Patchwork of Blue, A World of Rhyme and Reason
On Patchwork River , Lauderdale seemed willing to shift the curvature of his melodies to fit his collaborator's lyrics, but Reason and Rhyme goes in the opposite direction, as Lauderdale 's melodies take the lead and Hunter has streamlined his verses a bit to match, though "Tiger and the Monkey" and "Cruel Wind and Rain" feel a bit wordy by the standards of a traditional bluegrass number.
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Month: March 2016
If your songs are not meaningful to you, they probably won't be meaningful to other people, and the lack of knowledge on your subject and your lack of enthusiasm for it will show through. Write primarily as an expression of your own feelings, and who knows better about what you're feeling than you?
Strive to expand your vocabulary. While some phrases may be very meaningful, there are probably words that fit the image you are trying to create more appropriately. Also, if possible, try to live "in" the subject matter. You need to be vulnerable; to be a good writer, you must remain vulnerable in your writing. If you hide, then the song hides. There is no safe haven for songwriters.
You need to practice and you need to be persistent; Yes, sometimes, the words and melody simply flow. But most of the time songwriting is hard work. Songwriting requires work, practice, mentors, study, diligence, and commitment. We should give ourselves to the development of our writing skills. Practice, sing and write constantly. Write something every day, even if you come up with something that might initially sound trite.
You can revise it and make it something good later. Whatever musical impulse lies within will come out. Simple images cut deep like a sharp knife. One of the most common mistakes made by beginning songwriters is trying to say too much. The simplest songs are usually the most powerful. Complex writing in "code" that sounds like some other good song somewhere doesn't cut it. Many writers play it safe behind vague or complex lyrics. And many listeners enjoy decoding the meaning of them. Do what you want.
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If you try to say in three minutes or less how you feel about everything in your life, you will lose people. It is more powerful to show how you feel about ONE thing, right now.
Once you've gained considerable experience in writing songs, you may decide to add some elements of symbolism, metaphor, or irony into your work. A song with several layers grows progressively interesting; if there is more to the song than first meets the ear, it will stay fresh. Meditation is a very effective way to do this. There is no more creative expressiveness than your inner voice. Inner voice can both flow and be shaped: you can let ideas come to you and you can alter them.
It usually comes when you quiet your mind. As you open to your inner voice, it becomes easier to hear, grasp and shape ideas. This is important in folk-style songs, such as Blues and Country Music. Negative stories with a positive resolution can be very inspirational. Angry lyrics can be the release a listener is looking for. If you are a lyricist, write or sing whatever comes to mind. Even seemingly boring or strange lyrics must be written down, to open your mind to the more interesting and familiar lyrics.
It is important to at least consider everything that comes to mind. You can rewrite and reshape the lyrics later, as it becomes more and more clear, what you were trying to say or realized you could say instead. Put those feelings into words and music. Either you must look for situations to match the feeling or feelings to match the words, Be emotionally well-rounded: write songs of varying feelings, but realize what emotions won't fit, Don't write funny if you consider your genre very serious.
Flip the notes around: try the second note as a fifth then as a fourth and third. See what works. Remember that the more familiar always sounds better, so you have to try any new melody you wrote several times before throwing it out. Single thoughts are a powerful way to write. The feeling is often already implied. An interesting story, onatomatopiea, or extended reasoning or metaphor, could easily be written around a simple thought with enough hours spent.
The radical quilt work of Paula Kovarik. | Cover Feature | Memphis News and Events | Memphis Flyer
Every little thought counts, that you have about every phrase, word, and sound. Don't be afraid to try anything that comes to mind. Use the satisfaction from improving your thoughts to continue to improve your thoughts. Bob Dylan is quoted in his famous deal with a higher power interview, as saying that he would move onto other songs if a new song wasn't happening. In another interview about Dylan's song Tangled Up In Blue, he said he spent years on the song grafting various women into one character, so sometimes move on, but keep every idea for some use somewhere.
The radical quilt work of Paula Kovarik.
Listen to the recording. Does it have a linear thread through the whole song? Or is it like this wiki: a patchwork of many separate ideas under one umbrella? Are there any phrases that don't quite make sense? Is there another phrase you could replace it with? Is there anything you cringe at? Do you talk about your muffin in a song about poker?
Is there a clunky bunch of words? Is there anything that means something very powerful, but doesn't sound that way out loud? What is that powerful meaning and can you just write that instead? Remember theme is the universal meaning behind the details like love, bravery, good, evil, etc. There is always a theme, you just have to make it consistent.
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