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song writing

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Spartacus 18 Feb 02 - 09:17 AM
CapriUni 18 Feb 02 - 10:20 AM
Spartacus 18 Feb 02 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,KB @ work 18 Feb 02 - 10:51 AM
Spartacus 18 Feb 02 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,KB@work 18 Feb 02 - 11:01 AM
Mr Red 18 Feb 02 - 11:22 AM
GUEST,KB@work 18 Feb 02 - 11:32 AM
Spartacus 18 Feb 02 - 11:33 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Feb 02 - 09:26 PM
Cappuccino 19 Feb 02 - 04:01 AM
Amergin 19 Feb 02 - 06:06 AM
Trevor 19 Feb 02 - 10:08 AM
Ebbie 19 Feb 02 - 12:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Feb 02 - 12:38 PM
MichaelAnthony 19 Feb 02 - 01:23 PM
Spartacus 19 Feb 02 - 03:08 PM
Mr Red 21 Feb 02 - 06:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Feb 02 - 08:21 PM
Trevor 22 Feb 02 - 05:32 AM
greg stephens 22 Feb 02 - 05:44 AM
Mr Red 24 Feb 02 - 06:31 AM
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Subject: song writing
From: Spartacus
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 09:17 AM

Has anyone ever played the songwriting game in here? I have some friends i get together with and we choose a key, a topic, and a tempo. Each person adds a line and some chords in that key. It's a great exercise for song writing and it's always challenging to resolve someone elses line, or to start from scratch.


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: CapriUni
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 10:20 AM

Sounds like a great game for learning, spartacus!

I have a lot of experience writing poems, and not so much writing songs. A game like that really gets you to focus on the nitty-gritty, doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: Spartacus
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 10:23 AM

Absolutely. The best part of it is that everyone goes a different direction than you would have. Since everyone is only allowed to write 4 beats, and most people would instinctively write 8, you always have an open ended thought-both musically and lyrically.


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: GUEST,KB @ work
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 10:51 AM

Sounds fun. Will definitely have a go at that.
Do you generally end up with something serious, or hilarious, or what?


kris


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: Spartacus
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 10:57 AM

It kind of depends. Sometimes we end up with the basis for a really good song, other times it's hilarious-but only because it's sooo bad. We all try to leave each other with a difficult line to resolve. It really helps you to use chords you wouldnt have thought to use and to write with a partner. I always walk away with a few new licks and a line or two to use in a song another day. Once or twice we have actually written a song that a few of us have used at a gig...But it's typically just an exercise.


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: GUEST,KB@work
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 11:01 AM

Well - exercise is practice, and practice makes perfect. Thanks for the tip.

Kris


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: Mr Red
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 11:22 AM

spartacus
I found the only way to colaborate is to subjugate ones ego. The problem comes when others are not aware of the pitfall. The problem usually starts with no and as they possess the line/concept it becomes NO and NO and of course as the energies are put into negotiating that prcipice it is not being put into the creativity.
I guess owning a line each must reduce the hazard. I solved the problem by writing it down and moving on, and telling my colaborator that is what we would do. With my cousing (Mutton Chops) the gentics helps, but with others I even now after 10 years have to ignore comments that "he" wrote this or that line, instead having to explain how we had four twists of meaning in one line (he wrote!). Sure proud of the Knittershanty though.
In my experience some intoxication helps, though laughter can be as effective as alcohol.
are these friends like minded? No negative people in the cohort? Such details might tell us something about your succesful process.


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: GUEST,KB@work
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 11:32 AM

Hey! I didn't know I was going to have to subjugate my ego!!! I've gone right off it now.

Kris


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: Spartacus
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 11:33 AM

I think that the key is not to set out to write a song, but to consider at an exercise to make you better at writing songs. We ALWAYS drink when we do this. We have a few basic rules: 1. Choose a key 2. Choose a topic (non-sequitors are always best, because these force you to think outside of the box) 3. Choose a tempo 4. You only get 4 counts at a time-period. 5. You are not allowed to suggest anything to anyone while they think. (you are allowed to drink and go outside and smoke)

It's important to play with other songwriters who have a mutual respect for each other. And we are all folk musicians who play in the same area.

As far as taking credit, if you end up using a song you wrote in the studio or in performance, no matter how small the contribution, I always credit everyone. I don't care if someone suggested I use a C/G instead of a C, I still credit everyone involved as a co-writer. Anything less is just selfish.

It's funny, but it doesnt seem to work as well if you do entire verses because it gives the first person to go a chance to produce a whole mood and idea for the song. One line at a time ensures that no one can take over.

Again, it's primarily an exercise....


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 09:26 PM

I like sharing ideas and then going off and writing a song as an individual. I don't think this one is for me.

What I might fancy though is something Johnny Handle once tried to encourage people to do in a session I was in one time, and that is extempore rhymed monologues.


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: Cappuccino
Date: 19 Feb 02 - 04:01 AM

I have enough trouble agreeing with myself when I'm writing, never mind anyone else!

Great idea, though - thanks.

