New to Taxi - Helpful Advice Needed

Songwriting, songwriters, etc

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DashAdams
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New to Taxi - Helpful Advice Needed

Post by DashAdams » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:15 am

Hey guys, how's everyone doing? I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction. Over the last 2 years I've written well over 500 songs/choruses/prechoruses etc. Now I'm trying to take the next step and get those songs produced & recorded so I can begin submitting them for placement opportunities through TAXI. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I love music and really love what you guys are doing here at TAXI to educate us songwriters.

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Re: New to Taxi - Helpful Advice Needed

Post by mojobone » Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:08 am

I can't tell much more without knowing/hearing your songs/genres, but you're in the right place. If you can fix your ideas in a tangible medium, there are folks here who can help bring them closer to fruition. Full disclosure, I might be one of them, depending; I have tools, talent and time, though the time seems to keep getting scarcer.

:D :D :D
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Re: New to Taxi - Helpful Advice Needed

Post by DashAdams » Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:15 am

Hey Mojo! See that's the thing, since I've been so focused on becoming a stronger songwriter I haven't stepped into the recording phase yet. I didn't feel ready untill now. The genre I've been really digging into is Alternative R&B (PARTYNEXTDOOR/The Weeknd/Jhene Aiko etc, which I consider my sweet spot. I have days where I step outside of my comfort zone and write for other genres, so I also have material for Country, Indie, Acoustic, Rock, etc etc. I love being the "idea guy" in the room so I write everyday. Even if it's just a song title, a verse, a chorus, a bridge I have to see a new entry in my notebook on a daily basis. So now I have a ton of material but everything is on paper, nothing recorded yet. The next step seems a little overwhelming at times. Finding a producer to work with, session musicians to demo the songs, and all of that fun stuff that equates to an actual song that can be heard and felt. If you're wondering how much free time I have....I'm married with 2 kids and work a 9 - 5 in the Mortgage industry. I really appreciate you getting back to me Mojo! Enjoy your day.

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Re: New to Taxi - Helpful Advice Needed

Post by mojobone » Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:44 am

The fastest way ahead is to find some compatible folks and partner up; look for common goals and interlocking talents. If you have little time to waste, you'll need to meet a pool of pre-qualified candidates, which is why I go to Taxi's Road Rally. You may already be aware that you can go through a lot of flakes, before you start to snowball.
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Re: New to Taxi - Helpful Advice Needed

Post by hummingbird » Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:57 am

Maybe the first thing to focus on should be the commercial viability of your songs. Before working with a collaborator or hiring a producer, you need to know if the song has merit. It also depends on your goal - are you pitching to artists or to film/tv or pitching yourself as an artist?

I would suggest picking out what you think are your five best songs in your niche and get some feedback on the compositions and lyrics. Hone the songs. Then reach out for a collaborator who has the chops to produce and has forwards in that genre... and develop one song at a time, posting here for feedback and submitting to listings to see what the screeners have to say. (TAXI also has a custom critique service.)

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Re: New to Taxi - Helpful Advice Needed

Post by fuzzbox » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:45 pm

..that's good advice for me (a newbie) hummingbird. ;) I will soon bet at the stage.
Unfortunately, I haven't written that many songs yet but I think the advice is sound.

I have to watch a few more TAXI TV Live shows to fill in my knowledge gaps! There is a wealth of information there, pure gold! 8-) :D :) :D

Then I think I will be ready! ♫♪♫
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The music is not in the notes, but in the silence betweenWolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Re: New to Taxi - Helpful Advice Needed

Post by DashAdams » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:21 pm

Thanks Mojo and Hummingbird, really appreciate it! I'm always picking up new bits of knowledge and info from TAXI especially the Monday night shows. You guys are awesome! As far as pitching songs, I need to get my ideas out of my head/notebook and into the studio so I have recorded songs people can actually hear. Right now my frustration stems from having tons of material, while not being able to find a way to demo the songs. Hummingbird I have songs that I've written with the lyrics geared towards film/tv placements and I also have stuff written with specific artists in mind. Should I choose one over the other?
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Re: New to Taxi - Helpful Advice Needed

Post by Len911 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:48 pm

Dash, imo, the next step is to turn your lyrics into a melody. The melody and lyrics are the "things" that are copyrighted. This is the foundation of all the other fancy stuff that arrangements and full blown demos are made of. I wouldn't worry at this point about film/tv/specific artists... Your focus should be the melody.

Melody is simple. It's the pitch or note of a syllable and the length of that note. You have 12 notes to choose from, and their octaves. Most melodies are written within one octave, and after you choose the octave, you only have 12 notes.

The simplest, cheapest, freeist, sequencers or daws will allow you to compose the melody, and create midi files, provide instant notation, and print a lead sheet or create musicxml file. If you use the "piano roll editor" you can place the notes into a better looking lead sheet, and input lyrics on a note per syllable basis.

I found this online. You can even download your sequences as midi files. It's really a good example of what you need to compose a melody, and it leaves things out like notation, time signature, bars, but includes the necessaries like bpm, the speed of your song, an instrument to play it, grid, four of the most common note lengths, it does include a key guide, that blacks out the notes not in the scale, but not necessarily useful because transition notes will not be in the scale anyway, and if you are composing by ear...
https://onlinesequencer.net/
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Re: New to Taxi - Helpful Advice Needed

Post by Len911 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:41 pm

Okay Dash, I'm probably getting ahead of myself,lol, but let's say that you've got the midi file made of the melody. But you're really not satisfied with only the melody, you want to hear your melody arranged. This little program is a cool program to play around with, it will not only arrange your music, but you can type in your lyrics, print out lead sheets, full score, output midi, output musicxml file... It's about $45 for download version.

http://www.write-music.com/arranging.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZKqmHVW-ww

There are other arrangers, such as band in a box, a comparison
http://www.write-music.com/comparison.html
https://soundcloud.com/huck-sawyer-finn
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Re: New to Taxi - Helpful Advice Needed

Post by NaeDae » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:26 am

DashAdams wrote:Thanks Mojo and Hummingbird, really appreciate it! I'm always picking up new bits of knowledge and info from TAXI especially the Monday night shows. You guys are awesome! As far as pitching songs, I need to get my ideas out of my head/notebook and into the studio so I have recorded songs people can actually hear. Right now my frustration stems from having tons of material, while not being able to find a way to demo the songs. Hummingbird I have songs that I've written with the lyrics geared towards film/tv placements and I also have stuff written with specific artists in mind. Should I choose one over the other?
One method I use a lot that's helpful with the production part is called Toplining. Basically I go get an instrumental from youtube producers (start by searching youtube for "(popular artist) type beat"). From there, use a "youtube to mp3" conversion website to download the tagged beat. Upload it to Garageband or Logic or any other DAW and just write over the instrumental by listening to it and singing/humming randomly over it. If you have a good song written, go find the instrumental and buy appropriate rights to use it. Upload the untagged beat to garageband/logic and now you have a song that sounds like it had thousands of dollars spent on producing it, but you spent hardly anything on it.

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