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Wk 47 - If You Don't Tell Me (WITH MP3)

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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
Topic starter  

EDIT - MP3 added Wed 3rd Oct. Only a rough demo, I was going to put a second guitar and a bass line on - both of which were worked out - but my PC mic's packed in, so it'll have to wait till weekend till I can get a new one.

Usual place - http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=225059

Funny how things work out sometimes - I usually get the first idea for a song from a word, or phrase, then try fitting a melody to it and build from there - this time, I was noodling about in open G and got a little 3-chord riff going. Thought nothing of it at the time, just tabbed it out and decided to save it for future reference. Then later I thought of a couple of lines....wondered if they'd fit that riff? They did. Hmm, could I fit that riff and those lyrics to this week's SSG theme? Well - you be the judge! The riff's been changed slightly - had to change it for the bridge, I wanted to use some minor chords there - I'll try and record it tomorrow. For now, think of it as a kind of Stones-ish medium tempo rocker....although that might change.........

If You Don't Tell Me

If you don't tell me what you want from me,
Well how am I supposed to know what you need?
I can't read your mind, I might as well be blind,
If you don't tell me what you want from me.

If we can't talk face-to-face any more,
I might as well just walk out the door,
We can't communicate, we're in a pitiful state,
If we can't talk face-to-face any more.

(Bridge)
Is there a point to carrying on,
If everything we had is gone,
If there's nothing here, except pain and tears,
Is there a point to carrying on?

If we can no longer see eye-to-eye,
Then we might as well say goodbye,
If it can't be fixed, might as well call it quits,
If we can no longer see eye-to-eye.

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

Hi Vic,

Good to see you back at the songwriting. Another keeper here for your bulging song file. :D

On first 'cold' read through I was struck by how well the repeat lines worked. It can get very obvious when you have to repeat lines, to the point of sounding like they've been stuck in just for the sake of it. But all those fitted so well that the repeat seemed natural and unforced. In fact I had to read twice to make sure that they actually had been repeated.

On the first read through I wasn't sure about the order of some of the third lines - but that turned out to be the usual problem with reading a song cold off the page. Second time through I could see what your vocal intentions were, and why the order was just as it should be. The theme is one that is certainly going to resonate (sorry, I had to edit out “strike a chord …” there :roll: ) with a lot of listeners.

And you've kept it tight for length and content too. On your reply to my song you suggested some ‘paring' and that's always good advice to a waffler like me. I'm still learning how to squeeze the most into the least space with a song. I remember a while back you talking about how important musical ‘hooks' were to a song, and the same often seems to apply to words. When I hear people singing along to songs they usually don't know all the words and just mumble or hum and only belt out a few key phrases. Sometimes that's a chorus, but ‘hook phrases' seem to be able to crop up anywhere in a song. Lots of possibilities for vocal hooks in your song.

Intriguing to read about the way you went about assembling this song from a riff upwards. I'm finding the whole songwriting thing to be a really fascinating and challenging exercise. It's an excellent way to learn more about music. So I've just started looking through songs a bit to see how others do it. Some Dylan songs come over as precisely crafted stories, but others seem more like abstract paintings, with great imagery and phrases splashed around that you can put your own interpretation on. And some pop songs have hardly anything that you could call a lyric, just a handful of words. But it can all work. The most successful ones often seem to be those that you can get something from without needing to hear or understand every single word exactly as written, and where the overall meaning can survive a few gaps or blurs. I tried randomly covering some of your lines up, and the song survived the test with no problems.

I recently downloaded a free demo track of Bruce Springsteen's new song “Radio Nowhere” and was struck by how unclear the vocals were, but also how it didn't matter much because the music and the vocal hooks were right on the money. “Is there anybody alive out there – this is Radio Nowhere” came out strongly, but the rest I had to pick out, bit by bit after many repeats. So I bought a Springsteen songbook yesterday to see how he does it. It was interesting to see that I often didn't know most of the words, even on songs I thought I knew the story details to, rather than just a general emotional feeling. It was also encouraging to see that the basic chords weren't necessarily anything like as complicated as I'd thought. I guess it sounds pretty busy once you get the whole E Street Band cranked up, but there's still an understandable backbone underneath. So much to learn... :wink:

Sorry, waffling on for too long again. :oops: Looking forward to hearing the ‘riff that started it all' if you can get to the recorder this week.

Cheers,

Chris


   
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(@katreich)
Prominent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 686
 

I can hear this one cranked up Vic! Nice go. Isn't it cool when you're just noodling and a song comes out of it?

Falling in love is like learning to play the guitar; first you learn to follow the rules, then you learn to play with your heart.

www.soundclick.com/kathyreichert


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
Topic starter  

Well, I did manage to get a rough MP3 done - be the last I manage for a while, though. My PC mic's officially & totally dead, deceased, defunct, had it. I'll have to get a new one as soon as possible.....

Pity, I had a nice bass line and a second guitar to add to this....

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

Hi,

Great MP3 under the circumstances. You captured a really strong Stones feel, as you mentioned at the start. Charlie Watts sounded like he was having a touch of the Hare Krishnas, but the overall Stones sound was unmistakeable. :wink: Good to hear that progress is being made with working out the backing stuff. I wish I could say the same - I get dizzy at the mere thought of programming the drum machine... must start soon...must start soon...

Cheers,

Chris


   
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