• Why are we here?
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  • Michael
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Why are we here?
on: September 26, 2013, 14:48:02
Nope, despite the title this is not a philosophical text about God and the meaning of life  ;D

Although it is about life:
Your life.
All of it.
Well, at least the musical side of it.

Since we're all here in a smaller and a bit more intimate atmosphere, I thought it would be nice to get to know each other a bit better.
So tell us a bit more about yourself, write your musical CV!

How did you get into music, into songwriting, and why?
What's your musical background?
Influences?
Instruments?
What's your goal, are you writing for the fun of it or are you aspiring to be the next *insert pop star name here* ?
And how did you end up joining this (or rather the other) forum?

Looking forward to hearing your stories :)

Sooo... who wants to go first?  ;D ;D ;D


Re: Why are we here?
Reply #1 on: September 26, 2013, 15:20:50
Go on then, I'll go..

My dad plays flamenco guitar and wanted to teach me, he got me a 3/4 nylon classical guitar when I was ten, I wasn't interested, didn't touch it... ???

Fast forward a few years and some friends at school started a band, I wanted to be part of it but couldn't play anything. I bought an old steel string jumbo guitar, Brunswick I think, from one of them and got him to teach me Wonderwall. I spent the next few years learning covers of Ocean Colour Scene songs and the odd kinks, chilli peppers song and began to write my own songs. I then met my wife-to-be and pretty much stopped for 5 years. I gradually started drifting back to it and in about '06 I met a local musician via musofinder, in order that we had a song we could both play when we met he suggested we both learn 'heartbeats' by Jose Gonzalez. I frantically knuckled down and learnt how to play it. This was the breakthrough for me as I had cracked fingerpicking. Although we only met up a couple of times I'm eternally grateful to him for setting that challenge.

A few more years went by with occasional dalliances until last March when I found Tones forum on google, the support and encouragement I got there sent the whole thing to a new level. I've written more songs in a year than I did in the 15 before..

The journey isn't over though, I now want to master midi...

And that's it so far...



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Re: Why are we here?
Reply #2 on: September 26, 2013, 16:17:18
Hi,

I've never been much for tv, so sport and music has pretty much dominated my life. I was brought up listening to The Beatles, Queen, Quo, T-Rex, etc, then moved on to heavier stuff like AC/DC, Maiden, Motley Crue and Saxon, and then on to even heavier stuff like Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth. The odd ball amongst all these has always been Depeche Mode. Just struck a chord with me for some reason. There are loads of other bands dotted in and about these, but i find a lot of the more recent music uninspiring, and tend to drift back to the old faithfuls. In fact, Gomez was probably the last band which really made me sit up and take notice.
My own guitar journey almost started when i was 17. I wanted to be in a band, impress the girls, etc, but i got the guitar, couldn't get in to it and none of the previous happened. That was it then till about 2009 when i thought I'd try again. Started trying to write my own stuff since 2010. Only ever bothered with two communities prior to this which are Justinguitar, and the Songwriter's forum.

Cheers


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Re: Why are we here?
Reply #3 on: September 26, 2013, 17:30:54
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 17:45:29 by Kafla »
Great post Michael - one karma point for you

I was driving earlier on listening to the new kings of leon album and something occurred to me

The type and breadth of music I like is not natural - seriously I have everything from Pavarotti to German house music to Cajun rock to scottish accordion

I got into writing because I absolutely am addicted to music - I am a FAN first and a writer second

I just absolutely love music - I love the way it makes me feel when I hear something that touches me

I have played the guitar since around 20 and have played bass, keyboard in a very minor fashion since then as well - I say minor as I can't really play these instruments but I can aways play something along to my songs

I can't play the drums but I have a drum kit   ???

