Core, generalized elements of a Lyricist vs Composer and how ...

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For, "songwriting"...:

Core, generalized elements of a Lyricist vs Composer and how ... -- to better, enable fulfillment of the "needs_composer", "needs_lyricist" tags that don't exist, fulfilled well, or at all, and -- first brought up in the question for musicians, forum by kc5. --Link this back there? Do so, if want to.

-- "fiftyninety.fawmers.org/content/question-musicians"

So, can't "format" text well here but:
LYRICIST
1) Strongly opinionated seeking constructive outlet, writes

COMPOSER
1) Loves to create sound, composes

LYRICIST/COMPOSER
1) Can't separate the various "melodies" that make up their song
2) May LOVE to have a composer engage it to the/a next level
3) May, (may), be able to mentor, or VICE VERSA (not implying lyricist have an upper hand, so to speak Smile )

--- Let the greater minds here, run with this, and someone/many compile the accumulation of core granular of value, --esp. the redundant. The "redundant" elements, ARE the ones we seek, (patterns of opinions aggregated), in the "happy surprise" of Qualitative Research, the -- gestalt.

(Qualitative vs Quantitative, by it's "nature", is of greater value, [lots of posts, opinions, didactically explained!), with -- lots of it to consider. Then, it's hard to deny the Qualitative nature, is not in fact Quantitative, -- a premise, to qualify, and is imo.)

There is likely ?, prior research into this, but, -- I only care about what the folks here think, -- since, are distinctively unique "here"... don't want to pollute with prior supposition, roll-ups of possible "krappe".

I would suggest, any, all, just comment, not necessarily "review" or comment on comment, -- give YOUR OPINION FIRST... it matters.
(And, if you think it's a "stupid" opinion, I (generally speaking), especially, want to read it... I've been told most of what I say was stupid... -- turns out, wrong to the level of > 6-figures, in life, secular, valuations.) The life of someone in "R&D", faces new, as stupid, daily, -- just how it is.

-- So, naturally, a musician too Smile LOL!

Ummm, what exactly are you asking, [@ustaknow]?

Great question, -- your answer!

---------------------------------------------
It may take a bit of work, but the inductive is all there; now, just the deductive, -- more fun?

It all derives from the flow of thought of the referenced thread.

Since the "suggestion" was made to separate out that good observation made there, but link it back as well, this was what I could do, -- at work.

So, as always, as commented, " ... Let the greater minds here, run with this ... " , whom as well may have all day to do so, --not me Smile

-- Then, we can, even, delete this forum, in lieu of other... -- always good with that, too.

i'm having a hard time understanding the question as well.

I'm also confused by this post, but I think I get the motivation behind it.

For context, there is an ongoing thread about how lyricists can effectively work with musicians: http://fiftyninety.fawmers.org/content/question-musicians

I had made an observation that there are simply more lyricists-looking-for-musicians than musicians-looking-for-lyricists on this site. I think this thread is an attempt to do an analysis of lyricists vs composers. I don't really follow the analysis itself, but I think the ultimate motivation is to figure out how to attract more musicians to this site who might like to collaborate with the lyricists who are already here.

I don't think the problem is how to attract more people to 50/90. We have plenty of musicians and lyricist and everything in between. The thing is sometimes musicians have trouble finding suitable lyrics to compose because the verses don't match.

When I compose melody for a song I don't compose each verse separately. I don't go: "Hmm...I think I'll change the melody of the third line of second verse to include some extra syllables in the middle." No. I just compose one good verse - a good melody musically - and then repeat it as many times as necessary. The goal is to compose a verse melody that can be repeated two or three times without changing it. Sometimes I wonder if lyricists really understand this kind of musical logic.

Don't want to put down any lyricist, restrict their creativity or make it less fun. But if there would be more lyrics with symmetrical verses then there would be more collabs and everybody would be happy, happy, happy all the time. Smile

But because of this I have started to put free verse poem-like lyrics to music. They don't need to have matching verses. It's good fun too.

@Klaus - "The thing is sometimes musicians have trouble finding suitable lyrics to compose because the verses don't match." - I have noticed this as well, but I've also noticed that it doesn't get called out very often in comments. Maybe it would be useful if we had a tag which lyricists could apply to signal that they are seeking feedback on reasons why their song might make a difficult collab?

There've been a few proposals over the years about how best to achieve this. Some revolve around people setting the parameters themselves (either in their profiles or in the liner notes for each individual song). To illustrate: one year, it was mooted that people could say they were open to either 'hard-hat' or 'soft-hat' criticism (in the absence of either, it was to be assumed they wanted encouragement and praise alone). It has also been suggested that people make their general comment policy explicit in their profile. I've tried that this year, although I still don't get much in the way of criticism.

