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  • Help Me Make This Better

    Hello all,

    I have just started posting on this forum and had an idea today.

    Basically my story is that I have been living as an Expat in Southern China and decided to make a go of the whole music thing. Where I come from original music is really respected and popular. However, in China, it is slightly not the same deal. They tend to go to mental for covers and will only put up with original stuff. So, it became my mission to bring more interest in original music to that demographic. It was a challenge, but pretty fun and I have now left that life knowing there are quite a few people in that city putting out original music! YA! But now I am moving on to Japan and want my music to be of a high enough standard to find a bit of love there. On that note I have posted a link below to one of my songs. It is really basic...only 2 chords the entire time...and was hoping some of you can give feedback on how to improve the song to bring it to that next level. I also encourage others to post songs and seek advice and possibly turn this into a functioning songwriting proofreader/editing thread!

    Anyway here it:

    http://colingarvey.bandcamp.com

  • #2
    Hey garv... welcome to the forum. Your life sounds quite interesting... certainly more intersting than mine. Hope you enjoy your stay. Unfortunately, I can't listen at the moment because my work computer has something against bandcamp. In the meantime, if you could post lyrics to your song, that would be helpful.

    Stick around... enjoy... participate.

    Comment


    • #3
      I really dig it, not sure I know how to make it better because I enjoyed it as is. If you type up the lyric I'd be happy to look through that as well.
      Don't listen to Justin.
      LCK - 2/21/2012

      Comment


      • #4
        Lyrics are the bane of my existance! But here they are:

        On days when I'm left inside all alone,
        I'm sitting here, I'm not a rock I'm a stone and I can can move,
        I can move,
        But I'm not gonna cuz I'm on my own.

        Through peering eyes I'm sure I seem sad,
        But take a deeper look I'm sure that you mistook cuz I'll gladly move,
        I can move,
        But I'm not gonna cuz I'm on my own,

        Are you really livin if no one cares,
        What's the point if its not being shared,
        Don't you want me won't you stand by my side,
        I'm not going, no I'm not running, and I can't quit if i;ve yet to try

        Are you gonna tell me that it's not pouring rain,
        Stick it to me like an accidental stain,
        Holy moly, I think your a ghost
        You must be cuz I miss you the most

        Even when your infront of me,
        Girl your faded now your too hard to see,
        Don't you want me won't you stand by my side,
        I'm not going, no I'm not running, and I can't quit if I've yet to try.

        ...it's about me and my significant other deciding to accept jobs in different countries and live apart after traveling together for 5 years and my fear of being alone and losing what I have, but even though it is frightening and possibly the wrong choice we are both being stubborn and trying anyway

        Comment


        • #5
          Just bumping for Garv. I have some thoughts on the lyrics, but I want to listen to them in the song before commenting.
          Don't listen to Justin.
          LCK - 2/21/2012

          Comment


          • #6
            Can't listen at work, so I'll just comment on lyrics. Take with a grain.

            "...and I can't quit if I've yet to try" That's a great line. I think the next verse could use some work.

            I think "stick it to me" could work and I like "accidental stain" but together they don't seem quite right. I'd try and tie it in to the preceding line a little better. I tend to go for a plain speech sort of approach. Something like...

            Are you gonna tell me it's not pouring
            like this is some sort of accidental stain

            I'd also rewrite the last two lines of that verse to tie in with the accidental stain image.
            ...

            Comment


            • #7
              Awesome advice! I really appreciate and yeah totally agree with you...I'm really new at lyrics so am happy to make use of any guidance I can get!

              Thanks again

              Comment


              • #8
                Garv, listening now...

                The biggest issue for me is that a lot of the lines are so jam packed that I can't even discern the lyric without the words right in front of me. In many cases, the words fly by so quickly that even with everything in front of me I have to rewind to prove to myself you actually said everything.

                Bare in mind that I'm a less-is-more kind of guy, so it's entirely possible that I'm not the target audience. It also could be that better audio quality would make the vocals clearer. But I think it would be worth digging through and finding some spots where extraneous stuff is trimmed off. Not just for clarity's sake, having some lines that are more drawn out could act as a counterbalance for ones that are more tightly packed.

                I should add, perhaps contradicting myself, that I didn't have a problem with the vocals prior to trying to follow the words. But once they were there...

                OK, now that's been said, let's go through the actual meaning.

                On days when I'm left inside all alone,
                I'm sitting here, I'm not a rock I'm a stone and I can can move,
                I can move,
                But I'm not gonna cuz I'm on my own.


                "I'm not a rock, I'm a stone"... no idea what it means, but it sounds cool!

                I really like this stanza, but I feel like the tag at the end gets buried by the delivery. That feels like the point of the entire piece, but it goes by so quick that I can't really sink my teeth into it.

                Through peering eyes I'm sure I seem sad,
                But take a deeper look I'm sure that you mistook cuz I'll gladly move,
                I can move,
                But I'm not gonna cuz I'm on my own,


                Who is doing the peering? Are they looking through your eyes, or are they peering at you? I'm pretty sure it is the latter, but then what is the point of the first half of that line? Doesn't "I'm sure I seem sad" already imply that they are seeing and interacting with you?

                Otherwise, I like it.

                Are you really livin if no one cares,
                What's the point if its not being shared,
                Don't you want me won't you stand by my side,
                I'm not going, no I'm not running, and I can't quit if i;ve yet to try


                The last line is great, though again it gets crammed so tightly that it doesn't convey it's importance very well. I also question the use of continuing the two chord thing here. Rather than a climactic part of the song, this feels like another verse, albeit one with the intensity raised a bit.

                What I think might make more sense is turn this into a true chorus with a fresh chord progression and then use this melodic idea for the verse after that chorus.

