Do you go back and redo songs?

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valeriewynn
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Do you go back and redo songs?

Post by valeriewynn » Thu Dec 22, 2005 4:24 pm

Just curious......Once you get your Taxi review (and assuming your song wasn't forwarded for whatever reason), do you rework your song to incorporate the reviewer's suggestions? Or do you just chalk it up to, "eh, I guess this song isn't going anywhere."Oh, and part 2 of my question, if you do rework the song, have you had more success with subsequent submissions?Anyone have any experience with this situation?Thanks!

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Re: Do you go back and redo songs?

Post by hummingbird » Thu Dec 22, 2005 6:13 pm

Hi, yes I have. I have one song I redid 4 times, and the last time I got rave reviews. It was a learning experience. I have others I have adjusted something and resubmitted. Others in a drawer It kinda depends on whether or not I can find the inspiration to fix what they say is 'wrong'... or whether I feel it's just that the song reflects me as an artist and therefore may not suit the listing... or whether it's a production issue awaiting funds.Hummin'bird
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Re: Do you go back and redo songs?

Post by matto » Thu Dec 22, 2005 7:59 pm

Valerie,I wouldn't rework the song based on ONE reviewer's suggestion, unless it was an obvious improvement (one of those "I can't believe I didn't notice this" things ).I'd wait for a few reviews to come in, and if they all point out the same flaw, I'd take a serious look at it.A lot of times, when a song is really good, but not great, the suggestions are all over the place. Everybody agrees it's a good song, but nobody really knows why it's not great. I usually end up pitching such songs to music libraries... .

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Re: Do you go back and redo songs?

Post by davewalton » Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:46 am

Hi,Mostly I don't rework songs. If a song needs to be different or improved, I try to do that with a new song. But there are exceptions.At the 2004 Rally a speaker talked about evaluating our own songs. He mentioned that probably we had some songs in our collection that had some "issues" but we chose to ignore those and just move on to get the song finished. He suggested being more honest with ourselves and fixing the problem areas instead of hoping no one else would notice.I related to that personally, and so I went back and reworked some songs (cleaning up the problem areas).I have changed the way I do new songs of certain genres, though, based on feedback from the criques. In the electronica realm, for example, a reviewer said that my songs weren't being forwarded - not because they weren't nice but because they were too nice. That was only one reviewers opinion, but I knew they were right.That really changed my approach to any new electronica tracks and I spent a lot of time listening to more aggressive artists like Crystal Method, etc. I've had much more success to the newer, edgier material.Matt is right about the music libraries. They use such a huge variety of material, almost everything qualifies. Even songs that completely suck canal water are useful somewhere. Take the "Woo-Hoo" Vonage song as an example. I'm pretty sure that it wouldn't get a stellar Taxi review, particularly in the creative lyrics department. I guess if you're a songwriter looking for a #1 hit, then having one really great song is better than a bunch of good songs. If you're talking about song placement in a music library or film, I would tend to generally recommend having quantity more than pure quality. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating being sloppy, but I think that a person with 100 good tracks has a better chance of getting a song placed than a person with one great song. Since a "great" song is sometimes a matter of opinion, reworking a song to greatness may be a never ending circle.Anyway, I try to do the best I can, take my time, evaluate the song honestly, call it "finished" and move on to something new.Dave

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Re: Do you go back and redo songs?

Post by valeriewynn » Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:34 pm

Thanks, everybody, for the feedback. For some reason, I had the idea in my mind that everybody goes back and reworks their songs after a review, and that I wasn't following through on my "homework". I guess I look at the song as "done", or as "done" as it will ever be. If I had been able to do it better, I would have done that the first time around. Plus, I'm just attached to it by now, and I don't really want to change it. Even though I know it didn't make the cut with Taxi, it's still valuable to me (and I still intend to record it myself).That said, I have definitely kept the reviewers comments in mind when writing a new song, so I am constantly trying to improve my writing by incorporating the experts' suggestions. In that way, the reviews have been valuable to me.

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Re: Do you go back and redo songs?

Post by hummingbird » Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:40 pm

Hi Valerie - that sounds like a sensible approach. I, too, get attached to my work, especially since I am an artist & write mostly for myself, I use the reviews to help me understand better what is required for next time... but sometimes I agree with the review, or feel challenged by the review, & then I redo the song. In either case, I have learned a lot.H
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Re: Do you go back and redo songs?

Post by valeriewynn » Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:55 pm

I agree with everything you've said, Vikki, and I value your advice. I've learned a lot from reading your posts.Val

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Re: Do you go back and redo songs?

