Growing Pains....

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arkjack
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Growing Pains....

Post by arkjack » Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:14 am

Hi everyoneI'm starting my second year as a TAXI member today. (Duh... Happy Birthday) I just signed up for the forum yesterday. So I guess that makes me an "experienced newbie"? My first year experience with TAXI was good, 60 submissions, 60 rejections, lots of comment and feedback, plenty of missed targets on the listings. So what came of it? Got me to pay attention to the real substance of my songs and crafting. It also lead to a bigger investment of both time and money in the studio gear to clean up the recordings, and gain proficiency in execution and engineering. (an ongoing continuous improvement project).So what I thought I'd throw out as one of my "problems" see what comments you had......the following:I kept getting comments on my lyrics such as ... need to be more adventurous.....more imagery.....more storytelling. I have one tune that I've worked on over and over for the past 7 months with several rewrites of the lyrics and changes in the tune structure. I submitted it to a country listing for Alan Jackson (my hero!)...... got the critique back this week.....off target....lyrics are confusing for a listener to follow......buy a songwriting book.....I value every critique and comment I get because I realize TAXI is connected to the industry and is anxious for me to succeed. The point of the posting here is that it felt like I had taken all the comments and critiques so seriously that I wound up creating a "worse" song than what I started with..... I went overkill on the adventurous imagery and story line so that it didn't make sense. I kind of feel like Curly running in a circle on one foot ----woo woo woo woo woo woo ......I since have gone back in the studio and rewrote the lyrics again and I think the re viewer's return lead me to a better song. The only disappointment is that the Alan Jackson listing is done, he's back in the studio working on the album, and it'll be some months before I get another shot. But hey...that's business.Since I consider this sharing as opposed to ranting...... you'll have to wait till I finish the final cut of the newest version.....then hopefully I'll get time to post all three.....original....revision 1009......and final version 1010...... so to demonstrate how the critique process contributes to the evolution of quality music....Let the music play....TTFN ArkJack

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Re: Growing Pains....

Post by hummingbird » Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:40 am

hey ArkJack. You're singing a familiar refrain I suggest one of two possibilities.... one is post (or email me) your lyrics and I'll do my best to give you my perception on what would help you improve. In addition, you might want to take a look at SongU. I've taken several classes there and it helped me open my eyes to some elements of songwriting I was less aware of - like different kinds of rhyming. I also found both these books very helpful:"6 Steps to Songwriting Success" ~ Jason Blume"The Craft of Lyric Writing" ~ Sheila Daviswelcome to the forum,cheersHummin'bird
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Re: Growing Pains....

Post by edteja » Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:50 am

Tis a fine line between adventurous and obscure. But you are reworking and looking for feedback, so you'll get it sighted in. I suppose there is also room here to reprise an often repeated adage (not oft repeated to you if you are newbie on the forum) that you shouldn't take one critique too much to heart. Unless what they tell you rings true down to your toes, make changes when you get whatever passed for a quorum repeating a criticism.Then too, Alan Jackson might be a listing that requires less adventurous lyrics.
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Re: Growing Pains....

Post by pogodog » Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:20 am

ArkJackAnother consideration would be to collaborate with someone. Tossing ideas back and forth in realtime is a wonderful way to grow as a writer. Sometimes a slight change in perspective leads us on a new and wonderful venture. RanG- Also I agree with Hummingbird that SongU.com is worth a looksee..

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Re: Growing Pains....

Post by jchitty » Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:15 am

Hey, ArkJack, I'm guessing that we submitted to the same Alan Jackson listing....I got my critique back today, and I also didn't get a foward. I did get some pretty good marks though...I submitted three songs, and I got mostly 9's on the first one, 8's on the next two with a few sprinkles of 7's thrown in. The screener said things like, "musically has a good strong rockin' country foundation with a contemporary approach." I won't list all the comments, but they were pretty favorable. Some of the critiques were valid, and I agreed with them on one song that I had a concern about....I knew they'd probably point out that same flaw I was worried about, the flaw being that song took a little bit long 'developing.' The screener said they weren't fowarded because they were "real good sounding tracks--but overall feels like lyrically could be more fully developed and focused." So it's back to the drawing board for me.....overall, I got a very good review....sometimes that's a bit more disheartening because they are saying that the songs were really good, but just not quite good enough.....it's like you almost made it, but you just couldn't quite clear the bar. On the positive side though, the screener liked the songs, so I'm appreciative of that encouragment.

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Re: Growing Pains....

Post by arkjack » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:41 pm

Hey gangThanks for the feedback. I'll check out song U as soon as I'm done posting. Those high bar listings are tough..... I know that it really has to have MAJOR HIT written all over it...... so I don't get discouraged. I use Alan's song "Drive"as an example and when I really analyzed how incredibly well written that song is I can get a glimpse of what level a song of mine has to be at......( yes ...I am from Pennsylvania and we end our sentences with prepositions...:-) Hummingbird....I'll take you up on lyric review sometime soon, and appreciate the offer. Have a great week and I'll chat with you on the next post.TTFNArkJAck

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