What Genre would you classify this song in?

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Synetos
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What Genre would you classify this song in?

Post by Synetos » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:31 am

I have a track on my website "Here Today Gone Tomorrow". I struggle with trying to classify my music. Is it Singer-Songwriter? Adult Contemporary? I am open to feedback on all fronts; Mix, Song structure, etc. Also, if you think the production sounds dated, how would you change it to make it better?
Thanks, George

http://www.georgemaxbrown.com/georgesmusic.cfm

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Re: What Genre would you classify this song in?

Post by Russell Landwehr » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:58 pm

Hi George.

I don't think this has been done yet: Welcome to the TAXI Forum! Nice to have you here.

I'm probably not the right person to try to help you with this genre... or comment on the "dated" issue... but anyway... I like the sound... so, yes, the production and composition must be dated. :lol:

If I were to classify the "feel" of the music, it seems kinda John Denver (in a good way) but to today's standards... hmmm... Adult Christian? Is that a genre?

:o :o OH MY! :o :o "Will I Ever Be Worthy" just kicked in and the first word was Jesus... :lol: I was listening to the production of "Here Today and Gone Tomorrow" and not the lyrics... so... um... if you are going for Adult Christian It looks like your'e on the nose for my ear eh?

Russell
Multi-Genre Composer and Producer of TV and Film music Providing Easy to Use Cues for Every Scene

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https://www.taximusic.com/hosting/home. ... l_Landwehr
http://soundcloud.com/russell-landwehr

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Re: What Genre would you classify this song in?

Post by LittleRedChurch » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:14 pm

Russel hit it.

Good song. Clean. Nice little package.

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Re: What Genre would you classify this song in?

Post by Synetos » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:32 am

Thanks Guys!
I am new to the forum and joined Taxi about six months ago. I know there is a ton of talent on Taxi and I am looking forward to getting to know, and learn from, as many of you as I can. Maybe there will be something I can bring to the table to help others as well...time will tell.

Russell, I am not writing as a Christian Artist exclusively, just happens to be one of the songs I recently recorded and posted on the site. I don't have many religious songs at this point, and that is the only one I have with Jesus for a lyric. I was trying to avoid that in my writing and keep the faith based themes more subtle, but that song needed His name.

I took time off from my IT career to get everything I ever wrote recorded for my family. About a year ago, I got t-boned by a drunk driver that ran a red light and came within a split second of death. So, I am acutely aware of how "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" is applicable. I recall a book I read by Wayne Dyer that said "Don't die with your music still in you." I think that is great advice to all of us who create music. So, that is what is driving me to record my music, but I want it to sound as professional as I can. Of course, if I wrote/write stuff good enough to place for listings and can make a living at this, I will never go back to the day job world.

I want to get to the point where I can recognize genres and know what production techniques are style appropriate. I wish there were resources that acted like a production guide for different styles, but so far I have not found anything even close.

Anyway. I think TAXI is fantastic! I learn a ton from TAXI TV every time there is a broadcast. I hope to learn from all of you on the forum to develop my skills and then someday be able to help others who are where I am now. So thank you for making me feel welcome and taking the time to respond.

George

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Re: What Genre would you classify this song in?

Post by nick.moxsom » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:38 am

Hey, Max, welcome

Great song, good sentiment.

Yes, imho it has a dated production, but it depends where you want it to fall. It sounds singer/songwriter to me, but if you wanted to land it in the pop realm, I'd recommend a less ethereal sound. Chorus-ey guitar and that kind of synth pad are fairly unfashionable in pop at the moment, so I might use some tight delay and some bitcrushing. I might also shunt the key up and get a diva to belt it out (Celine Dion style), but then I'm a bit of a pop tart.

Good work, in any event. Look forward to hearing more from you.

Best of luck,
Nick

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Re: What Genre would you classify this song in?

Post by ChipD » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:21 am

Hi George,
I was just going through the listings this morning, then came to the forum and listened to your song, and it reminded me of a listing I saw that would seem to be a perfect fit for your song. I've pasted the listing at the bottom of this message for your convenience.

The song is very good and the recording and performance very clean. To answer your questions, I do think it sounds dated...but that's not necessarily a bad thing when you see what the listing below is looking for. There is a market for songs like that!

To modernize it, I'd experiment with adding some syncopated percussion and to be (or have a demo singer be) less "technically correct" with singing technique. Give the vocal some grit, some swagger.

When you have something that is too safe to be contemporary, sometimes the best "cure" is to try to go over-the-top in the other direction. For example, I had a singer record one of my songs yesterday. The song had a pseudo rap for the bridge. On the first take, she did everything technically correct...hit the notes, nailed the rhythm, etc. However, it sounded like a middle-aged white mom from the suburbs. I told her that it was a great and usable take but, just for fun, do a take that was over the top...be aggressive...leave spit on the windscreen. We could always scrap the take and use the first one...there was nothing to lose. She did a take that the engineer labeled as the "no holds barred rap" on the DAW and it felt like it was soooo outrageously wild for her, like way too aggressive to possibly be used. But which take did we use? The "over the top" one! And it still didn't sound like Wiz Khalifa, but it worked much better.

So, if you feel like something is dated, I'd give you the same advice. Try swinging the pendulum the exact opposite direction. Chances are, you'll feel like you've overdone it but, to the rest of the world, it won't sound that way.

Good luck! Here's that listing.

