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Y7 Wk 19 Train of Thought

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stikman
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Hi James,

Great tune. I don't have anything negative to say. I'm glad that you used a word that I had to look up. The world could use more of that. I enjoyed the moving bass in the progressions and some parts remind me of Elliot Smith. Good work.

I'm going to look into the author you mentioned. Right now I don't have a very disciplined method but would like to develop one. Basically I get the prompt on Sunday and then just start free writing a page or two. If I need to I then get on the internet and do some research. A lot of times it seems to be blank blank blank and then ah ha! Then I start writing verses, choruses, etc..... and then tweak that. Pen and paper. I've got some songwriting books that teach object and sense writing. The former is to set a 10 minute timer, pick an object like a cup or a tweed jacket, and free write. Try to come up with as many metaphors as possible. The latter is the same except you are writing about a plce in time and using your senses; sight, touch, hear, smell, taste, to describe it. Maybe a train station at 2am. The goal is to train oneself to be able to come up with metaphors at any time. I like to do these exercises using my '59 '60 Olympia typerwriter. It just has mojo. After all that I tend to mull things over subconciously. Wow seems like a lot of work for a 3 minute song.

The books I learned this from are Writing Better Lyrics - Pat Pattison and Popular Lyric Writing, 10 Steps to Effective Storytelling - Andrea Stolpe.

Oh and then 3 or 4 beers and I'm good to go.

stik

"All battles are first won or lost in the mind." - Joan of Arc

"It took me about 20 years to figure out how to write without inspiration. Thankfully, I got there." - Leon Russell


   
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jamestoffee
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Ernie and Ken,

Thanks for the posts. :D

James


   
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Vic Lewis VL
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I would be interested in what others use as catalysts to get things going as well.

I'm a great believer in the relaxing power of beer - why, sometimes I've been known to be so relaxed I'm horizontal! But when writing, I tend not to drink - much, anyway. A couple, I'm OK - more than that, I'm off into gibberish. Profound philosophical insights become "what the hell does THAT mean!" in the sober light of day...meaningful lyrics are out of the window and replaced by rambling rants. So, sober(ish) when writing is a pretty good rule for me.

I set great store by visualisation - I have a pretty vivid imagination, so I play out various scenarios in my head, compose dialogue between imaginary characters, put myself in the position of narrator and then try to lyrically tie these various themes together. Sounds complicated, but really, it's just straightforward reporting of events...the ones I've played out in my head.

I also seem to have a rather fortuitous knack of being able to "hear" a song I'm composing or working on in my head - being able to mentally put music to lyrics, if you like. I don't really need an ipod - I've got a well stocked jukebox in my head! So even without a guitar handy - if I'm walking anywhere, for example - I'll have music running through my mind. I do carry a small notebook around, however, just in case in come up with a useful phrase or two I don't want to lose - got quite a few of those stockpiled!

Now inspiration, that's a different matter - if I only knew how to draw THAT from tap and bottle it! Sometimes it's a word or phrase, sometimes it's an image - I never quite know when it's going to hit, but I'm always grateful when it does!!!

: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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jamestoffee
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I also seem to have a rather fortuitous knack of being able to "hear" a song I'm composing or working on in my head - being able to mentally put music to lyrics, if you like.
That's handy :D
I do carry a small notebook around, however, just in case in come up with a useful phrase or two I don't want to lose - got quite a few of those stockpiled!
Yes, I bought a low priced digital recorder for that reason. To catch any ideas. I also have pen and a stack of small paper on my nightstand. I just write one idea and then put it on the floor. Before I tried to write in the dark and wrote lines on top of lines....I could barely read it the next morning :lol:
Now inspiration, that's a different matter - if I only knew how to draw THAT from tap and bottle it! Sometimes it's a word or phrase, sometimes it's an image - I never quite know when it's going to hit, but I'm always grateful when it does!!! Yes. I find while I am waiting for that moment, I just keep cramming more and more into my head....One thing I noticed last week though was a difference between what I take to bed....For example, If I've been working on a song at night and have a section that doesn't quite work, I seem to have some alternatives in the morning.....but if I have only done Internet surfing and still haven't started working in on it before I sleep, not much comes to me when I wake up the next day....It seems for me that I have to start the problem solving process first, and then my muse kicks in and works things out while I sleep.

