mudcat.org: What makes a person a good songwriter?
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3]


What makes a person a good songwriter?

The Sandman 15 Dec 15 - 02:24 PM
Mr Red 15 Dec 15 - 04:08 AM
GUEST 14 Dec 15 - 10:35 AM
Mr Red 14 Dec 15 - 08:08 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 14 Dec 15 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,HiLo 13 Dec 15 - 07:06 PM
The Sandman 13 Dec 15 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,HiLo 13 Dec 15 - 11:26 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Dec 15 - 10:44 AM
Mr Red 13 Dec 15 - 08:33 AM
mg 12 Dec 15 - 10:10 PM
Philbert Digby 12 Dec 15 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 01 Jun 11 - 01:52 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 01 Jun 11 - 12:09 AM
GUEST,Secil 31 May 11 - 03:46 AM
Desert Dancer 06 Feb 11 - 01:43 PM
Desert Dancer 06 Feb 11 - 01:38 PM
Jeri 06 Feb 11 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,999 06 Feb 11 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,Morgana 06 Feb 11 - 10:31 AM
Jeri 06 Feb 11 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,Desi C 06 Feb 11 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 06 Feb 11 - 04:04 AM
Jeri 05 Feb 11 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,999 05 Feb 11 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,Desi c 05 Feb 11 - 12:44 PM
Tim Leaning 05 Feb 11 - 10:41 AM
Doug Chadwick 05 Feb 11 - 05:54 AM
Alan Day 05 Feb 11 - 05:34 AM
Doug Chadwick 05 Feb 11 - 04:58 AM
Stringsinger 04 Feb 11 - 05:28 PM
Stringsinger 04 Feb 11 - 05:27 PM
Tim Leaning 04 Feb 11 - 05:14 PM
Cluin 04 Feb 11 - 04:03 PM
GUEST,mg 03 Feb 11 - 08:07 PM
GUEST,Morgana 03 Feb 11 - 06:57 PM
GUEST 03 Feb 11 - 04:52 PM
Desert Dancer 03 Feb 11 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,mg 03 Feb 11 - 02:21 PM
lefthanded guitar 03 Feb 11 - 01:32 PM
GUEST 03 Feb 11 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,1jarofclay 03 Feb 11 - 10:16 AM
Acorn4 22 Jul 08 - 09:54 AM
Gene Burton 22 Jul 08 - 08:38 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 22 Jul 08 - 08:19 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Jul 08 - 05:57 AM
Acorn4 22 Jul 08 - 04:14 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Jul 08 - 09:35 PM
Amos 21 Jul 08 - 09:05 PM
GUEST 21 Jul 08 - 08:30 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Dec 15 - 02:24 PM

Copy MacColl.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Mr Red
Date: 15 Dec 15 - 04:08 AM

Point of order Mr GUEST sir. Speed Bumps?

I submit "Hesitation Blues" as an example where the Golden Rule proves itself. Comic songs thrive on not being predictable.

The audience are critical in this respect (literally). I have witnessed how a song can evoke praise one day and bomb another - look to the news that night for clues. The quality of the beer that day. "Good" is ephemeral sometimes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Dec 15 - 10:35 AM

Some valid and sound points made on this thread.
One of the Abba guys said every good pop song should have 5 hooks.
To me the melody and lyrics should flow. Take time to even out the speed bumps. Song writing is a craft and some people have a natural talent for it.
I find I get most of my inspiration in my semi concience state when waking up. Also, picking up catchy lines from others in everyday conversation. As a previous poster said, if you just observe there are song stories all around you. All you have to do is mould them into words & music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Mr Red
Date: 14 Dec 15 - 08:08 AM

Remember the Golden Rule

More to the point - what makes a good audien (sic) for it is the receiver of a song that declares it a good song. The songwriter who declares his song good still has to run the gauntlet and he has chosen a large gauntlet by declaring.

Maybe we know a bad song when we hear it - moreso.

