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Opinion on these songs

Perry Jerome 28 Apr 09 - 11:45 PM
Peace 29 Apr 09 - 01:07 AM
George Papavgeris 29 Apr 09 - 06:58 AM
VirginiaTam 29 Apr 09 - 08:49 AM
Acorn4 29 Apr 09 - 09:38 AM
Stringsinger 29 Apr 09 - 12:13 PM
Acorn4 29 Apr 09 - 12:44 PM
Perry Jerome 29 Apr 09 - 01:32 PM
VirginiaTam 29 Apr 09 - 02:51 PM
Perry Jerome 29 Apr 09 - 04:12 PM
olddude 29 Apr 09 - 04:36 PM
VirginiaTam 29 Apr 09 - 04:58 PM
Seamus Kennedy 29 Apr 09 - 05:37 PM
Peace 29 Apr 09 - 05:57 PM
Jack Campin 29 Apr 09 - 06:14 PM
Perry Jerome 29 Apr 09 - 07:49 PM
Barry Finn 29 Apr 09 - 09:27 PM
Perry Jerome 29 Apr 09 - 09:42 PM
George Papavgeris 29 Apr 09 - 10:01 PM
Perry Jerome 29 Apr 09 - 10:11 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 29 Apr 09 - 10:25 PM
sharyn 29 Apr 09 - 11:05 PM
Effsee 29 Apr 09 - 11:34 PM
Perry Jerome 01 May 09 - 08:48 PM
olddude 01 May 09 - 09:15 PM
maeve 02 May 09 - 07:54 PM
Janie 02 May 09 - 08:01 PM
Neil D 03 May 09 - 03:52 AM
Perry Jerome 03 May 09 - 11:20 PM
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Subject: Opinion on these songs
From: Perry Jerome
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 11:45 PM

Hi everyone,
I'm a young songwriter/musician and I was wondering if someone could give me some feedback/critiquing on these songs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGQ8Sul2xis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acTlUsHjARM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y3INC7wwIQ

Any pointers and thoughts would be great, thanks!


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Peace
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 01:07 AM

I will tomorrow when I'm on a machine that has a sound card.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 06:58 AM

OK Perry. In reading my comments remember: I am 56yrs old and of course my musical background, experiences etc are likely to be very different to yours. But we judge based on what we know, so here goes:

a) Music - it does not vary much, you tend to stay in your comfort zone of C and G (with a few Ds in the third song). And the lead tune is hard to establish, given the early Dylan-esque style of singing. In fact the tune sometimes changes between consecutive verses, which indicates that you are not certain about it.

b) Lyrics - not always clear to me, I'd like to see them written before I can offer any fuller criticism. The bits I discerned seemed OK, though not earth-shattering. Sensible, logical, but not surprising (and I do like to be surprised by an original turn of phrase). Your chosen topics/subjects/themes are good. I like the fact that you write about more than just relationships - you'd be surprised how many find it impossible to jump out of that rut, and not just the younger songwriters either. And subjects like humanity's wastefulness are always close to my heart.

c) Delivery - again, nothing exceptional. You can carry a tune, and you wear the Dylanesque style fairly well; I would even say it suits you. I particularly liked it when your sentiments become obvious through the delivery (anger, disgust etc). More of that, please. There should be a difference between a canned and a live performance, and the diference will be made by your face, expressions, body language etc - you believe in your songs, so live them in your delivery.

In summary: Something in what I saw and heard tells me that you can (and will) do a lot better. Keep extending yourself, musically by trying different styles, chord schemes, tune ideas and make sure your tunes are interesting, varying, "catchy", definite; lyrically by writing your stuff and reading it back like prose or poem and "listen" to what the words tell you (and what they "could" tell you if you changed them); thematically by giving yourself more challenges - write about what interests you, even if you don't know much about it (but do research the subjects). My golden rule is:

Write the songs you wish someone else had written, for you to listen to.

Good luck, and do return with more stuff as you write it. Or contact me through mySpace: www.myspace.com/georgepapavgeris. Don't be discouraged by my words. I am only being honest because I honestly think that you can do better, but you won't if I just pat you on the head and say "great stuff".


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 08:49 AM

Echoing what George said above. Lots of potential. Thanking god you are not another sounds like Cold Play. You give me hope that the next generation of musicians have something meaningful to say about the state the world.

My advice is that you lurk around the threads here. And use the filter to search specific songs, styles, chords, etc. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience to be had.

Some excellent musicians (professional to amateur) hang about in here and they share great tips. Have been doing so since near the beginning of the interwub. Yes Mudcat is that old. If you go into the political threads (mostly in the BS section- below the line), and I advise you do, you will likely find more material to right about. But don't let us old fogies jade you too much.

