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#444884 - 12/13/17 10:37 AM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
David Snyder Offline
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Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 3468
Loc: North Carolina
To echo a few other comments here, I think one big rule is you have to listen to a lot of different music. Love it or hate it, I check in with Spotify once in a while and browse stuff in the various categories across all genres to see what is hot. Sometimes I get profoundly depressed and other times I get inspired, and a melodic idea or vibe will pop into my head. smile

One thing I have noticed about music as opposed to other forms of writing is that you can't (or at least I can't) choose to sit down and write a good song. (A bad song maybe, but not a good one.) I can sit down and force myself to write a book (and it is about as fun as driving a nail in your head) but it can be done.

Songs don't work that way for me. I can't try and write them. They just have to come out of the thin blue sky. It is like you are at the mercy of the gods or something. But, listening to other stuff helps, and I also spend a lot of time auditioning BIAB demos because they teach you A LOT about chord progressions and styles that work. That's golden.

Finally, there is the act of observing and taking notes.

Once upon a time, I went for a walk after a concert with one of the most famous singers and band members of the 80s and 90s. We ended up sitting on the hood of a burned out Pinto for 3 hours shooting the breeze, and while we did so a very intoxicated guy in a cowboy hat came up and started to share his life story. This famous singer pulled a cheap K-Mart notepad out of his pocket and a Bic pen and asked the guy to start over--and then wrote down every thing he said--and the talkative drunk guy was more than happy to oblige him. The beginning of this story was that God told him to stop listening to Elvis and to go Alaska and work on the pipeline and listen to the Grateful Dead. The end of the story was that God told him to hitch hike back home across the United States, read more of the Bible, and start listening to Elvis again. The stuff in between was more dramatic than the Grapes of Wrath. When the songwriter was taking notes, I have never seen anybody write faster in my life.

Later, when the band's next album came out, I heard a lot of stories and lines that sounded awfully familiar.

I learned so much from that I can't even begin to say, but I think it is all about careful observation of people, careful listening, and note taking.

Paul McCartney's Penny Lane is about a real barbershop. You can google the roundabout he is talking about and also see the barbershop building I believe. He just wrote down what he saw. It still give me goosebumps.
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David Snyder
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#444889 - 12/13/17 10:56 AM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: David Snyder]
DaveBrooksMusic Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 243
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Hey Mr. Dave;

Very thoughtful stuff. I've never really thought about song writing in this or any other manner because they just pop into my head and won't leave me alone until I write them down. Sometimes the lyrics come first, sometimes the music, but mostly the music comes first either by guitar of piano.

Once I have an idea, a song seems to take on a life of it's own until completed (if there is ever such a thing). I never really know how a song is going to turn out until I'm done. In many cases, they never sound the same way I first heard them in my head, but I tend to like how they morph into something that surprises the heck out of me! Revise, revise, revise...

Please keep up the good work!!!

All the Best,

Dave
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Also, please go to: https://soundcloud.com/davebrooksmusicfactory

HP Pavilion p6-2330; 1T; GB: 22; AMD Processor; Focusrite Scarlett Solo; Line mixer: Seismic Landsland-12p; DAW's: BIAB, Pro Tools 12.8.2 HD; Wave Pad Sound Editor.



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#444965 - 12/13/17 06:04 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
edshaw Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 318
Loc: Colorado
Some of the great writers of the Nashville heyday
used to associate with one another. Certain places, off the beaten track.
That is what goes on here, in a very real sense.
Let me add, just this week I was learning a new scale form and chord progession. Those who feel scales are boring don't get it that is is not just running up and down the scale pattern that is important. Sure, you have to do it. The pay day is when the notes begin to speak, and the combinations take on a life.


Edited by edshaw (12/13/17 06:09 PM)
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#445123 - 12/14/17 12:28 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: edshaw]
David Snyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 3468
Loc: North Carolina

Ed,

I have never understood why some people don't see a value in practicing scales in different keys.

To me, that is like a doctor saying "I don't need to learn anything about the sound of a heart beat" or a conductor saying "I don't need to know what those silly little dots mean. I just wave my wand."

