06-08-2010, 06:43 PM
Hey, sorry if this is against rules or anything, but I wrote 2 songs this month, and I'm very interested in hearing what you think!
We're going for an early Zeppelin-type classic rock feel.
Let me know! Thanks. Here's the links: (album art may be NSFW)
Blackbird Stomp (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNmjLHLKZhE)
Note: I had to play every instrument myself, and I am not a very good drummer, so I know it's a bit off.
06-08-2010, 08:02 PM
Re: Blackbird Song.
Long post. I don't expect anyone to read this all today. Maybe over a couple days. If you read it, let me know if I was off anywhere.
Not overly spell checked. Typed as I went. Thoughts in Tow.
From one musician to another, only my best intentions. :beer:
//edit: Trying to fix some spelliing and dyslexia problems :) that don't make sense. Apparently. :)
///edit: Suddenly 'lick ass' and 'kick ass' have two different meanings. haha. Typos. Goddalove'em.
-begins at :05
-:09 or :10 It's not a good studio mix.A decent studio, and by that I mean even a basement home tape studio would be a huge improvment.
Unfortunatley everyone relies on digital these days and are not aware or otherwise decide not to do go for a better sound.
It could be that , for this, you don't care. I'm just saying, it's obvious and I noticed it and that can be fixed for real cheap, maybe $200 and you might have something better sounding and more inspirational than what you currently have.
Save up and allow yourself to spend one day in a half decent studio. A tape studio. 8 or 64 track, doesn't matter. Look around.
:28 Having a hard time picking up the bass. digital bass I take it?
Yeah, you nead a good bass sound. Fender Jass,Precision, Rickenbacker through maybe an Ampeg.
A lot of these home studios will have in house gear like this for you to use as part of the recording cost.
Something to think about if you decide to look around.
Also the bass playing was basically nothing. No melody there at first thought.
There may be a moment or two but over all it sounds like just playing roots.
It would be a lot more busy, funky. There could be a LOT happening there.
Then the drummer has to follow also.
Assuming it's a matter of playing talent and not song writing ability then, I think a really funky groove could be put to this without changing the song, at this point, at all.
So, concept is there, meter is there (maybe a tiny hair dragging).
:29 Carrying from above I'm starting to consider arrangement, which is too early to tell.
Structure. Verse, bridges, choruses, releases. I'll probably need a second pass to listen as a whole before commenting on that.
1:21 Taking it in. Not going to be critical of the drums in the same sense as the bass playing. Sounds rudimentary but I'll trying to feel a melody at this point.
There seems to be an underlying melody/grove thing that reminds me of Hendrix. That may tax one's imagination but I can hear it. It could be a solid kick ass
Well, here you go. Meter, tempo, groove,...
Play them side by side alternating. Check the groove similarity. More later...
1:29: ooooh, getting busy now. Cool.
1:46: back to the groove.
Okay, at this part, judging by the time slider it's half way done.
At this point I'm getting a sense of dynamics, other than the brief change mentioned above.
And I think that could have been built up to and then, bammm, big change back to layed back.
The thing with dynaimcs in music, commercial mustic is yuo generally have a tag at the first, or a hook as some call it.
Maybe a lead line or something to get you hooked into listening some more.
Quickly though just enough to get a hook in.
Then you generally proceed easily into the song, laying back, holding back.
Do a bridge into the chorus, one or two loops on that, one usually the first time, do a a release out of it and begin at the verser again.
At this point, you would want to change things up a bit rythym wise or mostly musically wise.
A change in guitar sound, mood, maybe the keyboards take a front role here.
Build into the second chorus with a bridge and slam an extended chorus this time. Double if only one before, more otherwise.
Then lay into a rocking solo.
Sometimes, you can do solos over a modulated version of the chorus. Which is playing the chorus but shifting up the key.
Okay, so release that and back into what's probably the final verse.
Depends on your intentions, this may be an extreme contrast to the rock out or still rocking it out.
The latter I might want to get back to the chorus again as quickly as possible and carry it out with maybe bleeding in some solos while trying to maintain the momentum, built up during the solo.
Otherwise, the opposite route is to do a quick quite verse and build as quickly as possible the the same result.
Okay.Done the first pass.
The second half was virtually identical to the first half. This is exactly what you 'dont' want.
All songs are based upon dynamics. By that I mean creating moods throughout the piece.
I'm NOT talking about ACDC or the Stones. Those are exceptions. I'm talking about the same rules that
filmmakers use in telling visual stories. I think they call them arcs in movies, I'm learning that end of it.
But the deal is the same. Dynimics.
Ok so, where are we? Structure.
Going back again I see your starting with a verse I assume?
Meh, probably not the best idea. Usually your shorus will be the tag/hook so you'de
might try with a brief shorus hook at the very beginning, just to get everyones attention.
Okay, from verse you go to a what? A change then back into the verse.
It sounded like a bridge to a chorus. I'm not saying it's wrong, it's one of those deals where I'm not sure that you understand the rules first before you can break them.
Unfortunaltly, formatting has been time tested. Music and movies. S'all I'm saying.
->So we're in the second verse now, for no apparent reason->
Another bridge into....faster paced. The solo deal.
