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I suck and have no talent *SIGH*


grace_slick

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for me song writing is a love hate thing, The inspiration can come at a moments notice, be there one second and gone the next so be prepared to take hold of the moment when it hits, keep a pad or pocket recorder and put down what ya feel, or think at the time.

you can also steal lines from yourself, if you have something you've written and it doesn't work you can try using it someplace else via swapping lines.

If inspiration isn't there you might as forget it and go play with yourself ( or your girlfriend if she'll let you ) cause it ain't gonna happen.

remember too what several others have said, the one you may think is garbage may very well turn out to be the one that everyone else likes.

People say " write what you feel " but that's not always the case, you have to realize there is more to write about than waht you're feeling, write about things you see, things that are happening around you, fiction charactors, comic book heros etc. hell you could even write about the replies you've gotten here.

Example"

I wrote in a forum that I can't write

and everyone gave me strength

they told this and they told me that

but my writing, it still stinks

you get the point /// have fun with it :thu:

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grace, from your description of your process you have plenty of talent. It's just unfocused. It's so unfocused you don't know what art form you're in. Your ideas (it seems you have lots of them) are spilling over into literature and film and video. It seems to me that your concepts are overwhelming you and perhaps stifling you from dealing with the small details of actually getting something done. If you want to write songs just write one and if it sucks, so what? Do another one. And another one after that. You're only going to get better if you practice your art instead of just idly fantasizing about it. You admire Zappa? Zappa wrote prolifically and sometimes I don't know if he cared about the quality control so much.

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Yeah, I know, he wrote SO many songs. SOOOOO many. I keep mentioning him, but really my main influences (and he is one of them) are Jefferson Airplane, Grace Slick's solo stuff, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, Lou Reed, The Beatles...and there's just so many others...

 

Yes, I am getting bogged down in a lot of stuff. I tend to sort of get inspired by different tunes, sounds, chords, something...anything...the other day I had 3 different bits of songs I was creating at the same time...separate songs. None of them were any good. lol

 

Thanks again for all your replies. I really appreciate them.

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The fellow that said he knows he's not a good singer etc... EXACTLY! I know I suck at singing, slightly below mediocre on guitar, but I know what I hear in my head and I am learning to recreate it.

 

Sometimes I hear stuff on the radio that just blows, I mean bad. "Say what you mean to say. Say what you mean to say. Say what you mean to say...." AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH kill me now.

 

When I hear terrible ideas on the radio it is encouraging that music doesn't have to be "good" to be popular or give a message. Some professional folks are very, very good. Some.... are not.

 

Music is not about "good". Music is about the art of capturing a feeling in a song.

 

I am getting pretty happy with my ability to do that, but it took some time.

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Yeah, I know, he wrote SO many songs. SOOOOO many. I keep mentioning him, but really my main influences (and he is one of them) are Jefferson Airplane, Grace Slick's solo stuff, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, Lou Reed, The Beatles...and there's just so many others...


Yes, I am getting bogged down in a lot of stuff. I tend to sort of get inspired by different tunes, sounds, chords, something...anything...the other day I had 3 different bits of songs I was creating at the same time...separate songs. None of them were any good. lol

 

 

See, now that's one of your problems right there. How do you know they weren't any good? You can really sabotage your creativity by judging yourself too early. I know when I've written a song, I'm never blown away by it. It does grow on me eventually, but I never have the feeling that I've created a masterpiece. I think the majority of writers feel the same way about their work. You just gotta finish the darn song, and worry about how good it is later. Also, instead of trying to do three things at once, try finishing one song, then move on to the next one.

 

Another thing that seems to be causing you grief is that you're hearing the entire finished record in your head. It's always helpful to have a direction in where you want to go, but in this case, I think you may be so caught up with all this extraeneous stuff, that it's overwhelming you. You're getting the songwriting process all mixed up with the arranging process (not to mention the music video!). Sometimes these processes can overlap, but in your case, I think you really need to work on keeping them separate. Songs have three main elements--melody, lyrics, and chords. That's what you need to focus on. Don't worry about the "swirling pianos", or the visuals (unless they are limited to writing the actual song!), or the sound effects, or the fifty-piece orchestra right now. You can always go about finding someone to help you out with the musical arrangements later on, if that's what you need.

 

I think the key phrase to remember here is "One thing at a time!" Maybe that could be your next song. But only after you've finished the others!

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Some people just write concepts, hooks, unrelated verse out of their heads and somehow cobble them together and polish them.

 

 

This is how I write.

 

I wish I had the article Billy Corgan wrote on how he wrote lyrics for Siamese Dream.

 

He would right out thoughts, ideas . . . lines. Put them all together (after he wrote the songs). Then he'd go line by line . . . x things out he didnt like . . . put things in .. . and do it over 100 times under it was perfect to his ears.

 

I know some who write the song and lyrics together . . . lyrics first then music . . . music then lyrics. I dont really focus on lyrics anymore I just write music.

 

So i just twiddle around until something strikes me. And I keep playing it over and over . . . evolving it. Then 1 year later I will twiddle around with something else and I go "Oh that goes with the riff I wrote a year ago."

 

To me, I think this is very constructive. Nothing is forced and you're working with hooks. If it struck you the first time you played it, it will probably strike others. Its a great way to work.

 

The members of Pink Floyd also worked this way. I remember their guitarist saying, writing the main riff is easy .. the rest is all hard work. Thinking about what comes next.