Never made sense to me.

smile
_________________________
David Snyder
Audiophile Everything + Studio + Instruments + Fingers
ASCAP, NSAI

www.davidsnydermusic.com
www.reverbnation.com./davidpsnyder
www.soundcloud.com/davidsnyderchannel
www.songtradr.com/user/profile/david.snyder







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#445139 - 12/14/17 02:05 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: David Snyder]
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2013
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: David Snyder
I have never understood why some people don't see a value in practicing scales in different keys.

As Ed said, scales are a means to an end. If you want to be able to make music, playing scales is essential, but that's not all you need.

Some people are able to bridge that gap themselves, turning the scales into music.

But others could practice scales all day long, but be no closer to creating something musical, because they can't see beyond the notes.

Similarly, one of the key to writing good songs is to write lots of songs.

Most people will get better with practice. But some will continue to churn out one mediocre song after another.

There's a way of thinking musically that some people can grasp innately. For others, it's a struggle and we need all the hints we can get. Fortunately, the end result is often indistinguishable.

Dave talked about inspiration, but that's not something you can rely on. And we all have limited experiences, so that well runs dry some time or another.

Deryk mentioned listening to new music, and you told about the importance of getting inspiration from other people's stories. floydjane told about how he actively listened for some idea to use as his next song's hook.

For what little writing I've done, I've found this method is the most reliable for me:

  • Come up with a hook. This is the "inspiration" part.
  • Write verses that justify the hook. This is the "workmanship" bit.
  • Make sure each verse says something new that moves the song forward.

Whether music comes first or second really depends on you.

Sometimes you might start with a great idea, and end up with a great song. Other times, you'll have a mediocre idea, but manage to bang away at it until it's fairly solid.

Once the song is recorded and done, congratulate yourself and move on to the next song.
_________________________
-- 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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#446996 - 12/24/17 05:07 AM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
Will Rockwell Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 02/05/15
Posts: 291
I find the writing of song is like unraveling a sweater. The hard part is to find that first thread, but then when you start pulling it the song Just falls out of the ceiling. That said lately I've been using BB to write songs, just fooling around with chord configurations and instrumentation until I get something that sounds good. Sometimes I'll even transfer to Pro Tools before I have a word of lyrics written. This technique has opened up new styles of songwriting, and made it much easier to get a song started.
Here's an example. I wrote this last month, I wanted to write a song that honored Tom Petty, so it needed to be Southern, and laid-back. Beyond that the only connection to Petty is the mention of Highway 441. The music was created by changing chords around in BB, I was looking for a chord progression that was repeatable and interesting. Once I got all the chords worked out, I drove around in the car listening to it until I got ideas for the words.

Listen to Blue Southern Sky by WillRockwell #np on #SoundCloud
https://soundcloud.com/willrockwell/blue-southern-sky


Edited by Will Rockwell (12/25/17 05:59 AM)
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#447091 - 12/24/17 02:51 PM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Will Rockwell]
Will Rockwell Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 02/05/15
Posts: 291
I found a thread today, we'll see how it goes. I had made a BB track I just called guitar song. Today as I worked on it I remembered something that happened in Home Depot yesterday, a man was staring at the cans of spray paint and clearly baffled. He was holding a can of Robins Egg Blue, and told me he was looking for silver. I helped him find his paint, and today was thinking about how many people disagree just because they see the same things with different eyes. I have an idea to call this song Color Blind. That's the thread, now I'll start pulling.


Edited by Will Rockwell (12/24/17 02:51 PM)
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#447396 - 12/27/17 12:47 AM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: Islansoul]
duncanwhyte Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/19/17
Posts: 30
Loc: uk
I refer to the song 'the first time ever I saw your face'. As a good example of how a song began in an obscure original version and then grew into something quite outstanding. Look it up and see what happened to it. Along the way the composers and performers and the listeners participated in a long process of realisation.

I think composing works well when there is a balance of life. So having a 'musical home', a real home, a technical discipline and practice and time to let creativity come through.
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Using: Dell 3268 i3, 8 GB ram, windows 10. Biab version 2017 standard package, no extras.

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#447427 - 12/27/17 06:50 AM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: duncanwhyte]
Will Rockwell Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 02/05/15
Posts: 291
Originally Posted By: duncanwhyte
I refer to the song 'the first time ever I saw your face'. As a good example of how a song began in an obscure original version and then grew into something quite outstanding. Look it up and see what happened to it. Along the way the composers and performers and the listeners participated in a long process of realisation.

