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#483824 - 07/29/18 06:27 AM [User Showcase] WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please!
Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Tano Music Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Sorry for this quick post, so near after the last, but I'm headed out on vacation and wanted to get some constructive help on this track I've been working on..please help me improve/finish it when I get back, your comments most appreciated!

Harlem Bop

-----------------------------------------

Well, small-town jazzman makes the Apple;
Don't know a soul a-tall;
Last gig was Wesley Chapel;
First stop: find the union hall.

Heard about some midnight jammin'
Jumped the A train way uptown;
Found the spot on Amsterdam and
Heard that swingin' boppin' sound.

Sax sings sweet and bass keeps thumpin'
And the solo's never stop;
Groovin' beat is really sumpin'
They're calling it the Harlem Bop!

Hopped up to the smokin' bandstand,
Time to show my down-home chops;
Dipped my toe into the groovin' jam and
Laid my solo's on the Harlem Bop.

On the street they catch the rhythm
Hit the dance floor 'n never drop;
Folks keep truckin' and the band's right with 'em,
Whole house swingin' with the Harlem Bop.

Small-town jazzman's got his night-spot
Where the groove-sound never stops;
Folks go rockin' with the best the band's got,
Then we finish with the Harlem Bop.
------------------------
Style is _JFREDFS.STY (Fast Jazz w/ Fred Guitar)
RT's: 752 Acoustic BeBop Bass, 755 Bebop Piano, 1098 JazzSwingFredd Guitar, 437 Jazz Sax Solo, 462 Jazz Trumpet Solo
I used a lot of midi solo's for Bebop type jazz: Miles, Coltrane, Bird, etc.

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#483837 - 07/29/18 09:09 AM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3618
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Online   content
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3618
Loc: Sacramento, California
Great intro - it really sets the tone.

I expected the vocal to start right after the clarinet, so the piano following made me wonder if it was an instrumental. I'd cut that part out.

I loved the groove and the overall song.

Does "makes" here implies to me that the singer has "makes the big time in the Big Apple" instead of "makes it to":

Well, small-town jazzman makes the Apple;

Substituting "hits" might work better, only you use that word later.

This line works, but I'm rarely a fan of forcing in too much text into a line:

Dipped my toe into the groovin' jam and

It does fit the style, though.

The ending notes on "Harlem bop" are all the same note - I'd prefer something a bit more cadential.

Where'd you get the horns? They sound like Blue Street Brass.

Nice song! smile
_________________________
-- 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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#483838 - 07/29/18 09:16 AM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Tano Music Offline
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Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Great suggestions David.. Thanks.

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#483843 - 07/29/18 10:17 AM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 8691
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
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Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 8691
Loc: Florida
Instrumentally, the stuff that happens at the end (a full band kind of thing) seems "out of the blue" and unnecessary. Better to stick with the things that have been playing through the rest of the song. The clarinet and piano are nice.

Lyrically, there are a number of places where you could drop little words to get better prosody.

Sax sings sweet, bass keeps thumpin'
the solo's never stop;
Groovin' beat is really sumpin'
They call it the Harlem Bop!

...
Dipped my toe in the groovin' jam
Laid my solo on the Harlem Bop.

...
Folks keep truckin', the band right with 'em,
everyone swingin' with the Harlem Bop.

All just ideas, since you asked.
It's a good start...

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#483848 - 07/29/18 10:30 AM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 5072
Loc: North Carolina
David Snyder Offline
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Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 5072
Loc: North Carolina
I am not quite sure I understand the assignment.

I listened to it, and it is a nice jazz piece, and the lyrics and delivery are individual and distinct in voice as your other pieces are.

There would be NUMEROUS things I could say, but in these types of cases I always figure the artist did what they wanted to do.

With the sense of time urgency could you give some ideas on what you would like to have feedback on?

When I am asking for rapid feedback, I ask for things like:

Is the tempo right
Does it have the right feel
Is it catchy?
Is it too busy?
Is the melody ok, can it be improved?
Thoughts on the vocals?
Thoughts on mix?
Thoughts on effects..
Instrumentation..
and so forth

Just to be helpful, with no direction, people would be guessing, as I am now.

I can say it has a fun feel to it, but in terms of something you might want to do sometime with (and specifically what that is) I would have no idea what to say until I know what you want to do with it, and what you think might need fixing.

I am saying all of this now because this might help for future requests of this type.

Thanks!
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#483854 - 07/29/18 10:55 AM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Tano Music Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Hey David... I didn't mean to ask for Rapid feedback... I'll be on vacation for about a week and a half. Just looking for some things I can take action on by the time I get back. I'm not sure I like the way that it ends, I'm not sure that I like the way I combine solos at the end, I think in certain cases the lyrics might be too cute, those kinds of things.

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#483869 - 07/29/18 12:48 PM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3618
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Online   content
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3618
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: floyd jane
Instrumentally, the stuff that happens at the end (a full band kind of thing) seems "out of the blue" and unnecessary. Better to stick with the things that have been playing through the rest of the song. The clarinet and piano are nice.

I'll echo this. Although the brass is nice, they sound synthy and the effects don't match the rest of the mix.
_________________________
-- 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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#483870 - 07/29/18 01:21 PM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Tano Music Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Charlotte, NC
I agree with all these comments! .. Thanks Floyd and David... I'll be doing some refinin' when I get back to my studio..

