• About what makes a Songwriter today... might help someone that doubts
  • Started by Layerson
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
  • Layerson
  • Poissonier
  • *
  • 8e gr8, 8e aw3som3

    • 208


    • 70
    • September 18, 2019, 21:42:41
    • Sweden
  • more
« Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 18:04:09 by Layerson »
About being a songwriter today.

Hope this will help someone that might have misunderstood or have low self esteem about how they produce music.

First off, I know, I probably shouldn't write about myself, but this is to prove a point and I don't know any better way to do this... wanted to get this of my chest and this seemed to be the right moment. It's general advise to anybody that thinks you need to have some special skill set to be considered a songwriter or music producer, there's hardly any difference anymore between the two... please don't bash me in the head if you think differently.   :doublebonk:

In my case, I don't play my music live, I don't write notes or clefs on  sheets of paper (but sometimes digitally on rare occasions) and pretty much all the magic is done digitally in my DAW. I'm in no way famous - I just do this as a hobby, just like the majority of music producers today I'm a part of the digital noise. (Some people have this idea that you need to be famous or have a proper education in order  to do music writing...buzzer...wrong!)   C:-)

All of that still doesn't makes me any less a songwriter. Nor anyone else for that matter, who is not writing music in a "conventional" or "accepted" manner... not that there is a standard anymore... or ever was... there's only more tech available today ...so, if Mozart had been born today...well, I don't think he would have written on sheets of paper.   ::dj:: ::Note::

Being a songwriter, and certainly nowadays, has very little to do with the songwriter's ability to play instruments.   :yes: :no: :bonk: :thumbsup:

Although I play most of the lead, rhythm guitar and some keyboards myself, for most of my songs I wouldn't be able to perform a complete song live and that's for obvious reasons. Kind of like how a soccer coach have a huge impact on how his team perform, well if they listen to him.   :blackgrin:

I use a stock digital drummer plugin provided by the DAW,  midi plugins that do magic for keyboards, synths and strings. I do overdubbing in smaller chunks when necessary and sometimes that takes many repetitions to get difficult parts right. Midi editing is a must. Samples are okay to use as long as they're royalty free or stock DAW ones. I cheat as much and take shortcuts as much as I can. Time is my greatest enemy and no one cares how you get it done anymore, however you still do get extra credit for genuine ideas and good music performances.

The only reason I sing myself is because of the need of vocals in most music production and as that's pretty much the only way to get lyrics across with just audio (...well I could read the lyrics or use 'vocaloids' but they're hard to use with good results...) and I consider lyrics to be equally important as the music when they have a message. I would very much like someone else to sing sometimes, but I figure they'll need to know how to sing it because sometimes the melody is only in the vocals (...thanks Max Martin... or no thanks...). Singing is also not something you’re born with and a skill that can be learned by anyone, it just takes us different amounts of time to learn how. Another common misconception.  :nopompom:

Enough about that, and you probably already knew or agreed to all of this already, well I hope you do at least.  :pompom:

Hope this helps someone... I used to be one of the guys buying in to some of these misconceptions... it made me idle away almost 20 years when I could have made some music instead.   ::e-guitar::

/Micke
Layerson (a.k.a. Mikael Lagersson)


  • Leonard Scaper
  • Global Moderator
  • Executive Chef
  • *
  • *
  • Guest Chef

    • 3695


    • 1130
    • Yesterday at 20:45:46
    • Terra Firma
  • more
I appreciate reading this, Micke, and I know others will as well.

Songwriting has changed in some ways over the years with the coming of the digital age and all of the cool tools that brought, but its essence remains the same. We have music inside us that we need to get out. No matter what form that takes or how we do it.....it is songwriting. @Dutchbeat and I have had this discussion as he sometimes worries about a remix artist  being a songwriter...and he definitely is.