Here, again think about the structure I mentioned leading into this:
If I wasn't clear on this before it's because I'm talking off the top of my head as it happens so,
I'll be happy to clean it all up tomorrow if you have any questions.:)
I think I'm alomost done.
I noticed at the end of your solo you didn't have a release.
You don't always need one, but they generally help coming out of a chorus. In the case of a solo, you can go directly to a chorus if you like.
Yeah, it's like understanding the rules first before you break them. Like every other thing I've ever learned.
Understanding the foundation of your craft empowers you to be more creative.
If I messed up womewhere, let me know. Having a couple beers.Typing, thinking, drinking, ya know.
I'll check back tomorrow. Hope I made some sense though.
06-08-2010, 08:58 PM
Wow! Thanks for that analysis. Both songs are just recordings I made in my basement. We do plan to go into a studio to properly record them, but first we wanted to make some test recordings so that we know what songs a) people like and b) sound best when put together. So, that is the reason for the recording quality. (Which I don't think it bad for a basement recording).
I'm not the best bass player or drummer. I played all the instruments myself, which, when we go into the studio, won't be the issue. But like I said, these are sort of test recordings.
Concerning the structure and dynamics, thank you so much. I plan on using your advice to re-mold the songs and rewrite them. You gave me a lot of good advice. I take it you didn't hear YYC, just Blackbird Stomp? Did you at least enjoy it, despite the criticisms?
Thanks so much again!
06-08-2010, 09:05 PM
Yeah, I was just going to bed ;) (hehe) but I'll check those out tomorrow 100%.
I just wanted to post a quick google link I did. Man, you guys are lucky to live in 2010.
In my day, we learned the hard way. lol.
See ya tomorrow.
Maybe this will help also...:) or should that be :beer::beer::beer:...:)
//Sorry about the beer quotes. It's just late as hell and...
I re-read the link (wiki) and honestly I don't even get some of that garbage. The terminology is all different and sounds a little too scientific to me. Not the way I learned anyways.
Let me look around tomorrow and maybe I can find something more 'mainstream' unless you find it first.
Cool and thanks.
06-08-2010, 09:48 PM
yeah, getting late.
I take it you didn't hear YYC, just Blackbird Stomp? Did you at least enjoy it, despite the criticisms?It's hard to say that I'd enjoyed it because being a former musician I don't hear it like everyone else. I will say I can see the potential in it and what it could be with the right musicians. That's what I hoped to convey in the first post while trying to explain why.
I'm not sure if you understand that. It's not of matter of like or dislike at this point.
It's more of what you can do with it, or what someone else can do with it.
Yeah, think about structure and dynamics. And when you listen to songs keep that in mind also and listen to how they change moods throughout a song.
Not the crap songs, but the real songs.
A good band could rock the hell out of your song but it still needs to be structured properly. Still needs dynamics as well.
I'll shout back tomorrow. Past my bedtime tonight .:thumbup:
06-08-2010, 10:04 PM
Alright, I look forward to your words tomorrow!
Also, I was in fact using a Fender Jazz Fretless Bass.
06-09-2010, 10:30 AM
I had a listen to YYC. It's a little better than the first.
I like the rhythm pattern for it and the section around 3:07 is pretty cool.
Maybe think about arrangements a little more as I mentioned before as well as adding bridges and releases.
In some of the googles I did they sometimes have a different definition of bridge and release depending on the format of the song.
And some have slightly different opinions on arrangements although the same idea is there.
Best thing to do then would be to listen to some of your favorite music and try to pick out the sections.
Listen for the bridges into the chorus. Sometimes this is very subtle and quick and even non existent in older songs.
Listen for how they transition from the end of a solo back into a verse or chorus.
Listen for dynamics in how the sections are played differently from their previous counterparts.
Listen to how they do intros.
I found one link that may or may not help. It's a little different...
The bass sound you have I think would sound a little better in a studio depending on who's mixing ofcourse.
The son of a bass player I used to play with has a page on myspace where he experiments with a few songs using only a frettless bass and drums.
Not sure what he used to record with. May have done this at home too.
But you might find it interesting. I did. This is more of the bass sound I'm used to hearing.
I think he used a Rickenbacker in one of the songs also. I asked him about that once but can't remember if he said he did or not. Maybe he just used a pick.
If you have any questions later on down the road don't be afraid to PM me.
I can't guarantee I can help but I'd be happy to have a listen.
Oh, and not all home studios are equal so be sure to get a copy of a CD they did and listen to it at home on your own system so you know what kind of quality you'd be getting.
I wouldn't jump into a studio yet though until you get the songs arranged a little better.
//another quick find from the same 'e-how' page I posted above. Have a look around that site more as well. Seems to be a few more things there.
//Here's a good song that shows the intro being the chorus hook and
and the bridge transitions from the verses into the choruses.
Also a good example of a release section.
Have a listen and see if you can identify the structure sections.
If not, let me know.
Btw, over 320 million views so it's a good one to analyse even if it may not be your type of song.
06-10-2010, 10:52 AM
Thanks a million once again. I plan to use your advice into reshaping these songs, as well as in future songs. I'll be sure to send you finished versions of the songs once they exist.
06-10-2010, 04:41 PM
Sounds good. Looking forward to hearing the new material and versions. Let me know.