George - Write the songs you wish someone else had written, for you to listen to.

That is beautiful. I love that spin.


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Acorn4
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 09:38 AM

I agree with George's appraisal - think you possibly are vocally a bit more like Neil Young than Dylan though. Voice has great potential for some really emotional delivery.


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Stringsinger
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 12:13 PM

One of the things that would help you is to study poetry, particularly the formal kind.
Also, study the great lyrics of the past and find out why they work.

Here are some I hope helpful suggestions.
1. Avoid generalities. Try to be specific
with images as you would describe in a story.
2. Avoid preaching because it turns people off.
3. Don't think that you just sit down and write songs and have them come out well. Editing and improving them is part of the process (as you probably know since you have correctly asked for help).
4. Depart from the customary rhythms that you are used to because many of them are cliches from the pop field. A new rhythm can lead you down a different and more unique creative path.
5. You need to study singing to some degree.
You tend to be "pitchy" which means that your tunes are not as well-defined as they might be. Dylan may have done many a disservice by suggesting that you can growl your way through a song. Over the years, though, his voice has improved.
6. Keep working with your guitar technique and explore different areas such as flat-picking accompaniments and finger-picking. Getting locked into familiar patterns will make it difficult to jump out of cliches.

It's important that you keep trying to get better. Don't be satisfied with your output at this point (which is why you have asked for help) but study what makes a lyric exciting,
pulling the audience in, and listen to different kinds of lyrics and attempt to find the
common denominator that makes each type of lyric work.


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Acorn4
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 12:44 PM

Songwriting is like anything else - you get better with experience - don't be put off by negative criticism, but at the same time don't get carried away when people go over the moon about a particular song.


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Perry Jerome
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 01:32 PM

Wow, I wasn't expecting so much feedback so fast. Thank you though, it is much appreciated. I do have another song that I'm planning on putting up this friday or saturday though, and I'm trying for a more finger picking style and the lyrics themselves I'm pretty sure are way different then any I've written before. So I will post that one as well.
Once again thanks for the help and I will definitely be back for more in the future.


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 02:51 PM

It might be helpful if some of our guitarists with Youtube lessons put some links in here for Perry to check.

I'll start. I hope Will doesn't mind. Just some tings to be getting on with.

Rough Guide to Fingerpicking

Workshop:Playing a Blues in Em

Will Fly website


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Perry Jerome
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 04:12 PM

Awesome I'll check them out tonight after work. And I'll also post the Lyrics as requested by George, and for anyone else who'd like to take a look.


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: olddude
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 04:36 PM

I hear a lot of potential in your songs. The fact that you are trying to develop you own style and not imitating one of the popular groups is very encouraging. You are getting advice from some of the great legends in the folk world, many who have commented are the who's who of folk and they are hearing potential. Your writing will just get better and better the more you do it. Your guitar work will get better and better and what you are doing right now is exciting. The masters here at mudcat have a lifetime of song writing and performing and you can take anything they tell you to the bank for sure. Keep playing I hear a lot of good thing that you are trying to work out and you music will get more and more refined.


Thank you for sharing


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 04:58 PM

I forgot to add

Look for sessions in your area. Musos getting together on a regular basis to learn and practice. You can pick up lots of style work when you are face to face watching it. You might find out about them by googling tunes sessions and your town or city. Check you local music stores/shops too. Sometimes they post fliers.

Best of luck.


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 05:37 PM

Perry - you need to work on your diction.
When we can't make out what you're singing, we can't understand the song.
Musically, you've got sound fundamentals, but some vocal clarity would help.

Good luck.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Peace
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 05:57 PM

Perry:

Many of the people who've written to you on this thread are very accomplished songwriters and singers. Trust 'em.

However, take comfort in the word "potential". Diction is crucial, and the more you work at it the better your singing/delivery will be.

Thanks for your message earlier. Please keep in touch.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 06:14 PM

VERY hard to make any words out. (I'm not an American, haven't lived there for a long time, and don't ordinarily listen to much American music). If you're aiming for a wide audience - including people who speak other American dialects - you're going to have to work on that. (Dylan sounds like he's doing a shambolic mumble, but in fact every word is meticulously clear).

You sure sound like you mean it, though.


