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  • Please gimme a reading on this

    Genre vs Writing

    Blues. "You gotta pay your dues if you wanna sing the Blues..." And, you know it DOES come easy! Easy, easy, easy....very....easy.

    There are various bands playing in various genres and that's cool. But, are they really writing music or copying existing blueprints?

    The Blues (I-V-IV) could cut a new grand canyon it's so worn out. If I rendered yet one more lyric to that progression would I be writing or would I just be borrowing from public domain? Same for Rock?

    Same goes for country insomuch as it's more about the drawling dragline of the same old sad tales out of the same story satchel they all draw from. Very predictably planned music.

    Jazz? Well, sour notes excusing themselves and pardoned by following inexplicable key/tempo changes will have to blueprint this one.

    Rap - Duh. Parade ground cadence disguised as lyrics with a pinch of gangsta toughguyness and market-ready white-guy ebonics for soliciting credibility. Good blueprint for making money, though.

    So, what truly marks the person as a writer in a world that feels a need to fabricate music from blueprints?
    Be back when I get back. TTFN.

  • #2
    Form follows function. If you write to a form, function is following form. All my experiments in working that order have been hollow. The spark, the germ, the seed of it... that's what's important. Right? The term "form" can bring thoughts of formula. I prefer to lift the form, and leave the formula.

    Take two totally different classic pop songs. Nothing in common whatsoever, and find they have exactly the some form. So... the only reason form and structure get a bad rap is because too many write to fill the form instead of having content that rings and matters, and finding a form to help support that... idea.

    Why even bother with a form? Because it is something we crave. It is our solid ground to listen from. Playing with form is huge though. By its very definition, form sets up expectations. And that is a powerful thing. Because we can choose to surprise the listener based on their expectations. We can play our idea in such powerful ways by playing with expectations.

    Virtually every great writer has used form. They may have mangled it to pieces, but they are using it. Abusing it. Taking advantage of it for their own means.

    That's my read.
    Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
    Dad is great and all but he never could sing -


    • #3
      I agree that form is very important. The idea that we crave it is spot on to me. Form is comfortable.

      As a writer, though, I think form should follow creativity. Let your song spring from within without worrying about form and then let a comfortable structure surround it as it is taking shape. After years of listening and writing this is what works for me. Those time tested forms are there inside me waiting to serve as the superstructure for my creative endeavors....sometimes without me even realizing it.

      Of course it helps that my writing is not very......genre specific to start with.
      Leonard Scaper


      • #4
        I'm not really sure what the point of this thread is. Are you saying we should give up songwriting because everything that could be written has already been done so? Or that we should only use atypical progressions?
        Don't listen to Justin.
        LCK - 2/21/2012