Horses for courses definitely. Bad songs can be bad in the way that makes them good fun. see Golden Rule


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 14 Dec 15 - 05:34 AM

To me a good songwriter is someone who writes good songs! What makes a good song is maybe harder to define but surely there are good bubblegum pop songs just as there are good more serious types of songs. Matter of taste. Some people may want a good crafted original sounding song with meaningful lyrics whilst others might just sometimes want a catchy tune to dance to. Horses for courses! Re the jumping from 1st to 3rd person apart from again personal taste I don't understand why doing or not doing that would make a song good or not? Re pop tunes doing that I suppose The Boxer is an example.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 07:06 PM

Hi good soldier, interesting point, could you be more specific? I can,t quite see where some "pop" songs don,t do that or why doing it makes for good song writing. Just a thought.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 01:06 PM

"As far as someone using folk styles is concerned, someone who can write from a personal perspective to create something that everybody can relate to - i-e make it their own - MacColl described it as being able to move from the specific to the general."
Excellent.
Folk Style, the use of particular musical modes and the avoidance of others? possibly the ability to write convincingly in the third person or to switch from first to third person, not something associated often with popsongs, or am I wrong?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 11:26 AM

I think good songwriting avoids both musical and lyrical clichés, it will normally have a decent chorus and will have well honed and polished connection between the music and the lyrics, There are many writers, pop, and otherwise who do this very well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 10:44 AM

As far as someone using folk styles is concerned, someone who can write from a personal perspective to create something that everybody can relate to - i-e make it their own - MacColl described it as being able to move from the specific to the general.
That is why folk songs remain relevant over centuries while many (most) pop songs have a life-span that is measured in months, even weeks, unless the music industry runs out of imagination and revives an oldie to keep the tills ringing
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Mr Red
Date: 13 Dec 15 - 08:33 AM

Good songwriters are not automatically good delivers of their song.

Sometime a good interpreter of songs approaches it with convergent skills. Homing in on the one interpretation. Whereas a good songwriter behaves in a divergent way a lot, it makes it possible for songs to be formulated, rather than formulaic.

To get a good performance a lot of that divergence has to be switched off. But............

As GBS said. The Golden Rule is that there are no Golden Rules. It is just that GBS used his own maxim wisely!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: mg
Date: 12 Dec 15 - 10:10 PM

I wonder if the twelve year old is still writing. I vote for not killing off your songs for quality issues. We can't tell ..your dud might be the perfect song for someone especially if it about their hometown, a shipwreck they knew someone on, a memorial for someone...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Philbert Digby
Date: 12 Dec 15 - 07:37 PM

Hi all,
I've been called a good songwriter by close friends and of course family,but they're nice peoples so they are ,but that's not to say they are not musically gifted themselves.

My approach is populist,but sometimes a song comes along I have written and I wonder where it came from.
I don't listen to much music usually,I tell myself my writing is original.
Of course,everything has been written before it gets to my mind,I dont know why or how I get inspired,but being stressed out is not a help.

I think that by writing about myself would bore the listener,is this a cowardly approach I ask myself oft .
Inspiration rarely comes without being .
I have tried collaborating with other writers and it usually doesn't work because they weren't able to see the same as I do.
I feel sometimes loneliness is a blessing in this world as it allows oneself to be removed from the process,so's to speak.

Sometimes a title is the catalyst to a melody,sometimes the cadence,flow,of words makes the melody.
Whoahh,this is hard to put into words.

Really appreciate all your input above though. I didn't read it all.My eyes hurting.

God B-more
Philbert


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 01 Jun 11 - 01:52 AM

Let me add to what I just posted.

I know from the audience re-actions to a lot of the material I've written and performed, that usually there are a LOT of tears..not so much because the song is 'sad', but rather, it is beautiful..OR deals with emotions, that the audience identifies with, as something beautiful within them....and nobody else seems to touch that part of them. I find a very helpful hint, is to plainly address things that nobody else will even broach. Make it personal, but not 'preachy'. Be open, about what everybody else wants to hide! Define the abstract, and abstract the well defined! Use images that evoke the emotion that you feel, when seeing that image....There's more, but enough for now, unless someone is really interested.