I wrote my first song 45 years or so ago......writing lyrics on a sheet of paper as I played chords on my guitar. That was pretty basic stuff. These days I write as i record into my DAW and I do all sorts of digital trickery to get the song out of my head and out into the world. I was a songwriter then and I'm a songwriter now.

Good stuff....thanks for posting it.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

"Special thanks to Steve Gleason for making me who I am today." Leonard Scaper

Lenny's Tunes: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=540680

https://soundcloud.com/vincentgleason


  • MrBouzouki
  • Global Moderator
  • Sous Chef
  • *
  • *
  • "Let the Creators Create" :-)

    • 1330


    • 548
    • September 17, 2019, 10:03:01
    • Sheffield, UK
    • https://www.facebook.com/Mr.Bouzouki.Music/ https://www.youtube.com/user/MisterBouzouki https://soundcloud.com/mrbouzouki
  • more
I agree with you @Layerson / @Leonard Scaper - it's inside , it needs to get out, so let it out however you can.

You also don't need the latest VST, or DAW, lots of top class instruments or a great voice. 

All creative artistic endeavours are subjective, you will never please everybody.

So please yourself and let YOUR music free.


 
"Love and Life is all about connections"


  • Jambrains
  • Chef de Partie
  • *
  • You ain't seen nothing yet..

    • 747


    • 365
    • September 01, 2019, 18:45:53
  • more
Amen to that!

Made be think of this

“I thought using loops was cheating, so I programmed my own using samples. I then thought using samples was cheating, so I recorded real drums. I then thought that programming it was cheating, so I learned to play drums for real. I then thought using bought drums was cheating, so I learned to make my own. I then thought using pre made skins was cheating, so I killed a goat and skinned it. I then thought that that was cheating too, so I grew my own goat from a baby goat. I also think that is cheating, but I'm not sure where to go from here. I haven’t made any music lately, what with the goat farming and all.”
Let man's petty nations tear themselves apart
My land's only borders lie around my heart


  • Mar T.
  • Senior Site Administrator
  • Michelin Starred Chef
  • *
  • *
  • Pay it forward! (watch that movie..)

    • 6529


    • 1660
    • Today at 01:24:35
    • Duiven
    • http://twitter.com/MartiMediaSC http://www.facebook.com/MartiMedia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEBmQkchurQ https://soundcloud.com/martimedia
  • more
« Last Edit: September 22, 2018, 04:03:52 by Mar T. »
Hahahaha @Jambrains , lol!!!  :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Ok @Layerson , I think this is a very recognisable post for all of us songwriters/mixers/creative artists/us being us..
I saw a great response from @Leonard Scaper and I'd like to add one very nice article he quoted recently: https://www.songwriter-forum-kitchen.com/forum/life/3/we-are-all-musicians/4706/

You see, @Jambrains and @Leonard Scaper 's artice do a very good job to 'sketch' some extremes in skill sets.
And inbetween there's a lot more freedom than we may think. Discussions about 'creations' (songs, mixes, sounds etc.) are often about 'labelling' and 'definition'. Imo it's not important how our 'sounds' (just to generalize) are categorized, or labelled. It's important that you had fun creating them. Whether taking shortcuts, or by applying some kind of craftmenship. I'm confident those results are generally perceived as 'the best' results as well, in the meantime.
So I'd never feel guilty for taking shortcuts, though I'll always invest (a bit of my available time) to master skills. The only limit (imo) is the available 'time'. Time can be limited by the amount of spare-time you have besides eg family-life, your job etc but a deadline on a songwriting challenge (as we run them) as well.
Imo limited time forces the writer to make creative choices. And that's the limitation we need to excel imo!
I'm convinced that you get something excellent out of your system when you accept that there's always a 'limit' on 'time'.
Time can be utilized to master a skill, or to produce a result. And anything inbetween.

As a listener I don't care what the available time was. Nor what the skill-set was (or the lack of skills). I just enjoy or don't enjoy the result.
Most of the times here in the kitchen, I'm amazed by the quality of the results.. So there have to be a lot of us, on limited time, making really smart choices.. And you're certainly one of them!

