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Original Song. Love and Hate.


davie

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Hey guys, I'm mainly a regular on the singing forum, but I write as well. Here's an original song that I wrote and recorded. It's a quick demo I did yesterday, I'm using this song in a songwriting competition. It's originally meant to be a full-on rock song with bass and drums, but due to time constraints I had to get the song done. They only want us to perform 'barebone' versions of the songs, so I did acoustic. Please check it out and tell me what you think.

 

And feel free to comment on my singing as well.

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Your a very good singer...the guitar was also very good...you sound current. The ahh ahhs after the first verse were distracting to me...I don't think it added anything...maybe it could with a diff set of la la's. The only other thing I didn't like was the very last line of Love and hate YOU...the music and playing is pretty and that last word just doesn't feel right...it is a rock song but still it doesn't feel mated with the music. Love and hate, one and the same...now that feels right...I would stay with that...jmo...good luck...you are a very good player and singer.!

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Thanks for your input. I will take a note of it. The ending is a bit open-ended. I was planning to make it transition into a guitar solo, but I didn't have to time to write a guitar solo that I would be satisfied with.

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I couldn't help but feel that there was some element missing in the 'story' laid out by the lyrics... not resolution, necessarily, but something beyond the basic love and hate set-up, some unifying or transcendental insight that might lift us out of the fray (more than the end of 'so many way to say how much I love and hate you' -- ways which, truth told, we don't actually hear. ;) )

 

Now there is a hint of some 'plot' development in the chorus, which seems, by the insertion of past tense into the framework of the song, to suggest that the protagonist has moved on. But we don't really find out much about that.

 

Sort of an arrangement issue is the inclusion of the wordless phrases... I found those quite distracting. Perhaps a softer syllable... the long a sound of them had more edge than the rest of your vocals... it brought home to me why that syllable is so seldom used in glossolalic singing. Some nice oohs or aahs might hit my ear better. ;) With regard to the rest of the singing, well, I'm not really a fan of this approach,* but certainly others are, so my thoughts aren't really important on that in this context. I didn't find fault with the execution of the singing, largely, although there were a couple of places that seemed a little rushed or forced. And the transition into the first chorus seems awkward... I guess it's a gulp of breath there? At first I took it for a bad edit.

 

One last thought... the modulation feels pretty forced to me... it's just one of those jumps that reminds me of modulation fever from the 70s when all the pop rockers seemed to discover/re-discover the technique at once. (There must have been some big hit that provoked it, but memory fails.)

 

A good effort, overall, but I couldn't help but feel like I just wanted a little more insight into the relationship at the center of the lyric.

 

 

*Just for perspective, I hate my own vocals most of the time (for quite different reasons, but still...) So, you know. ;)

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I couldn't help but feel that there was some element missing in the 'story' laid out by the lyrics... not resolution, necessarily, but something beyond the basic love and hate set-up, some unifying or transcendental insight that might lift us out of the fray (more than the end of
'so many way to say how much I love and hate you'
-- ways which, truth told, we don't actually hear.
;)
)


Now there is a hint of some 'plot' development in the chorus, which seems, by the insertion of past tense into the framework of the song, to suggest that the protagonist has moved on. But we don't really find out much about that.


Sort of an arrangement issue is the inclusion of the wordless phrases... I found those quite distracting. Perhaps a softer syllable... the long
a
sound of them had more edge than the rest of your vocals... it brought home to me why that syllable is so seldom used in glossolalic singing. Some nice
oohs
or
aahs
might hit my ear better.
;)
With regard to the rest of the singing, well, I'm not really a fan of this approach,* but certainly others are, so my thoughts aren't really important on that in this context. I didn't find fault with the execution of the singing, largely, although there were a couple of places that seemed a little rushed or forced. And the transition into the first chorus seems awkward... I guess it's a gulp of breath there? At first I took it for a bad edit.