None of this applies, if you are doing 'light' material..BUT if you want your music to impact deep and hard, and at the same time, shed light on those hidden places, you should do VERY well!...Oh, and do your homework!!

Regards!!

GfS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 01 Jun 11 - 12:09 AM

Truth....way down deep inside, and believability, as far as the lyrics!!
when the song is about 'them',(the audience), yet VERY personal!

GfS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST,Secil
Date: 31 May 11 - 03:46 AM

If you can connect with the audience and it makes them feel the feel the songs purpose (sad,happy,loved up). If it has true feelings and emotions (better if from personal experience). If your not sure about a song,record it, close your eyes and listen too it. if it's sounds good then it's most likely a good song. Ignore the singing if your a bad singer though Use a thesaurus. instead of forcing a rhyme look up another word for it, if there's none rewrite the two rhyming lines. You never know,you could think of something better. try and spend 30mins a night writing. It will improve a lot. WARNING: I'm no expert I'm just a 12 year old girl who lives in the countryside so I'm no expert. But I do  writing songs and singing too. I use writing songs too help me get through hard times. I would rather write than talk. But I think I'm not sure if I'm a good singer so if anyone has any techniques to find out ? Iv heard singing against a wall and putting your fingers in your ears so you can't hear anything else apart from singing but that's it. I CAN NOT get a singing teacher.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 01:43 PM

The whole NPR "What's in a Song" series can be reached via this page.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 01:38 PM

Ian Tyson on how "Four Strong Winds" was written.

"[Dylan] was just rattling it off and developing that style," Tyson says. "I thought, 'I can do that. How hard can this be?' I opened up the case and started fooling around. It took half an hour. ... I didn't think anything of it, but it took off."

...

"I thought, 'I can write a couple of those a week,' " Tyson says. "I found out quite quickly you don't write a couple of them a week. At all."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 11:19 AM

Thanks, neufman. THERE's the problem: I get a good start, then I'm afraid I'll screw it all up. I have to remember it ain't done until the fat lady... until enough people hear it so they'd notice if I "fixed" it.

Carrickfergus IS introspective. That was my point. Maybe the introspective, boring songs are just BORING.

Or maybe, because Desi was talking about a singer, that singer was just boring. It can be the singer or the song, but I would hope, in this thread, people would be talking about songwriters.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 11:10 AM

I have found over the years that even stuff I don`t like teaches me about writing. And stuff I do like teaches me even more.

Jeri is now working on a song that will be GREAT. The melody would make a bishop put his foot through a stained-glass window, and the lyrics she has so far are dynamite. It is partly an introspective song, but saying `I don`t like it` before hearing it is short-sighted to say the least. I`m sure many people will; that`s their loss.

I will also point out that Jeri has written many ballads, and she has a foundation in shanties (chanties) as a singer. I take issue with remarks that denigrate songs before people have heard them. However, I don`t expect that will ever change.

No offense to anyone.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST,Morgana
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 10:31 AM

"Craftspeople and artists learn from previously existing craftspeople or artists."

I couldn't agree more. Reading Rise up Singing is a nice method for learning how to write. (or has helped me, anyways...)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 09:04 AM

Anything is good if it's your kind of thing and if you like the introspective 'me' songs well and good.

If your definition of "good songwriter" is "songwriters who write songs I like", then I guess that's what you're limited to. It's ironic how it comes down to your own personalization instead of the songwriter's--somebody's "me" still comes into it somewhere. In the end, if our definition of "good" is only about what we like, we're missing the broader picture.

There are plenty of songwriters whose songs don't particularly care for, and I can still manage to think their songs are good, and sometimes great. Townes van Zandt wrote a few songs lots of people know and sing, and I think they're OK. He wrote a couple I like. Mostly, I'm not crazy about his songs, but he was a great songwriter. I can hear the quality in the songs. It's just that they don't really connect with me, personally. We can, and HAVE talked about what makes a good song. This isn't about songs, it's about songwriters.