TIMELESS SINGER/SONGWRITER SONGS that would be heard on the same playlist as James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, John Denver, etc., are needed by an Independent Music Publishing Company that specializes in Film and TV placements. They're looking for ROOTSY and CLASSIC sounding songs that reflect the good ol' days of stellar songwriting and musicianship. Instrumentation and arrangements MUST sound AUTHENTIC! They're NOT looking for anything synthetic or stiff and MIDI-sounding. Keep your instrumentation light, acoustic, and organic. Vocals must fit within the general vibe of the referenced artists. Lyric themes should remain UNIVERSAL and GENERAL enough to work for various scenes and scenarios. Broadcast quality needed (great sounding home recordings are OK). Please submit one to three songs online or per CD, include lyrics. All submissions will be screened on a YES/NO BASIS - NO CRITIQUES FROM TAXI - and must be received no later than Thursday, May 9, 2013.
TAXI # Y130523SS

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Re: What Genre would you classify this song in?

Post by nick.moxsom » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:25 am

Good comments, Chip.

If in doubt, mix it up. What's to lose?

Nick

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Re: What Genre would you classify this song in?

Post by Synetos » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:11 am

Thanks for the suggestions and the listing match. I wasn't really even looking at the listings...too focused on playing in the studio.

ChipD, i hadn't thought of doing an over the top vocal take or even considered changing how I sing. Hmmm, I certainly could take a shot at that. Would you suggest that before I submit it, or would you send it as is for this listing and then do a retake for future pitches?

As far as key, I could easily sing it about a 3rd higher, comfortably. That would only move the top vocal note to an F#, which is well within my range. I am able to sing about an A/Ab before I collapse into a pile of vocal wreckage. However, I will move from a John Denver'ish vocal sound to more like Kenny Loggins or Dan Fogelberg coated with a little Michael Jackson head voice. :P

Lyrics are not all that universal as the song has a specific meaning for me. Personal art first, commercial viability second...at least at this point in time and on this song. I wrote this song about a year before I quit the day job.

I don't have a female singer to work with that I could have record it at this point in time, so it will have to be my vocal...to the best of my abilities.

Thanks again guys, great ideas for me to try out.

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Re: What Genre would you classify this song in?

Post by ChipD » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:42 am

It all depends on (a) how easy/affordable it is for you to get a recording of at least this good of quality, and (b) the frequency of listings that would be appropriate for pitching this song.

If you do your own recording and are efficient at it, I'd say have a few different versions and try to match them to listings. For example, I may leave the vox/instrumentation as-is for a listing that mentions James Taylor, but try a different recording if you wanted to pitch it for a Jason Mraz listing. If you submit to enough listings, you'll notice patterns in the feedback that will guide you to revisions. Or, you could purchase a custom critique from Taxi (equivalent to the cost of submitting to four listings) that will give you additional feedback. With the custom critique, you can ask questions about types of listings, potential changes, target genres, etc. for your song. So, if you wanted to revise a song in a more contemporary style and it would be a lot of work/cost to do so, I'd get a custom critique to hopefully avoid returns to a recording that you've already committed to.

"Current" vs "dated" is an ever-moving target. Even though P!nk is still near the top of the charts with her new album, I've had returns that mention "old P!nk." And current, contemporary, and similar adjectives are more commonly found in Taxi listings than those that ask for "retro" material. So, experimenting outside your comfort zone is always a good idea, in my opinion.

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Re: What Genre would you classify this song in?

Post by Synetos » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:31 am

Okay. Sounds like a critiques are the way to go, particularly when one is not up to speed on current trends. I was thinking about that a while back, but haven't looked into them yet. I am thinking I might start by submitting just a guitar and vocal take to get the song structure and lyrics worked out, then take to the studio to produce the song with all the parts and a semifinal mix. Then, submit for another critique to get the final production spot on. If I wait until the song is all done, then I think I would waste a lot of time on a mix that I might have to scrap. Is that how most of you guys do it? I mean, $40 bucks for 2 critiques seems cheap if you can increase you odds of success on the final delivery, right?

As far as my recordings, I record everything myself in my home studio, so all it costs me is time. I spent a week on recording that song, but that included everything from mic experimentation on the vocals and acoustic guitars to composing all the other parts in the mix. Sometimes that is easy and other times it doesn't come to me. Even on this song, I couldn't come up with a drums/percussion sound or pattern that i liked, so I didn't put any percussion in the mix. I even when out an bought the Addictive Drum Indie and Session percussion Paks thinking something in there might inspire me, but no such luck. That said, I spent about 3 weeks on Will I Ever Be Worthy and I am still unhappy with it. I am probably going to table that one for now and maybe come back to it and start from scratch. The lyric on it starts out conversational, but then mutates into statements. It kinda works, but I think I can do better than that.

I am still growing into all the gear I purchased, and learning how to use everything correctly. At some point I would like to collaborate with others to take composing to the next level. I am sure a percussionist could come up with a contribution to that song without hesitation. I am not a drummer, so it is a bit out of my realm of creative ability at this time. I tend to start with a midi pattern I like and then make changes to it to fit my song. that sorta works, but it wont work all the time if I want thinks to sound original.

I only submitted one song so far and had some great feedback. The reviewer listed several books for me to read on lyric writing, so I went out and bought them all. I am already picking up some great ideas for writing better lyrics just from the first book I am reading, particularly around what universal lyrics are. I didn't really get it at first...now I think I do.

Once again, thanks for the great suggestions.

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