collaborating is another good way to force yourself to write. Having another person to bounce ideas around with is good. Often, I find that at least half if not more of the ideas I try to work on with collaborators doesn't pan out very well...... but..... if you and they are willing to let it go and keep trying, those magic moments will happen, as is evidenced by a number of the songs I have had the pleasure to work on with others.....

Whiskey For Breakfast is one example of a more recent collab with David Snyder from the PG forum here.

Lots of ideas and things to try.... the important thing is to do it.


Edited by Guitarhacker (12/07/17 05:19 PM)
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You can find my music at:
www.herbhartley.com

Add nothing that adds nothing to the music

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#443461 - 12/07/17 08:20 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
Sundance Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 3977
You've already had some good advice. I'll add this -

Since you are already comfortable making backing tracks for famous songs - go to one of the sites that post lyrics from wannabe lyricists - find one that moves you - what do you feel hear when you read those lyrics. Offer to put it to music. Will you find the next number one hit there - probably not but you will get great hands on practice.

Do what you can do now. Learn more as you go. Read articles, books and watch any videos you can find by Jason Blume. There are many great songwriting books teachers and online classes. Jason's road to success is inspirational and he's a great teacher who I always recommend for anyone interested in learning to write songs.


_________________________
Josie
My videos
My songs





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#443820 - 12/09/17 11:27 AM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
rockstar_not Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7255
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
What do you think are stumbling blocks? Lyrics, chord selection, song section and form decisions, etc.? If it is none of those what is the biggest struggle? All of the posts above have great advice. Maybe you need a self imposed constraint to finish a song in a weekend, start to stop and ‘publish’. Experiment, try different song forms, etc. as stat d before it takes lots of practice writing throwaway songs to get a few keepers. Make sure it’s fun. If it isn’t it might not be for you.

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#444410 - 12/11/17 05:09 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
Jim Fogle Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 3439
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Try taking a free, six week, songwriting course taught by Pat Patterson. It's available on Coursera and Pat Patterson is a professor at Berklee College of Music. You will be urged to pay for certification but you can audit the course for free. +++ Find Out More HERE +++
_________________________
Jim Fogle
2018 BiaB (512) UltraPlusPak RB 2018 (Build 5)
Sonar Home Studio - Cakewalk Music Creator 6 - Audacity
i3 laptop, 64bit Win 7, 8 GB ram, 480GB HDD
Music at: http://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home

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#444435 - 12/11/17 06:02 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Jim Fogle]
Don Gaynor Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 7671
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Lots of excellent advice above.

A great Nashville songwriter and forum-mate, Floyd Jane, posted his workflow today. He has been very successful with it

https://www.facebook.com/pgmusicinc/posts/10155631829513801?notif_id=1513017841805148&notif_t=notify_me_page

You may need to be on Facebook to view it but I think PG Music has posted it also.

Several of us took the Songwriter Course by Professor Pat Pattison. It's the same course taken by 5-time Emmy winner, Gilian Welch. You will learn a lot in the course. Pat is a great teacher.

Thanks for reminding me, Jim Fogle.

Donny

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#444443 - 12/11/17 06:20 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Don Gaynor]
Don Gaynor Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 7671
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Since chord progressions are not copyrighted, try "borrowing" the chords from a favorite song then let BIAB create a brand new melody.

I borrowed the chords from Beatles' "Yesterday" and came up with this:

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=1209254&content=songinfo&songID=13501510

You will hear the original trying to escape.

Donny


Edited by Don Gaynor (12/11/17 06:26 PM)
Edit Reason: Added a link

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#444465 - 12/11/17 09:36 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
dcuny Offline
Expert

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 1811
Perhaps you might want to also consider why you might not be creating songs. I think I'm eminently qualified to speak on that topic. wink

One of the best ways to not create songs is to wait for inspiration. I've spent years waiting for inspiration to strike, and she never seems to stop by. Fortunately, there's an endless stream of YouTube videos and Facebook posts to keep me distracted while I wait. This allows me to engage in hours of activities entirely unrelated to creating a song.

It's also important to set unreasonable expectations. Sure, I've had some ideas that could be crafted into a decent song, but they weren't really great. I don't want to write a good song, I want to write something great. Discarding ideas that aren't mind-bogglingly fantastic is a good way to stop myself from writing that's merely OK. Discard anything that isn't entirely original.

Speaking of craft, it's also best to treat all aspects of the process as something magical. While there may be a handful of songwriters are successful with a workmanlike approach to composing, it that sort of music inspired?

Spend lots of time looking at musical gear. While there are still some folk who think that a guitar and a pad of paper are enough (I'm looking at your video, floydjane), for the rest of us, we know that it was the cool gear that made other people's songs so great.