Cheers man,
Mar T.
:mart:
I'm proud of this track, check it out! https://soundcloud.com/martimedia/dreams


  • Layerson
  • Poissonier
  • *
  • 8e gr8, 8e aw3som3

    • 208


    • 70
    • September 18, 2019, 21:42:41
    • Sweden
  • more
Thanks guys @Leonard Scaper @MrBouzouki @Jambrains and @Mar T. for taking the time to read, complement and share your thoughts. 

I haven’t that many people to discuss these matters with IRL that are fellow songwriters, and, those I know will probably not participate in a discussion because they’re not susceptible or care much for these types of discussions.

I feel that in this forum, that hold so many talented songwriters and people with interests in music creation, all have our different strengths and ways of approaching music. The best thing about the Kitchen being that us Kitcheners cares so much more about both listening and helping each other. That’s what made me join it in the first place.

This wasn’t easy for me to express and your replies helped make this subject clearer and the link to “The music in you” in the other thread really cemented what I’ve picked up here and there over the past months reading up on music theory and watching YouTube videos on different topics helping aspiring musicians or songwriters.

We’re all in different places in a a multitude of learning curves but we also care about and help others. That’s probably why this community is producing so many great songs and suddenly I don’t feel so lonely in my creativity anymore.

You guys rock!

/Micke


  • Dutchbeat
  • MADministrator
  • Michelin Starred Chef
  • *
  • *
  • If you can stand the Beat, get into the Kitchen!

    • 8629


    • 1414
    • Today at 07:49:52
  • more
wow, great topic, and....thanks @Layerson for the kind words about this place  ::thumb:: ::thumb:: ::thumb::
and i agree with all the responses in this thread

and the response from @Jambrains made me laugh out loud  :lol: :lol: :lol:.....this one...

Amen to that!

Made be think of this

“I thought using loops was cheating, so I programmed my own using samples. I then thought using samples was cheating, so I recorded real drums. I then thought that programming it was cheating, so I learned to play drums for real. I then thought using bought drums was cheating, so I learned to make my own. I then thought using pre made skins was cheating, so I killed a goat and skinned it. I then thought that that was cheating too, so I grew my own goat from a baby goat. I also think that is cheating, but I'm not sure where to go from here. I haven’t made any music lately, what with the goat farming and all.”


the only thing i am worried about.. is
whether goatie (@Goatrelated) may find your response @Jambrains ...offending, she didn't file a complaint yet.....
but please try to be more sensitive to the feelings of our goatrelated minorities out here

 
me, myself, and Pie


  • Jambrains
  • Chef de Partie
  • *
  • You ain't seen nothing yet..

    • 747


    • 365
    • September 01, 2019, 18:45:53
  • more
wow, great topic, and....thanks @Layerson for the kind words about this place  ::thumb:: ::thumb:: ::thumb::
and i agree with all the responses in this thread

and the response from @Jambrains made me laugh out loud  :lol: :lol: :lol:.....this one...

Amen to that!

Made be think of this

“I thought using loops was cheating, so I programmed my own using samples. I then thought using samples was cheating, so I recorded real drums. I then thought that programming it was cheating, so I learned to play drums for real. I then thought using bought drums was cheating, so I learned to make my own. I then thought using pre made skins was cheating, so I killed a goat and skinned it. I then thought that that was cheating too, so I grew my own goat from a baby goat. I also think that is cheating, but I'm not sure where to go from here. I haven’t made any music lately, what with the goat farming and all.”


the only thing i am worried about.. is
whether goatie (@Goatrelated) may find your response @Jambrains ...offending, she didn't file a complaint yet.....
but please try to be more sensitive to the feelings of our goatrelated minorities out here

 

Disclaimer: No goats or goat related beings were harmed in the making of this joke.