Allan, finding an honest, competent critic is very hard. Somebody who's willing to stick their neck out and tell when something works is rare. It's also rare to find someone who doesn't simply say "I like it" or "I don't like it". I give up asking those folks. They mean well, but they can't step outside of themselves long enough to even try to be objective. In the end, I think good songwriters HAVE to be able to critique themselves, and that is hard, hard, HARD. You think your song is the greatest ever because it's yours and you worked hard on it, you think it stinks because it's yours and you worked hard on it, and you know there are still places that could be better, and the tune's a little boring, OR you get so sick of it that you just shove it in a drawer and start another one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 07:34 AM

I certainly wouldn't class Carrickfergus as the boring long winded 'about me' introspective songs I criticised. It's a great classic Irish Ballad, not about the writer him/herself (assuming Dominic Behan did in fact write it) but based on a true story. and the tune isn't over complicated or too long like those I referred to. Anything is good if it's your kind of thing and if you like the introspective 'me' songs well and good. My only point was I don't


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 04:04 AM

I am what you'd call a "hobby" songwriter myself and find that an important thing is to have an 'honest' critic on hand to help - whether it be a family member, fellow musician or just friend. In my case it is my wife who pulls me up on things not working. I don't always agree with her critique but I do always listen and take note - and in hindsight she is more often than not correct. I wouldn't want the club members on a Friday night being the first people to hear the song as in general they are supportive and nice people so tend not to be too critical - certainly not openly. It is more easy to tell if one goes down really well than the other way about.

I feel the 'rules' in how to be a good songwriter may be important to take into consideration but are also there to be broken. Someone mentioned in the thread that there should be a good variation between verse and chorus. However my song that goes down best at the club and has become a regular play for me has no variation between verse and chorus. Basically the chorus is just the first verse which gets repeated between all the other verses. Apart from tinkering slightly the entire song was made up just singing whilst enjoying a bath. Hence it is simple which can sometimes be the trick. I've had people who think it is traditional tell me they like it which was a nice feeling - as people don't tend to say to your face "I don't like that".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Jeri
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 07:07 PM

There are introspective "me" songs that are quite good. Carrickfergus for example. What you don't care for, someone else may love. I think good songs are ones 1) people want to hear, and 2) people want to sing. As for good songwriters, I agree with 999 (who knows) about being a good listener. It's the same thing with good writers being good at reading and understanding, and good artists being able to evaluate and understand other people's art. Mostly, I think it's the understanding. Being good at appreciating art of any sort doesn't mean one can do it, but I don't know of anyone who is any good who can't understand their medium.

Being good at songwriting means you don't just luck out with a song or two, but do it consistently.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 01:15 PM

To answer the thread question, being a good listener imo. People who go into various types of music with their minds shut will have difficulty growing in the craft or art if you prefer. Craftspeople and artists learn from previously existing craftspeople or artists. fwiw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST,Desi c
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 12:44 PM

I'd only suggest one or two things that 'don't' make a good somgwriter if that is you want the song to connect with audiences. Firstly numerous folk singers I hear sing technically very good songs with very good instrumentation, butr are very introspective i,e about their troubles and hard times, I don't really want to sit there listening to their personal woes and troubles. A time and place and all that. Likewise many write about where they come from, but mention every building and street. The really good 'my town songs i.e Liverpool Lou, Leaving my L'pool home, Dirty Old Tomn, I belong to Glasgow and so on, really could apply to several towns e,g Dirty OLd town never mentions Salford and is often mistaken for being about Dublin, Belfast, Liverpool, London etc, so it has a much wider appeal because folk can relate the words to their own home town. I wrote a song about Kilkenny Ireland (singing In Kilkenny, see you tube)that is doing quite well there, again because I think it could apply to several towns, in several Country. Only other thing I'd suggest is keep the tune fairly simple, lots of complicated chords are great for instrumental, but the ones I like to sing are those that I feel a not too accomplished guitarist like me cuuld play

Desi C
The Circle Folk Club
Black Country UK
WV14 9JH every Wed Night


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 10:41 AM

Its a good feeling innit Doug?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 05:54 AM

I prefer Traditional songs for the very reason that at least there is some tune ……

Survival of the fittest. – it's the good Traditional songs that have been handed down to us. I'm sure that there was plenty of dross around way back when, just as I am sure that there are good songs being written today. You just need to sort out the wheat from the chaff.

