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Instrumentation for a New Song - Need Help


speierg

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Hey gang,

 

Here's a new one that I just started working on. All I have at this point is a scratch guitar track and a scratch vocal...so all of this will go when I get around to really recording this, but this should give you the basic idea of the song. (Ram, I used my new mic on this, let me know what you think.)

 

During the interludes I was thinking about playing harmonica...seems that would fit nicely. I'm debating whether to add light drums (probably brushes or something like that) and bass or maybe even mandolin. I also thought about some acoustic guitar licks during the interludes, but I think I like the harmonica idea better.

 

Any other thoughts? Also, let me know if you have ideas to make the song better in general, whether it's the lyrics or the music or whatever.

 

Lyrics below:

 

Unsung Hero

 

Some words are better left unsaid

Some things are better left undone

Some truths are better left untold

Some heros better left unsung

 

And I can't explain my logic

As I'm walking out this door

I fear my explanation

Would only leave you wanting more

 

 

CHORUS:

And it seems to me that it's been so long

Since I have felt at home

Am I feeling lonely or

Am I truly alone?

You sit and you stare as I say these things but

Do they break your heart?

Did love come and go

Or was love never there from the start?

 

Some pleasure's better left unfelt

Some secrets better left unknown

Some love is better left unrealized

Some kindness better left unshown

 

And I can't give you my reasons

As I turn to walk away

I fear that a sense of failure

Would tempt you to tempt me to stay

 

CHORUS to end

 

Also, I didn't do any limiting or anything yet, so you'll have to turn up the volume knob a bit. :)

 

Thanks in advance!

 

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=8649742

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I like this. A couple thoughts on the chord progression. On your 3rd and 4th line of each verse section. The

 

Some truths are better left untold

Some heros better left unsung

 

and the

 

I fear my explanation

Would only leave you wanting more

 

I think you might dig for more interesting chords here. Keeping the melody the same, but trying to stretch and suspend what the listener knows is coming. Just an idea. The idea of going through the predictable cycle of chords... it works. But by suspending those resolutions and expectations you can bring some resonance to the lyric. By "interesting chords" I don't mean some clever jazz chord, just something that jars the predictability a little. Maybe hanging on the IV chord longer instead of changing chords at the same rate all the time. ?? Maybe.

 

Just an idea.

 

Arrangement. I like the starkness of you solo with your guitar. I hear harp as you suggested. I also hear drums with sticks starting the 2nd verse. Playing a cool military style drum pattern incorporated into a rock backbeat. Think Levon Helm and the Band here.

 

This would leave the 1st chorus kinda bare though. So I'd probably introduce some sort of pad that might exist in the American Civil War era. Harmonium, pump organ, accordion or the like.

 

In that 2nd verse with the drums I'd bring in a rock style Tele doing a nice open rock swagger but not over the top. Build to the 2nd Chorus where the drums open into a full 2 + 4 back beat and the elec guitars get all Robbie Robertson and Ron Wood on you.

 

But that's just me. I like the song a lot. Nice.

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Thanks for the input Lee! I just tried out some different chords where you suggested and the thing that seemed to work best was going to the IV (where I had previously gone to the V) and staying on it.

 

Before: I-VI-V-IV-V

After: I-VI-IV---V

 

I'm not sure if that is jarring enough to spice things up, but maybe so. It does sound a little bit less predictable and creates a bit more tension with a bigger resolve going to the V. I won't have a chance to record it this way for a few days, but when I do I'll put it up so you can listen and see if you think it's working.

 

I like your ideas for building the song up gradually too. I think it could develop nicely and have some good dynamics to it. I wonder if my keyboard playing friend has any nice accordion-type pads on his Nord. Hmmmmm...

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