One last thought... the modulation feels pretty forced to me... it's just one of those jumps that reminds me of modulation fever from the 70s when all the pop rockers seemed to discover/re-discover the technique at once. (There must have been some big hit that provoked it, but memory fails.)


A good effort, overall, but I couldn't help but feel like I just wanted a little more insight into the relationship at the center of the lyric.



*Just for perspective, I hate my own vocals most of the time (for quite different reasons, but still...) So,
you know.
;)

 

Hey Blue, thanks for checking out my song. I appreciate your input.

 

I'm not really much of a lyric writer. I'm relatively new to lyric writing, as opposed to composing and arrangements. I have other songs that are more story-like, but the development of this song is bit weird. It's been revised at various times. My music is mostly melody-driven, though I understand that lyrics may make or break a song. The lyrics in this song are somewhat abstract. Sometimes I leave it for the listener to interpret it on their own.

 

The wordless phrases that connect the first verse to the chorus were experimental and somewhat tentative. As I mentioned before, I may revise that part later on. The recording was rushed as well, I did the whole thing in a couple of hours. The most of the vocals were done in one take and I wasn't use to singing it without playing guitar, since I single tracked the vocals. I didn't have much time to record it because the deadline was the same day.

 

Modulation? I'm not sure what you mean by that. Could you clarify? :)

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I think this an entirely decent effort, particularly early in your songwriting career, so don't take my nitpicking out of proportion.

 

By modulation, I meant the key change.

 

I'm a lyrics-oriented guy, and in a song performed in this minimalist fashion, for sure, lyrics are important. But, I have to say, for much of the audience, a few key phrases that they like and can hang onto -- and no phrases they don't like sticking out where they catch their special attention -- in combination with catchy melody and an attractive production and overall style is probably pretty much all it takes.

 

And, honest to gosh, there are lots of songs that I've listened to and liked over the years that I have little lyrical familiarity with, when push comes to shove.

 

(But, you know, I have to sing my own lyrics, so I know when they're not up to what I'd like them to be. So there is that. ;) )

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Modulation is when you change the key.....as you did when you brought the chorus up like that. It's a good technique, and one that I often employ. It did sound a bit forced here.....it came on somewhat suddenly. I like to find ways to disguise the transition so that the listener doesn't realize it has happened until you are well into it.

 

You have a good voice. I can imagine how you would sound delivering a rock song.

 

The song has strong potential but the chorus (A) doesn't quite flow well enough. You are having a hard time developing a strong musical cadence in your delivery of it. To me the lyrics are the issue as they seem a bit disjointed. Think of what you are trying to say and try to find some words that let you flow through it a bit smoother.

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Chorus has a meter problem and the modulation is forced. Not crazy about the love/hate concept in the lyrics either. Acoustic guitar is pretty and the "We were love and hate" hook in the first line of the verse is strong.

 

Anyone remember Robert Mitchum in "Night of the Hunter"?

 

tumblr_l4yd68UuSF1qcouico1_400.jpg

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Didn't read anything, just clicked.

 

I like the guitars in the intro?

 

Good vocal, I would eq it it a little more in the higher range, and I would compress it more... It's too dynamic, i.e., moves too much in the volume envelope... I would compress it and put a limiter on it, and ride the faders :-)

 

But good singer.

 

What would make this better?

 

It starts and never "builds?" It's like a r-guitar and a lead? And a singer?

 

Where's the bass? Where's the drums? Where's the bgv? The whole song needs to breath... It needs an intro, then the songy part? Then maybe a bridge? And then maybe a building part and the ending?

 

This (to me) seems more like an idea for a song :-(

A good one mind you? But more an idea. Again, please forgive me, I didn't read your comments, or the comments of others? I listened spontaneously and critically and with no disrespect whatsoever.

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Thanks for the responses.