DC


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Alan Day
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 05:34 AM

I prefer Traditional songs for the very reason that at least there is some tune that the words are being sung with. So often I have had to endure a ten verse song with I admit lovely words, but the tune content is non existent , a background repeating strumming. Country Music and Contemporary songs seem to follow a similar pattern with a lot of song writers. There seems to be little imagination or concern for those who have to listen to it.
Al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 04:58 AM

To be a good songwriter, you first of all have to be a songwriter of some sort or other.

For many years I yearned to be a songwriter but couldn't put pen to paper unless I was going to produce a masterpiece. In the last year I have joined Rockhen's song writing circle and have written more than one song that I am unlikely to sing again, some that are OK amongst family and friends and one song that I am proud of. Whatever the result, it has been great fun trying.

If you feel that you could write a song but are not sure, then have a go. Who knows, you might produce that masterpiece that I have been searching for .

DC


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 05:28 PM

What makes a person a good songwriter is writing lots of songs and learning
from each one how to write the next one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 05:27 PM

1. singability. The words flow and are remembered easily. Take for example W.S. Gilbert.
You can remember all the words because they flow.
2. specificity and showing not telling. Fresh images.
3. consistency. Stanzas match. Rhymes make sense and don't call attention to themselves.
4. variety from verse to chorus.
5. wedding, lyric and music
6. versatility. Can be sung by most anyone though some require more training.
7. knowledge. Other songs studied.
8. a lyric is not a poem. It must have music.
9. interesting, not boring or cliched.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 05:14 PM

So in the gap between 2008 and 2011 above in this thread ,how many songs did you all write?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Cluin
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 04:03 PM

A good ear and a good mind, a good sense of rhythm, a good vocabulary, good editing skills and the good sense to recognize when you're on to something or you're just spinning your wheels.
But most of all, the desire to write songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 08:07 PM

I have probably said this in another post but I will say it again..to me the very main concern is the rhythm..not the content, not what is said, not the story, not the poetry..but how the words fit into the rhythm..and if they fit, it doesn't matter too much to me what they are..the accents fall in the right places and fit the notes nicely..then you have the marriage of tune to words. mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST,Morgana
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 06:57 PM

I wouldn't call myself an expert on this subject (have been writing for 1.5 years only), and I guess this should be taken with a grain of salt. It's not a good idea to force these characteristics into songs; they (except for the fifth) are better off working their own way in.
I think much of this advice has to do with topical songs. It may not be as applicable to songs dealing with relationships.

1) A quotable line or central theme that you can build your song around. As old school as it sounds, a song is kind of like an essay. You need to have a claim, and the other details help support this. A line that might sound cliché to one person can be something that your audience remembers later on.

2) The connotations of words are important. Because a song needs to be relatively short, every word makes a point. I often find myself spending a long time deciding which words and phrases to use.

3) Poetic elements. Songs don't have to be super flowery, but some description and figurative language can help expand an argument beyond its logical basis.

4) Phrases that are also pleasing to the ear, can also make the words stick in the mind of the listener. I agree with what has been already said on this thread; that a songwriter needs to have an ear for how the words will sound together.

5) Experience. While political songs are hard to build from direct experience (in my opinion), careful observations of what goes on around you (in daily life, and not always just your song subject in the news) can provide the insight for a song.

Thanks for bothering to read this long, overly-analytical post.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 04:52 PM

'A good songwriter has depth in their soul and respect for their muse'

ah that's where I went wrong! I'm very shallow and i can't stand the bitch.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 03:03 PM

There not only "could be" but are some serious exceptions, mg. The trick with a political song is making it generalizable, so its shelf-life is not too short.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 02:21 PM

And they don't impose a point of view, like, in general, join the union, save the tree..mostly..could be some excpetions, but the more political or preachy they are, usually the worse they are as songs...mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 01:32 PM

A good songwriter has depth in their soul and respect for their muse.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 10:34 AM

One whose songs that are timeless, often relatively simple melody and lyrics (clever, but not TOO clever!), that sound good played in a variety of styles.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST,1jarofclay
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 10:16 AM

You may know everything their is to know about music but still be a bad songwriter. you give people tips and you may even take a songwriting class but that wont make you a good songwriter.

