Song Structure/Labeling

Songwriting, songwriters, etc

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andreh
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Song Structure/Labeling

Post by andreh » Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:20 pm

I recently requested some advice on the lyric sheet for a song called "Fallin' Down" that I'm submitting for listing Y060922NS, and I got some great feedback from you all. It got me thinking about the song's structure, and how to best label its sections.If you have time to listen to this song and share your thoughts, I'd appreciate it!www.andrehoth.com/Fallin_Down.mp3Thanks,Andre
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Re: Song Structure/Labeling

Post by aubreyz » Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:06 pm

Andreh,I listened. Some really good stuff in that track. Nice voice. Shades of Hall & Oates vocally- which is a good thing in my book, but unique as well. The groove is good. Love the snap, stop thing. Nice touch. The rap may be a little hip hop for this listing, but this genre is not really my thing. I'm working on a tune to submit for this listing as well--- way out of my comfort zone, but wanted to give it a shot. You seem to have a real feel for this flavor of stuff, and I will look forward to your input on that track--- if I am able to get it finished tonight.The thing that I think is weak about the track is the song structure. It takes so long to get to the chorus and the verses and pre-chorus are very long. The lyrics work a lot better in the track than they did in text, but sometimes there are so many words it makes the phrasing seem forced.The recording sounds good. Background vocals are good, and add nicely to the track-- the only thing I don't really care for is the horn sounds. Nice work overall. I think if you did something like halve the verse and prechorus into a vs-ch-vs-ch-bridge-ch structure it would make the chorus hook stick out more.Aub

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Re: Song Structure/Labeling

Post by johnnydean1 » Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:54 pm

I don't have a clue about song structure and labeling all I know is I like it as a piece of music.Stevie Wonder,early Chicago,I like it as a mood.It annoys me that songs have to fit a certain structure.ABABCB etc.Follow your instinct,s they are right.J

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Re: Song Structure/Labeling

Post by andreh » Thu Sep 21, 2006 7:11 pm

Quote:Andreh,I listened. Some really good stuff in that track. Nice voice. Shades of Hall & Oates vocally- which is a good thing in my book, but unique as well. The groove is good. Love the snap, stop thing. Nice touch. The rap may be a little hip hop for this listing, but this genre is not really my thing. I'm working on a tune to submit for this listing as well--- way out of my comfort zone, but wanted to give it a shot. You seem to have a real feel for this flavor of stuff, and I will look forward to your input on that track--- if I am able to get it finished tonight.The thing that I think is weak about the track is the song structure. It takes so long to get to the chorus and the verses and pre-chorus are very long. The lyrics work a lot better in the track than they did in text, but sometimes there are so many words it makes the phrasing seem forced.The recording sounds good. Background vocals are good, and add nicely to the track-- the only thing I don't really care for is the horn sounds. Nice work overall. I think if you did something like halve the verse and prechorus into a vs-ch-vs-ch-bridge-ch structure it would make the chorus hook stick out more.AubThanks for the constructive feedback, Aubrey; I agree with everything you're saying. If I had more time I'd try to address some of the issues you bring up, but this listing's deadline came too quickly. I'll be sure to give your tune a listen!Since this is a song I already had in my catalog, I'm glad to have a shot with it as it is. In fact, I'm starting with quite a number of existing songs that seem to match upcoming listings, but I'm looking forward to writing new music tailored to specific listings.Gonna have find out where Nomi found those great Irie rappers! Andre
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Re: Song Structure/Labeling

Post by andreh » Thu Sep 21, 2006 7:18 pm

Quote:I don't have a clue about song structure and labeling all I know is I like it as a piece of music.Stevie Wonder,early Chicago,I like it as a mood.It annoys me that songs have to fit a certain structure.ABABCB etc.Follow your instinct,s they are right.JThanks Johnny! I like the flow of the song too; it seems to build in a natural way...but I can see what Aubrey's getting at since the listing specifically calls for a strong hook. In my opinion the hook is very memorable, but it's true that you don't hear it until well into the song.We'll see how the listing party feels about it...apparenty they'll be screening personally.Andre
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Re: Song Structure/Labeling

