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  1. #1

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    to get the good ones out."

    Thought for the day.

    "You've got to write a bad song...-youve-got-write-bad-song-get-good-ones-out-jpg

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  3. #2

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    I can do that.

  4. #3

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    nothing wrong with writing it....just don't put it out


    save that for the good stuff!!


    cheers

  5. #4

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    Years ago, many years ago, I did phone sales to make extra money. The first night seemed miserable. Rejections, hang-ups, people who wanted to tell me at length about their life and hard times.
    When the night was over my boss told me I did great.
    I thought he was putting me on.
    He shook his head. "Nope. If you can sell to one person out of ten you call, you're doing great. You did that."
    For some reason it occurred to me that by that logic, if I wrote 100 songs, 10 would be good.
    (This does not strictly follow from what he said. I know that. I'm telling you what I did with it. And I'm glad that I did it.)

    I wrote a few hundred songs in a couple years. Most were just shit. But I learned a lot. And parts of some of the failed songs were good and would later turn up in a better song.

    When my identity was tied up with being a songwriter, I wanted every song to be great. Which is odd because I hadn't written a single great song yet, but I assumed I should be able to write a great one every time. It's an illusion. Or what Anne Lammot calls 'the fantasy of the uninitiated.' Perfectionism is, she says, the main obstacle between you, the writer, and a shitty first draft, which is where all real writing starts.

    So I wrote a bunch of songs. Most stank. So what? Should I have watched TV instead? Or read a book? Good as some books are, and as important as they are to me, time spent writing even a bad song was time well spent. I did get better.

    It's not that one wants to write a bad song. It's that one needs to write even when one does not have a great idea.

    The other night while doing dishes, I started to sing "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze."
    Since my wife have eaten a lot of sweet peas lately, I thought that if "trapeze" were changed to "try peas" you could have a song about a picky eater. ("He wouldn't try oysters, he wouldn't try cheese, he wouldn't try chicken, he wouldn't try peas....")

    That cracked me up. It's not a song. The song is already there, I was just goofing with the words for my own amusement, but over the years I've discovered that sometimes a joke or a 'verbal riff' can become the basis of a song. So I do that. A lot. And sometimes the results are good, sometimes corny, sometimes awful, but those results are all better than not doing such a thing in the first place.

    As Curtis said, "Keep On Pushing."


  6. #5

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    This can be true of any artform, really. I've done a lot of paintings that were shit.

    Thankfully, the arts aren't something that you get only one chance with. It's like they say, "If at first you don't succeed, maybe don't go skydiving."

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    This can be true of any artform, really. I've done a lot of paintings that were shit.

    Thankfully, the arts aren't something that you get only one chance with. It's like they say, "If at first you don't succeed, maybe don't go skydiving."
    I think it's process over product. Sure, now and then you do something very good. (Sometimes you don't really know which piece is very good until years later but that's another story.) The key is to keep doing it. Living a life in which you are open to doing something artistic at any moment is the best sort of life.

    If nothing else, producing bad or mediocre work keeps you in the habit of doing something. If you lose that happen, when the best ideas come, you'll likely let them slip away.
    Last edited by MarkRhodes; 03-11-2021 at 11:29 PM.

  8. #7

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    Paul Simon said he wrote hundreds of garbage tunes before he finally came up big with "Red Rubber Ball".

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    Paul Simon said he wrote hundreds of garbage tunes before he finally came up big with "Red Rubber Ball".
    Gregg Allman used to write songs and play them for his brother Duane. Duane dismissed each one in turn, pointing out how it was obviously derivative of this or that other song. Finally Gregg came up with "Midnight Rider" and Duane told him he had something.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Years ago, many years ago, I did phone sales to make extra money. The first night seemed miserable. Rejections, hang-ups, people who wanted to tell me at length about their life and hard times.
    When the night was over my boss told me I did great.
    I thought he was putting me on.
    He shook his head. "Nope. If you can sell to one person out of ten you call, you're doing great. You did that."
    Did your boss tell you about ABC too?
    "You've got to write a bad song...-index-jpg

  11. #10

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    What I learned sometimes you are a bad judge about your own stuff. Back in the time when I wanted to do my own rock band, and I started to write songs, me and the drummer I bonded with started audition singers and other musicians. So I had maybe 5 songs ready, and there was one I thought was the most mediocre but I kinda like it. But other songs I thought were more interesting and unique.

    Guess what, all the people who listen liked the 'mediocre' song, that what impressed them the most and made them wanted to be part of it. It was more straight ahead rock, and I wanted more rockabilly flavor, so other tunes reflected that.

    So I was telling people yea you like that but listen to my other stuff that's the direction I wanna go, its better! In the end the project didnt go anywhere. In the hindsight when I'm listening to the demo we recorded, yes, the song I thought was mediocre actually the best one and I shouyld've humble myself back then and listen to people.

    So the lesson is dont discard anything because YOU think it's bad. You might be surprised.