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#483874 - 07/29/18 02:05 PM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 5072
Loc: North Carolina
David Snyder Offline
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Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 5072
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: Tano Music
Hey David... I didn't mean to ask for Rapid feedback... I'll be on vacation for about a week and a half. Just looking for some things I can take action on by the time I get back. I'm not sure I like the way that it ends, I'm not sure that I like the way I combine solos at the end, I think in certain cases the lyrics might be too cute, those kinds of things.


Hey Tano,

This is very interesting from an artist "gut check" standpoint. I think you have answered your own questions. I learned long ago, that if I asked someone:

"Are the lyrics too confusing?" the answer was YES.

If I asked "Is the lead guitar solo too sloppy?" the answer was YES.

If I asked "Is the ending too choppy?" the answer was YES.

In other words, your gut will always make you ask questions on the very things that are bothering you, and if they are still bothering you, that is exactly what you need to work on.

I keep going over stuff, again and again and again and again, over and over and over until I can finally hear it play back and go:

"Yeah."

Make sense?

smile
_________________________
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Audiophile Everything + Studio + Instruments + Fingers
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#483875 - 07/29/18 02:25 PM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 461
Loc: North Carolina, USA
DaveBrooksMusic Offline
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Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 461
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Hi Tano:

I find this song to be very inventive. I like how you went back to give us a glimpse of the past. Good choice on your instrumentation choices. Don't fret about perfecting this because there is no such thing. It really doesn't matter what other's may think about it as long as you like it and you've done your best based on your experience, who cares!

You either like it or not. There's plenty of music out there that I wouldn't give 2 cents for. What I like in music (of any type) is what is the writer trying to convey. If he's successful, I'll get it.

My motto is: If you like it, say something encouraging to the song writer regardless; even you don't like it overall. If the writer is serious, he will improve. the idea is to keep trying and learning.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is: "You ain't gonna please everyone...so please yourself and hope that others will hear your joy and love it too!!!

Sorry for the Sermon,
Dave
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#483877 - 07/29/18 03:06 PM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 2361
Loc: Victoria, BC
Ember - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 06/19/17
Posts: 2361
Loc: Victoria, BC
As always, you do throw your own flare on to everything. I agree with the sentiment that the lyrics started quite later then I had expected. Overall for a work in progress I think it has a lot of potential as a song!
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Ember

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#483894 - 07/29/18 04:40 PM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Tano Music Offline
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Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Thanks David and Dave!

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#483895 - 07/29/18 04:40 PM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Tano Music Offline
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Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Thanks Ember!

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#483896 - 07/29/18 04:42 PM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 5244
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Scott C Offline
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Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 5244
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
I really liked the tune. Super vocal and backtrack

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#483912 - 07/29/18 10:05 PM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 05/11/15
Posts: 2059
Loc: Aichi, Japan
animarorecords Offline
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Registered: 05/11/15
Posts: 2059
Loc: Aichi, Japan
Hello, Tom

Nice jazz tune!
It makes me feel 1930's or 1940's.
The jazz vocal tunes at that time sometimes have got long intro.
So, the piano following after the clarinet at intro is not bad.
Your vocal are fits this perfectly.
I am looking forward to what kind of finished product it will be.

Best regards.

Shigeki Adachi

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#483930 - 07/30/18 03:21 AM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 11515
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
VideoTrack Online   content
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Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 11515
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Great song, but my initial thoughts are that the tempo is not the best.

I think it's too rushed, and would work better just a little slower where it finds a groove it can sit in. I think it would swing better that way.

The vocals seem to be crammed in, barely with enough time to start the next phrase. Sort of like all the punctuation marks have been removed.

Just my thoughts. Maybe that was the intention.
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#483936 - 07/30/18 04:41 AM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Tano Music Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Scott, Shigeki, VideoTrak...thanks for the suggestions, much appreciated.

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#483951 - 07/30/18 07:46 AM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 3304
Deryk - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 3304
What a tune! Love the groove, love your vocals, and love the flow of this. It all work so well. It got my toe tapping instantly. This is precisely the kind of tune I can imagine sounding unreal live. It's a lovely throwback to the sound of the 40's, but with a unique modern twist.

Really nice on this one Tano - thanks for sharing smile
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Cheers,
Deryk

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#483954 - 07/30/18 08:11 AM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9441
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9441
Loc: GA USA
I think asking for feedback and receiving constructive and civil comments are a hallmark of this forum. Lyrics have never been my (Bud) strong suit but regarding the arrangement I think you have already received some very helpful comments and anything we said would be redundant.

We love music of the era this represents and feel that it is well worth some fine tuning.

Nice!

J&B

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#483956 - 07/30/18 08:16 AM [User Showcase] Re: WIP: "Harlem Bop" -- Feedback, please! [Re: Tano Music]
Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Tano Music Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Charlotte, NC
But... I wholeheartedly agree that seeking constructive feedback from the accomplished composers and songwriters in this form is one of the key benefits... I think we all like unfettered compliments, but in order to grow we also can benefit from the vision and perspective of others.

I sometimes find that I am too deep in the forest in order to be able to see the trees if that makes sense so getting some outside views is really helpful Thanks!

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