I must admit ...

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... I still pop in here just about everyday to see if any threads are active.
I keep up with the Facebook album challenge group, too, though my motivation to create my own album is flagging lately. And I just went to my FAWM page, because there's a song from February that I want to put on my album and I needed to re-learn it. (That sparked my motivation a bit.)
I don't imagine many folks will see this, but I miss the back-and-forth here. And other than fellow 5090er and neighbor @AndyGetch, I don't have anyone local and in-person I can talk with about songwriting.
Last weekend, a yoga teacher who was visiting us told me that my wife had mentioned to her that I'm a prolific songwriter. She asked how many, and I told her around 800. The conversation ended there - at least she didn't ask, "Why?" But that was the most discussion I've had of songwriting recently.

I had a "curiousity" post here, but deleted it since one response, not Andy Smile --great guy, always positive feedback in some form or another... ... but one was unusual again, so removed it, ... ... Anyway, --it involved "what would a Skype" type meeting look like... Yes, in my child like care free mind, I captured the idea and some may not have gotten it, but, it did address exactly what you comment above, here.

I was not, again, asking anyone to do it, --just what would it look like, e.g., 1x a week, when?, what platform, google has a great video thing with just a link that can be blasted out, etc.

I also, imagine it would have to be "limited" to be productive. And, would not be able to accommodate in the box thinkers, comma police, and etc. joy killers of the creative mind.

Daily contact is not what the FB group "is"... it's nice, but it is something else. The few that tend to remain after the lights are out and the doors locked have a specific passionate music focus, creative for the love of it.

So, anyway, -- I "hear" yah Chip. I've got friends burried in back woods places that have NO musical outlet and learned guitar, songwriting and etc. from "these" kinds of ad hoc contact, --sifting through the many asswholes that troll online, regardless. Lol

You, me, Andy, Bill... all seem to have a quality that works in this ad hoc musical interaction. That's what, 4 out of the 150 or so active 5090 members... 2% ish of 5090 Wink ? ...

Well, I have no real point (like you above? Lol hahhh...) and that WILL bug some people, but not you/me! Smile hahhh... so DerUgo.

-- I'd check out a 1x a month Sunday Night 7pm ish Video Group thing ... I think, but not sure, ... maybe, yes, well idunno Smile

FYI, I was the 4th person here, after you posted, and the only one to respond Wink Lol hahhh... so, again, DerUgo!

Maybe I'm not getting it?, no response was needed? Well, I just gotta be me!

But, I am not here as I was, since, --if I post and this place is "closed", I'm going to get unusual interaction from folks not really "here" who even talk to me anyway..., post5090... what's the point.

Moreover, as has happened in the past, many threads do come in, land here, from other places and may not make sense... geese, yah no? Smile The world does not revolve around me, the world does not revolve around me... ... ... Wink

Well, anyway... ..., --> it is COLD 2Day, in NJ!!! OMG! I have a fire going in my little wood stove and the Wind is causing indoor ozone for me... oh well, cough or freeze... rough choice Smile

I ran through every, well not every, but nearly many of my guitars... looking for a reason to buy another one due to a gas-attack... I found guitars I 4got I had!!! Guitars worth more than when first purchased! I could not find a reason to buy another....----thank God... Lol hahhh...

I got 6 Songs rerecorded. I was looking for a place to discuss it... but not sure where that's be. So, just mention it here. I was not gonna, but now have a PLAN!

only 800? you have to work harder. after all, you are not going to be young forever.

Still here... mostly just reading any new posts, and only responding as needed. Felt like Chip needed me to respond. LOL

Talking about songwriting is quite hard, I find. People do it for so many different reasons, and often want to talk about it from very different perspectives, so finding someone who wants to talk about the same aspects of songwriting as I want to is almost impossible. But that difference is also one of things that makes songs so interesting.

