Chip Away Everything That Doesn't Look Like an Elephant...

Songwriting, songwriters, etc

Moderators: admin, mdc, TAXIstaff

Post Reply
User avatar
Razor7Music
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 481
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 2:05 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Irvine, CA
Contact:

Chip Away Everything That Doesn't Look Like an Elephant...

Post by Razor7Music » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:30 am

Hello Forum--

Just sharing some thoughts that I'm guessing many of you've experienced.

I just finished a track and decided to take my sweet time starting the next, so it didn't sound anything alike and so I could focus on different inspirations, etc. I started fooling around on my acoustic guitar and liked a simple chord progression and thought it might make a good instrumental/cue.

As I try to spend every day I can working on music, I started recording different parts and, well, the track started taking form almost on its own. I 'heard' what needed to come next and kept feeling pulled into the studio every day as the melodies would keep playing in my head. The track is no longer an instrumental or a cue, but a song I really like. No theme or lyrics yet--just chords, melodies, and rhythms.

Now, here's where I feel like the title of my post. As the creative inspiration keeps flowing, I almost feel like I need to "get out of the way" and I feel like I need to eliminate everything that doesn't contribute in a positive way and improve the track-- and all that means. I feel like the song is there and I need to just chip away the parts that are not the song--figuratively speaking--of course it's still in basic scratch mode. The title of my post comes from a supposed sculpter's response when asked how he sculpted such a great elephant statue (or something like that).

I also can't help but feel like I don't want to take it off course and "mess it up".

Thoughts?
Thanks,

Stephen Davis, Songwriter
Music: here
For Daily Progress Reports on Twitter: @razor7music
Facebook: @r7mStephenDavis

“If everyone likes you, you're doing something wrong” --Jenna McMahon

User avatar
DannyWeber
Committed Musician
Committed Musician
Posts: 738
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:48 pm
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: Chip Away Everything That Doesn't Look Like an Elephant...

Post by DannyWeber » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:29 am

Razor7Music wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:30 am
Hello Forum--

Just sharing some thoughts that I'm guessing many of you've experienced.

I just finished a track and decided to take my sweet time starting the next, so it didn't sound anything alike and so I could focus on different inspirations, etc. I started fooling around on my acoustic guitar and liked a simple chord progression and thought it might make a good instrumental/cue.

As I try to spend every day I can working on music, I started recording different parts and, well, the track started taking form almost on its own. I 'heard' what needed to come next and kept feeling pulled into the studio every day as the melodies would keep playing in my head. The track is no longer an instrumental or a cue, but a song I really like. No theme or lyrics yet--just chords, melodies, and rhythms.

Now, here's where I feel like the title of my post. As the creative inspiration keeps flowing, I almost feel like I need to "get out of the way" and I feel like I need to eliminate everything that doesn't contribute in a positive way and improve the track-- and all that means. I feel like the song is there and I need to just chip away the parts that are not the song--figuratively speaking--of course it's still in basic scratch mode. The title of my post comes from a supposed sculpter's response when asked how he sculpted such a great elephant statue (or something like that).

I also can't help but feel like I don't want to take it off course and "mess it up".

Thoughts?
Hi Stephen,

I feel the same way about everything you’ve said but one factor you may have left out for us Home Studio Composers is.. Inspiration can also come from writing with a structure in mind or for a purpose e.g. writing for a Music Library or even a TAXI listing.

Knowing someone on the other end is interested in listening to my music, gives me the most initiative to write an inspired track!

Just my thoughts.. thanks for this thread, Stephen!


Dan
https://taxi.com/dannyweber
https://soundcloud.com/dannyweber

Go your own way! Out of necessity, drive, gumption, whatever.. don't let anyone tell you you can't!
It's not what goes into your music that's important, it's what comes out the speakers

User avatar
Razor7Music
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 481
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 2:05 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Irvine, CA
Contact:

Re: Chip Away Everything That Doesn't Look Like an Elephant...

Post by Razor7Music » Wed May 01, 2019 8:37 am

DannyWeber wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:29 am
Razor7Music wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:30 am
Hello Forum--

Just sharing some thoughts that I'm guessing many of you've experienced.

I just finished a track and decided to take my sweet time starting the next, so it didn't sound anything alike and so I could focus on different inspirations, etc. I started fooling around on my acoustic guitar and liked a simple chord progression and thought it might make a good instrumental/cue.

As I try to spend every day I can working on music, I started recording different parts and, well, the track started taking form almost on its own. I 'heard' what needed to come next and kept feeling pulled into the studio every day as the melodies would keep playing in my head. The track is no longer an instrumental or a cue, but a song I really like. No theme or lyrics yet--just chords, melodies, and rhythms.

Now, here's where I feel like the title of my post. As the creative inspiration keeps flowing, I almost feel like I need to "get out of the way" and I feel like I need to eliminate everything that doesn't contribute in a positive way and improve the track-- and all that means. I feel like the song is there and I need to just chip away the parts that are not the song--figuratively speaking--of course it's still in basic scratch mode. The title of my post comes from a supposed sculpter's response when asked how he sculpted such a great elephant statue (or something like that).

I also can't help but feel like I don't want to take it off course and "mess it up".

Thoughts?
Hi Stephen,

I feel the same way about everything you’ve said but one factor you may have left out for us Home Studio Composers is.. Inspiration can also come from writing with a structure in mind or for a purpose e.g. writing for a Music Library or even a TAXI listing.

Knowing someone on the other end is interested in listening to my music, gives me the most initiative to write an inspired track!

Just my thoughts.. thanks for this thread, Stephen!