I think composing works well when there is a balance of life. So having a 'musical home', a real home, a technical discipline and practice and time to let creativity come through.


interesting. Here's the original version, from 1957
https://youtu.be/cXYPb0rrwbA
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Moderator:  Andrew - PG Music, PeterGannon 
PG Music News
User Tip - Slowing Down and Looping Audio in Band-in-a-Box®

Forum user DeaconBlues09 created a video tutorial to help answer a fellow forum user's question:
Using the Audio Chord Wizard to tempo map, slow down, and learn the notes of an audio track - video link http://www.pgmusic.com/?vid=R09Lf3bHjhQ

Forum thread: http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=467504

Thanks for sharing!

#TBT - Band-in-a-Box® 2006 for Windows Ear Training Fun!

With the release of Band-in-a-Box® 2006 for Windows we added two great games for ear training: Pitch Invasion and Music Replay!

Pitch Invasion helps to develop perfect pitch as you shoot down "alien" notes invading from above (you hear the note sound, and click on the on-screen piano/MIDI or QWERTY keyboard to shoot them down).

Music Replay develops your pitch, rhythm, and melody recognition by replaying what the program plays, in note, rhythm, or melodic modes.

These games can still be accessed with newer versions of the program - in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 you'll find these by accessing the Practice Window or Ear Training Window, both located in the Window drop-down menu. The Practice Window can also be accessed using the Practice button within the main Band-in-a-Box screen (don't see it? CTRL+T to change the view).

Learn all about the features released with Version 2006 here.

Video: Exporting Audio Files in Band-in-a-Box® 2018

Our latest video, Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows - Exporting Audio Files Tutorial walks you through the different options to export your Band-in-a-Box® songs and song tracks from Band-in-a-Box® as an audio file (WAV, MP3, etc.)!

http://www.pgmusic.com/?vid=_Px958TmzhA

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows Build 516 Update Available!

Band-in-a-Box 2018 for Windows customer can download the latest free patch update here: http://www.pgmusic.com/support_windowsupdates.htm#516

Summary of changes:
Improved: More RealTracks have HiQ transcriptions. Fixed Bass AmericanaSlow16thsByron bad chords.
Improved: The Audio Drivers dialog for WAS devices now shows Bit Depth in the device description.
Improved: WAS audio driver performance has been Improved when using 44.1 kHz sample rate.
Improved: Windows Audio Session error messages contain more specific information.
Updated: Misc. updates to StylePicker database, memos, manuals, help files.
Fixed: "BBW.LST not found" errors when using the Hybrid Style maker dialog.
Fixed: "mono" was being ignored when rendering a batch of songs to audio files.
Fixed: "normalize individual tracks" was only working for MIDI tracks.
Fixed: "One file per track" was being ignored when rendering a batch of songs to audio files.
Fixed: Access violation on bootup if using a Roland audio interface (ASIO) that is not connected.
Fixed: Adjusting Melody or Soloist tracks to fit a new number of choruses was not undo-able.
Fixed: An access violation error might occur in the RealTracks Picker if quickly scrolling and double-clicking to hear demos.
Fixed: Changing a track name using the StylePicker mixer controls might open a hidden popup window.
Fixed: Changing the number of choruses was not undo-able.
Fixed: Clicking on the far left of the Guitar window would cause a "!!!!!" flash message to show.
Fixed: If adjusting the number of choruses in your song, choosing Cancel is ignored when asked, "OK to adjust Melody track to fit new # of choruses?".
Fixed: JazzBebopDannyBrushes sometimes out of sync.
Fixed: Panning the audio track did not work.
Fixed: Some Amplitube presets/styles/demos pointed to a preset which wasn't available in some installs.
Fixed: Some typos and omissions in RealDrums Picker.
Fixed: The [.STY] button in the Hybrid Style maker dialog.
Fixed: The [Get Patch/Drum Kit Info] button in the MIDI drivers dialog would not find the synthesizer documentation.
Fixed: The About dialog was not showing the Fretlight Ready logo.
Fixed: The Audio Chord Wizard would always run in English.
Fixed: The busy mouse cursor might remain after analyzing audio with the Audio Chord Wizard.
Fixed: The PDF driver installer could not be launched from Band-in-a-Box.
Fixed: The Plugins window would be too small when using plugins that have a small GUI.
Fixed: Using a Coyote DXi synthesizer (eg CoyoteWT or ForteDXi) might cause crackling/buzzing noise during playback.
Fixed: Using a multi speaker layout (eg. 4 speakers surround sound) instead of stereo might cause failure to connect to audio hardware with error -9996. This only happened when using WAS as audio driver type.
Fixed: Video rendering would fail if saved using Japanese characters in file name.
Fixed: When saving a Hybrid style for the first time, the File Save dialog should start in the Styles directory.

