Jump to content

Stop worrying about big deep things


Marshal

Recommended Posts

  • Members

That's pretty charming. Sorry I had to add the NSFW but I'm sure you understand.

 

He's got a good point... trying to be heavy is like trying to be cool. The very effort tends to undermine the attempt.

 

 

Be true to the subject you're writing about, on the other hand, and heaviness will likely take care of itself. Part of learning to be a good writer is to let your material seek its own levels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I agree with pretty much all of this. When I'm creating music, I've got to start with a completely blank slate with no pre-conceived notions of anything regarding structure, lyrical concepts, genre, or arrangement. I've tried making music that way and found working within pre-existing guidelines to be either utterly crippling and paralyzing or that what I actually produced was so far off the mark as to be unrecognizable to the original idea. What I found in the process, though, is that while failing to achieve certain goals with my music I stumble upon something light-years beyond what I had planned.

 

I'll tell anyone - I make the music of failure, and I wear that title like a badge of honor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

I agree with pretty much all of this. When I'm creating music, I've got to start with a completely blank slate with no pre-conceived notions of anything regarding structure, lyrical concepts, genre, or arrangement. I've tried making music that way and found working within pre-existing guidelines to be either utterly crippling and paralyzing or that what I actually produced was so far off the mark as to be unrecognizable to the original idea. What I found in the process, though, is that while failing to achieve certain goals with my music I stumble upon something light-years beyond what I had planned.


I'll tell anyone - I make the music of failure, and I wear that title like a badge of honor.

Right.

 

I can write an essay from a predetermined plan, setting up arguments, making points, etc.

 

But if I try to write a song or a story, each new word potentially changes everything around it... the process continually redefines the context it's occurring within. Set out with a goal in mind and, chances are, the way I write/create, that goal will be unrecognizable in the finished work -- or may prevent the work from even getting finished.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I may or may not have posted something similar to this a while ago...last week maybe. Or I may not. I told my partner though...I said I can write an essay well with points noted down previously and with an even fairly vague plan...but a song? It just loses the spark and becomes boring for me if I plan it too much beforehand. I just need to keep the inspiration going until I can sit down and write / make whatever it is. I avoid doing much else to prepare.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

Stop worrying about big deep things

Oceans are definitely out then?

 

I enjoyed that and I think he makes some good points. As others have said, sometimes it's best not to have too many preconcieved notions as to the way the song will turn out. Sometimes though, for me anyway, I do find having a good plan of the song works well too. Depends on the subject - and it usually works out (again, for me) that the lighter subjects work out best with a plan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Do something; do anything

 

Absolutely. I really like the idea of doing something bad. I get that. Ever tried to make fun of someone doing something badly, that you do pretty well? It's hard. You end up still rising to a certain level of quality. I've got pretty good time. If I pretend to play out of time as a joke... I can't really. It sounds like I'm pretending. We rise to our own level.

 

But the thought of doing something bad... that's a freeing idea. Liberty. baby!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

I agree with pretty much all of this. When I'm creating music, I've got to start with a completely blank slate with no pre-conceived notions of anything regarding structure, lyrical concepts, genre, or arrangement. I've tried making music that way and found working within pre-existing guidelines to be either utterly crippling and paralyzing or that what I actually produced was so far off the mark as to be unrecognizable to the original idea. What I found in the process, though, is that while failing to achieve certain goals with my music I stumble upon something light-years beyond what I had planned.


I'll tell anyone - I make the music of failure, and I wear that title like a badge of honor.

 

 

See, that's pretty much the opposite of me. I almost always start with some sort of direction in mind, whether it's a lyrical concept, or a tempo or rhythm or feeling. Even down to how long I want the song to be (usually between 3 and 4 minutes) I find setting limits forces you to be creative--to come up with ways of saying something that you probably wouldn't otherwise think of. I recently wrote a song where I plotted out the story in my head beforehand, and I think it's one of my better lyrical attemps. Though I do think the other way has merit too. Some great songs have been written purely through free-association, or just noodling around, and that's cool. Certainly doesn't make the songs any worse for it.

 

I do agree with the greater point though, in that you should stop thinking everything you produce has to be "great" or "important". That type of mindset can be paralyzing for sure--and most of us never come close, so what's the use in worrying about it? Try to make your songs the best they can be, but at the end of the day, they are just songs. Music should be fun.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Half the challenge of writing is simply putting the pen to the paper and...writing...anything. For so long, I have written songs like a sniper. One shot, one kill. I rarely would write a line that I didn't keep because every line that I didn't like was discarded before it made it to the paper. For some reason, I felt dumb for writing out lyrics that I was pretty sure sucked and wouldn't work.