Dan
Thanks, Dan. I do agree with your statement when it comes to the arraignment, production, and lyrics portion of a production--for sure. I mean, everyone joins Taxi to get their music placed, right? I'm not sure I agree with that statement at the early stages of inspiration though--at least not for me. I believe there are many books on songwriting not to allow the critical-self, the left brain to start critiquing and organizing your work until you get to that point in the production. Everything I listed in my OP was at the inspirational part--not the "marketing" part. For me, once I start to control the inspiration, it starts to flee and I have to try really hard to bring it back.

I guess we all create a little differently.

Cheers!
Thanks,

Stephen Davis, Songwriter
Music: here
For Daily Progress Reports on Twitter: @razor7music
Facebook: @r7mStephenDavis

“If everyone likes you, you're doing something wrong” --Jenna McMahon

Len911
Total Pro
Total Pro
Posts: 5351
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:13 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Peculiar, MO
Contact:

Re: Chip Away Everything That Doesn't Look Like an Elephant...

Post by Len911 » Thu May 02, 2019 6:23 am

If it isn't complete, as you've said, you wanted to add a theme and lyrics, that could very well change everything about the rhythm, melody and chords. It sounds like the theme is already established by the rhythm, melody and chords, so now all that's left is the lyrics to fit the mood, rhythm and melody, which may prove to be a challenge if you don't allow for changes.
https://soundcloud.com/huck-sawyer-finn
Not an expert on contemporary music

User avatar
Razor7Music
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 481
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 2:05 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Irvine, CA
Contact:

Re: Chip Away Everything That Doesn't Look Like an Elephant...

Post by Razor7Music » Thu May 02, 2019 1:40 pm

Len911 wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 6:23 am
If it isn't complete, as you've said, you wanted to add a theme and lyrics, that could very well change everything about the rhythm, melody and chords. It sounds like the theme is already established by the rhythm, melody and chords, so now all that's left is the lyrics to fit the mood, rhythm and melody, which may prove to be a challenge if you don't allow for changes.
Hey Len--

I hope you're well!

The track is far and away past where it was from my OP. Now, I'm at the left-brain parts. In fact, I'm revising my lyrics for the x time. The phase I'm referring to in my OP is the initial inspiration--when it all just started spilling out. That's where we need to be cautious not to stop the flow with critiques. Again, I'm way past that part now.

Cheers!
Thanks,

Stephen Davis, Songwriter
Music: here
For Daily Progress Reports on Twitter: @razor7music
Facebook: @r7mStephenDavis

“If everyone likes you, you're doing something wrong” --Jenna McMahon

Len911
Total Pro
Total Pro
Posts: 5351
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:13 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Peculiar, MO
Contact:

Re: Chip Away Everything That Doesn't Look Like an Elephant...

Post by Len911 » Thu May 02, 2019 3:35 pm

I'm doing fine Stephen, thx for asking, and I wish you well as well. Yes I agree, questioning your inspiration is not very inspirational at the initial stage of creativity, it probably works against it.
https://soundcloud.com/huck-sawyer-finn
Not an expert on contemporary music

User avatar
CTWF
Committed Musician
Committed Musician
Posts: 760
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:02 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: Chip Away Everything That Doesn't Look Like an Elephant...

Post by CTWF » Fri May 03, 2019 1:07 pm

Razor7Music wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:30 am
Thoughts?
Supposedly it was Michelangelo when asked about his famous statue of David, who said: "The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material."
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/119111 ... ock-before

I often feel similar to what you describe. That's why I also think that it is a great feature of MuseScore, and I would guess any DAW can do that as well, to be able to create random scores. I did that once, listened carefully, and suddenly I heard a melody in it. Suffices to say the harmonically most complex and from my viewpoint maybe most beautiful track I ever created came out of it. But it is nothing that would match any TAXI listing... So, I can only recommend: Throw a random bunch of notes together and listen carefully! :)

Tom

User avatar
Razor7Music
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 481
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 2:05 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Irvine, CA
Contact:

Re: Chip Away Everything That Doesn't Look Like an Elephant...

Post by Razor7Music » Fri May 03, 2019 2:13 pm

CTWF wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 1:07 pm
Razor7Music wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:30 am
Thoughts?
Supposedly it was Michelangelo when asked about his famous statue of David, who said: "The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material."
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/119111 ... ock-before

I often feel similar to what you describe. That's why I also think that it is a great feature of MuseScore, and I would guess any DAW can do that as well, to be able to create random scores. I did that once, listened carefully, and suddenly I heard a melody in it. Suffices to say the harmonically most complex and from my viewpoint maybe most beautiful track I ever created came out of it. But it is nothing that would match any TAXI listing... So, I can only recommend: Throw a random bunch of notes together and listen carefully! :)

Tom
Thanks, Tom

When I tried to find where I'd heard the quote, the Michelangelo reference was listed as possibly having been a legend, so I stuck with the elephant! :lol:

On your interesting idea, it made me think of growing up we had two upright pianos. Both were out of tune and had something wrong with them. One of them, if I bounced my feet on the pedals would play random notes on the piano. Occasionally, it would come out sounding really awesome. No way for me to duplicate it back in those analog days, but to your point, if you think about the art of painting, sometimes splashing paint on a canvas produces works of art--then why not music!

You're right about the fit for listings though. Sometimes I wish creations didn't have to be one of the other!

Cheers
Thanks,

Stephen Davis, Songwriter
Music: here
For Daily Progress Reports on Twitter: @razor7music
Facebook: @r7mStephenDavis

“If everyone likes you, you're doing something wrong” --Jenna McMahon

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests