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#229181 - 12/18/13 08:28 AM [User Showcase] The Best Christmas
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7588
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7588
This is likely the last Christmas song I will post this year..... (did I hear a sigh of relief from someone?)

This is a colab written, IIRC, around the end of 2011 using BB/RT for all the instrumentation.

I am not the singer.
All the tracks are real band renderings except the drums which are Jamstix and the bass guitar which is played by me as a sampled midi bass.

THE BEST CHRISTMAS

enjoy


Edited by Guitarhacker (12/18/13 08:31 AM)
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#229196 - 12/18/13 09:34 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 5673
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Scott C Offline
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Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 5673
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Definitely a toe tappin, two steppin Christmas tune. Loved it...

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#229473 - 12/19/13 08:18 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7588
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7588
Thanks Scott...
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#229704 - 12/20/13 06:57 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1920
Loc: WEST MIDLANDS, UK
sixchannel Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1920
Loc: WEST MIDLANDS, UK
Hi Herb
An excellent up tempo happy modern song with THE Christmas message.
Loved it!
cheers
ian
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#229710 - 12/20/13 07:36 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 17160
Loc: Australia
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 17160
Loc: Australia
Hi Herb,

This song is great; a really enjoyable listen. I have to hand it to you. Your songs are sounding incredibly professional. You've really developed the knack for writing, arranging and producing.

Below is just an aside. Please feel free to ignore it (in fact, you probably should) ...

Because I recently noticed that one of floyd's songs was a list song, it immediately stood out to me that verse 1 of this one, too, was a list song. One of the reasons that I find it difficult to use the 'list' approach is because I find verse development difficult. The question of "How do I make the second verse more emotionally intense?" always leaves me scratching my head. You've done it amazingly well here.

In her book, 10 Steps To Effective Story Telling, Andrea Stolpe talks about using more internal-based lyrics in the second verse as a means of development. I don't know if you're aware of it, but that's exactly what you've done here.

Using Stolpe terminology, in verse 1, you've used three 'external' lines followed by a fourth 'internal' line. (An 'internal' line is always great as a chorus trigger.) Then in verse 2, you've used one 'external' line followed by three 'internal' lines. Because you've set the scene so well with verse 1, the emotional intensity of the three 'internal' lines really lifts the emotional weight of the second verse. Very, very nicely done! In my opinion, these lyrics showcase the fine use of some great songwriting tools.

Overall ... it's applause all around from me!

All the best,
Noel
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#229718 - 12/20/13 08:06 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 3477
Loc: Florida
tommyad Offline
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Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 3477
Loc: Florida
Herb, Super job on this one! Well written, well arranged and edited, well recorded, and your singer did a nice job. I'm all in. Tom

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#229722 - 12/20/13 08:25 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7588
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7588
Ian: Yes, the Christmas message IS all about loving one another.

Noel: I had to think about that for a minute to understand what you were saying. I agree. The hardest thing for most song writers is to write a second verse that is better, more dynamic, and lively than the first. Writing a good first verse is relatively easy.... it's that second one that kicks everybody's butt.

I'm not patting myself on the back (too much) but one thing I have found is that my best songs and best ideas are generally collaborations with other writers. There's a lot to be said for having another person with a different POV to bounce the ideas back and forth. The more experience both parties have in writing, the better the results will be. A simple case of the sum being greater then the individual parts.

We actually looked at that from the negative to positive viewpoint. I don't, I don't, I don't, to... I do..... Once the switch was made from negative to positive, a whole new world of possibility opened for writing and the second verse was mostly written with the positive viewpoint in mind.

In addition to writing with D. Martin... the song came from his idea but it really changed from the first draft which does not resemble the finished tune very much. I worked with several professional songwriters at the Nashville Songwriters Assoc to critique the song..... structure, ideas, etc. They offered no writing input just advice.... maybe you should look at this, explore that idea, or drop that verse and this verse, combine these 2 things into one, and get to the chorus faster here. That sort of thing. The advice they offered took this from it's original almost 5 minute song with 4 verses, chorus, and a bridge, down to what you just heard.

You often hear me speak here about the need to rewrite a song when I critique someone else's songs..... I don't tell people to do things that I don't do myself. The secret to writing a good song is to rewrite it. Most people will not do that. Most are stuck with the notion that the first draft is the absolute best and they, nor anyone else is gonna mess with their perfect baby. Truth is.... there are very few.... very few song writers who can set down to write and the first draft is flawless and becomes a hit or a timeless classic. Sure it happens, but for most writers, it's a process of editing, adding, deleting, rearranging, and hard work to refine a song to the point where it is better than average. Of course, the more one writes the easier it becomes to get nearer the target at the beginning. You can't write 3 songs a year and expect to advance very much... it has to be an ongoing process... something you do on a regular basis. I have notebooks and now computer files filled with ideas started but not finished.