You might think that buying music gear isn't the same as writing a song. But that's just backwards thinking - you're just not buying the right gear. Look at all the gear real musicians have. Surely that's the key to writing and producing great music.

Other people's talent greatly exceeds your own! Reinforce this by being hyper-critical of all the perceived flaws in your lyrics/voice/mix. Be sure that you only compare yourself to the best of the best!

Make sure that you do everything yourself. Other people on the forum would be happy to collaborate with you on the process of writing, singing, and mixing. But don't fall for this trap! Can you think of any real musicians who collaborated? I can't. It's important that you be an expert in every step of the process, from songwriting, arranging, singing to crafting a final mix.

Most importantly - songwriting is like dieting: you can start... tomorrow.

Follow these steps, and soon your output can be almost as minuscule as mine! grin
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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#444564 - 12/12/17 07:46 AM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
Deryk - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 678
I just try and stay inspired by always actively listening to music. I listen to about 5 or 6 new albums a week. Both old and new music, too. And across all genres. Even if it's something I'll never go back to, oftentimes it will help spark an idea for me. Also - I used to keep a notepad handy and jot down little ideas as they come to me. Now a days my phone has replaced that notepad.
_________________________
Cheers,
Deryk

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#444662 - 12/12/17 12:47 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: dcuny]
Jim Fogle Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 3439
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
David, your post was inspiring. grin Sarcasm at its finest.
_________________________
Jim Fogle
2018 BiaB (512) UltraPlusPak RB 2018 (Build 5)
Sonar Home Studio - Cakewalk Music Creator 6 - Audacity
i3 laptop, 64bit Win 7, 8 GB ram, 480GB HDD
Music at: http://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home

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#444741 - 12/12/17 06:16 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Jim Fogle]
dcuny Offline
Expert

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 1811
Originally Posted By: Jim Fogle
Sarcasm at its finest.

Actually, there's far more truth there than I'd like to admit. blush
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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Moderator:  Andrew - PG Music, PeterGannon 
PG Music News
RealBand 2018 Build 5 Update Available!

RealBand 2018 customers can download the latest free patch update here: http://www.pgmusic.com/support.realband.htm#2018_5

Summary of Changes for Build 5
Added: When generating the input file for saving as an MGU/SGU SongMode128= is saved to the input file.
Added: Localization support for 2018.
Added: flyby hints to new dialogs.
Fixed: Save As with a filename greater than 128 chars could cause an error 123 plus access violation.
Fixed: Rebooting RealBand after a filename with 128 chars was saved could cause an access violation.
Fixed: Pressing the Change button in the Event List Window could result in an access violation if an event was not a Note event.
Fixed: When running in Win 10, and using BBW or PT to generate audio harmonies, an error would occur saying that you need BB 2011 or PT 12 to generate audio harmonies.
Fixed: Midi Thru Method was not being saved to the .INI file. It always reverting to Track-Specific when booting up RealBand, even if the user manually changed the setting to Global in the Midi Thru Settings dialog.
Fixed: Delete All Notes on This Peg menu item in notation window right-click menu was missing.
Fixed: Potential crash on exit (having to do with the DLL attempting to free up a dynamic array that was passed to it).

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 Build 512 Update Available!

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows customers can download the latest free patch update here: www.pgmusic.com/support_windowsupdates.htm#512

Summary of changes for Build 512 since 510 (Feb 15 2018):
Fixed: "Load SoundTrack Song" and "Load song with RealDrums Audio" buttons in the Sound Track dialog were not working.
Fixed: After returning Band-in-a-Box to factory settings the File Open dialog would default to the bb\Data\Lib directory.
Fixed: Choosing a custom chord sheet font would ignore any color choice made in the font selection dialog.
Fixed: Drum names were sometimes truncated in the RealDrums MultiDrums and Quicklist dialogs.
Fixed: Exporting a MIDI file might cause the error, "MIDIConv.exe no found".
Fixed: Mixer changes were not undoable, and would not cause user to be prompted to save their song when exiting.
Fixed: Static in RT2438 and other various RealTracks fixes.
Fixed: StylePicker database various updates. Some styles were displaying the wrong feel (swing/even) in notation. A few styles incorrectly showed missing Drums.
Fixed: The audio latency setting would increase every time leaving the Windows Audio Devices dialog.
Fixed: The Download Manager folder name defaulted to 2016 instead of 2018.
Updated: Help file.

PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 is Here!

PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 is here! PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 includes many new features and enhancements:

Windows Audio (WASAPI) driver support. This allows for low latency audio recording/playback without requiring ASIO. Note that this supports 1 stereo input plus 1 stereo output at a time. For multiple inputs/outputs, you should continue to use either MME or ASIO.

ABC Notation format support. You can save a track of notation in a popular ASCII text format to import into other programs, or you can paste this format into a user forum as a way of sending the track (usually the melody and chord symbols) to other users without having to attach a file.

The built-in Audio Chord Wizard detection in the Chords window automatically detects the chords of the song, based on the audio data from all non-muted audio tracks. This works similar to the standalone Audio Chord Wizard, except that it uses the current bar lines of the existing song.

Notation Enhancements:
-X/8 time signature support. This is a special method of displaying 6/8, 9/8, or 12/8 time signatures in the Notation window.
-The Duplicate previous chord in notation right-click menu lets you quickly duplicate the previous chord (group of notes on same peg) without having to reenter it.
-Delete highlighted notes in notation right-click menu lets you delete all highlighted notes.
-Delete all notes on this peg in notation right-click menu lets you delete all notes on the nearest peg that was clicked on.
-You can now enter Section Numbers. Previously, you could enter letters (A-Z) only, but now you can also enter numbers (1-9).

...a full list of the new features in PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 is available at http://www.pgmusic.com/powertracks.features.htm

http://www.pgmusic.com/powertracks.htm

#TBT - The Beginning of Xtra Styles PAKs for Band-in-a-Box®

We released the much-loved Xtra Styles PAKs in August 2016! This release included 164 RealStyles for Jazz, Country, Rock-Pop, and Singer/Songwriter and worked with any Band-in-a-Box® 2016 or higher UltraPlusPAK, EverythingPAK, or Audiophile Edition!

Xtra Styles PAKs were such a hit... we couldn't stop making them! Since their introduction, we've released 3 more PAKs with a total of over 600 Xtra Styles in all!

Want to hear what other program users are doing with their Xtra Styles? Visit our Xtra STyles Contests forum to hear all the songs submitted during previous song contest we've had: http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=102&page=1

Learn more about Xtra Styles PAKs and listen to their demos at http://www.pgmusic.com/xtrastyles.php?os=win.

Band-in-a-Box® Customer Feedback - Feel The Love!

Check out some great feedback we've received on our Facebook account from program users:

"I have been using Band-in-a-Box for years. It is the anchor of my music gigs as well as my fun in my studio. I have used other software but Band-in-a-Box is my main go to."
-Jack T.

"Love Band-in-a-Box. As someone who played professionally for 20 years and retired from live performing years ago, I still love music. Band-in-a-Box allows me to create fun arrangements which I can sing over or play over. There are THOUSANDS of different variations plus you can enter any chords you like and create any chart. It's also great for creating background tracks for videos and audio content for websites, training etc. And like everything else in the world . . . it may not be right for everyone. For those who love music and don't have the time to shed five or six instruments it's way cool."
-Vinnie R.

"This program has completely changed my playing for the good. I can experiment with playing chords and leads over various scenarios that I can quickly create and change. Love this program. I use it nearly every day."
-Dave R.

"I bought my first version in 1994 and have progressed to 2018 version. I use it to create backing tracks for live music performance. I currently have over 2,000 songs performance ready. If you can and type, and use mouse it will work for you."
-Roger M.

"The premiere reason for me for buying this program; it has given me the freedom to fully complete the foundation for my songs without the confinement of limited minded musicians. After the song concept is complete, it can then be presented those musicians to play as a cover song. Also writing a song with a band gives them partial ownership of your idea... not cool... especially since they may have fought your idea every step of the way.. Every member of an organized band should own a copy of this program to compose or to even give legitimate composition alternatives to the original songwriter."
-Paul V.

Thanks everyone!

Support for ABC Notation Format in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows!

ABC notation is the simple text-based notation system used by musicians worldwide to store chords, melody, and lyrics of songs. Now with Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows you can open and save songs in ABC notation format!

To save the song in ABC notation format, press the [Save As] toolbar button and choose Save as ABC notation file from the menu. Once opened, select a track that you want to save and choose your other criteria - The [Copy to clipboard] button will copy the file to the clipboard (that you can then paste it into other programs). The [Save as File] button will let you type a name and select the destination in your hard drive.

Band-in-a-Box® Song Title Browser Requests Forum

Have you stumped the Song Title Browser feature in the Band-in-a-Box® StylePicker?

If you tried to search for a popular song and this feature didn't offer you any listings, we'd love it if you'd let us know in our Wishlist forum here.

Posting your requests to this forum really does work - we used it to increase the database with the Band-in-a-Box® 2018 release!

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