My goal is to get just 1 song on a film or tv program or recorded - even if it's a accordion / Cajun / classical arrangement 😜


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Re: Why are we here?
Reply #4 on: September 26, 2013, 21:25:00
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 21:29:12 by Wicked Deeds »
I became a songwriter because I experienced a very difficult family relationship that left me feeling like shit about myself.  Writing was a cathartic experience and I felt that I had to achieve excellence - not saying I eventually did but I tried like hell to  do that.  Songwriting really is a discipline that will really present a challenge and finding that elusive perfect song was always on my mind from a young age.  I don't expect to achieve commercial success but believe I've explored my potential to write in a number of different styles.  My goal for some time has simply been to be as good as I possibly can and commercial success is no longer on my radar. I sometimes wish that I never felt the need to write - there's much to be said about simply enjoying life and not over analysing events through the medium of song.  However, I can honestly say that I was compelled to become a writer.

I've listened extensively to music from a very young age and achieved an advanced Diploma in music. In reality, I gained a good understanding of music theory but I didn't learn anything about songwriting through my studies. 

I've been a finalist  in the Uk Songwriting Contest, supported the Stranglers and was courted by a number of record labels in the early 1990's.  I haven't enjoyed performing in bands but have payed countless gigs - I'm much more likely to enjoy an unscheduled live solo performance (party invites are great and I once played an acoustic set at a friends wedding).  Mostly, I enjoy the experience of writing and feel that I've developed extensively as a producer and instrumentalist using Logic Pro, which has allowed me to express the musical ideas that I had been developing over a life- time. 

I listened extensively to a The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel and Don McLean up to the age of ten but was always surrounded by music at that time including Buddy Holly, Bill Gerry Rafferty, the Moody a Blues, Pentangle, Thin Lizzy, Roxy Music and Eric Clapton.  As a young boy, I hated watching musicals but was outnumbered - my sister and mam seemed to watch the same films over and over again, Carousel, Calamity Jane, The Sound Of Music, Half A Sixpence and many other's that left deep, scars  :) in all honesty,  I'm certain that the musicals have  contributed to my production preferences and choice of melody in my writing.  Of course I've listened to all kinds of music down the years but the above had such a  impact at a really early age.  I have so many favourite writers and musicians but I often find that the following are never far away from my CD player: Roddy Frame, Paddy McAloon, Lloyd Cole, Justin Currie and there's always a Louis Armstrong greatest hits in my car.  :)

Increasingly I'm moving away from writing to prove my own worth - perhaps it has proven to be excellent therapy after all!  :)

I joined this forum because I've made some good friends through tone's forum. I've produced extensively for Kaf (this forum is essentially his idea) and I'm honoured to call him my friend!


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Re: Why are we here?
Reply #5 on: September 28, 2013, 22:05:58
Thank you all for sharing! :)
It's really interesting, I think, to read other people's musical stories and the completely different paths that led us all here...

Guess it's my turn then.

I started getting lessons playing the recorder (is this really the right word? Kind of a wooden flute, I just google translated it, it sounds so wrong to me  ??? :D) in primary school and a couple of years later, this time on a more voluntary basis, I took accordion lessons. I cannot believe I'm admitting that  :-X
My mom used to play the guitar, so we always had a couple of old guitars lying around at home and I learned how to play some basic chords in my early teens.
However, I was never really interested in pursuing any of that

Years passed without any musical activity, and suddenly when I was 19 a friend asked me to teach him some basic guitar chords since he wanted to start playing. So I dusted off the ol' 6 string - and this time I completely fell in love with the instrument! Of course, said friend and me immediately decided to form a band, none of us being able to play more than a few chords :-D
That band idea never really led anywhere, but it did get me to start to write songs. Well, not really write them, more compose instrumentals, since I never wrote any lyrics to them.
These songs started with simple chord progressions on guitar, and grew more commplex over the years with additional instruments being added. I started playing synthesizer, piano, banjo and bass (none of which I am any good at, I just barely manage to accompany my songs). Then I discovered the DAW and the endless possibilities it offers to the layman musician.
At some point though, I became tired of only doing instrumentals, and started looking for a lyricist and singer to collaborate with. That's how I found Tone's forum. And I am so glad I did! So many people, so much talent in one place, all with the same passion for music and writing songs.
Since I joined that forum about a year ago, I've learned so much from everyone, I've been able to focus on projects much better and I've started writing lyrics and providing vocals to my songs.
For all that I am eternally greatful to all of you  :) :) :)

