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Talent ramble


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All I hear on these forums are complaints about the music business and how it chews up anyone without good business sense, star power, luck, whatever. I do believe it is a cruel, difficult industry but I think what ultimately sets the ceiling for a band is talent. Even writing {censored}ty music like [POP BAND]'s takes talent, or they wouldn't be paid so much. They might not have artistic merit, but they can write a song that lots of people want to hear over and over. They also have the image, they also toured constantly and worked hard to promote the songs, but with boring songs no one would have cared.

 

The vast majority of local-level bands that I've heard, or musicians on the Internet, don't have the same kind of songwriting chops as famous ones. A song has to have a solid foundation of musical talent, of course; everyone has to be able to play their instrument, and the singer's voice or the instrument's tone are important, but those are like the atmosphere at a resturaunt... the food is what keeps people coming back.

 

The goal is to entice the listener to play the songs over and over. The song should be interesting and unique and confusing and new; who wants to hear the same song they've heard 100000 times before? (Besides all the people who listen to whatever songs it is they cover on American Idol. That stuff is way too heavy on accessible and not nearly interesting enough. I read somewhere that intelligent listeners lean more towards interesting, unique music, looking past the dissonance, because it gives the brain more to work with than does the harmonic pop stuff.) But songs also have to flow and feel "right." Random noises are interesting but not melodic or cohesive. A song has to feel like a distinct, unique entity to the listener.

 

Music can be either for the listener or the songwriter. Taste in music is also completely subjective and opinionated. People have different values; it's a good thing. If you choose to think that the point of music is to entertain the listener, then Blink 182 are better musicians than Dream Theater. If you choose to think that the point is to embody whatever values you have (creativity, chops, whatever) that's your choice too.

 

Some bands just provide teenagers with an identity through lyrics, like party anthem songs or that song that's on the radio right now with the chorus "Go home and get stoned."

 

It's hard to look impartially at your own song. Most local bands, no matter how well they can play their instruments, can't make a unique sounding song. They can play a genre just fine, but it's not enough to play metal or play the blues; 5402392 other people can do the same. Making a passable, listenable riff is one thing, but a unique sounding riff is another.

 

I'm not trying to preach; I'm just throwing it out there.

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Originally posted by squirrelsolvent

The vast majority of local-level bands that I've heard, or musicians on the Internet, don't have the same kind of songwriting chops as famous ones.

 

 

 

 

They also don't have million-dollar budgets, ***producers***, ***arrangers***, studios, equipment, press agents, hype, etc.

.....and they don't have me.

 

I'm pretty talented, but give me the top-level resources and I could rule the world! (If I wasn't uglier than Abe Lincoln :( )

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Originally posted by Kingnome


...give me the top-level resources and I could rule the world! (If I wasn't uglier than Abe Lincoln
:(
)

 

Ya, I have the same problem.

 

I will have to agree somewhat with the original post.

 

WHen I first started making music way back in the day, the bands that got records cut HAD to be talented. The only way to get the huge money needed to finance a record was to get a label interested in you, and that meant you had to be more talented than other bands. The screening process to weed out the so-so's happened right at the front door.

Nowadays ANYONE can make a record...the front door is wide open...come on in and sit a spell!! No talent required.

 

I would argue, however, that true talent still does rise to the top most of the time. If you are a truly talented songwriter who is willing and able to write 1) great, 2) marketable songs (not just great songs), and 3) you are can be persistant, people will notice you.

 

In my experience, the really talented "unknown" songwriters fail on points 2 and 3.

 

A

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Originally posted by squirrelsolvent

All I hear on these forums are complaints about the music business and how it chews up anyone without good business sense, star power, luck, whatever. I do believe it is a cruel, difficult industry but I think what ultimately sets the ceiling for a band is talent. Even writing {censored}ty music like [POP BAND]'s takes talent, or they wouldn't be paid so much. They might not have artistic merit, but they can write a song that lots of people want to hear over and over. They also have the image, they also toured constantly and worked hard to promote the songs, but with boring songs no one would have cared.


The vast majority of local-level bands that I've heard, or musicians on the Internet, don't have the same kind of songwriting chops as famous ones. A song has to have a solid foundation of musical talent, of course; everyone has to be able to play their instrument, and the singer's voice or the instrument's tone are important, but those are like the atmosphere at a resturaunt... the food is what keeps people coming back.


The goal is to entice the listener to play the songs over and over. The song should be interesting and unique and confusing and new; who wants to hear the same song they've heard 100000 times before? (Besides all the people who listen to whatever songs it is they cover on American Idol. That stuff is way too heavy on accessible and not nearly interesting enough. I read somewhere that intelligent listeners lean more towards interesting, unique music, looking past the dissonance, because it gives the brain more to work with than does the harmonic pop stuff.) But songs also have to flow and feel "right." Random noises are interesting but not melodic or cohesive. A song has to feel like a distinct, unique entity to the listener.


Music can be either for the listener or the songwriter. Taste in music is also completely subjective and opinionated. People have different values; it's a good thing. If you choose to think that the point of music is to entertain the listener, then Blink 182 are better musicians than Dream Theater. If you choose to think that the point is to embody whatever values you have (creativity, chops, whatever) that's your choice too.


Some bands just provide teenagers with an identity through lyrics, like party anthem songs or that song that's on the radio right now with the chorus "Go home and get stoned."


It's hard to look impartially at your own song. Most local bands, no matter how well they can play their instruments, can't make a unique sounding song. They can play a genre just fine, but
it's not enough to play metal or play the blues; 5402392 other people can do the same.
Making a passable, listenable riff is one thing, but a unique sounding riff is another.


I'm not trying to preach; I'm just throwing it out there.

 

 

You know what??

 

This is one of the best posts I have seen on HC, and I applaud you for your vision. You hit it the nail on the head. People want songs that move them, either spiritually, mentally, or physically. They want to feel it in their hearts and souls, wether it be emotional in a heartfilled way, or a party time way, or whatever it is that they are looking for. Talent is the base of success, business knoweledge is next in the pecking order, and you really need both to do well.

 

I have heard so many really good copy bands whos originals sound terrible......no hook, no memorable melody line, no lyrics to reminisce, no lead solo that grabs you and leaves you wanting more, no rythem section to glue it all together....or some combination of the above.

 

Tone is overlooked now or at least misunderstood, and vocals celebrate mediocrity at best.

 

That's why I say that there is a big change coming, and it will be a big step backwards in time, you wait and see.

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Originally posted by SKYNETRP



You know what??


This is one of the best posts I have seen on HC, and I applaud you for your vision. You hit it the nail on the head. People want songs that move them, either spiritually, mentally, or physically. They want to feel it in their hearts and souls, wether it be emotional in a heartfilled way, or a party time way, or whatever it is that they are looking for. Talent is the base of success, business knoweledge is next in the pecking order, and you really need both to do well.


I have heard so many really good copy bands whos originals sound terrible......no hook, no memorable melody line, no lyrics to reminisce, no lead solo that grabs you and leaves you wanting more, no rythem section to glue it all together....or some combination of the above.


Tone is overlooked now or at least misunderstood, and vocals celebrate mediocrity at best.


That's why I say that there is a big change coming, and it will be a big step backwards in time, you wait and see.

 

 

 

Talk to yourself much ? :wave:

 

 

 

 

 

 

:D

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Originally posted by nevermind



Would you ht it?



Hell yea, I'd hit it like Babe {censored}in Ruth!

 

 

I'm not sure wether you are agreeing with me or not.........but his post is very true, and who ever can't see that is wasting his or her time in music.

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Originally posted by Kingnome






They also don't have million-dollar budgets, ***producers***, ***arrangers***, studios, equipment, press agents, hype, etc.

.....and they don't have me.


I'm pretty talented, but give me the top-level resources and I could rule the world! (If I wasn't uglier than Abe Lincoln
:(
)

 

None of that has anything to do with writing great songs.......nothing at all. Either you have it, or you don't. And even if you have it.......you have to find it and use it. It may take years, or it may happen overnight, you just never know, but it's YOUR talent in writing that makes the difference.

 

You tell one guy here in another post that all the gadgets and money and who you know doesn't make you a good guitarist, and you are right..............but you come here and tell this guy that it's all the gadgets, money, producers, recourses, and budgets and etc. that makes you a great writer?????

 

PLEASE..................that couldn't be farther from the truth.

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Originally posted by Aaron Cheney



Ya, I have the same problem.


I will have to agree somewhat with the original post.