I find this thread interesting for several reasons. I am relatively new to songwriting as I started as I was nearing 50 in 2009. Even then, except for a bar band I knew 30 years ago, I was only beginning to meet songwriters. Because I dove in with enthusiasm and passion I assumed that all other songwriters would share that. In the transition from just starting to also being labeled 'prolific' like @Chip Withrow I found out that I was wrong. In my experience in songwriting camps and even at the local songwriting circle typically its more about 'I want to play my song' than 'Lets talk about writing'. Most songwriters I know, for reasons known only to them, don't talk about their process. The chatter in between is usually about other subjects. Fortunately some of my songwriter friends are willing to talk about the songwriting process and elements and I have learned a lot from those conversations. I have learned a lot from the FAWM and 5090 songwriting forums. Honestly the songwriting thread group is the one I regularly check during the challenges. BTW I am honored to be tagged and mentioned again, although that is a bit humbling.

Well, that helped me a whole lot, --thanks @AndyGetch.

I never give up, gave up hope, and yet am OK to going back to not being online. For me, it only takes one or two like Bill, You, Frances, et al. of this kind of artist to keep me interested. I find high value in very specific granular things that most don't "get". You-all seem to be the "same" --hard to quantify, isn't it Lol Smile

For me, I just don't get, after so many years, building these kinds of systems even... if one reads something they don't get, like or whatever, they just move on. As in the FAQ's here... one will never change anyone's mind online. They may chase'em away (the goal?)... but, not change anyone but the Mirror.

Well, I can see you and the rest do get that, --well.

So, again, not asking anyone to do this but, keep in mind in the dead of winter, remember you can go to Google, pull up a Video, Phone call Skype type link, email it out and all one has to do is click it and you're into that group call. Do things go wrong with tech, sure... but, it's gotten better the past few years.

I am not interested in "starting" a group (did that, and the Trolls are just rediculous). However, again, February rolls around and you've got some "krappe" on mp3, feel it's good, but not sure... send it to one of the Types here, me, Bill, Andy, Frances, One..., Chip. I am sure no one is looking for a "new BFF" ... I am not. However, I know who gets my work, and are willing to say, "not getting a good hit" on that... but like the other.

For me, the over time Relationship Building here is any of what had value. To be honest, there is no music, tech, writing, etc. I am gonna learn "here", or anywhere. However, learning REACTION from folks like "you" (you-all, still here...) has value. I think that's my way of saying what Chip and you (Andy)... and others here, have the "greatness" to say.

Heck, think about it... 3, 6, ... more months down the line you can get "Reflection" on you work from ... well not just one, but now me, bill ... known for TWO years now... You "know" I only comment on what I "react" to and I like many kinds of music... many... however too, I can say "hey, that's a great opera, score sheet..." --don't like opera, but know a good one when I hear it, etc.

I remember jumping into a group years ago and asked the what note they sang in a Triad... 2 People got that... they didn't krap on it with "wtf", "tltr", or grammma correkshion, etc. trollishness not matter how dressed up... --I still know those people. Never met'em. And, we only "talk" a few times a year, but --gud'nuff, for me.

Well, --heading out now, today, Sunday morning and not entirely freezing here today.

Great thread... glad Chip said what he said, and the rest, --very helpful for me, anyway... thank you! Smile

in my early days of songwriting, i had an extened group of friends in real time and space, and we would talka nd play and write all day and nght, staying up for days sometimes, and alwasy giving each other hell, no sensitivity training then...but when one of us rote something good, the praise would fall like rain, we were tough on each other, and each of us had a good idea of where we fit intt he grand scheme of things. and we got better and better at what we did. not because of the praise but becasue of the criticism. when somebody did something unusual they had to explain it. now some of those same people are the touchiest creatures on earth. but it took them many years to get to that point where they feel they are beyond criticism. for all you who are new to the art of sngwriting, this is no time to be touchy. ask fr the harshest criticism and toughen your skin and improve your craft. study the odes and practice the forms. i aways like discussing songwriting, but am usually to busy writing sngs to spend a lot of time on it. glad to have friends here, though, who bring up the questions that are worth taking the time to ponder.