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Perry Jerome
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 07:49 PM

Yeah I know I have trouble enunciating, especially when it's a song that I haven't been playing for terribly long. But I am working on it, and if you can believe it I have much better delivery than I used to. haha. And I'll try to deliver better on the next song I post. Thanks.

and here are the lyrics as per request.
Straight and True
V1        I think I've reached a point where I can be myself again
I don't know when or where I lost touch and got lost out in the rain
V2        I'm sorry things didn't work out, and we caused each other pain
But I still miss you my darling. Even though sometimes you drove me insane
Chorus
I'm going to take this guitar that you bought for me and make myself a name
I'll try my best to be happy, and I hope that you'll do the same
V3        I still miss holding you in bed at night and waking you up with a kiss
But you'll always have my friendship, and I'll be there if you wish
V4        Whenever I see you I think back to the first time that we held each other close
My heart starts pounding and my head gets light, and I get white as a ghost
Chorus
V5        What I'm trying to say is this my dear I'll always be here for you
Whether it's someone to hold or someone to talk to, I'll always be straight and true

Bulk Disposable World
V1        This bulk disposable world is really convenient to me
I go outside and I get into my big brand new SUV
V2        I drive down to the "Mega-Mart" thirty seconds down my home street
I fill up on crates of microwave junk food that I can throw out if I don't finish it
Chorus
I'll use a world today and a world tomorrow, I usually use seven a week
And when I'm done with them all I put them out on the curd, and I don't care what happens after that
V3        This bulk disposable world is getting too dirty for me
So pull out the Whet-Ones and new Swiffer Dusters and let's tuck some of the mess away
Chorus
V4        Let's fill up the landfills and empty the oceans, let's use it while it's still around
Because our kid's won't mind cleaning up our mess, and living like it's the dark ages again
V5        So have another bottle of Coke and throw it into the sea, and drive your Hummer all across the USA
Let's tap out the oil wells and chop down the tree's and burn all that was green and good
Chorus

Edge of a Knife
V1        I've got no money to pull me through. I've got no honey that feels true, and I've got no time to talk to you
V2        I've been playing these bars for all of my life. I've been driving these cars that have gone to shit, and I feel like I'm living on the edge of a knife
Chorus
Come over here and make me feel good. I'll give you my heart if you give me some food. Let's go upstairs and start acting rude
V3        My bologna fund is running low. I can't even afford some decent blow, and there's some green on my foot and it's starting to grow
V4        Would someone save me before I'm done in? Would someone please save from this life of sin? Could you please pull me out of this bottle of gin?
Chorus

So let me know what you think.


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Barry Finn
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 09:27 PM

Bulk Disposable World

This bulk disposable world is "really" convenient to me
I go outside and I get into my "big brand" new SUV
I "drive" down to the "Mega-Mart" thirty seconds down my home street
I fill up on crates of microwave junk food that I can throw out if I
don't finish it

Chorus

I'll use a world today and a world tomorrow, I usually use seven a week
And when I'm done with them all I put them out on the curd, and I don't care what happens


"really" try for someting not as drab that dances with the sentences & dresses it up for the scene

"big brand", nice go at the use of "b&b" but big brand new SUV was only half hearted, go the whole distance, call it a bad ass gas guzzler or something. Don't be lazy, fight to get it all out, you're already in the ring & doing pretty well.

"drive" don't just drive down the street, "cruise" of "careen careleesly" (make use of similar sounds c&c in this case)
You started to paint a potent picture, let the surrounding landscape help turn it into a masterpiece



"I've got no money to pull me through.
I've got no honey that feels true,
and I've got no time to talk to you"

Not bad but you can't dance on the words when you sing them & with the way you set up the last line you should be able to walk into that last line with anger, with the anger that you wrote it with. the first 2 lines were close to the jabs you seem to intended so that the 3rd line would be the combination. It's all there but the feeling of the punch landing.
You seem to be trying to imitate a cross between a lack-luster blues singer & a drab rapper, dig deeper & bring that punch out



Edge of a Knife

I've got no money to pull me through.
I've got no honey that feels true,
and I've got no time to talk to you

I've been playing these bars for all of my life.
I've been driving these cars that have gone to shit,
and I feel like I'm living on the edge of a knife

Chorus

Come over here and make me feel good.
I'll give you my heart if you give me some food.
Let's go upstairs and start acting rude

My bologna fund is running low.
I can't even afford some decent blow,
and there's some green on my foot and it's starting to grow

Would someone save me before I'm done in?
Would someone please save from this life of sin?
Could you please pull me out of this bottle of gin?

Chorus

Not bad use of rhyme scene. It does seem that you shaped the sentences though to fit the structure, try making the way you word it & the words you use in a way that you almost feel as if you are dancing your way up to the rhyme rather than forcing your way up to the rhyme

Question, your use of "shit" doesn't "fit" unless you're using it in the way the Irish say "shite" in that case cleaver but it didn't sound that way when you were singing

"and there's some green on my foot and it's starting to grow"

nice picture, you could deliver that picture with more shock or strike. Here it almost seems as if you were happy to settle with an only "matter of fact" piece of scenery when if gone a little further it would've been a "striking scenario".

Do work on the announciation, it was a bit hard to follow with understanding.