- Ian B


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: Amergin
Date: 19 Feb 02 - 06:06 AM

I have a thing about letting other folks see the stuff I am currently writing....I don't.

It is nerve wracking enough for me to let folks see the finished product let alone watching ti grow from the seed to a full blown piece of work...


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: Trevor
Date: 19 Feb 02 - 10:08 AM

I suppose whether or not one has to subjugate the ego depends on the extent to which one has a need to dominate, or get one's own way, or be right.

I reckon collaboration comes really easily when what you're doing is having a load of fun with your mates (with the presupposition that there is mutual respect - otherwise you wouldn't be real mates would you?), whether you're writing a song, cooking a meal, telling gags or just doing something you all want to do.

Sounds like the kind of exercise we could all get a lot from, egos permitting.


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Feb 02 - 12:14 PM

I have never attended a songwriting club, but the idea has always intrigued me. On the other hand, I've never been able to take it seriously when doing just one line at a time. And it shows it- mine comes out as doggerel.

Before he died a couple of years ago, my brother and I collaborated on some songs and that was tremendous fun. Mostly he hammered out another verse or two to an existing song of mine and I tweaked his words to say more precisely what I wanted to say. I would gladly collaborate if I could find someone else like that. And if it was that much fun.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Feb 02 - 12:38 PM

Collaborating on a song, or taking turns to rewrite it, that is surely something very different from this.

I'm not knocking this as a game, could be fun. Sort of musical equivalent of a custard pie fight.

There is in some cultures the tradition of the improvised rhyming duel between rivals - but of course that is in a way the opposite. There is no question of the creative ego being subordinated, rather the reverse.


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: MichaelAnthony
Date: 19 Feb 02 - 01:23 PM

I like the idea of collaborating on a joke song -- it takes the pressure off of the songwriter's sacredness and ego, and helps with collaboration with competitive personalities, and can open the possibilities of getting together on a less humerous collaboration.


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: Spartacus
Date: 19 Feb 02 - 03:08 PM

Im not so sure about the "custard pie fight" bit. It actually broadens your scope a little as a songwriter. No one is trying to one up the other, just to add to it. Maybe a custard pie pyramid building contest. Michael A raises a good point. (at least I think what he's trying to say is) It's hard to do this with people who you don't know pretty well. You have to have a mutual respect for all involved and check you ego at the door.


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: Mr Red
Date: 21 Feb 02 - 06:01 PM

Good folks, lest we see a confusion, may I point out that Trevor is scoring private points more than public. And more in hope than accuracy. The detail of which is not germaine to the thread.
FWIW the subjugation of ego is as stated, "in the case of a colaborator who may not be aware of the mechanisms of creativity" and to concentrate on the real task in hand.
If that means one person has to be the "aware guy" does it matter if the result is rewarding?
In terms of the song writing process as outlined, I think it is a good one, and as already stated if it is mostly practice who cares. At least 1/2 of my songs have only had one airing or never. I always thought on it as "practice" as the scond prize but HEY I'll take that - I've had third and worse prizes.
OK my turn to score a point, this Song writing process involves a fair degree of communicating? Question followed by answer? Banter from quip? Interaction? Co-operation? And from what Spartacus is saying a measure of trust in the songwritees, yes?.
the only danger I see from subjugating one's ego is that you can be seen as a push-over. As I always say "Nice Guys get shit on".


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Feb 02 - 08:21 PM

I see creative collaboration more as a matter of letting go of their egos rather than subjugating them. The liberated egos than proceed to play together, and make good music.

Works better with music than with words though, that's my feeling anyway.


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: Trevor
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 05:32 AM

Wrong, Mr Red, I really believe what I said in the posting. I don't play point-scoring games. If you do (which one has to assume, as you used the term and needed to have your turn) then presumably you also think that there's something important about winning(otherwise what's the point in points!).

I thought that Spartacus, Kris and the others were talking about having fun and being creative and I'm not sure that battling with one's ego or others' need for recognition is going to be a barrel of laughs.

Whatever turns you on I suppose, although custard pies at dawn sounds like a good way of getting the creative juices flowing!


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 05:44 AM

Apropos of what mcgrath said a while ago,two nights ago i was having a session with a dozen Kurdish guys and two of them went straight into an immensely long improvised song trading long strings of insults with each other. It was a riveting and hilarious performance ( though i couldn't understand a word being said you could feel what was going on all right). being able toshare in that in that in a soul-destroying asylum-seekers hostel in stoke was extraordinary. so i'm all for collective composition. sorry,mcgrath, still havent mastered the Shift Key.


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Subject: RE: song writing
From: Mr Red
Date: 24 Feb 02 - 06:31 AM

greg stephens Good songs can come out of indignation and genuine ire. Like Dylan saying "You've really got a nerve". We don't need to know whether he was talking to Lomax or whoever because we know the target isn't us. Were your songwriters playing at insulting or was there an edge there? I guess the knowledge that they are gunning for each other helps you sit there as an observer rather than engage. I have heard a game on a radio quiz show called "Yawn Tennis" based on insults and the McEnroes of this world. Can be funny in the right hands.


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