Hi again, and thanks for responding!
Today is yet another day when I thought I was going to have the motivation to record a few songs for the album challenge, but then other things became more important. And here I am spending a few spare moments responding to this thread, in between grocery shopping, making dinner, gardening, and reading/studying.
But back to the topic - talking about songwriting is hard, and weird. But FAWMers and 5090ers get it, whatever "it" is, within this weird little universe we've co-created.
A few years ago, I went to a songwriting circle. A guy - a sort of local John Denver knock-off - played a song he had been working on for six(!) months. (It was actually a fun afternoon - I kept meaning to get back to that group but I think I only did once.) But six months? I figure that if in the four months of FAWM and 50/90 I write 70-80 songs, and I'm already pretty good at songwriting, I'd write at least a dozen or so better than this guy's one. Best to keep that thought to myself unless I'm sharing it with you all here online.
A few more years ago, there was a good local open mic run by a friend - originals only, and people really listened. This particularly friend has overly high expectations for how she should be treated as an artist - my friend is really good, but when you develop a bit of a reputation for being melodramatic ... anyway, my pal quit hosting because the bar owner - kind of a jerk to most people - wasn't appreciative enough.
Once I was involved in a writing critique group - two people were working on novels, one an auto biography, and I was doing essays. We really did read each others' work, but we had a hell of a time agreeing on when to meet. Day jobs and family commitments and such.
So it's nice to know that for a few months out of the year I can pop onto this site anytime day or night and find someone to have some back and forth with.
(I considered deleting this post because of its tone - but instead I'm owning the way I feel.)

Neil Young rarely talks about songwriting, or at least his process of songwriting. I get the feeling he is afraid the magic will go away if he examines it too closely. Or maybe he just wants the separation between artist and audience. Whatever it is, he typically avoids the subject except in broad terms. I thought this was rare, but it's more common than I thought.

Also, a lot of artists either have many artistic outlets or cannot bare their souls continuously without a break. Both of which result in sporadic attention to the specific art of songwriting. I was talking to a friend the night before last.. okay, we were songwriting together, and he said that on the day of the eclipse words kept coming to him and he was writing all day but there came a point when he had to stop and (this part really struck me) he said he kept "getting" songs but he couldn't write them down as he was too burnt out emotionally. They may have been great songs but he had to let them go. We all need breaks from time to time.

And finally, I think it is possible that if people aren't getting feedback on their songs they stop having an interest (at least temporarily) in coming around. Less people mean less conversations which means less people which means less.... catch 22.

I still check in every day or so. Y'all have added a lot since I last checked.
I was trying to write a "quality album", but wasn't liking the few bits of demo I was getting from my 5090 lyrics. I started writing a new song, lyrics last instead of first. I'm trying to shoehorn in some ideas for a class assignment. The first verse went well. Nothing else is working yet, which is why I came here.
5090 people are unique - mostly amateurs in the best sense - loving the song writing process. Also focused on getting it done. Looking for the good in each other's hurriedly bashed out experiments.

I've got a few co workers who write songs and beats. One guy has like 5 part-time gigs going. One's a single mom trying to raise her kids, working and gigging to support them. Another puts out one EDM track a year. I'm supposed to get together with someone else "in December". People are busy living life.

I don't know about you, but my songwriting process is typically stare off into space, ingest a bunch of semi-random ideas, stare into space, puke a bunch of words onto a tiny scrap of paper, stare into space, change some words, tape the scrap into a notebook, and move on. It's not romantic, or poetic, or pretty.

When I get stuck, I go to a few other places first. If I'm still stuck, I come here, and write a forum post until I have no free time left, or I get an idea, or life intrudes.

@Chip Withrow yes we do know some characters, eh? I remember working on my first song for six months. Now I get funny looks when I talk about writing a song in an hour, or improvising a song. I guess that is progress.

Hey Chip, this may wind up being one of the most useful threads... how it seems to work... --meaningfulness rubs raw.

When I was an Art Student at some university, and TA, --we had weekly critques of, in this class, --Oil Painting. We used to describe it as like, being stripped bare naked to stand in a train station and have all have a close look.