This is the first time a tag has been suggested, and I don't think it's a bad idea if someone is particularly keen on getting tips on making their writing more 'songlike', provided they haven't made that clear elsewhere.

kc5's picture
kc5

Guilty and I know it. For me personally because as a lyricist getting an idea across clearly is important to me, I do sometimes count the syllables and rhyme scheme as secondary which can affect the flow of a melody, but I also know that a syllable can be stretched out sometimes too or a few notes can be plugged in where perhaps a vocal syllable is sung in another verse within the song. It's no excuse, just giving a possible "why" of it. Honestly, when I do put a melody to one of my own lyrics, I sometimes discover I need to hammer out new phrasing as a result of hitting a snag of inconsistency (and then sometimes it gives a delightful
Uniqueness to the piece that I like-- sometimes it turns out that way.. Not always, but that is a benefit of putting music to your own lyrics, not always possible for lack of the necessary skill. It helps me to "get" what you're saying better than without that experience. Sometimes I should hold onto a lyric a few days more and look at it again for revisions. Sometimes I get cross-eyed from staring at the song too long (revising and revising) and couldn't pick out the inconsistency easily at that point and post prematurely because I'm excited to share ( shame on me). I think structure comments/feedback for the positive or negative in regard to structure, form and rhyme patten/ scheme are something I appreciate as much as someone relaying back what the lyric speaks to them or makes them feel because in the heat of the write, I forget/ overlook things and I'm always learning and refining. Sometimes I might not immediately apply the suggestions to the song because I'm in the creative phase of mind and creating new songs figuring when I have a dry spell I can go back and fix the mechanics and sometimes it's just because my brain is shut down from information overload-- apologies. The great thing is that the lyrics will still be there. Anyway, I might have veered off course there a bit, all intended to circle round to this: I can tweek lyrics if necessary if the problem is identified and I have the brain space to rework it and partly why matching up with long term collab partners seems to work for me--getting a bit familiar with what works for both parties. This is kind of a good conversation to have though slightly morphed from the original topic because I am getting a bit of perspective I didn't have before given by those composing music and sharing in turn my processes as a lyricist in regard to that. Getting this kind of feedback from all of you has been helpful for my understanding.

I choose lyrics to put music to by one simple rule - can I hear music when I read it. If I do, I ask to put that music to the words. I don't hear the music every time I read a lyric. I've put music to things that weren't in a rhyme form and vice versa. I've put music to pre-recorded melodies. I also write lyrics that I don't hear the music for, and those get put up to the universe so the person with the music can find it. I don't choose lyrics to work with based on content or subject matter. The words don't matter to me, it's simply a matter of do I hear music for the words.

On the other hand I do understand lyricists too. For them every new collaborator can be a new source of frustration. The music doesn't fit the mood of the lyrics, musician has needlessly crammed words together or added odd paused. Empty words get emphasis and key words are sung low or swallowed ...etc.

Also it can't be much fun to bleed your inner soul to lyrics and get some unsensitive musician do a quick and careless demo, just so that he could get one more song done.

Uh, not me though. Smile

@Klaus, you make good points but I think given the constraints of 50/90 or FAWM there is very little true collaboration if you define collaboration as a back and forth co-write. Instead, around here someone tosses half a song up and asks "anyone wanna add the other half?". And sometimes someone does. This is one of the very reasons I feel it is important for us to be clear in advance whether we consider FAWM-50/90 "collaborations" to be true co-writes or just exercises where the components revert to sole ownership and control of their writer when the smoke clears. I guess I am inclined toward the latter unless there is a different understanding.

Hi, I agree with everybody!

I look for patterns in a song that I might be able to sing. Then look at what the lyrics are saying. Usually you can tell by the title though. Anyway, a good title doesn’t necessarily deliver the type of patterns that I need to use for singing. So if everything is a match it just matters whether I am up to performing or not. Sometimes during the challenge I collaborate because I need a jump start. For example, a good lyrics usually fits what I need. However, I always felt that 5090 is a personal challenge. The first two times I did this challenge there were no collabs. Then in 2007 I decided to do the full challenge with a lyrics and melody guy. After that I did some collabs and some solo. I was planning to do some collabs this year but I just can’t sing songs right now. Maybe I will write more…I don’t know. I’m doing other stuff in my life too. Thanks for reading this.

Now I have a free freeze song for you.