 

Making music is supposed to be fun. I know you want others to like it, but dont expect much out of anybody but yourself. If it becomes stressful or upsetting, then its no longer fun, and you wont make anything that anybody likes.

 

I have a friend who is 43 and he writes music all the time. His songs are very amateur and childish, but he loves doing it to push himself and learn. He knows he'll never get anywhere with it. I enjoy his spirit more tha people who have endless talent.

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And speaking of off topic... every time I see the title of this thread:

 

I suck and have no talent *SIGH*

... I almost feel compelled to start a thread titled:

 

I suck talent and I have no *HIGH*

 

 

Thank goodness, this is an on-topic only forum and, as moderator, I'd have to just delete that thread if I created it. So, consider that brief discursion to be now virtualized.

 

 

And now back to the body of this thread, already in progress...

 

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Been thinking about this thread......

 

I remember when I was playing harp in a blues band in the 70's and trying to get better at guitar so I could do a solo thing. My peers were SO much better than me...guess I pretty much sucked.

 

I just kept playing. Never quit. Still playing.

 

Yo, grace....just keep playing until your hand stops hurting. Your talent will out.

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Yeah...

 

 

 

No less a master than Johanness Brahms threw lots into the fireplace. He finished his 1rst symphony last. Presumably because of all he learned and became writing 2, 3 and 4.

 

Dyson built 4 or 5 hundred vacuum cleaners before THE one. And they all sucked. LOL! :)

 

Anyhoo. Stay with it, but take the pressure off. 99.99% have to walk before they run. Take care of some basics and find the ways they've been used, or not, in the songs you love so much.

And instead of peering for the gold, enjoy the scenery around the stream you're panning. That's about when a nugget may fall in your lap. :)

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If it makes you feel any better (it didn't make me feel so good at the time) my parents were told by two different music teachers that I had "absolutely no musical talent whatsoever."

 

I know why they said it. It was probably the right thing to say, in many ways. They were trying to save my parents money, and in the case of the second of them, ration out limited school resources.

 

But it was pretty crushing. I wasn't sure I believed them but I had a terrible time trying to play music as a kid and no matter what I learned on the guitar, I just couldn't make it sound like music.

 

It wasn't until college and I felt like I'd run out of all my other creative options that I finally just sat, hour after hour, day after day, trying to play my two chords (I 'knew' six but my roomie, an accomplished musician told me to just play two, alternating back and forth as smoothly as possible), over and over, as steadily and rhythmically as possible... After many, many weeks, maybe months, something kind of clicked and I recognized what I was playing as something vaguely, distantly related to music...

 

;)

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lol. See, my parents were told by various music teachers that I DID have a lot of talent. This is partly why I feel I suck now. 1) I didn't move forward with that "talent" and turn it into any proper skill cause I was too lazy, and 2) I am scared to fail. A classic under-achiever...but with too many lofty ambitions.

 

Anyway...kurdy, with the writing getting mixed up in the arranging, I know why this happens and you did hit the nail on the head here. I write my songs using Ableton software, and I arrange bits as I go. It's like, I can't actually write or create my songs any other way. I mean, for me to create something on my keyboard, and then record it somehow so as not to forget it, I have to use the software. Then in order to go forward with the song, and add other bits to it, I have to do things like looping and mixing so it sounds right from the beginning, or else I can't "hear" anything else in the song. If something sounds hideously wrong early on, my "inspiration" leaves me and I'm completely distracted by the fact that this one note is 1 half of a second out of time, or that drum beat sounded off, or that track should be moved to the left speaker, or the piano on track 11 should be a swirly thing...you know? So for me it's all entwined...

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I don't think the problem you have has anything to do with talent or your creations... I think you suffer from a severe case of insecurity and low self esteem... How you think about yourself and what you do is # 1, and everything else in your life follows that...

 

Over the years I've worked with a lot of singer songwriters, as an engineer or arranger, and I can't tell you how many that weren't that good continued to get gigs and go out and play live and they were happy... Why?? Because they had a very exalted opinion of themselves and saw themselves as some kind of superstar... They truly believed their own BS... Now this is obviously the other end of the spectrum, and I

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wow, wonderful post! 100% agreed.

 



Anyhow, with regard to
sucking
... we all sucked when we started and most of us suck a lot of the time. I know I do.


Since sucking a certain percentage of the time (we can improve those percentages perhaps but there's always going to be some dross) is
almost
a given, it would seem to follow that one way to proceed is simply to turn out as much writing as one can.


Practice may not make
perfect
very often, but it usually helps hone our skills and give us the experience that makes our next efforts just a
little
easier.


When what you writes sucks, the strategy -- from my viewpoint -- is, perhaps paradoxically, to write
more...


:)

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This is a brilliant thread with some great posts in it!

 

I've been struck by the old self-concious anti-inspiration also recently, and some of the things in this thread really helped.

 

Any Radiohead fans amongst us? I saw in an interview Thom Yorke saying how he couldn't listen to any of his albums once they were recorded because he hates them so much. ...Must suck having to play them on tour every night I suppose.

 

To the OP:

 

You need to detach your ego from your talent in my opinion. Recognize that how good you think you are, and how good you actually are are completely different things, non-moreso than in song-writing, it's all a matter of opinion anyway isn't it?

 

You also need to organize your ideas a bit, it sounds. Someone told me today that you can't organize something that has no purpose. Why do you write at all? Thinking about this a bit will help you work out methods of doing it I think.

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