  12. #11

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    A friend of mine is one of the top photographers in the USA. He is the first to admit that he takes anywhere from 100 to 300 photos just to get one "keeper."

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Fred
    A friend of mine is one of the top photographers in the USA. He is the first to admit that he takes anywhere from 100 to 300 photos just to get one "keeper."
    That's a good thing to keep in mind!

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    So the lesson is don't discard anything because YOU think it's bad. You might be surprised.
    Great advice!
    It's easy---inevitable?---to be too close to one's work (at least initially) to assess it well.
    It's fairly common for musicians who have been around a while to look back over past projects and assess them differently than they did
    when they were new.

    Being too critical of one's own work, esp in the beginning, is a great way to keep from DOING any work. ("It all sucks; I quit!")
    It's better to get everything down and go back over it later. Then again later.
    I think of my old manuscript books and recordings (-of unfinished things) as a junkyard where "just the thing" for some new project might be found.

  15. #14

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    Thing is.. what's the outlet for songwriting? I find it's hard to keep after an artistic endeavor when it's not apparent how to share the result. Seems any more I just do the fun part and skip the hard work of actually finishing the song.

  16. #15

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    While I agree with the premise, the Pop song is comprised of 2 parts Music and Lyrics. And what passes for music now is mostly Rhythm and Lyrics.
    It's directed at the younger audience who are trying to attract each other.

    Since the proccess involves mostly machines and the composer, it no longer has the Creative input of the Musicians. Therefore most Great Pop Songs had way more Magic that was in the actual end product.
    Beatles, Fran Sinatra,Stevie Wonder, etc.

    A peice of clay while needs to be good in the first place,is only that. It's how it's interpreted by the arranger or musicians that makes it great!
    And that can be one composer such as Mozart , James Taylor, even Prince.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    Did your boss tell you about ABC too?
    "You've got to write a bad song...-index-jpg
    Ha! That was a great scene. It wasn't in the play. Mamet wrote it just for Baldwin. "First place, a new Cadillac. Second place, steak knives. Third place, you're fired!"

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    A piece of clay while needs to be good in the first place,is only that. It's how it's interpreted by the arranger or musicians that makes it great!
    I have written about half of the songs played by my trio and taught them the rest (standards).

    The songs and ourselves kind of start as "clay" and I give the bass and drums free reign to interpret or compose their own ideas. We never play a song the same twice, and each song progresses through a journey of modification. All of us are keen to please the audience and notice which ideas move us in that direction, so the songs evolve, especially the originals which seem to take on emergent lives of their own.

    Regarding composition, I introduced a nice method for shaking out ideas. During rehearsal, in the early stages, we would start with two songs and play the first one. Rather than ending the first song, we gave ourselves about 20 seconds to figure out in real time while playing how to transition from the first song into the second song, which shared the same key and pace, but as we learned to do this the two songs more likely had different keys with different rhythms, with the transition period extending to a few minutes.

    This method produced lots of ideas and really helped each of us learn to "read each other's musical minds". We got good at this and included it during performance, eventually one of us spontaneously invoking this while approaching the end of a song not needing to know in advance what the next song would be... so that while in mid transition any one of us might decide and lead the others into the next song just by musical suggestion.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Thing is.. what's the outlet for songwriting? I find it's hard to keep after an artistic endeavor when it's not apparent how to share the result. Seems any more I just do the fun part and skip the hard work of actually finishing the song.
    Record them????

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Thing is.. what's the outlet for songwriting? I find it's hard to keep after an artistic endeavor when it's not apparent how to share the result. Seems any more I just do the fun part and skip the hard work of actually finishing the song.
    Same could be said for most of us pursuing playing jazz. Even the best jazz players around these parts struggle to find an audience, at least one that shows any interest.

    I find finishing and recording a tune I wrote the most satisfying thing I do musically, no, correction, the most satisfying thing I do period. Even though I only have a tiny audience. (I might get a hundred views if I'm lucky on Facebook and YouTube. In contrast, I have some videos of me playing from the Modern Method for Guitar book that have between 15k and 20k views)
    Attached Images Attached Images "You've got to write a bad song...-tiny-people-jpg 

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Thing is.. what's the outlet for songwriting?
    Songwriting doesn't need an outlet...it IS an outlet.

    You find yourself doing it or not doing it...that's it.

    I think you mean, "where's the encouragement?"

    There's a thread here I'm sure you're aware of it.

  22. #21

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    Balance between inspiration and critical mind doesn't exist I think.. it's all just so biased/a matter of million tastes and moods and.... bah. There is no need to bother.
    Write whatever you want but it's a curse when in need of some approval once its finished. I mean, when in doubt, why'd you ever wrote it down?
    So, it's ok to write a bad song and presenting on purpose. But more because.. to feel that you are not in dire need of having to get covered by women's underwear all the time. On stage I mean.. nothing kinky