  • Dutchbeat
  • MADministrator
  • Michelin Starred Chef
  • *
  • *
  • If you can stand the Beat, get into the Kitchen!

    • 8629


    • 1414
    • Today at 07:49:52
  • more
ah..thanks @Jambrains for clearing that up so quickly  :ok:



  • Mar T.
  • Senior Site Administrator
  • Michelin Starred Chef
  • *
  • *
  • Pay it forward! (watch that movie..)

    • 6529


    • 1660
    • Today at 01:24:35
    • Duiven
    • http://twitter.com/MartiMediaSC http://www.facebook.com/MartiMedia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEBmQkchurQ https://soundcloud.com/martimedia
  • more
Disclaimer: No goats or goat related beings were harmed in the making of this joke.
:lol: :lol: :lol:


Hi @Layerson and others! I really appreciate these discussions. I'm mostly in agreement but the Mozart comparison doesn't work. Mozart was an actual prodigy.  I've had the fortune of working with at this point thousands of musicians and singers ..... I have come across three prodigies. Think about this: when Mozart was 14 he heard a concert of Gregorio Allegri's Miserere in the Sistine Chapel  ... a piece for not one but two choirs ....a piece that takes over 15 minutes to perform..... He went to his room that night and transcribed  the entire work from memory. Even compared to the prodigies I have met, that is a completely different level. Also, Mozart was not necessarily considered to be innovative. So, if he were here today, he possibly would be making many very standard, average, orthodox pop songs. The songs would then gain popularity after his death. 

Otherwise, I'm with you. I believe that talent is of little use, it might not even exist and if it does it may actually be a hindrance rather than a blessing. "Talent" just makes people refuse to work hard. "Talent" is what the people that do play out in live shows use to make you think that you can't do it. It is as if only the anointed few have the right to go out there and perform. All the rest of us just need to go to their shows, buy their music and don't forget to like and subscribe to their YouTube channel. And, you know  @Layerson,  I'm glad that you realized they were lying to you.

I don't talk about my day job much but part of it includes teaching little ones how to play instruments and sing. I now refuse to acknowledge talent. When a parent wants their child to play an instrument it is not to be "talented" ... to be a pro ... no... it is to teach responsibility, hard work, respect, discipline, leadership, social skills and to help with mathematical and creative thought.  "Talent" is the opposite of that. To the children (or anyone else for that matter) I say, "I'm really proud of your hard work! It's not easy to learn all those notes but by putting in the time you're doing it!"  :) :)
Bill
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound

November Sound is based on the Mother, Father & Son musical trio of Melissa, Bill & Will. I'm the father so anything I post will have my wife singing and/or my son playing percussion.


wow, great topic, and....thanks @Layerson for the kind words about this place  ::thumb:: ::thumb:: ::thumb::
and i agree with all the responses in this thread

and the response from @Jambrains made me laugh out loud  :lol: :lol: :lol:.....this one...

Amen to that!

Made be think of this

“I thought using loops was cheating, so I programmed my own using samples. I then thought using samples was cheating, so I recorded real drums. I then thought that programming it was cheating, so I learned to play drums for real. I then thought using bought drums was cheating, so I learned to make my own. I then thought using pre made skins was cheating, so I killed a goat and skinned it. I then thought that that was cheating too, so I grew my own goat from a baby goat. I also think that is cheating, but I'm not sure where to go from here. I haven’t made any music lately, what with the goat farming and all.”


the only thing i am worried about.. is
whether goatie (@Goatrelated) may find your response @Jambrains ...offending, she didn't file a complaint yet.....
but please try to be more sensitive to the feelings of our goatrelated minorities out here

 

Disclaimer: No goats or goat related beings were harmed in the making of this joke.



even a skinned goat understands a joke @Dutchbeat and @Jambrains
kwasr


@Layerson   I've been thinking about all the posts on this topic. They are all very interesting reads.