I don't really have any ambitions as to one day being 'successful' commercially. I don't think there is a place or market for my music out there in the business, and I'm quite okay with only a couple of people ever listening to my songs. I am now 23 and my only goal is to one day complete and 'release' (not in a commercial sense) a full length album. That might take a couple of years though, as I usually work incredibly slow in my writing process  ;D


Re: Why are we here?
Reply #6 on: September 28, 2013, 22:22:32
Hey Michael,

Yes, it IS called a recorder, strangely..  :-\

Thanks for sharing your story, I always assumed you had been more formally educated musically, I mean, it really sounds like it from the stuff you conjure up!

If you fancy making that album a collaborative effort, let me know.. I can't achieve the standard of work we've achieved together if I work alone.

It would be a slow burner though....  :)


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Re: Why are we here?
Reply #7 on: September 28, 2013, 23:00:34
my story is boring copared to yours,
i grew up with my mother playing piano, organ, violin and cello
so there was always a piano
as far as i can look back i played on it, but started to make some things that i considered songs for myself around when i was 12 years

but never have been without instruments, and have been making sort of 'songs' from something like 12 years old, still have some of the first on tapes

but i noticed i could not live without instruments / the possibility to try to make a song

went on holidays without instruments, and that went wrong

nowadays, i never go anywhere, anywhere without my portable studio (and i am proud it is quite a full studio that fits one laptop bag, with all the options, including (mini) keyboard, a serious microphone including the stand etc.)

because i get soooooooo bored, when i can not play or work on music for days, i did two weeks of France once without it, and i got suicidal without options to make music

why live, sit in the sun etc....etc....without being able to make a song
why?
well, i hate it being without songwriting options
it sincerely sort of scares the hell out of me that most people live like that, i cannot understand that

me, myself, and Pie


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Re: Why are we here?
Reply #8 on: September 28, 2013, 23:07:46
my story is boring copared to yours,
i grew up with my mother playing piano, organ, violin and cello
so there was always a piano
as far as i can look back i played on it, but started to make some things that i considered songs for myself around when i was 12 years

but never have been without instruments, and have been making sort of 'songs' from something like 12 years old, still have some of the first on tapes

but i noticed i could not live without instruments / the possibility to try to make a song

went on holidays without instruments, and that went wrong

nowadays, i never go anywhere, anywhere without my portable studio (and i am proud it is quite a full studio that fits one laptop bag, with all the options, including (mini) keyboard, a serious microphone including the stand etc.)

because i get soooooooo bored, when i can not play or work on music for days, i did two weeks of France once without it, and i got suicidal without options to make music

why live, sit in the sun etc....etc....without being able to make a song
why?
well, i hate it being without songwriting options
it sincerely sort of scares the hell out of me that most people live like that, i cannot understand that

Karma  point for Mr DB

You really are a force of nature

Mr music

You make me laugh and your passion knows no abounds  8)


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Re: Why are we here?
Reply #9 on: September 29, 2013, 21:14:27
If you fancy making that album a collaborative effort, let me know
I'd be absolutely honoured, sir!  :)

it sincerely sort of scares the hell out of me that most people live like that, i cannot understand that
Now that's what I call dedication! Hear hear!


Re: Why are we here?
Reply #10 on: September 29, 2013, 21:46:21
If you fancy making that album a collaborative effort, let me know
I'd be absolutely honoured, sir!  :)




Cool :)

One Karma point :)


Re: Why are we here?
Reply #11 on: September 30, 2013, 08:38:15
Oh my, this is an interesting thread. I think I qualify as the old timer here, I prefer to think of myself as a late bloomer.