Post by Casey H » Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:00 am

NEO SOUL/POP SONGS are needed for a Male Artist who is a former "American Idol" runner up. Think along the lines of Maxwell, Stevie Wonder, India.Arie, and Justin Timberlake, etc. He's seeking more material for his upcoming indie release [scheduled to hit the stores in Jan. '07]. Songs need undeniable hooks, a fairly wide vocal melodic range, and strong story-driven lyrics. One of the project's co-writers will come in to screen the submissions. Please submit one to three songs online or per CD/cassette, include lyrics. All submissions will be screened on a YES/NO BASIS ONLY -- NO CRITIQUES FROM TAXI. For ground submissions, please enclose a S.A.S.E. if you would like a response. Submissions must be received no later than Sept. 22, 2006.TAXI # Y060922NSHi, it is alway helpful to post the actual listing itself. This is a great bluesy track. I think it would work for a lot of film/TV mood setting backgrounds. For the listing above, they key phrases are POP, NEO-SOUL, song story-driven lyrics and undeniable hooks. I don't think this track meets the criteria (not sure) , although I can't say I know the def of NEO-SOUL very well. As you listen further into the song the build on the hook gets better and better!! That may make the difference if listened to by the right person. As you know, you almost always have to get the reviewer hooked within the first minute, especially for an artist pitch like this one. However, if they are brining in a co-writer, I hope he sees the magic here and what could be done to tweak it for the artist.Are you familiar with the old Springsteen tune, "The Fever". This reminds me of that a bit. Yours has better production and arrangement, esp. for a R&B or blues market, but Springsteen has the build to a chorus. Nice track! I think you have a 30-40% chance they will forward it for this opp... and if not, you still have a great track! Casey

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Re: Song Structure/Labeling

Post by andreh » Fri Sep 22, 2006 6:13 am

Quote:Hi, it is alway helpful to post the actual listing itself.Good idea...I'll start doing that.Quote:This is a great bluesy track. I think it would work for a lot of film/TV mood setting backgrounds. For the listing above, they key phrases are POP, NEO-SOUL, song story-driven lyrics and undeniable hooks. I don't think this track meets the criteria (not sure) , although I can't say I know the def of NEO-SOUL very well. As you listen further into the song the build on the hook gets better and better!! That may make the difference if listened to by the right person. As you know, you almost always have to get the reviewer hooked within the first minute, especially for an artist pitch like this one. However, if they are brining in a co-writer, I hope he sees the magic here and what could be done to tweak it for the artist.Are you familiar with the old Springsteen tune, "The Fever". This reminds me of that a bit. Yours has better production and arrangement, esp. for a R&B or blues market, but Springsteen has the build to a chorus. Nice track! I think you have a 30-40% chance they will forward it for this opp... and if not, you still have a great track! CaseyThanks Casey...I'm learning something from everyone here!I'm not familiar with the Springsteen song, but I'll look it up and give it a listen. It's kind of funny that the listing says "Neo soul," and almost all the artists to whom the song has been compared are white guys who had their heyday 30 years ago. This song seems pretty blusey to me, too...but you should've heard it when I sang the lead myself! My pal Leanoard Patton really put a lot of soul (that my performance was sorely lacking) into it with his vocal chops, and now it can almost pass as R&B.I originally had Alicia Keyes in mind when I wrote the song, and a lot of her stuff has a more classic R&B sound. But, we'll see what the screener thinks!André
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Re: Song Structure/Labeling

Post by aubreyz » Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:30 am

Quote:Got something for us to hear? AndréDon't mean to hijack this thread, as you asked that in another, but since this is for the same listing thought I would post here.The first song I'm submitting is in okay shape for a song demo, but wasn't recorded for this listing. It's on my main Broadjam site named I Didn't Fall In LoveThe next one I'm STILL working on. I try not to post anything this raw, but I'm under the gun and would like your feedback because this genre is not my forte. Hope to get some free time this afternoon to drop in the bridge and tweak the mix a bit. I wrote this specifically for this listing. I'm guessing that this is for Elliot, but who knows. My voice is not suited for this, but this is not an artist submission anyway... I'm going to take a potshot with this one. If I have time I'll at least clean up the vocal scratch. I hate the intro, but for now it is what it is. Tried to keep it simple, just establishing the groove and melodic structure.Whatchu Gonna Do (Without Me)The third, I'm still contemplating submitting. It's a piano/vocal only, raw song demo. It would need some R&B treatment, but I think it might work as a Neo-Soul... just questioning if the song itself is good enough to submit.Circle of HopeI may not even be in the ballpark stylistically, but wanted to push my boundaries.Thanks for any input.Aub