I sometimes see posts looking for a singer, or stating they are not a singer, but you know when I want to hear a singer I'll go to the Opera (it's usually over when the fat lady sings).

When I listen to the songs -  I like to see what comes from a person's heart. Maybe get a glimpse into the life they have led so far. Some say "there is nothing new under the sun" - if this is true, then is the writer able to give me his unique view on the subject he is writing about?

Some writers have top of the line equipment and are computer wizards.  Some don't have the investment, but I hope to think everyone does the best with what they have.

If the object is to be commercial , maybe they should invest in studio time and musicians ( I play a few instruments badly - but, if given something,  I can sometimes get a sound out of it) 

I'm sure everyone will keep writing and posting,( we all get discouraged) , and do your own thing.

Vince


  • Layerson
  • Poissonier
  • *
  • 8e gr8, 8e aw3som3

    • 208


    • 70
    • September 18, 2019, 21:42:41
    • Sweden
  • more
@Vince - so very true, I agree with everything you say. There are other factors more important than audio quality and we should never let that keep us from creating... I started out with nothing than some paper, a pen and an old mono tape recorder... don't think I had all strings on my acoustic guitar either. I made some very good songs with that equipment (...and still do but I've replaced analog with digital, using my smartphone nowadays).

But, after a few years, I suddenly got limited in my way of thinking , somehow started thinking that I was creating music that no one would ever listen to, which was one reason for my long absence from music creation. And then, all of a sudden, a little rational thinking and a few corrected facts got me back on track again.

Thus, the old me as of a few years ago would probably have had serious doubts to some of the reasoning and knowledge that I now find obvious. But you're still correct, the most important is always what we create, not how we do it, and that we are true to ourselves...and have fun.

However, packaging of music still has some bearing though, at least if you want people to discover you music, even without any commercial interests. Sadly, a great number of people will not stay tuned to your songs if the quality of the recording and the format of the music doesn't meet certain minimal (varying) standards. That has nothing to do with how one creates and more to do with if one feels some degree of need to get recognized. It will always depend on what one seeks after. This doesn't matter the same for all of us.

@Bill from November Sound: You're right, re Mozart not being optimal to use as example... I could'nt decide on which musician and just figured why not... The collected knowledge of the Kitchen forum will always make me stand corrected  ;)

/Micke


  • Leonard Scaper
  • Global Moderator
  • Executive Chef
  • *
  • *
  • Guest Chef

    • 3695


    • 1130
    • Yesterday at 20:45:46
    • Terra Firma
  • more
However, packaging of music still has some bearing though, at least if you want people to discover you music, even without any commercial interests. Sadly, a great number of people will not stay tuned to your songs if the quality of the recording and the format of the music doesn't meet certain minimal (varying) standards.

I think this is a very important point. No matter how basic your gear is, as a songwriter you need to at least be aware of the quality of your recordings. My goal as a self-recording songwriter has always been to capture my songs and make them at the very least.....listenable.



xx
What makes a song great?

Started by Olbigead on The kitchen café

8 Replies
588 Views
Last post November 01, 2016, 19:11:18
by Olbigead
xx
help science...what makes music catchy???

Started by Dutchbeat on The kitchen café

1 Replies
356 Views
Last post January 13, 2015, 19:04:26
by Dutchbeat
xx
I hope to write music that makes people feel something

Started by Day2Take1 on Me

6 Replies
404 Views
Last post July 14, 2016, 00:37:18
by Mark Luto
xx
What Makes This Song Great ? - Rick Beato - Series of Videos

Started by MrBouzouki on Songwriting Ingredients

4 Replies
2371 Views
Last post June 19, 2018, 23:47:30
by reidmoto
xx
"When A Song Makes Me Angry" - Feedback Friday S2E3

Started by Friedemann on The kitchen café

1 Replies
408 Views
Last post January 30, 2016, 13:06:04
by Dutchbeat