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Amazing Band-in-a-Box User Comments!

Great program with lots of support through the publisher and after-market. Use it for teaching, practicing, and gigging.
-Andrew L.

I just got my 6th film placement on a song recorded entirely in Band-in-a-Box. You guys rock!
-Terry Fernihough (Band-in-a-Box Endorsing Artist!)

I love this program. I have only had it for around a month but it has made things a lot easier for me. I no longer have to scour the internet for backing tracks. I just plug in the chords I want to use, find the style I want and done. Saving me so much time and being able to transpose into different keys is awesome too.
As the days go on I will be delving deeper into what it can do, importing some of my backing tracks into Abelton 9 to play with and writing some songs.
Best money I have spent on something in while.
-Peter S.

I started using Band-in-a-Box around 1990. It was the DOS version naturally and I used one of those old portable computers with dual floppy drives and a built in 9" monochrome display. I connected midi cables to a great sounding Yamaha keyboard and played my music using midi tracks. I did a demo for a university music class that was a lot of fun. Wow, it is almost unimaginable to see where this product has elevated to today. I have upgraded many times over the past 28 years but each time I am even more amazed. Thank you PG Music for being such a major part of my love for music all of these years!!!
-Dwayne G.

Incredible Software. Great for ignorance and experts and for anyone who wants to deal with music. If you do not have a hobby and want to have one "band in a box" is the best choice. Simple, but if you want to be an expert on it, you need to make an effort to master it perfectly for perfect use. The only disadvantage is if you do not want to become a musician, and use it, you will become a perfect musician. Therefore, be cautious. It's not a toy.
-Ilija B.

I’ve been using it for about the same time (20 years). I’m a trumpet player and just really want some backing on lead sheets. With the Real Styles - it sounds fantastic! Takes just minutes to input chord changes and find the right style. There is so much you can do and I love having the Soloist features to really add color.
-Mike B.

Read even more great feedback here.

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 Danish Edition for Windows® is Here!

http://www.bandinabox.com/bb.php?os=win&lang=da

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 til Windows er klar!

Vi har haft travlt, og har tilføjet mere end 50 nye funktioner og en fantastisk samling af nyt indhold, bl. a. RealTracks, MIDI SuperTracks, Instrumental Studies, Loops, Artist Performances, Amplitube presets og dertil hørende stilarter, 12-tonearter RealTracks og Hi-Q Guitar Notation! Vi har tilføjet 202 nye RealTracks, hvilket er det dobbelte af de 101, vi ofte tidligere har udgivet! Vi introducerer Video RealTracks (40 i genrerne Country, Pop, and Jazz), som fungerer helt som RealTracks, men også har videoer af musikerne, mens de spiller! Vi har også lavet en ny Xtra Styles PAK 4 med 160 nye Xtra Stilarters. (Xtra stilarter er stilarter baseret på tidligere udgivne RealTracks). Der er mere end 200 nye RealStyles baseret på vores nye RealTracks bl.a. Americana, Klezmer, Top-40, Jazz stryger pads, Vokal (ooh og aah), Ny Crooner "Shout" BigBand stilart og meget mere! Vi har en Bonus 49-PAK med 40 ekstra ikke tidligere udgivne RealTracks foruden de 202 ovenfor nævnte, så alt i alt er der 242 nye RealTracks til rådighed! Bonus 49-PAK indeholder også Video RealTracks sæt 1 og 2, 32 nye MIDI SuperTracks, 108 nye Instrumental Studies, 52 Loops og 8 Artist Performances.

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