Post by matto » Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:02 pm

Quote:- How to Make $150,000 a year doing Film & TV Music"Okay, first, that figure is overly optimistic...sure there are people who make that much thru music libraries, but those are people who do library music full time and have done so for many years. You're not gonna make ANYWHERE near that kind of money from licensing a few of your less-than-stellar songs to libraries.It's true that it is a lot EASIER (and more feasible for most people) to make a living in tv/film than it is to become a major label star or a hit songwriter, but it's still FAR from EASY.Quote:I got a huge library of bad songs (hope not too much ;-), good songs & song starts on my hard drive I could use. A lot!!! Bad songs aren't gonna get you anywhere , as you can see above I said "very good, but not great" songs would make good candidates for music libraries. In that context it's important to emphasize the things that matter to music libraries: music, recording quality, production values and performance. The singing and playing has to be great, samples have to sound like the real deal, musically it has to be a really good song, the recordings have to be broadcast quality and well-produced. The one thing that typically is not very important is the lyric. Many good songs are not great because the lyric is not unique enough. So those are the songs I'd pitch to music libraries.Quote:Now when I arrange a 3:40 minutes song for a sixty-second sample... What song parts has it to contain?e.g. 4 times a "chorus" or 2 times a vers & a chorus?What song structure has a sixty-second sample to be?...and can the "three-minute version" be a regular song structure?e.g. intro/vers/chorus/vers/chorus/middle8/chorus/anthem-chorus... Whatever...Well, when Michael talks about 60 second demos I think he's talking about instrumental tracks, tracks that are purposely written as music library demos. For those type of tracks anywhere between 1 and 2 minutes is a good idea. If you're talking full-length vocal songs, there is no reason to edit them down to 60 seconds to send to music libraries. They will be happy to listen to full length songs...if they've heard enough after 60s they can just skip to the next song.You can trust me on that, I've never edited a song to 60s for demo purposes unless it was a Taxi listing asking for "montages", and when I have been contracted to write vocal songs for music libraries they have never been shorter than 2 minutes.It's important to understand that not all music libraries are interested in vocal songs (some are strictly instrumental), but those that are, typically like "regular" songs that sound like something that could be on the radio: country songs, pop songs, dance, r&b etc etc.Even Austrian yodelling!! matto

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Re: Do you go back and redo songs?

Post by matto » Sat Dec 24, 2005 1:58 pm

Quote:Whew Matt! You must think I’m a idiot! I’m certainly DO NOT sit in front of my monitor an think to myself: „He, why not submitting my crap songs and make 150,000 bucks a year“!Haha, I know this of course!! BUT...this is a public forum, and everybody who wants to can read this...If I had only answered your question about the 60s edits, I can guarantee you some people would have read this post thinking they could make 150k with a few bad songs .I know YOU know better, but not everybody does, that's why I put in those paragraphs...So no offense was meant...just trying to keep it educational for everybody...A Merry Christmas to you too, and everybody else as well!Matt

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Re: Do you go back and redo songs?

Post by songsmith » Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:56 pm

Quote:I guess I look at the song as "done", or as "done" as it will ever be. If I had been able to do it better, I would have done that the first time around. I personally think that approach causes you to miss out on a lot of opportunities. (sp? ) I have this motto "A song is never finished until it's cut". I've got a song that I had done everything I knew to do to it. I wrote it. Sat on it. Then revisited it and made changes. I did this 3 or 4 times and finally felt good about it. Even got good responses on here. So I submitted it. I had changed it so much I had to read the lyrics when I was recording it because I kept going back to previous versions. I like you thought that it was the best I could do. I got the critique and it was a no forward. The hook wasn't "strong enough". I was so disappointed. I thought to myself "I don't know what else to do", so I filed it away for another day. Well, a couple of months later that day came. I sat down, with a fresh perspective, re-read the critique and before long I had a new hook that was ten times stronger. Now I haven't submitted it since then so to the reviewer it may still stinks like yesterdays fish, but I can see a HUGE difference. Now like others have said each reviewer is different. Heck one time I sent a submitted a song and got a forward to (and I qoute) "a top of the top shelf" listing (RCA). That reviewer had nothing but good marks. Two weeks later I sent the same song to a different listing and it came back with a less than wonderful review. So you've got to decide whether this is "personal preference" or if "it's credible suggestion". Your heart will tell you that.As for me I'm always open to changing my songs if needed..."it's never finished 'til it's cut".

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