For me, as I have said, I show a painting, (song), at a point where I have no emotional attachment to it... that's going on decades now of practice (and it is a "practice"). It's some of the best ~life~ training one can have. Now, ~context~ is everything. You-all are not idiots... so, if Bill, Chip, Andy, et al., say hey, "I get it but, that's not working for me, and you can even articulate it in any form (broken, well spoken, idunno, etc.)... that has value.

Anyone can learn the mechanics of songform, painting... but, one has to learn how to read a room too. "That" is what this affords you.

I have been listening, watching a number of documentaries coming available of artists of the 70's etc.... OMG... they sound like krappe sitting there, not warmed up and saying, "hey, we just did what we did", "I could'a been the sound of music, but, instead was...". And, --you all happened to like it. Like it or not, was what they would do.

And, as I have heard from recently and discussed many times with others... --the fact that [artist] "made it", is because, that's all they did, --period. I've seen what friends do, as have commented, ... not me. I'd rather have them send me a car and sit quietly at the party and watch the Trolls, and Vultures. I love music to much to loose it in that way, --no regrets.

Well, again, -- Chip..., etc., glad you didn't delete the thread. Again, Andy in particular really had effect when I read that, that morning.

As far as any media business goes, it's business and you are either making someone money, or blocking someone from making money. For me, again, I'd rather be someones "secret hiding place" than a "club med resort". When online #1 -- assume the best always first; #2 wait, ask questions, clarify; --repeat. Onlineguage and online, -- is the worst place for some personalities to "live" or live with. This thread, since ~allows~ a free spirit dialogue, communication, it will probably look quite different and even more useful in months down the road. The ones that need it, will see it. It's now long enough that a "wtf" Trollish comment won't kill the Momentum of the Barriers Dropped.

Folks talk about pro, amateur... people pay $$$ for krappe like this Lol Wink Dirol ... we can get as good free from each other, and no --less.

I poke my head in here pretty regularly but have been pretty busy with real life until the last week or so. Finally finding my feet again. Phew! I like the discussions, often feel I don't have much to add as I'm a relative newcomer to this gig. I've written songs off and on since I was a kid, but only in the last 2 years with any sort of intent or regularity.

@metalfoot No worries. I think we're all learning how to write better songs, quicker, more regularly.

i liked that comment about the documentary on musicians. i spent ten years writing about music for a daily newspaper in a major US city, and my biggest challenge was interviewing inarticulate musicians and then writing an article that made them sound intelligent.

@billwhite51 - I was a music journalist for a while, too, for a couple of newspapers in smaller cities in Ohio. I wasn't a songwriter then, so I don't recall asking questions about the songwriting process. And I interviewed Bela Fleck and Tony Trischka years before I became a banjo player myself. I'd love to talk to them again.
@metalfoot - I once read about how important it is to tell people with confidence that you are a musician or songwriter (or anything, I suppose) if that's how you want people to think of you. So that means not apologizing for perceived lack of experience or success. (Does that mean I follow that advice? Well, sometimes.)

I find it hard to talk about songwriting with people because, well, no one I know writes more than one song a year at most
In fact, in my experience most people never really think about where songs come from; I guess they think that they just appear like magic on the radio or something.
Once I took my ukulele to a kindergarten class and tried to get them to sing along. While I was playing they all stared at me with their mouths hanging open like I was from Mars or something.

Hi guys, wishing everyone a good weekend.
I'm occasionally here, still collaborating and occasionally creating instrumentals. Still a lot to discover here.

Hahh... I count 10 folks still here, "proactive". Well, that's as good as it gets! Smile Then, there's likely another 10 just reading and taking notes.

So, this is me (below URL) --- vocal, guitar, bass, harp on my $200 Linux PC and Audacity... wondering if I should go to the trouble of tracking my drum kit... ? Thoughts? Musings? Other...

It's been mic'd (the Kit), forever as Ear Protection (sent back to mixer via HP's)... but never considered that kit for an overdub... e.g, no idea how it may sound, etc., truly a practice kit only, but all I have at the moment for something like this.

