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#584737 - 03/09/20 06:17 PM [Songwriting] Re: How does one get out of the "shadow" of past songs? [Re: musician17]
Registered: 04/24/17
Posts: 567
Loc: Sillie Con Valley, California
Mike Halloran Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 04/24/17
Posts: 567
Loc: Sillie Con Valley, California
Hmmm... I was asked to write a song on spec 40 years ago. Wrote it but the artist never recorded it, died and I put the song in a drawer.

Was in Nashville last week and sang it at a showcase. People I don't know plus a few I do are clamoring for the demo. Time for me to make one, I suppose.
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#584738 - 03/09/20 06:19 PM [Songwriting] Re: How does one get out of the "shadow" of past songs? [Re: musician17]
Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 1232
Loc: Central Ohio
edshaw Offline
Expert

Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 1232
Loc: Central Ohio
The Forum's ears eagerly await the demo, Mike Halloran!
Bawb: You've put your finger on one of Band in a Box's greater
uses; namely, using it as an integral part of the
creative process. I mean, as opposed to plying BB to
our will, there is a whole area in which the composer
can simply noodle around in BB. Our culture stresses
so much the idea of knowing where you want to go, then
putting yourself to the task of getting there. After all,
time is money, hey?
Thanks for the kind words and the listening tip, James.
This web site I have been working on for a while is
finally going live. I am applying myself to God Tube
videos, also. On top of that, I have taken on the task
of rounding up musicians to produce mutually beneficial
radio playlists. If that sounds like hands full, it is.
My next video trilogy will be "Near the Cross" "Beautiful
River," and a favorite of yours, "In The Garden." That is,
if I don't cave in from over work smile


Edited by edshaw (03/10/20 05:47 AM)
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#585083 - 03/11/20 11:40 AM [Songwriting] Re: How does one get out of the "shadow" of past songs? [Re: musician17]
Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 1127
Loc: United Kingdom
musician17 Offline
Expert

Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 1127
Loc: United Kingdom
Sounds so busy, Ed!!! Good luck in everything you do and please, whatever you do, don't overwork yourself!!! Let me know, if you want (of course), once your projects have taken off ... I'd be really curious to see how things go :-) = and looking forward to hearing your next songs and arrangements!
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#585306 - 03/12/20 11:53 AM [Songwriting] Re: How does one get out of the "shadow" of past songs? [Re: musician17]
Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 2074
Loc: Midwest
HearToLearn Offline
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Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 2074
Loc: Midwest
I'm not sure if my advice would help at all; but I will take a swing at it. If you are in the "shadows" of past songs, step into the "light" of new ones. A change in mentality can make a HUGE difference.

I'm not allowed to have times that I just can't write. They will take my house. I have to write consistently on demand. Period. There is no other option unless I change professions. I write for a living.

My thought process isn't much different than what has been mentioned. You need to know this next thing. It's IMPORTANT.

You not being able to write songs as well as you feel you did has NOTHING to do with your ability. It's your thinking! So, if it's your thinking, get it back to when you wrote those songs.

Also, give yourself permission to learn. Learning isn't about perfect growth. It's about making TONS of mistakes to improve yourself. That takes the pressure off big time.

I feel like you are somewhat asking "how do I avoid the dirt and dig ONLY diamonds." It doesn't work that way son. wink (Just an expression, I'm not sure your age) Fall in love with the process again, and the some great results with come from it.

Given the subject line of the thread, I would guess you have some habitual questions you ask yourself that aren't serving you very well. The assumption is you are in the shadow in the first place! Instead, if you asked something like "what can I do today to get myself that much closer to my next great song?" it may energize you to take the actions of moving forward. And it's not some big complicated overthought answer you are looking for. It should be something like "I will commit to writing 30 minutes." You do that day in and day out and you can just feel the progress. Then WHEN that next song comes, remember it and use it as fuel.

There are SO many writers who wrote songs that they thought were exceptionally great...that no none liked. They have also written songs they KNEW were terrible, fought not to have it on the album, were embarrassed by, blah, blah, blah that ended up as incredible hits.

Take action consistently and give it time. The diamonds are in with the dirt. Don't stop because you only see dirt right now. You found a few diamonds before, you will find them again.

Lastly, you might want to check out a book called "Go For No." It's a sales book that was recommended to me that made a big shift in my life. It's not just for sales, which is why I'm recommending it. It's about taking the pressure off and taking action.

Enough rambling. Bottom line is, this isn't the NFL. What we do, we can usually do a lifetime. Start digging.

PS-I use speech to text, so there will be errors. Just ask if something needs clarification.


Edited by HearToLearn (03/12/20 11:54 AM)
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#585308 - 03/12/20 12:07 PM [Songwriting] Re: How does one get out of the "shadow" of past songs? [Re: musician17]
Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 1127
Loc: United Kingdom
musician17 Offline
Expert

Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 1127
Loc: United Kingdom
Oh my word, thank you, HearToLearn. Just what I needed to hear. You're absolutely spot on ... one can't only dig out diamonds. Everything you said, from giving oneself permission to learn ... to falling in love with the process again, makes absolute sense to me.

