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Songwriting Challenge 31 - Beginnings


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Some people call it an intro, other people call it a hook, but whatever you call it engaging your listeners within the first :15 is a crucial songwriting technique. I don't think there is one clear way to accomplish this, it could be a a clever lyric like "Hungry Heart":


"Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack

I went out for a ride and I never went back"



it could be a clever arrangement, such as the instrumental intro to "Papa Was A Rolling Stone":



or it could even be a single, unusual chord, such as the beginning to "Hard Day's Night":



Really, the techniques are as varied as songwriting itself. So the Songwriting Challenge for this month is "Beginnings - Lyrical or Musical - an intro that really hooks the listener or sets the stage for everything which follows".


PM me a link to your song by April 30th, and I will post the Reveal on May 1st.

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hey, i love the old look back. i just hope it lasts


*and there was much rejoycing*


oh yeah that reminds me... i came here to report that i have a guitar track at just the right tempo for the song ... it's tricky, it doesn't work for me too fast or too slow ... so now, one billion vocal takes to look forward to

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Here's what quality time entails:


Cut significant, loopable 2,4 or 8 bar segments from the original tracks in Pro Tools

Program a disco drumbeat in Jamstix, generate humanized drummer style and fills, export MIDI file

Map the drum MIDI file onto an 808 emulator

Tune the samples to each other (one is in F, the other is in F#)

Beat match the loops to the disco 808 drums

Slice the loops into individual hits and load the hits into a sampler

Record some keyboard parts to trigger individual hits

Sequence and arrange the loops, keyboard phrases, and drums

Apply track level compression to make the loops sit together better

Do a bunch of volume automation

Apply a dance style multiband mastering compressor

EQ to taste (and to minimize some unfortunate compressor artifacts)

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Dangit, I wrote my lyrics in a huff at the beginning of the month, finally sat down to record it, and realized that "do" and "so", despite appearances, don't rhyme. I don't think I'm going to get it together. I'll probably adjust it to apply to next month's challenge


You're either a Rhymin' Prima Donna or just not finished with it. :cop:

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Well. I've been dilly-dallying with a song for a couple months that sort of fits the bill. I think it's about done, but there's a little work still needed on one verse. Then there's getting a quickie recording done.


So, I don't know if it still matters. But when i get it ironed out, I'll put something up.


I had a lot of structural mental blocks with this one. They were mostly because my preconceived ideas weren't fitting what the musical pattern was giving me. There's still a touch of mental awkwardness in it for me. But the overall musical pattern is fun and there are elements that move a story along well enough that I enjoy messing with it immensely. I guess i want it to be really good (by my standards) and there's still some things that aren't in the flow lyrically.

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