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#459670 - 02/28/18 03:47 PM [Songwriting] The Joy Of Writing Songs And Connecting With Others
Jon Thomas Offline
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Registered: 12/18/15
Posts: 172
I just want to share a little story that happened to me a few weeks ago.

Once a month or so I like to attend a local open-mic night, strictly for songwriters - no covers allowed. Small place, nice people, mostly friendly faces, but always some new ones as well. It's a nice atmosphere. You get good songs, so-so songs, and even some occasional bad songs. It's all good. It's just a nice place to be.

So, it's my turn. I go up on stage, and I play a new song - as I usually do, I always try to play something new. Now, I am not a good performer - I don't have a great voice, I'm just a barely decent guitar player, but that's ok, it's a night for songs and songwriters, not for performers, you know what I mean. So I never expect a strong reaction for my "performances", but musicians are there, and they let me know what they think about my songs, and they are usually very nice.
But this time it seemed a little different. While I was playing I noticed a little more "intensity" than usual in the way some people were listening to me, and nodding, and in the end applauding. Nice, I said to myself, they seem to actually like this song. Nothing too unusual. People are nice there, and they usually like my songs, or at least so they say, more or less.

So I get off stage, and in a minute a guy comes close to me. He's a regular, not really a "friend" of mine, I would say, but for sure a nice guy and a good musician. He's about my age, about 50 or so, grey hair, wife, kids and everything. Good songwriter too. I did notice something unusual in his face, but with the low lights I couldn't tell what it was right away. "You know" - he says - "I only cried twice in my life for a song" - and that's when I noticed that his eyes were red, and he still had tears coming down his face - "The first time was when I heard, 30 years ago, a certain song from U2 - you know, I grew up listening to them ... and the second time was ... tonight, while listening to your song. You made me cry, buddy ... don't do it again!!!" He laughed and hugged me.

I was shocked. It never happened to me, ever, to get such a strong emotional reaction from someone listening to a song of mine. Wow. What an emotion for me! What an incredible feeling! I couldn't believe it. I know it was only one person, and it never happened before, and it will never happen again, but boy was it such a nice, warm, beautiful thing to experience for me!
That short conversation will stay with me for the rest of my life.

So, my final thought is: tell people about how you feel about their songs. Be honest, but also be nice. If you liked their song, tell them. If their song moved you a bit, tell them. If their song made you think or made you smile or made you cry or made you dream, tell them. Be open. Be kind. Don't hide your appreciation for other people's songs and works. Openness and kindness are great things.

That's all. If you have similar experiences, share them!!! It would be nice to hear them, I think.

J.


Edited by Jon Thomas (02/28/18 03:49 PM)
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#459676 - 02/28/18 04:54 PM [Songwriting] Re: The Joy Of Writing Songs And Connecting With Others [Re: Jon Thomas]
MarioD Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 10974
Loc: Hamlin NY
That is a special story and something that you should be proud of.

Now post the song so we can hear it.
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#459680 - 02/28/18 05:38 PM [Songwriting] Re: The Joy Of Writing Songs And Connecting With Others [Re: Jon Thomas]
Jon Thomas Offline
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Registered: 12/18/15
Posts: 172
Mario
I haven't recorded it yet. Also, it's a song in Italian, my own mother tongue. But I will post it eventually. It's not such a great song anyway. I guess my point is that almost any song can touch someone, somehow, for some reason.
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#459691 - 02/28/18 06:37 PM [Songwriting] Re: The Joy Of Writing Songs And Connecting With Others [Re: Jon Thomas]
Belladonna Offline
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Registered: 09/09/17
Posts: 250
Loc: Virginia
Hi Jon, That's happened to me before. Someone crying and I touched their heart and it seems to make all our efforts so worthwhile. Then there's also the other side where we get ignored by especially frustrated or narcisstic songwriter musicians. Lately, I've been thinking about getting our highs from the external likes of others. I do acknowledge that when someone is actually crying you've reached really deep to that person. Unfortunately relying on likes from social media sites and maybe other musicians is at some point is bound to let you down. Because it depends on others likes, dislikes, opinions, frustration within themselves, jealousies, etc. At some point we need to self evaluate and validate if we like what we do and does it meet our standards. But we all like "Likes".