 

I will work on a way to improve the modulation. I intentionally put a modulation so it goes with the line "If everything changes" and also to up the intensity of the vocals. I haven't really used modulation before so I'm not entirely sure how to come about it. So what is a good method of doing modulation? Are there any good song examples of it that I could study from?

 

To me, melodies come quite easily, but lyrics are difficult. My songwriting approach generally starts off with a full melody, and THEN I approach the lyrics. And I find that it is especially difficult to have an excellent melody together with excellent lyrics and making them mesh up nicely. But I will go back and try to take fresh look at the lyrics again, then re-evaluate them.

 

Also I think I've gotten too use to performing this song in a particular fashion and I feel I may be reluctant to trying a different approach. But I will try tweaking the composition of the vocal and see what I can come up with. Maybe I can open up some new possibilities for the song.

 

Robby, I didn't have much time to do the bass and drums (I mentioned this in my post), but I intend to do so. Neither did I have time to mix it thoroughly, I'm still a beginner with mixing. I realize that there's many facets to music that are difficult to manage such as composition, arrangement, lyrics, mixing, recording, instrumentals, vocal training, promotion, etc. It's really a handful and I've been trying hard to learn everything.

 

Also, I'm glad (and somewhat relieved. lol) that you guys like my vocals. It's been a constant struggle for me and something that I constantly focus and work on.

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It's a nice song. Has a pleasant groove.

 

Main critiques: I'd maybe rethink some of those vocal runs (especially that first one) and whittle the whole thing down to about 2:30. It doesn't need to be as long as it is - it's a touch repetitive, and that seems to be because the timing of the chord changes varies very little throughout the whole thing. So that creates a sense of samey-ness, lack of momentum.

 

And on the vocals - you have a nice voice. I'd say just Don't try to do more with it then you can yet. Like Mariah Carey- vocal runs.

An honest simple delivery is best when you have modest vocal chops.

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I like the idea of the song, like the guitars, and didn't mind the modulation. The problem is that the lyric is too generic. Plus, some of the lines don't make any sense within the context of the song.

 

Example:

 

Everything to you had a name

But to me it was all the same.

 

First of all, I think it's best to try to be somewhat conversational in lyrical construction depending on the context of the song. This particular song is set up as a conversation (mental or actually spoken) between a guy and his girlfriend. If you were talking to someone you wouldn't say "everything to you is the same..." You'd probably say "everything is the same to you..."

 

However, given the rhythmic structure of the music, that creates the problem of prosody, or how the rhythm or accentual stress of the words fits the accentual stresses of the music. To sing it the way I've written it, you'd have to change it to: "everything is the same to you." But in conversation you wouldn't stress the word "the." So, to fit the musical accent, you'd have to change that line to something along the lines of "You say everything has a name..." That's not great, which is why lyricists sometimes do a reversal of normal conversational word order, and which probably brings us back to sticking with the way you wrote it, or else coming up with a more novel way of saying the same thing.

 

However, there's a different kind of problem with the line that follows: "but to me it was all the same..."

 

This simply doesn't make any sense. If everything is the same to the guy singing the song he wouldn't be singing about love and hate, which are polar opposites. See what I mean? Plus what does the "it" in that line mean?

 

Here's another example:

 

"We were love and hate, day and night. (That's good.)

I'm wide awake now, but here I lie." (That needs work...)

 

I assume you were trying to rhyme "awake" with "hate" in that line, but they don't really rhyme. And "lie" doesn't rhyme with "night" either. If you're going go out of your way to use a word like "subside" to rhyme with "inside," which you do later (and which, technically doesn't rhyme either b/c you're rhyming "side" with "side"), you should probably explore using real rhymes whenever possible.

 

Here's a line that would work, though it changes the meaning of the one you've written.

 

We were love and hate, day and night.

We loved to love and we loved to fight.