 

The thing about creativity is that the process is part conscious, purposeful actions, and part subconscious accidents. Funny enough, I approach writing the instrumental parts with fairly careless curiosity, stumbling around, pressing every button and string with very little to no forethought. It is probably because of this stark contrast of writing processes that I have hundreds of songs with the instrumental parts mostly written and only about 15-20 lyric sets that are finished or own their way.

 

Within the past few weeks, I resolved to just write and forget about censoring myself. Well, since then, I've written the verses to one song and started writing another. For me, this is a huge improvement.

 

I like being really contemplative about my lyrics, but that doesn't mean that everything has to be so thought out in an effort to express the underlying feelings and point, or that it even has to stay on track.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

Half the challenge of writing is simply putting the pen to the paper and...writing...anything. For so long, I have written songs like a sniper. One shot, one kill. I rarely would write a line that I didn't keep because every line that I didn't like was discarded before it made it to the paper. For some reason, I felt dumb for writing out lyrics that I was pretty sure sucked and wouldn't work.


The thing about creativity is that the process is part conscious, purposeful actions, and part subconscious accidents. Funny enough, I approach writing the instrumental parts with fairly careless curiosity, stumbling around, pressing every button and string with very little to no forethought. It is probably because of this stark contrast of writing processes that I have hundreds of songs with the instrumental parts mostly written and only about 15-20 lyric sets that are finished or own their way.


Within the past few weeks, I resolved to just write and forget about censoring myself. Well, since then, I've written the verses to one song and started writing another. For me, this is a huge improvement.


I like being really contemplative about my lyrics, but that doesn't mean that everything has to be so thought out in an effort to express the underlying feelings and point, or that it even has to stay on track.

 

 

It's funny you should write this. I'm going through an "off-target sniper" phase myself. I've certainly written plenty of filler crap, but I knew it and quickly replaced it. Most importantly, the direction was clear from the outset, even if a stanza or two were absent.

 

But right now I'm in the middle of two projects that I don't even have the vaguest idea what they are even about. It isn't the the lines bug me. The entire subject matter feels off. It is frustrating as hell and I hope this isn't how they all come from this point forward. It's comforting to hear others have passed through this tunnel and come out the other side.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

See, that's pretty much the opposite of me. I almost always start with some sort of direction in mind, whether it's a lyrical concept, or a tempo or rhythm or feeling. Even down to how long I want the song to be (usually between 3 and 4 minutes) I find setting limits forces you to be creative--to come up with ways of saying something that you probably wouldn't otherwise think of. I recently wrote a song where I plotted out the story in my head beforehand, and I think it's one of my better lyrical attemps. Though I do think the other way has merit too. Some great songs have been written purely through free-association, or just noodling around, and that's cool. Certainly doesn't make the songs any worse for it.

 

 

There's an infinite amount of approaches to composition and songwriting and I respect and learn from all of them, but for me writing a song based on a predetermined track is like trying to do an interpretive dance of Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow whilst wearing a straitjacket in a very small Eastern European automobile. I love the discovery and wonder inherent in working "without a net" as it were. For me it's a rush starting a new song while not knowing exactly what in the world I'm doing or where in the world the song will end up. Without that rush - that feeling of exploring the galaxy in a rickety space vehicle of my own design - I lose all desire to create.

 

 

I do agree with the greater point though, in that you should stop thinking everything you produce has to be "great" or "important". That type of mindset can be paralyzing for sure--and most of us never come close, so what's the use in worrying about it? Try to make your songs the best they can be, but at the end of the day, they are just songs. Music should be fun.

 

 

 

On being "great": I'd be lying if I said that I would be perfectly happy being an average or merely good composer/songwriter. Fact is, I'm trying to be the best, or in any case, top 5 on the planet. My goal is to outclass the entire current generation of songwriters and then go on from there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

That's pretty charming. Sorry I had to add the NSFW but I'm sure you understand.


He's got a good point... trying to be
heavy
is like
trying to be cool
. The very effort tends to undermine the attempt.



Be true to the subject you're writing about, on the other hand, and heaviness will likely take care of itself. Part of learning to be a good writer is to let your material seek its own levels.

 

 

Amen to that, brother! +1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I don't know - the whole "I only rely on intuition" is mostly laziness far as I can see it. There's much to be said for intuition and luck. But having a plan and following through on it is difficult. Just winging it is easy. Both are necessary to writing good stuff.

 

But it generally takes more courage, skill, confidence and honesty to approach something with intent. And that is because it requires you to make decisions - and decisions are scary, because, you know, there's a 50-50 chance you'll make the wrong one. Good writers aren't afraid to make decisions. Bad ones are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...