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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: 3179
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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#444889 - 12/13/17 10:56 AM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: David Snyder]
DaveBrooksMusic Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 230
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: 306
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: 3179
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.musicdealers.com/artist/davidsnyder







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

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 1813
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: 286
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: 286
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: 20
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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#447427 - 12/27/17 06:50 AM [Songwriting] Re: Coming up with Songs [Re: duncanwhyte]
Will Rockwell Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 02/05/15
Posts: 286
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
Introducing... RealTracks Artists David Wise & Shelly Justice!

For the first time ever Band-in-a-Box® can generate backing vocals with some amazing "oohs" and "aahs" vocal arrangements with RealTrack Set 278: Shiny Vocals Oohs and Aahs! Add male or female parts by renowned Nashville vocalists David Wise and Shelly Justice, and you'll LOVE the results!

David and Shelly have recorded with many different artists, including CeCe Winans, Dolly Parton, Don Henley, Donnie McClurkin, Jeremy Camp, Lady Antebellum, OneRepublic, Steve Green, and more!

RealTrack Set 278: Shiny Vocals Oohs and Aahs includes a three-part, six-voice arrangement – which you can use all together in your song or individually for more delicate textures! Listen to the demos for RealTracks Set 278 here.

Purchase RealTrack Set 278: Shiny Vocals Oohs and Aahs for just $29 here. It's also included in the Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows PlusPAK, UltraPAK, and Audiophile Edition.

Learn more about Dave & Shelly when you visit their RealTracks Artist Bio page:
David Wise: http://www.pgmusic.com/realtracks.artists.php?a=150
Shelly Justice: http://www.pgmusic.com/realtracks.artists.php?a=151

#TechTipTuesday - Band-in-a-Box® Patch Updates

If you're ever experiencing an issue with your Band-in-a-Box program, make sure you have the most recent patch update for your version - this can be done at http://www.pgmusic.com/support.updates.win.htm.

Patch updates are released frequently, and are created by our development team to fix any reported bugs, tweak existing features within the program, update demos and other files as needed, and more!

To find out which version of the program you have, visit Help | About Band-in-a-Box within the program. You will see the full version number listing as:
Band-in-a-Box® for Windows
Version 2018 (512)

The number in parentheses is the build number. As you can see, my Band-in-a-Box is up to date and will continue to stay that way because I've selected "Automatically check for updates every 7 days" within the Help | Check for Updates.... option (you can set the number of days to a different number). This window will also look to see if you're version is up to date, so you don't technically have to visit http://www.pgmusic.com/support.updates.win.htm if you didn't want to!

Once you've installed your patch update (make sure the program is closed when you're doing this), give it another try - if you are still experiencing the same issue you can report it by contacting us directly, or you can post your result to the Forum thread that also announces the patch update, like our recent Band-in-a-Box 2018 Build 512 Update (Feb 15) post.

YouTube Find - How To Play SLOW A7 BLUES Guitar Solo With 4 NOTES

Check out one of EricBlackmonGuitar's latest videos, How To Play SLOW A7 BLUES Guitar Solo With 4 NOTES and you'll hear a great Band-in-a-Box backing track!

http://www.pgmusic.com/?vid=blJPIX-9YbE

...and you'll also learn how to play blues with just a few notes!

A Little Bit Of Me Music Video!

A great music video created by forum user Floyd Jane! https://youtu.be/qPrejgnwb4M?t=3600

This song was featured in a detailed "The Birth of a Song" video created by Floyd Jane - watch the complete video here:
http://www.pgmusic.com/?vid=qPrejgnwb4M

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

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