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Re: Song Structure/Labeling

Post by andreh » Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:38 pm

Quote:Quote:Got something for us to hear? AndréDon't mean to hijack this thread, as you asked that in another, but since this is for the same listing thought I would post here.The first song I'm submitting is in okay shape for a song demo, but wasn't recorded for this listing. It's on my main Broadjam site named I Didn't Fall In LoveHey Aub-Sorry to hit you so late with this response - I pulled an all-nighter with new baby and needed to get some shut-eye this afternoon. Let me start by saying that I don't consider myself an expert in this genre, but I'm happy to share my thoughts about your tunes.This first song is a pleasure to listen to; it has great energy, great production (as all your songs do), and unique chord changes that kept my interest.I don't think it's a strong contender for this listing, though...even when I envision it sung by a singer with a more R&B-styled voice, its changes and direction aren't reminiscent of the reference artists. Also, the hook didn't seem to stand out enough; this may be because it sits in the middle of the chorus and is only heard once per chorus.I like your voice, too...you sing with a lot of emotion and style. Your vocal delivery is more 80's rock than soul or R&B, but you seem aware of that in your comments.Quote:The next one I'm STILL working on. I try not to post anything this raw, but I'm under the gun and would like your feedback because this genre is not my forte. Hope to get some free time this afternoon to drop in the bridge and tweak the mix a bit. I wrote this specifically for this listing. I'm guessing that this is for Elliot, but who knows. My voice is not suited for this, but this is not an artist submission anyway... I'm going to take a potshot with this one. If I have time I'll at least clean up the vocal scratch. I hate the intro, but for now it is what it is. Tried to keep it simple, just establishing the groove and melodic structure.Whatchu Gonna Do (Without Me)Another catchy, infectious groove. This one's closer to the mark, with hints of Macy Gray in the chord changes and lyrical content. It's still a stretch to call it R&B in my view, though, and it doesn't evoke any of the reference artists to me.The chorus is more prominent and memorable, partially due to the striking chord change at the words "What you gonna do without me," which ironically is part of what pulls this song away from the R&B sound.I also hear some Squeeze in this one (which is a thuimbs up by me but maybe not the screener), with the descending bass lines and synchopated piano parts.Quote:The third, I'm still contemplating submitting. It's a piano/vocal only, raw song demo. It would need some R&B treatment, but I think it might work as a Neo-Soul... just questioning if the song itself is good enough to submit.Circle of HopeI may not even be in the ballpark stylistically, but wanted to push my boundaries.Thanks for any input.AubI actually think this one has the most potential because of its gospel-sounding chord progression and bold melodic lines. It's more pop in its current incarnation, but even now I can hear the robed choir singing out over the lead lines.It's still not neo-soul, but in my view it could sit nicely in that crowd if arranged properly.Here are some general thoughts about all your pieces:- Even though your production is very creative and effective, I found your sound palettes to be a bit off the mark for this listing, especially the DX7-sounding FM bass guitar which puts a time stamp on the tracks. I'd go with a real bass (or a great fingered sample like the Spectrasonics Trilogy) or a moog-style synth bass.- Except for the last piece, there's more complexity in the chord changes than the genre calls for. You do hear very interesting changes in R&B, but they're structured differently and still don't occur quite as often. Nomi's recently posted Dance Hall/Reggae/Calypso songs were called "authentic" by the screener, I think that's probably because she resisted the temptation to overcomplicate them (among other reasons). Granted, this is a different style.- Your songs all flow and build very well, but I don't find your choruses to be different enough in melodic and rhythmic structure from the verses to really pop out like this listing and most others will likely call for.Awesome work, though! I look forward to hearing more of your work.Good luck,Andre
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Re: Song Structure/Labeling

Post by aubreyz » Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:01 pm

Quote:Here are some general thoughts about all your pieces:- Even though your production is very creative and effective, I found your sound palettes to be a bit off the mark for this listing, especially the DX7-sounding FM bass guitar which puts a time stamp on the tracks. I'd go with a real bass (or a great fingered sample like the Spectrasonics Trilogy) or a moog-style synth bass.- Except for the last piece, there's more complexity in the chord changes than the genre calls for. You do hear very interesting changes in R&B, but they're structured differently and still don't occur quite as often. Nomi's recently posted Dance Hall/Reggae/Calypso songs were called "authentic" by the screener, I think that's probably because she resisted the temptation to overcomplicate them (among other reasons). Granted, this is a different style.- Your songs all flow and build very well, but I don't find your choruses to be different enough in melodic and rhythmic structure from the verses to really pop out like this listing and most others will likely call for.Awesome work, though! I look forward to hearing more of your work.Good luck,AndreGreat input Andre. Thanks so much for your time and insight. Very helpful. As this listing is a yes/no, your critique is even more valuable. I rushed this one and didn't really analyze the structure of the examples offered. Your points are well taken.The chord changes are something I'm aware of... it's just what comes naturally--- that's usually what I "hear" in my head as writing. I plan to force myself to write a few three chord songs just to get out of the box. K.I.S.S.I'm also aware of the overall chorus weakness, and am working on that too.--- One note... the bass is actually Trilogy. It's one of the muted R&B patches with a few tweaks, but I can hear how it could sound FM.

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