WHen I first started making music way back in the day, the bands that got records cut HAD to be talented. The only way to get the huge money needed to finance a record was to get a label interested in you, and that meant you had to be more talented than other bands. The screening process to weed out the so-so's happened right at the front door.

Nowadays ANYONE can make a record...the front door is wide open...come on in and sit a spell!! No talent required.


I would argue, however, that true talent still does rise to the top most of the time. If you are a truly talented songwriter who is willing and able to write 1) great, 2) marketable songs (not just great songs), and 3) you are can be persistant, people will notice you.


In my experience, the really talented "unknown" songwriters fail on points 2 and 3.


A

 

 

I agree again.......well said. When I was growing up in the business, it cost like $10,000.00 FOR ONE SONG to be completed and ready to go with a flip side.......that's right, $10,000.00. Now it cost $200 per song.......unreal. It is a shame that it still doesn't cost the 10K, THAT alone seperates the serious from the untalented. But that will all change soon anyway.

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Originally posted by Dr. Tweedbucket





Talk to yourself much ?
:wave:






:D

 

I am talking to those who understand this business, maybe not you? My opinions are worth a lot, you don't have to listen, but you should let others with out trying to ruin it for them.

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Originally posted by SKYNETRP

You tell one guy here in another post that all the gadgets and money and who you know doesn't make you a good guitarist, and you are right..............but you come here and tell this guy that it's all the gadgets, money, producers, recourses, and budgets and etc. that makes you a great writer?????


PLEASE..................that couldn't be farther from the truth.

 

You'll have to refresh my memory about the "good guitarist" post. I don't remember that, but I think I was trying to say that I am a good songwriter who, GIVEN THE OPPOURTUNITIES I listed, would

have his talents fully realized. It wouldn't make me a better songwriter, per se, but I would probably learn from the experience and therefore yes, become better.

Are you saying that bands don't need, or couldn't benefit from having arrangers and producers? If so, that's just silly.

I NEED a producer. I don't mind saying so.

 

And I'm still uglier than you, too. :p

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Originally posted by SKYNETRP

I have heard so many really good copy bands whos originals sound terrible......no hook, no memorable melody line, no lyrics to reminisce, no lead solo that grabs you and leaves you wanting more, no rythem section to glue it all together....or some combination of the above.


 

This is such a good point. Even if the guy is..... you know......

good-looking. :freak:

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I am talking to those who understand this business, maybe not you? My opinions are worth a lot, you don't have to listen, but you should let others with out trying to ruin it for them.

 

Please look this up: Narcissistic Personality Disorder

 

Thank you.:wave:

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Originally posted by SKYNETRP



I agree again.......well said. When I was growing up in the business, it cost like $10,000.00 FOR ONE SONG to be completed and ready to go with a flip side.......that's right, $10,000.00. Now it cost $200 per song.......unreal. It is a shame that it still doesn't cost the 10K, THAT alone seperates the serious from the untalented. But that will all change soon anyway.

 

Why was it so expensive back then? :confused:

 

And HOW exactly are things going to change soon?

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Originally posted by squirrelsolvent

All I hear on these forums are complaints about the music business and how it chews up anyone without good business sense, star power, luck, whatever. I do believe it is a cruel, difficult industry but I think what ultimately sets the ceiling for a band is talent. Even writing {censored}ty music like [POP BAND]'s takes talent, or they wouldn't be paid so much. They might not have artistic merit, but they can write a song that lots of people want to hear over and over. They also have the image, they also toured constantly and worked hard to promote the songs, but with boring songs no one would have cared.


The vast majority of local-level bands that I've heard, or musicians on the Internet, don't have the same kind of songwriting chops as famous ones. A song has to have a solid foundation of musical talent, of course; everyone has to be able to play their instrument, and the singer's voice or the instrument's tone are important, but those are like the atmosphere at a resturaunt... the food is what keeps people coming back.


The goal is to entice the listener to play the songs over and over. The song should be interesting and unique and confusing and new; who wants to hear the same song they've heard 100000 times before? (Besides all the people who listen to whatever songs it is they cover on American Idol. That stuff is way too heavy on accessible and not nearly interesting enough. I read somewhere that intelligent listeners lean more towards interesting, unique music, looking past the dissonance, because it gives the brain more to work with than does the harmonic pop stuff.) But songs also have to flow and feel "right." Random noises are interesting but not melodic or cohesive. A song has to feel like a distinct, unique entity to the listener.