 

These are all just general suggestions to help you with your lyric writing. Certainly many, many songs make it to the charts with less than stellar lyrics. But, as I think B2B suggested, it's always good to give the listener a line or two that stand out, that say something they've felt, but do so in a unique way. With that in mind, here's a crash course in great lyric writing, with a song from the 1930s, written on the same theme. You'll notice that there are lots and lots of concrete examples of the love/hate dynamic going on between this couple. And most of them are very clever, and stick in the listener's mind.

 

"I Wish I Were in Love Again"

(Richard Rodgers & Larry Hart)

 

REFRAIN 1

 

The sleepless nights,

the daily fights

the qick toboggan when you reach the heights

I miss the kisses and I miss the bites

I wish I were in love again!

 

The broken dates,

the endless waits,

the lovely loving and the hateful hates,

the conversations with the flying plates

I wish I were in love again!

 

No more pain

no more strain

now I'm sane but ...

I would rather be gaga!

 

The pulled-out fur

of cat and cur

the fine mismating of a him and her

I've learned my lesson, but I wish I were

in love again!

 

REFRAIN 2

The furtive sigh

the blackened eye,

the words "I'll love you till the day I day"

the self-deception the believes the lie

I wish I were in love again!

 

When love congeals

it soon reveals

the faint aroma of performing seals

the double-crossing of a pair of heels.

I wish I were in love again!

 

No more care

no despair

I'm all there now

But I'd rather be punch-drunk!

 

Believe me sir

I much prefer

the classic battle of a him and her.

I don't like quiet and

I wish I were in love again!

 

I hope this helps,

 

LCK

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Thanks for the further advice.

 

Matximus, the vocal runs were purely experimental on my part. They may have to go. The majority of listeners were a bit put off by them, so that will be reworked. As for the repetitive chord progression. I may adjust it somehow. I might introduce a harmony-dominant bass track to add some variety to the song. I've done this for other songs as well.

 

LCK, I never intended to rhyme 'hate' with 'awake' in the verse, that was purely coincidence. Though 'night' was made to rhyme with 'lie'. It's called a slant rhyme. For the 'inside' and 'subside' part, I'm on the fence. I might change it. Also the "Everything to you had a name. But to me it was all the same." line symbolizes the disagreement and and conflict between people of different personalities.

 

 

Also, I understand that I can receive many mixed opinions and criticisms (eg. acoustic version vs rock version, lyrics, etc). And I know that its impossible to please everyone. But I will consider the common advices that the majority of people mention. And at the same time I will strive to maintain my own artistic vision as well.

 

(BTW guys, just wondering.. do you hear any type of accent in my singing? And what about vocal style comparisons? Just curious :rolleyes:)

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Wow, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the guitar beginning...it's so delicate...it reminds me of Simon & Garfunkle and then the voice is SO Morrissey (to me anyway)...

 

This could be on the radio...or actually no, not so much. It's on an album (in my head), but not a single...and yet, it'd be a fav song by many owners of that album.

 

ONE thing that isn't bad but that does stand out as maybe not adding something to the song, are the vocal run bits at the ends of the verses...that lower note that gets lower...you've got a really good voice and you can obviously do the note easily, but it sounds different from the other notes...and then the end of the 2nd verse with the vocal bits that go up...I'd not keep them if it were my song.

 

But yeah...this is really good. (Sorry if my post is garbled. I've been strange these past few days.)

 

Love the guitar bridge too, but am not 100% sure about the melody / vocal on it.

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Wow, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the guitar beginning...it's so delicate...it reminds me of Simon & Garfunkle and then the voice is SO Morrissey (to me anyway)...


This could be on the radio...or actually no, not so much. It's on an album (in my head), but not a single...and yet, it'd be a fav song by many owners of that album.


ONE thing that isn't bad but that does stand out as maybe not adding something to the song, are the vocal run bits at the ends of the verses...that lower note that gets lower...you've got a really good voice and you can obviously do the note easily, but it sounds different from the other notes...and then the end of the 2nd verse with the vocal bits that go up...I'd not keep them if it were my song.