I guess I was just feeling down because it felt like I was having writer's block. And the only way I know how to beat that is to keep writing, but I felt without inspiration and as if I was going round in circles.

Ever since typing this post out, I wrote two songs that are on the forum. One is called "I Love You, Always" and the other is "A Sign of Peace". They're both easily (or so I think, at least) some of my best ever. I guess sometimes it's good just to talk and vent? because I was keeping it all inside and writing about my block seemed to open things up a little!

In any case, I'm here to continue writing ... I'll never stop, because I love it too much.

I will definitely look for the book you recommended ... it's good to get out of a rut, whichever way ... so long as, as you say, we take action for it.

THANK YOU.
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#585349 - 03/12/20 03:13 PM [Songwriting] Re: How does one get out of the "shadow" of past songs? [Re: musician17]
Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 6303
Loc: South Carolina
Charlie Fogle Offline
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Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 6303
Loc: South Carolina
Originally Posted By: musician17
I wrote a song, back in 2018, which expresses in a nutshell much of what I have to say. Ever since, I've been having the shadow of it, so to speak, hang over me - and, despite all my efforts since (and there have been a relatively large number of them), I still don't think I've written anything quite like it, at least in my own opinion of things.

How does one write another "classic" (so to speak!)? I don't want to think of myself as a "one hit wonder", haha - and I honestly don't know why it is that I feel so blocked and in the shadow of that song. Is it just a question of "keep writing and hope you strike lucky again", or ... ? Thanks for any comments!


My late older brother was a successful Nashville session musician and fairly successful Producer and also a touring band player. He was quite a few years older than me and only took me as a serious writer after we were both later on in our years. He worked tirelessly once he 'accepted' me as a musician by producing an LP album of my original songs and pitched them around Nashville back in the 1970's. He had me vacation with him for a week in the late 1980's trying to encourage and re-spark my writing as I'd virtually stopped and was doing other things. His whole emphasis to me was; "You only have to get it right once! It gets easier after that. They will come looking for you rather than you searching out for the powers that be."

He's right...

You don't have to wait on inspiration for a song idea, let other's ideas inspire you. High quality, high value inspiration surrounds you everywhere you go. Learn to recognize it. Look to where John Lennon got the idea to develop "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite". A hundred year old Circus Poster he saw and purchased from a thrift shop. "Lucy in the Sky" came from a drawing by his son. "A day In The Life" from a newspaper article.

John Lennon's success as a songwriter convinced me he was on to something and I began to develop the habit of looking everywhere for song ideas. They are literally all around us. Think about it, some of the world's most successful writers and idea generators are folks like Hear To Learn that write for a living. TV Commercials, radio jingles, Billboards, newspapers, brochures, and funny quips from friends and family...

I've written lyrics from:
.NPR TV guide.
.Church bulletin sermon outline
.Facebook comments about a real country boy's pickup truck picture

My favorite so far has been lyrics derived from a BIAB Forum's members Web Page's Song Title List of his original songs.
'Looking from where I'm at' added to 'I'm walking on thin ice' back to 'Looking from where I'm at' added to 'Wrong is what I do right'

became:

Looking from where I'm at
I'm walking on thin ice
Looking from Where I'm at
Wrong is what I do right

The Chorus of the song. I used his song titles to write the verse lyrics as well. It turned out good enough that the forum member, took the song lyrics derived from his song titles and most of my instrumentation and recorded it.

The song practically wrote itself. wink

Hope this helps you get started back a bit.
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#585468 - 03/13/20 12:58 AM [Songwriting] Re: How does one get out of the "shadow" of past songs? [Re: musician17]
Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 1527
Loc: Hong Kong
lambada Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 1527
Loc: Hong Kong
I'd love to know how many of our on-line co-conspirators are working full-time making a living as songwriters / musicians? In fact I'm going to make a thread in off topic!:-)
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#585701 - 03/14/20 03:18 PM [Songwriting] Re: How does one get out of the "shadow" of past songs? [Re: musician17]
Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 1232
Loc: Central Ohio
edshaw Offline
Expert

Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 1232
Loc: Central Ohio
I also find if you carry a tune around in your head for a few days,
working it and reworking it, ideas can come up out of "nowhere."
I have been listening to Christian anthems and recently discovered
that simply slowing the tempo down below 70 results in an anthem
feel, even for a hymn such as "Sweet Bye and Bye," which we often
associate with a country feel, using that very technique.
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#588382 - 03/28/20 03:09 PM [Songwriting] Re: How does one get out of the "shadow" of past songs? [Re: musician17]
Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 1127
Loc: United Kingdom
musician17 Offline
Expert

Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 1127
Loc: United Kingdom
Thanks everybody :-) way too kind. Yes, this has very much helped! I guess I mustn't "try" to be at my best every time, I'll fail if I do that ... but just write and forget about whether the song's "any good" - that's the audience's job, my job is to write and hope for the best, haha. Thank you!
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