                Are you gonna tell me that it's not pouring rain,
                Stick it to me like an accidental stain,
                Holy moly, I think your a ghost
                You must be cuz I miss you the most


                This stanza doesn't do much for me. The first line is decent, though I'm not sure of the meaning, but it doesn't seem attached to the rest of the lines. "Stick it to me like an accidental stain".... what are you saying here? "Holy moly" up here in the northeast no one says this unless they are trying to be careful around young ears, so it feels completely out of character. The ghost/most pairing comes off as being a little too convenient for me.

                I think this stanza might be aided by injecting more truth about your specific situation. Stop dancing around with metaphor and give us a couple lines that are on the nose.

                Even when your infront of me,
                Girl your faded now your too hard to see,
                Don't you want me won't you stand by my side,
                I'm not going, no I'm not running, and I can't quit if I've yet to try.


                If you go the chorus route, I'd mine this and the earlier "chorus" stanza and blend the two into one mega-stanza to be used here and before.

                Hopefully some of this is useful!
                Don't listen to Justin.
                LCK - 2/21/2012

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Oswlek View Post

                  On days when I'm left inside all alone,
                  I'm sitting here, I'm not a rock I'm a stone and I can can move,
                  I can move,
                  But I'm not gonna cuz I'm on my own.


                  "I'm not a rock, I'm a stone"... no idea what it means, but it sounds cool!

                  I really like this stanza, but I feel like the tag at the end gets buried by the delivery. That feels like the point of the entire piece, but it goes by so quick that I can't really sink my teeth into it.

                  Through peering eyes I'm sure I seem sad,
                  But take a deeper look I'm sure that you mistook cuz I'll gladly move,
                  I can move,
                  But I'm not gonna cuz I'm on my own,


                  Who is doing the peering? Are they looking through your eyes, or are they peering at you? I'm pretty sure it is the latter, but then what is the point of the first half of that line? Doesn't "I'm sure I seem sad" already imply that they are seeing and interacting with you?

                  Otherwise, I like it.

                  Are you really livin if no one cares,
                  What's the point if its not being shared,
                  Don't you want me won't you stand by my side,
                  I'm not going, no I'm not running, and I can't quit if i;ve yet to try


                  The last line is great, though again it gets crammed so tightly that it doesn't convey it's importance very well. I also question the use of continuing the two chord thing here. Rather than a climactic part of the song, this feels like another verse, albeit one with the intensity raised a bit.

                  What I think might make more sense is turn this into a true chorus with a fresh chord progression and then use this melodic idea for the verse after that chorus.

                  Are you gonna tell me that it's not pouring rain,
                  Stick it to me like an accidental stain,
                  Holy moly, I think your a ghost
                  You must be cuz I miss you the most


                  This stanza doesn't do much for me. The first line is decent, though I'm not sure of the meaning, but it doesn't seem attached to the rest of the lines. "Stick it to me like an accidental stain".... what are you saying here? "Holy moly" up here in the northeast no one says this unless they are trying to be careful around young ears, so it feels completely out of character. The ghost/most pairing comes off as being a little too convenient for me.

                  I think this stanza might be aided by injecting more truth about your specific situation. Stop dancing around with metaphor and give us a couple lines that are on the nose.

                  Even when your infront of me,
                  Girl your faded now your too hard to see,
                  Don't you want me won't you stand by my side,
                  I'm not going, no I'm not running, and I can't quit if I've yet to try.
                  I think it's a good start to something.

                  I like the "holy moley" and "ghost" lines.

                  The last section has too many words crammed in to too tight a space. Let it breathe a little.

                  All that said, I think this is more like an outline for a song rather than a finished product. It's tough to keep your listener's interest for very long with only two chords. I mean, you've done pretty well with that, which is admirable, but it's not something I would necessarily listen to more than once the way it is now.

                  I hope this helps.
                  “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Okay...first off...thanks everybody this is exactly the type of stuff I was hoping for and will definitely help create a cool song.... Seems i need to throw an extra chord or two in....so who thinks its best to change the "are you really livin" chords to up livong parts... Or...should i add in a bridge part with no beat and diff chords?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by garv8640 View Post
                      Okay...first off...thanks everybody this is exactly the type of stuff I was hoping for and will definitely help create a cool song.... Seems i need to throw an extra chord or two in....so who thinks its best to change the "are you really livin" chords to up livong parts... Or...should i add in a bridge part with no beat and diff chords?
                      That's for you to say. You have to get a feel for where what you've got is getting repetitive or old or whatever, and then liven it up a bit more somehow.

                      There have been a few successful songs that used only two chords -- like this one by Donovan -- but it's not easy to do!

                      Last edited by LCK; 07-20-2014, 04:58 PM.
                      “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LCK View Post
                        That's for you to say. You have to get a feel for where what you've got is getting repetitive or old or whatever, and then liven it up a bit more somehow. There have been a few successful songs that used only two chords -- like this one by Donovan -- but it's not easy to do!
                        Or Etta James' I'd Rather Go Blind.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Another 2 chord song

                          'Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn'.
                          CHARLIE PARKER

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey guys, I got another track up if anybody cares to listen:

                            http://colingarvey.bandcamp.com/track/young

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeIjRmgaTK0

                            Let me know any advice for improvements, opinions were helpful with the last track...

                            I also really want to encourage somebody else throwing something up here, I think its pretty cool to get fresh musical ears and try things that other people suggest....well I thought it was pretty fun at least.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hey Garv, when posting another song you'll get the best response if you put it in its own thread. With lyrics too.
                              Don't listen to Justin.
                              LCK - 2/21/2012

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