Edited by Belladonna (02/28/18 06:38 PM)

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#459790 - 03/01/18 08:42 AM [Songwriting] Re: The Joy Of Writing Songs And Connecting With Others [Re: Jon Thomas]
Jon Thomas Offline
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Registered: 12/18/15
Posts: 172
Hi Belladonna
yes, I see what you're saying and I agree with it. I guess what's unusual (for me) about this story is that I ALWAYS wrote music for myself. I never looked out for "likes". Not that I'm shy, not too much anyway, it's just that I never really cared too much about what other people would say about my creations. It was "my thing", and that was it. And that lasted literally decades (about 35 years, indeed .. I started fooling around with music at very, very young age). But this changed in the last few years. Some friends "forced me" to participate to some open-mic nights, I started posting some music here in this forum and in other online places. So, it's kind of new for me to discover, to my great surprise, how strangely (for me) rewarding it is to connect with others through my own music. And even stranger, for me, it's the fact that such connection does not necessarily has to do with how I perceive my own music. I've performed songs of mine that I thought were really good, and nobody really cared. And I've performed songs of mine that I thought they were barely "ok", if not worse, and I got some strong positive reactions. It's so interesting how deeply subjective and different things are in music and, really, in everything. All this is reminding me to be kind with others, especially with fellow musicians. To be kind doesn't mean to be untrue. It just means to remember that nobody has the "Truth" in his / her pocket, and even if you don't like a song, maybe someone else will be touched to tears by the same song. I'm 51 and still learning how to live my life, it seems smile


Edited by Jon Thomas (03/01/18 08:44 AM)
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#459818 - 03/01/18 12:22 PM [Songwriting] Re: The Joy Of Writing Songs And Connecting With Others [Re: Jon Thomas]
HearToLearn Offline
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Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 1443
Loc: -
Jon, that is awesome!

A song is what the listener makes it. Sometimes the listener is a total stranger. Other times it's someone close to the writer. Sometimes so close, it is the writer.

Connection is a wonderful thing. Well done.
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#459829 - 03/01/18 01:40 PM [Songwriting] Re: The Joy Of Writing Songs And Connecting With Others [Re: Jon Thomas]
Belladonna Offline
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Registered: 09/09/17
Posts: 250
Loc: Virginia
Jon, your story so reminds me of an artist's story I heard years ago. There was an art show with paintings showing from amateur to professional painters. They were all displaying and selling their work. One of the amateur artists had painted a horse, which is fairly difficult subject to paint anyway, and it was okay but certainly not professional in any way. Showing beside the amateur painter was a extremely good professional painter who hadn't sold a painting at the show. A wealthy patron viewing the show walked past the professional to the amateur with oohs and ahhs at the horse painting and purchased it much to the dismay of the professional artist. The patron was in tears as to how much it reminded her of her favorite horse who had recently died. So, it's what brings out the emotion in the individual IMHO.

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#459962 - 03/02/18 08:12 AM [Songwriting] Re: The Joy Of Writing Songs And Connecting With Others [Re: Jon Thomas]
Deryk - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 1146
This is a beautiful story, Jon - I love being reminded of the power of music. When I first got into creating music 10 or so years ago, my main goal was simple. If my music touches even 1 person in the same way my favourite music has touched me, I can rest in peace. All the business side and politics aside - I try and stay true to this each time I write a tune.

Thanks so much for sharing this - it was an inspiring read to say the least smile
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#461194 - 03/08/18 02:52 PM [Songwriting] Re: The Joy Of Writing Songs And Connecting With Others [Re: Jon Thomas]
Ember - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 809
Loc: Victoria, BC
Wow, what a beautiful story. As corny as it sounds, I've always believed in the power of music, and your story just reaffirms that belief. I know you mentioned you hadn't recorded the song yet, but I hope it's soon!

I also feel that's the way of it with artists in general -- the things we really like or are proud of the most seem to be less liked by others, yet the things we don't necessarily refine but leave raw with that extra bit of emotion seems to really resonate with people. But then again, maybe that's just me and my personal experiences. I can't speak for everyone, but I know with my drawings and paintings the things I do that take me only a few short hours always seem to get the most praise, but the things I spend 30+ hours on doesn't seem to get any attention. Again, that could just be me.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful story with us all.
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#461356 - 03/09/18 01:59 PM [Songwriting] Re: The Joy Of Writing Songs And Connecting With Others [Re: Jon Thomas]
Jon Thomas Offline
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Registered: 12/18/15
Posts: 172
Follow up: I'm becoming good friends with that guy that loved my song so much. We have a lot in common. That song got me a new friend ... it really served me well !!
What more can I ask from a song? smile