I hate to say it but some people are just born with that gift. you cant pass it on or give it to someone.

People always go on about writing songs in this key or that key having great chord progression or using this clever wording. All good to know and having a good musically knowledge is worthy but it still won't make you a good songwriter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Acorn4
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 09:54 AM

Gene,

That's interesting.

I remember the experience of Paul McCartney saying he woke up one morning with the tune of Yesterday going around in his head -would back up the "something much bigger than yourself" idea!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 08:38 AM

The worst thing about Coldplay's songs is that you just can't hum them:>)

I've tended to find that my best songs seem to come mostly in a 20 minute burst of adrenaline- it's a very intense, almost spiritual experience and I honestly don't know too much about the processes at work. Conversely, the harder I have to work at a song, consciously search for lines, etc., the more the song tends to disappear up its own arse. Fortunately my quality control has tended to be good enough to prevent most of these from ever seeing the light of day, though there have been occasional exceptions.

When you're at your very best as a writer, I think you're merely a channel for something much bigger than yourself, ultimately.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 08:19 AM

It is very subjective to try to define a good song or songwriter.
As an example I thought that Achy Breaky Heart was a total piece of crap but it stood #1 on the charts almost forever. Billy Ray Cyrus made a fortune with it so it must have been very good indeed!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 05:57 AM

'A year on and I can't remember a word or chord of any of them.'

Perhaps this will refresh your memory - it was yellow......


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Acorn4
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 04:14 AM

I teach a few guitar lessons from time to time, and last year I had a pupil who was heavily into Coldplay. He asked me to teach him the chords of some of their songs, and we ended up doing around fifteen or so of their more famous songs.

A year on and I can't remember a word or chord of any of them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 09:35 PM

I think its very subjective. I've gone in for these song competitions and the judges always have an agenda - usually its pushing some vision of 'traditional song'.

Other people equate a good songwriter with someone who has sold a lot of records.

Songwriting is a very slight form of artistic endeavour - compared to writing a great lyric poem - with all its layers of meaning. Or writing a great novel or symphony.

I think it is something you acquire skill at, the more you do it - and to be honest you need some modicum of success to become a serious player. Because otherwise you would give up. Most of the best writers I have known, give up. the dullards just beat them into the ground and take up all the creative opportunities. just watch a 'hits of the seventies' programme to see how dull and powerful in the industry the dullards really are.

You can see the same sort of thing happening in the folk world nowadays. I used to run a small studio, and all the record companies used to phone up and ask if I had anybody interesting in making demos - but they all had myopically stupid ideas of what they were looking for in their head - basically they all wanted a copy of what was number one that week. You can bet your ass - they're all phoning round this year looking for seth lakeman and kate rusby clones at the moment - haven't you heard its gonna be the next big thing?

Kay Russell whom i was privileged to work with for a while once said to me,   the only nice thing about the music business is the music.

And I think that's the best thing you can come to as a songwriter - do it, cos your life feels better as songwriter than someone who doesn't write songs. If you feel otherwise - maybe the best thing is to give it up.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: Amos
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 09:05 PM

What youneed is a good vocabulary not of words, but of feelings and concepts that support them. When you swing from thought and feeling into song, if you are clear in your tale, the words will follow and the tune will appear. As one old master once said, "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing."


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What makes a person a good songwriter?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 08:30 PM

also a key thing that i use while writing is to tel a story, once a guy named elvis was on the johnny carson show, he asked him about what he thought about this new upcomming band that was popular at the time, he responded " well to tell you the truth johnny i dont think their going to make it." Carson says, really? whys that? and he says " because they dont tell a story with their songs." from that day onward, the popular band beter known as The Beatles, always told a story with their songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 12 August 3:25 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.