I concur with most of what's been said above including the potential factor.
You'll have to wade through playing & singing other styles before delevoping & finding your own but work on your own strengths (you'll find them with use) & keep fitting them in until you find what works best for you, it won't be easy & it'll take time & practice. Don't be afraid to "Jump" out of the box & let yourself go & flow, get loose, slack, wild, go where you've never gone before (just being funny here).

So after all that don't take what I or anyone else said as truth, take it with scepticism & work out what you think & feel will work for you.
If 5 people called me an asshole, I'd take it seriously, if only one hit on that I'd question it.

Good luck

Barry


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Perry Jerome
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 09:42 PM

Alright thanks Barry. I've decided now that whenever I come to my computer to check out this thread that I will be bringing my songbook and making notes. I don't know why it just dawned on me now. But I have already started making minor changes.
So thank you all and keep the constructive criticism and suggestions coming, they are really helping!


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 10:01 PM

Perry, I'm about to disappear for 6 days, but will get back...


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Perry Jerome
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 10:11 PM

Okay sounds good! Talk to you later.


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 10:25 PM

If ever there were a glorious opportunity to divide the "Kingdom" into a third domain - this is IT.

Mr. Perry Jerome - you have presented a BRAVE representation to an unknown audience. You are open to advice. You are not egocentric nor defensive about trad, neather a braggart nor a wanna-be.

Off to the salt mines - but - since you asked - and you are receptive and open - I will listen tomorrow in the entirity.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

In the last 52 weeks I have LISTENED to less than 20 hours of RECORDED music.


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: sharyn
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 11:05 PM

Hi Perry,

I echo Seamus and others in saying that diction is important -- I wanted to understand the words and couldn't. It helps that you've posted them here.

The one I liked best was the third one. Why? I liked the rhythmic groove and energy (and maybe that extra D-chord, too.

Keep at it -- I wrote three songs a day when I was thirteen or so and now I write a good one every few years (a really good one).

Sharyn


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Effsee
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 11:34 PM

Great support guys and gals!
And Perry, keep on doing and learning from these old troupers!


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Perry Jerome
Date: 01 May 09 - 08:48 PM

Hello again everyone. I have completed my next song and would once again like to know your thoughts, and whether or not you think I've improved in any of the fields in the past little while. (Lyrics, guitar work, delivery, etc..)

So here it is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5ARFcS2qg0

A Pair of Dead Roses

V1        I did fight for you, I fought for you everyday. At war with myself.
My head told me that you'd heard me too much.
And my heart told my head it didn't that it had been hurt.

V2        I stood by you until the end, whether or not I was wrong to. My heart was stronger.
That's what always made us so different.
I thought with my heart and you'd always thought with you head.

Bridge 1
But you taught me to love and you taught me to hate. You made me feel and you made me great.
But I cannot go back to the way that things were, and I cannot decide just where I should turn.

V3        A pair of dead roses is all I have left, with the scent of your hair that I wove 'round the stem. And the burden that follows me to bed every night.
I held onto you by the threads that you left behind.
Those sorrowful, wonderful thoughts can never evade my mind.

Bridge 2
Please turn away from my soul and let go of my heart. You've drained out all of my blood, and you've burnt all my art.
Those songs that I wrote you so many months ago, I sing them now and my hate starts to grow.

So let me know what you think. And thank you all in advance!


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: olddude
Date: 01 May 09 - 09:15 PM

Perry, the guitar is better I like it ... with the enunciation of your lyrics work on them ok ... you sometime slur your words a bit because I think you are rushing, little clearer and a little cleaner for the listener .. it is coming along and you do much better than i could have at your age for sure ... I can see you developing in a few years into a pretty fine songwriter. It is not bad for just starting, you are developing your own style and that is a very good thing. Work on the picking it is coming along and is not bad sounding at all. All and all a good job I think


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: maeve
Date: 02 May 09 - 07:54 PM

Perry's 2nd song link


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Janie
Date: 02 May 09 - 08:01 PM

I have nothing to add here - I am a spectator. Just wanted to say it is a joy see some one seek mentoring, and to see those who can mentor respond.

One of the many reasons to be thankful for Mudcat.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Neil D
Date: 03 May 09 - 03:52 AM

The most recent song you posted seems stronger to me. So I think you're heading in the right direction. Coming here and asking for and accepting advice is a good move. So is listening to and studying LC. Keep up the good work.


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Subject: RE: Opinion on these songs
From: Perry Jerome
Date: 03 May 09 - 11:20 PM

All I can say now is, thank you all for giving me feedback and suggestions. I have been taking it into account to a great extent in these recent days and will continue to do so. I am however going to take a break from recording my music on video and try to just focus on smoothing all of my songs out before I give it a shot again.
So once again thanks for the help that you've given me, and please feel free to continue offering suggestions.


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