Edited by Jon Thomas (03/09/18 01:59 PM)
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#461623 - 03/11/18 01:40 PM [Songwriting] Re: The Joy Of Writing Songs And Connecting With Others [Re: Jon Thomas]
Ember - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 809
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Jon Thomas
Follow up: I'm becoming good friends with that guy that loved my song so much. We have a lot in common. That song got me a new friend ... it really served me well !!
What more can I ask from a song? smile

That's really great to hear! Nothing like a new friendship. Congrats. Hopefully you guys are friends for many years to come.
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#461649 - 03/11/18 03:44 PM [Songwriting] Re: The Joy Of Writing Songs And Connecting With Others [Re: Jon Thomas]
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 5764
Loc: GA USA
Originally Posted By: Jon Thomas
Follow up: I'm becoming good friends with that guy that loved my song so much. We have a lot in common. That song got me a new friend ... it really served me well !!
What more can I ask from a song? smile


Absolutely nothing. Great story.
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#462308 - 03/15/18 10:20 AM [Songwriting] Re: The Joy Of Writing Songs And Connecting With Others [Re: Jon Thomas]
Joe -PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 01/18/16
Posts: 778
Originally Posted By: Jon Thomas
I just want to share a little story that happened to me a few weeks ago.

Once a month or so I like to attend a local open-mic night, strictly for songwriters - no covers allowed. Small place, nice people, mostly friendly faces, but always some new ones as well. It's a nice atmosphere. You get good songs, so-so songs, and even some occasional bad songs. It's all good. It's just a nice place to be.

So, it's my turn. I go up on stage, and I play a new song - as I usually do, I always try to play something new. Now, I am not a good performer - I don't have a great voice, I'm just a barely decent guitar player, but that's ok, it's a night for songs and songwriters, not for performers, you know what I mean. So I never expect a strong reaction for my "performances", but musicians are there, and they let me know what they think about my songs, and they are usually very nice.
But this time it seemed a little different. While I was playing I noticed a little more "intensity" than usual in the way some people were listening to me, and nodding, and in the end applauding. Nice, I said to myself, they seem to actually like this song. Nothing too unusual. People are nice there, and they usually like my songs, or at least so they say, more or less.

So I get off stage, and in a minute a guy comes close to me. He's a regular, not really a "friend" of mine, I would say, but for sure a nice guy and a good musician. He's about my age, about 50 or so, grey hair, wife, kids and everything. Good songwriter too. I did notice something unusual in his face, but with the low lights I couldn't tell what it was right away. "You know" - he says - "I only cried twice in my life for a song" - and that's when I noticed that his eyes were red, and he still had tears coming down his face - "The first time was when I heard, 30 years ago, a certain song from U2 - you know, I grew up listening to them ... and the second time was ... tonight, while listening to your song. You made me cry, buddy ... don't do it again!!!" He laughed and hugged me.

I was shocked. It never happened to me, ever, to get such a strong emotional reaction from someone listening to a song of mine. Wow. What an emotion for me! What an incredible feeling! I couldn't believe it. I know it was only one person, and it never happened before, and it will never happen again, but boy was it such a nice, warm, beautiful thing to experience for me!
That short conversation will stay with me for the rest of my life.

So, my final thought is: tell people about how you feel about their songs. Be honest, but also be nice. If you liked their song, tell them. If their song moved you a bit, tell them. If their song made you think or made you smile or made you cry or made you dream, tell them. Be open. Be kind. Don't hide your appreciation for other people's songs and works. Openness and kindness are great things.

That's all. If you have similar experiences, share them!!! It would be nice to hear them, I think.

J.


That is a beautiful story and a very powerful reminder of why we write music. Thank you for sharing this with us Jon!
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#462379 - 03/15/18 06:32 PM [Songwriting] Re: The Joy Of Writing Songs And Connecting With Others [Re: Jon Thomas]
rockstar_not Offline
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Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7381
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Originally Posted By: Jon Thomas
Follow up: I'm becoming good friends with that guy that loved my song so much. We have a lot in common. That song got me a new friend ... it really served me well !!
What more can I ask from a song? smile


That’s an even better part of the story. Now write a song about it!

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#462447 - 03/16/18 08:28 AM [Songwriting] Re: The Joy Of Writing Songs And Connecting With Others [Re: rockstar_not]
Jon Thomas Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 12/18/15
Posts: 172
Originally Posted By: rockstar_not


That’s an even better part of the story. Now write a song about it!


smile smile smile
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