-- Rather than dragging the PC and Dual-USB ("ART") there, --thought to use an old Tascam DR-1 into the audio out of the Yamaha MG10 all goes through. (I comment for those who may have ideas)


(Yes, Linux allows long file names... may krappe-out somewhere, --I gotta watch that) --It worked for me here, now.

--- So far it "passes" my 15 sec rule... if I shut if off "they want to hear the rest"... nice test huh Wink

--- Anyway, as well, for those who may "know" --my plan for the Drum Kit (if engaged) is to make the Right-hand of the Guitar (Strumming Hand) the -- "to follow beat", for the High-hat, and the Vocal Rhythm the "beat to follow" for the Snare.

Ironically, (rabbit trail here), I confirmed last week, "Keith Moon" of "The Who", followed the Vocals (frequently, and esp. when none other was present, etc.)... --thought I had an original idea for NOT having a Click Track... and "it's been done already" Lol (if not widely considered) ... Yeah I can "do" the Click Track but really changes the feel of the song(s) as I do'em, really hate'em, and don't really care Dirol Wink .
("Joni Mitchell" had only a very few drummers that would, could play with her, per JM... herself --some obscure interview in the more recent past (one tough lady! Smile )

---- Well, it ain't over, 'till it's over, and the Luxuriously Appointed Woman Sings! Smile

Back story on this song, --why?
I love to reprise old public domain stuff... for many reasons. And in this visit the lyrics is "real life" (as the songs origin is) ... I remember often standing next to the Sheriff at the side gate of that southern jail... one time watching him admire a K-rally a few hundred yards away at the Court House steps..., scarey people we survive in life make the best music? Lol And, --"yes, "Kimbo" ... she's a real girl ... --ah, yes, music is therapy! Dirol (Taylor Swift watch out...)

Also, another thing "bothers" me about some of these songs of the past, folk, spirituals, et al., the more "Famous" folks do... --some don't indicate at all a "Reference" or even "Reprise" (revisit) to the roots. One sees a CR (C) all over it... and yet, it can only be for their performance, and changes... --academic referential integrity... I guess it ain't a legal thing, but, I note it none-the-less.

---- The Lyrics are in my song list here, fyi

Track the drums. If it turns out well, you've improved your song. If it needs work, at least you've learned that. You don't have to USE the drum track, so you lose nothing but some time. If you don't have drum chops, good luck finding someone else Smile

I need to start recording again. I still don't have demos for my 5090 songs.

Thanks @iveg -- I'll do it.

What I've found to be the challenge is --starting. Once I step within 3ft of the kit, and grab a cable... it'll be experimented with, done, 3 hours Smile

No matter what, when it's done, I'll put it here.

I'll put the exact tracks, vocal/gutiar only, the one above is there and then there'll be the DK with it.

-- I'm having great fun here with this.

Oh and to Andy G. --again... the timing on people "show up to just do their stuff, not discuss"... OMG (really kept an eye out for that) ... I kept that in the forefront of my mind the next days following, and watched carefully in some new interaction that came up. ---Wow... no one came to talk, help, discuss, listen --only to "do their song(s)"... (zero feedback wanted, just "wow that's great" only). I held back from saying, commenting, jumping in... interact as we do here... --now, just a few short weeks later, it's just another song list of "look at my stuff" (look at me). Wow. I was sure it would be different, --nope.

I remember in a group I ran a while ago (couple a years now I think), on FB... i, we came across a person (actually *several), who would post, then under different ID's (same person!) comment, and even argue with a "friends" defense (them again)... then, found some had joined another group, and in that group, they blocked the known admins ... everyone else saw their "krappe" but not the Admins Wink Lol

-- "People"... they just ruin everything Smile hahhh...

I don't want to get jadded and etc. -- "this" is helping here Smile

It does seem to be the same folks the past 2 years, for me here anyway... --thanks again!