I have always had an intense passion for listening to music. Stating off with groups like The Guess Who, steely dan, lynryd skynyrd, eagles, Ccr, Elton John etc..  Never sang other than in the shower and didn't really play an instrument. I guess I knew a couple of guitar chords, I think we all do but couldn't play a song.

When I turned 50, 6 years back now, I had a party in my house and hired a local band to play. What a great night. Even managed to sing a couple of songs with the band. The following day, I rang one of the band guys and got him to accompany me into town and help me to pick out a guitar and amp. So began the greatest journey since fatherhood.

I immediately began learning basic songs and started writing and recording within a couple of months, the songs were pretty bad but it's all about the journey and you have to start somewhere.

After a year I began jamming with a friend of mine who is a very talented blues player. I have gigged with Andy quite a few times in pubs and private functions but unfortunately he has a very stressful and demanding job so nothing regular has ever developed. I now mostly play a monthly spot at a local acoustic club and gig regularly with a band as their bass guitarist. The band incidently is the very one that played at my party and started it all off.

Being part of the forum has helped to move my music to another level. The feedback, the friendships, the collaborations, the fine examples other members post all make me strive to do better.

I have had some serious heart issues so I no longer work which gives me the opportunity to focus on music as much as I want to, so in a way if have been very lucky.

I have no desire to perform any more than I currently do as I think it would be detrimental to my health. I also am not actively pursuing the plugging of songs to other artists as I don't believe the type of music I write is up to standard and nor is it current enough to be of interest. I just love writing and sharing with other people.

That's my story, more chapters being written at life's true speed.

Allan
Part time musician, photographer, astronomer, computer pragramer and husband.


Re: Why are we here?
Reply #12 on: October 10, 2013, 16:24:25
Another old timer here (51) and a similar journey to seriousfun. I've always loved music. Many of my earliest memories involve my mother's bright green 1960's Pye radio playing in the family kitchen. I can remember being mystified as to how all those songs could fit into such a small box and where was the sound coming from?

So I spent the first 45 years of my life listening to,loving and being fascinated by music and the artists who made it. I couldn't play a note on any instrument and had always thought that there was no way I could ever make music of my own. The idea that I could write a song and accompany myself on guitar would have been met with total incredulity by my 45 year old self.

Then 6 years ago after listening to one of Dolly Parton's bluegrass albums and loving the exotic sound of the slide guitar player, I decided to bite the bullet and try and learn to play this weird looking instrument called a dobro. That led to me joining a band, playing  live gigs and generally accomplishing things I had never dreamt possible.

The next step came from a gnawing feeling that I wanted to at least try and write one song of my own. It's pretty impossible to write songs on the dobro so I realised that I needed to learn basic acoustic guitar. That was 2 years ago and after around 9 months, I was able to make my first tentative attempts at song writing. Since then, I've been writing pretty continuously and I've found the forum to be what's kept me going when I've doubted myself and others have failed to provide the support I expected.

So I'm here because it promises to be even better than the UK Songwriters forum and I want to take more time to carefully listen to music made by the people on here. I write for myself and my own satisfaction and I know that realistically I don't have the drive and ambition to produce the level of perfect, polished radio friendly songs that the world seems to want, even if I had the talent  ;D

Thanks for reading


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Re: Why are we here?
Reply #13 on: October 10, 2013, 17:15:37
That is interesting, that you (Montydog) and Seriousfun picked up guitar and songwriting only a few years ago and be so good at it, extremely good, at songwriting. I always thought (in my narrow mind) this hobby starts early, and people drop out of it, but seldom enter or re-enter it later in life. Don't get me wrong, but i have two children, one stopped piano lessons (after 3 years), and the other stopped drum lessons (after 2 years) so i thought they will not get into the hobby of songwriting....which i was hoping for, to be honest, just because it is the greatest pass-time, but who knows....they might be caught with the virus later on

but i will place no pressure on them, not at all  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D but for some reason i hope they will discover the pleasure of making songs some day