Enough on that.

I'm glad you liked the song. And I appreciate the in depth analysis of the verses. I just bought a new book on crafting better lyrics and have started to browse it before I settle in to read and digest the content of the author.
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#229753 - 12/20/13 10:46 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 2873
Loc: Karlsruhe, Germany
boehm Offline
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Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 2873
Loc: Karlsruhe, Germany
Hi Herb,

nice song. Good vocals and mix.
Merry Christmas.

Guenter
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#229755 - 12/20/13 10:55 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
aleck rand Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
Hi Guitarhacker,

Terrific! That you twangin' the git''tar? Man, it sounds so good. Tight harmonies, you nail all the pitches, tell a happy story and really drive that train.

Aleck Rand (aka Dean Clark)

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#229781 - 12/20/13 01:06 PM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7588
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7588
Boehm: thanks

Aleck: nope.... not me on the guitar. that is a composite of 5 guitar tracks from real band. Thanks for thinking that was me though.
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#229848 - 12/20/13 07:24 PM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 17160
Loc: Australia
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 17160
Loc: Australia
Hi Herb,

I totally agree with the re-write concept. I don't do enough of it!

Quote:
I just bought a new book on crafting better lyrics...


I'm curious. Who is the author of the book?

If you want to do yourself a real favour, I highly - very highly, in fact - recommend that you get hold of Pat Pattison's three books. They're the books I keep on reading and re-reading.

1. Writing Better Lyrics

2. Essential Guide to Lyric Form and Structure

3. Essential Guide to Rhyming

Pattison is a professor of lyrics and poetry at Berklee College. Perhaps his most famous students are John Mayer and Gillian Welch.

His books are very different from EVERY other songwriting book. If you're interested, and on the off-chance that you mightn't know, Pattison also has a free course on https://www.coursera.org/. Many people on the PG Website have done this 6-week long course and all seem to highly value it. Over the years, I've been to around 15 or 16 of his weekend workshops. They're awesome!

If ever you get the chance to attend a class of his, it's well worth going to.

All the best,
Noel
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#229873 - 12/20/13 11:01 PM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 4650
Sundance Offline
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Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 4650
Nicely done collab Herb.

Merry Christmas.


Josie

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#229893 - 12/21/13 04:59 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 5480
Loc: Originally Missouri ... Now Al...
Al-David Offline
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Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 5480
Loc: Originally Missouri ... Now Al...
Hi Herb,

I'm a newbie here...just signed up about an hour ago. I like your song. I played lead guitar in a Country band for almost 40 years and we did a lot of Country Swing and Western Swing...Bob Wills, Asleep At The Wheel, etc. You had my toe tappin' all the way. Thanks for a great listen! Merry Christmas...

Al David
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#229909 - 12/21/13 07:42 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Noel96]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7588
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7588
Originally Posted By: Noel96
Hi Herb,



I'm curious. Who is the author of the book?

If you want to do yourself a real favour, I highly - very highly, in fact - recommend that you get hold of Pat Pattison's three books. They're the books I keep on reading and re-reading.

1. Writing Better Lyrics


Noel


that's the one. I also have some others including Jason Blume's 6 steps
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www.herbhartley.com

Add nothing that adds nothing to the music.


As the sword chooses the warrior, so too, the song chooses the writer.

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#229910 - 12/21/13 07:43 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7588
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7588
Thanks Josie...


Al,,, much appreciated and welcome
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Add nothing that adds nothing to the music.


As the sword chooses the warrior, so too, the song chooses the writer.

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#229924 - 12/21/13 08:40 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 9156
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
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Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 9156
Loc: Florida
Herb,

A nice song. Good mix and a very nice vocal.
The guitar solos are nice - and the piano works well in this. - floyd

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#229952 - 12/21/13 11:04 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 2126
F.M.M. Offline
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Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 2126
hi herb great job vocal mix love that guitar solo thanks for sharing eric
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#230062 - 12/21/13 08:27 PM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7588
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7588
Floyd & FMM Thanks for listening...
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www.herbhartley.com

Add nothing that adds nothing to the music.


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#230154 - 12/22/13 10:18 AM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 10172
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
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Loc: GA USA
Nice production to end the year on for sure! Guitars solos are outstanding and backed with a fine mix.
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#230373 - 12/23/13 04:22 PM [User Showcase] Re: The Best Christmas [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 07/15/12
Posts: 1831
gruverider Offline
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Registered: 07/15/12
Posts: 1831
very nice work indeed! excellent choice of instrumentation. and extremely well crafted lyrics

(I also enjoyed the lyric writing discussion this song posting evoked)

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