I must admit now (and this is just to get it off my chest, I suppose, since few will read this) that I never got the motivation to record my album for the Facebook album challenge group. I had a pretty simple plan, too - guitar/vocal versions of 12-15 of my most recent songs. I printed lyric sheets, did a bit of editing of both lyrics and music, rehearsed ... but no recording. (Oh, yeah - I set up a Bandcamp account, too.)
I did do plenty musically the last couple of weeks. I rehearsed Grateful Dead and Dead-type songs for a Thanksgiving Day yoga fundraiser, helped my daughter with piano accompaniment for a challenging song she's learning in her voice lessons, and now I'm re-learning Christmas songs for another music-and-yoga event.
The album idea is still kicking around, though. I realized I need some new guitar strings to do it properly, so that's on my to-do list. And I think I even have a vague idea of how to market/promote this album - at least on a very small scale.
To continue the earlier discussion about feedback/advice/criticism - I am trying hard lately to only give advice when asked in all aspects of my life. It's challenging! I'm a big believer in personal accountability and learning from mistakes, and I can tend to get vocal with those who don't do those things and then complain about their lives.
I do give feedback to my daughter when it comes to her voice lessons, but lately it's been mainly showing her the notes on the piano that she's having trouble hitting with her voice.

just checkin in here, nice to see this thread. a few things to say-- Chip, hope you get that motivation back at some point to do a bandcamp album, I really think that the process of figuring out what songs work best for a particular context, etc., can sharpen the whole thing. Case in point, I guess- i did some rewriting and alot of new writing since 5090, working on a (non-political, for once!) album which is just out today (just posted a link to it in a seperate thread here, its on bandcamp and called 'whatever magic..'.

as for songwriters talking about their process, yeah, there are some who talk alot about it- theres a great book by, i think, bill flannegan where he talks to dylan, paul simon, ray davies, and alot of others about their process.. ive heard paul simon talk about the 'sound of words', words with certain letters in them, etc., going for unfamiliar keys and chord changes. With alot of my favorite songwriters, it helps alot to know what literature, songs, musical influences they have had and what they've soaked up over the years... i could go on and on, anyway--- good to see some of ya still here!

i'll try to drop by more often!


Hey Chip, just a thought, and not intending to revisit prior suggestions in general, ... nonetheless Lol ... if you observe some here, now with this album thing whom you like how they "mixed" it... I don't know why anyone could not ask if they wouldn't mind taking a track or three and doing what they can with them. Let others mix your best dry track recording at highest volume to catch dynamics yet not distort.

I know sound files can be large and etc. However, you are recording Voice/instrument into one track and like maybe 2 mins long. I think 16bit wav is ~30Mb ... but, maybe a hi-grade mp3 would be good enough... getting them back to you could be tough if get near 40, 50 ... when done. Again, unless hi-grade mp3.

Anyway, it was just a thought and of how to get as much as we all can from a single effort project... "Track Exchanges" ... as I said... I know someone WILL mix my stuff differently from me, and from their own stuff since not their own voice. I am sure I hear others voices different from how they do, or how the person close to them mixes it. (Kinda why "producers" are a dime a dozen?...)

So, anyway, too, --I only say it since this 5090 I thought you had some worthy stuff, guitar and banjo and etc. Not blowing smoke... why would I?

However, yes, if you're busy paying bills, family -- well, yes this is all silly in comparison. Dirol Lol

Anyway, -- that's all rhetorical and kinda for the folks who lurk here Lol ...
(I wonder too, regardless of "books" to read, if folks can get more live, here from each other on e.g. the Stats they now see for the first time, like on bandcamp... --I did. However, no one may care or think about it or find it interesting. There are many Threads we can have "here" before it rollsover for next year. I find it far freer since the focus on these boards can be more expansive, forgiving. As Andy so wisely said, -- most come just to play their song and leave... --so, we do have that. But for me, 3 - 5 people is plenty for a meaningful "group" discussion. Get much above 10 and it goes Silent, due to "Group Formation" issues.)

Again, all rhetorical and speaking generally, --but heck, look at all the Engineers with albums... when done now... they may be receptive to a "yes"... but not a month from now when it's all cooled off.