But yeah...this is really good. (Sorry if my post is garbled. I've been strange these past few days.)


Love the guitar bridge too, but am not 100% sure about the melody / vocal on it.

 

Radio? Album? Single? Gracie.. what are you talking about? lol. Because I have no clue :p

 

Morrissey? I'm not familiar with him. Though I just youtubed him. I don't know if I resemble him. lol

 

But anyway I agree, the vocal runs gotta go.

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Dammit, I thought maybe my post wouldn't make any sense. I've done stuff to my brain lately, don't mind me. lol

 

I mean...whenever I hear a song I like and feel could be successful, I say I can "hear it on the radio" (in my head / ear / psychic mind)...but then with THIS song, I thought no. NOT the radio exactly. It's not THAT commercial (as is anyway), but I CAN hear it on an album...and people would really like this song on the album. Anyway, basically I'm saying it's really good and I like it. I'd buy it.

 

And yes, listen to Morrissey...your vocal reminds me of him a lot in this song, but again, my brain is crazy right now.

 

Actually maybe it was just the style / melody of songs he tends to do...maybe it's not so much your actual voice but more certain chord progressions and matching vocal melodies...who knows really. Certainly not I, heheh.

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Thanks Robby, I've already put everything in consideration. Like I've said in most of my responses, the vocal runs gotta go. :rolleyes:

This was just a quick demo recording. I didn't do much for mixing, EQ, noise, etc. But I will surely give it the works when the final version is done.

 

(Btw, why do you end all your sentences with 'question marks' ? It's a bit confusing :confused:)

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Btw, why do you end all your sentences with 'question marks' ?

 

There are, in life, some questions that should remain unasked.

 

I just revisited this one. I actually like the vocal runs....they add dimension and character to the performance. Were I to have this tune to mix I might find some ways to get them into the background a bit where they could also add depth to the song.

 

Regarding that modulation.......try pausing before you go there instead of playing guitar into it. Catch us by surprise with it.

 

It's a good tune.:wave:

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LCK, I never intended to rhyme 'hate' with 'awake' in the verse, that was purely coincidence. Though 'night' was made to rhyme with 'lie'. It's called a slant rhyme. For the 'inside' and 'subside' part, I'm on the fence. I might change it. Also the "Everything to you had a name. But to me it was all the same." line symbolizes the disagreement and and conflict between people of different personalities.

 

 

Hi again,

 

Actually a slant rhyme is where the consonant sound is the same but the vowel is different: woman/uncommon, or in the Johnny Mercer/Johnny Mandel song, "Emily:" "As my eyes visualize a family I see, dreamily, Emily too."

 

In your song night and lie are actually near rhymes, which are used a lot in popular music these days. But they can sometimes detract from a song's effectiveness. (There's also a physiological basis for using perfect rhymes, and even slant rhymes, over near rhymes, in that hearing a perfect rhyme or slant rhyme creates a burst of dopamine -- a feel good chemical -- in the brain of the listener, where near rhymes don't do that.)

 

I agree about the subside/inside rhyme in general terms. I just think the word "subside" kind of sticks out, is kind of out of place with the rest of the words in the lyric.

 

And yes, I understand why you used the line about "to me everything is the same." That wasn't what I was discussing. In my opinion it just doesn't make any sense for the character to say that within the context of this song. You said yourself that lyric writing is one of your weaknesses. I was trying to give you some tips that might help you out in that area, that's all.

 

Best of luck with the song. It's got a lot of potential.

 

LCK

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(Btw, why do you end all your sentences with 'question marks' ? It's a bit confusing
:confused:
)

 

Did you ever hear the story about the scorpion and the frog? The frog lets the scorpion on his back? And the scorpion sings him? And he said why did you do that? And the scorpion replies, "I can't help myself, it's my nature..."

 

I can't help myself? It's my nature... I question "everything?"

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