Music can be either for the listener or the songwriter. Taste in music is also completely subjective and opinionated. People have different values; it's a good thing. If you choose to think that the point of music is to entertain the listener, then Blink 182 are better musicians than Dream Theater. If you choose to think that the point is to embody whatever values you have (creativity, chops, whatever) that's your choice too.


Some bands just provide teenagers with an identity through lyrics, like party anthem songs or that song that's on the radio right now with the chorus "Go home and get stoned."


It's hard to look impartially at your own song. Most local bands, no matter how well they can play their instruments, can't make a unique sounding song. They can play a genre just fine, but
it's not enough to play metal or play the blues; 5402392 other people can do the same.
Making a passable, listenable riff is one thing, but a unique sounding riff is another.


I'm not trying to preach; I'm just throwing it out there.

 

 

Heh... first... they don't write their songs. Yeah, the artist's name is on the label because, especially in rock, it's perceived that that makes them easier to sell. But, most of the time, they DON'T write their own songs. Their handlers buy the song -- or 'part' of it, notice how many collaborators there appear to be on many songs in the pop/dance world -- and tell them to do them.

 

The artist's role is to keep his/her/their weight down, show up for gigs and video shoots, and not molest children under the age of 16.

 

 

Not even many ROCK bands actually are allowed to play on their albums once any label money is riding on them.

 

Oh, sure, a lot of times the artist THINKS he's playing. He came in. He tracked his part. The producer gave him a big thumbs up and said, just leave your amp/drums/guitar rig set up for tomorrow (or "We'll have our people tech up your gear and deliver it to you.") and then the ghost players -- seasoned pros -- come in, quickly learn the rocker's parts and perform them again -- this time right.

 

If the artist ever says anything, the producer just says, "Oh, you know, we pro tooled it up a little to get everything to sit better and applied some studio magic to get that sheen on there."

 

But -- I'm told -- most musicians never even say anything, supposedly never suspect.

 

This is what I'm told.

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I partially agree with the OP, but it really depends on who/what you're talking about. I think there are plently of pop acts who are groomed as commodities, and I guess you could say their talent was in embracing such a thing, but I wouldn't say they're all necessarily talented as musicians. Britney Spears maybe can dance, but she sure as {censored} can't sing, but I guess she's really good at playing the role of a pop star, which made her marketable. Avril Lavigne may "write her own songs" (with high-dollar producers), but she was groomed just the same way. They tried to break her as a country act before she did the pop/rock thing. (Oh, I'm sorry, I mean she's "punk rock", in her own mind, anyway). And tell me that Ashlee Simpson has one ounce of talent in her. What she has was handed to her for no other reason that her daddy had the clout/money to do it.

 

I wouldn't consider any one of them as particularly talented. Same with any number of the seemingly-bazillion sound-alike pop-punk bands that have been the rage for the past few years.

 

I would argue that talent is necessary to sustain a career of any length, but those external factors such as marketing, record label support, timliness and luck also come into play.

 

Now, if we're talking indie bands or singer/songwriters, sure, talent is necessary because those acts usually build their following slowly through touring, etc.

 

Any way you look at it the music business is a cesspool, and there are no guarantees. I've seen local bands get signed by major labels, who then completely change their sound so that they don't even appeal to the band's existing fanbase, let alone those who've never heard them, and so they go nowhere. I've known very talented (IMO) songwriters who theoretically had the clout to get a foot in the door, but went nowhere.

 

I think talent is very important, but it's not always part of the equation in the music industry.

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Speaking of talent and pop stars, what EXACTLY does Lyndsay Lohan do??? Is she a singer? An actor???

 

WHY IS SHE FAMOUS????

 

I am an older songwriter and have learned to just write the best songs I can that please me. What pleases me may not please others, but I know I will at least be happy in the end. That goes for cooking, work, and sex too!!!

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Originally posted by Rob Martinez

Speaking of talent and pop stars, what EXACTLY does Lyndsay Lohan do??? Is she a singer? An actor???


WHY IS SHE FAMOUS????


I am an older songwriter and have learned to just write the best songs I can that please me. What pleases me may not please others, but I know I will at least be happy in the end. That goes for cooking, work, and sex too!!!

 

 

Her greatest talents rest like pillowy mounds of heaven between her clavicles and her tummy.

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