Thanks for sharing, Vic. Creativity is the area of songwriting I find fascinating and often look for connections in and out of songwriting.....ok time to find some inspiring underdog stories for this week :D

James


   
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contagiousjerm
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I would be interested in what others use as catalysts to get things going as well
I usually stare at my reflection in the gloss of my guitar until something comes to me, and even if nothing comes it is still a great narcissistic moment .

Actually, I haven't settled on a given formula, but I should probably look at the one that has given me the best songs... just start jamming until I start hearing something, then think of a few words and try to develop them. Or sometimes a couple lines come to me, and if I work on it in my head I can find the tune later. It might lend itself to a topic and then I run with it. That's why those having a notebook or recorder with you are helpful.

But being on this forum has encouraged me to use some different methods. Its been a nice challenge to think more topically first and then have to go from there, sometimes forcing something that doesn't want to work at first. Or even doing research (gasp! do I think I'm being graded or something?!). At least we don't have to MLA our sources.

Jeremy

And my Soundclick Page to listen to my song submissions: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=903876


   
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jamestoffee
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Jeremy,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts....narcissistic as they might be :lol:
I usually stare at my reflection in the gloss of my guitar :lol: :lol:
I haven't settled on a given formula, but I should probably look at the one that has given me the best songsI'd say don't force it, but definitely reflect. I've seen some patterns emerge for me, but it's been good to stretch or push into new things....I think what held me back or boxed me in a bit was thinking I was putting together a show or CD where everything had to fit together....but I finally said, "it's ok to write a song just for the sake of writing it....there's always something to learn along the way"But being on this forum has encouraged me to use some different methods.I'm glad you gave it a go! :D
James


   
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stikman
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Yeah, beer is not such a great idea when writing. But a couple after......

I find that carrying around a notebook or recorder everywhere is one of the best ideas. Before I started writing everything down I'd forget something promising in 8 minutes.

Ernie

"All battles are first won or lost in the mind." - Joan of Arc

"It took me about 20 years to figure out how to write without inspiration. Thankfully, I got there." - Leon Russell


   
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katreich
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Another great tune James. i have to admit that I stopped reading the other day when I saw you used the phrase "one track mind" because i had the germ for a song using that particular hook and didn't want to jinx my own tune! But now that I've finally spit out my assignment, I could have a good listen. Nothing more constructive to add, just a good listen!

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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jamestoffee
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Kathy,
i have to admit that I stopped reading the other day when I saw you used the phrase "one track mind" because i had the germ for a song using that particular hook and didn't want to jinx my own tune!
:lol: No worries. I feel exactly the same way...the process is kind of like playing with wet cement and once one idea settles into place it hardens and it's awfully hard to move.

Thanks for the post. :D

James
Yeah, beer is not such a great idea when writing.A couple of beers and I'm good to go . . .....to beer or not to beer.....that is the question :lol:


   
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KR2
 KR2
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A couple of beers and I'm good to go . . .....to beer or not to beer.....that is the question :lol:

Not for me :mrgreen:
My Muse is more forthcoming when plied with alcohol.

It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.


   
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Vic Lewis VL
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A couple of beers and I'm good to go . . .....to beer or not to beer.....that is the question :lol:

Not for me :mrgreen:
My Muse is more forthcoming when plied with alcohol.

Funny - my muse tends to slur his words, fall over and then snore loudly....so not only can I not find inspiration, I can't even get to sleep for the noise.....

:roll: :roll: :roll:

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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jamestoffee
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Update

Track 5

Spotify – A Ballad from Your Ex


   
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