Out on a boat I forgot my coat
The old man looked and laughed at me
Sing me that song you wrote?
The one about your freeze, your freeze, your freeze

Blue skies cool ocean breeze
Forgot my jacket and I freeze, I freeze, I freeze
Wish I could put my mind at ease
But I start to shiver, I can feel my liver, and I freeze, I freeze, I freeze

She made me feel strange (in a special way)
She made me re-arrange (no kissy face today)
Stepped in to kiss her then I freeze, I freeze, I freeze
Had my chance but I freeze, I freeze, I freeze

@jcollins Fun lyrics. I like the twist you put on "Freeze."

I find lyrics easier than music. All I need is a writing implement, a scrap of paper, and a few minutes time... preferably without distractions and interruptions.
Recording is harder. It's more time consuming for me. The beats aren't too bad. I can get the basics with headphones on. But vocals need a quieter, isolated place. I don't want to be disturbed, but I don't want to disturb others, either. Especially when I'm struggling with a hard line, and keep re-taking.
With a lyrics collab I look for something that touches my heart or my funny bone. I can get in a dark spiral with my own lyrics, so when that happens, I go looking for something lighter. Or something funny dark.

This has become a very interesting conversation. I'm going to hit on a couple of different things. First, I agree that one of the frustrating things here is commenting...both in giving and receiving. There have bee times that I have passed up commenting on a song altogether because I thought it was dishonest and unhelpful to just post praise, but I didn't want to be that one person. I like the idea of a tag. Maybe "open-to-suggestions." Another idea might be to have a "give it to me straight" forum thread. People could post songs that they want criticism on. Maybe they're having trouble with it and they want some 2nd and 3rd opinions.

As far as collaboration and the challenges. It's hard for me to really get into that because I don't collaborate much. Ive done it once here (last year) and a few times in "real life." I find that it's a hell of a lot easier to collaborate in real life, and it's one of the things I've been trying to do more of this year (but things keep getting in the way). There's more letting go of control, which can be frustrating, but there's much better communication. Eye contact and body language can be read You know when something is really important to the other person. You know when to take a step back, and have a better idea of when something isn't working.

I think what [@ustaknow] is asking though is how we best explain what we're looking for in a lyricist or composer. It's difficult because if you don't have a lot of experience writing the music part, you might not know how to explain what you want. I've had that problem in real life too... a woman who thought herself a musician, and in fact, performed a lot more than I did, but when she had a problem with my performance she said all manner of nasty thing to me until I asked her "So you just want me to sing louder." She didn't know what the problem was even. I think being as specific as possible about what you want is always good, but I also think that if you're going to try to add to someone's creation, it's also alright to ask questions. I think people should be saying "Hey, this line doesn't scan quite right. Is it alright to change a couple of words. How does XXX work for you?" Bottom line is that we're all learning here, and we all have our limitations. Collaboration means you're dealing with your own limitations and someone else's. Patience and communication.

kc5's picture
kc5

Regarding communication in feedback, I personally think when commenting on lyrics, to say yorur observations, for example: " you appear to have an ababc pattern rhyme scheme to your verses except for line 4 of the third verse and an abb rhyme pattern to your chorus and the syllables in the third verse have some inconsistency with the other three verses. Is it possible that verse three could become a bridge?" Type of comment is neutral rather than negative or positive because it's relative to the mechanics and simply what's been observed. As a lyricist I find that sort of feedback helpful. Even if the observations have no inconsistencies and you relay back what you see of the mechanics, it's still neutral feedback you can give on a song even if the song is not to your taste and is effective feedback for a lyricist.

All, great input, comment, even the confusion is revealing.

The element I pull from the above data is:
Symmetry in posted lyric, -- so to speak.

Therefore, the idiomatic use of onlineguage is important, i.e., commas, [...], [ - ] etc., arguably is short hand in lieu of Music Theory common language, Std Notation, Lead-sheets, or Score-sheets looking like mind maps.

Therefore, Composers are not willing to Left-hand Chord a Triad, for the Singer to sing over. A classic Frontman, -- issue of accommodation, - prima donna.

So, add that to the Colums of comparison, for definitions of issues/elements.

Moving on:
For me, who has collaborated, or rather mentor-collaborated with kc5, I upfront warn her, I will, -- rewrite the lyrics, and it will morph into a Version, derivative, of the Lyric.

Why, shouldn't, it?

If you work in a Gingle house, you are a contract work for hire person, machine following specific direction that is well laid out, -- sometimes. Other times, you get a box of words, and order them to the "credit" of the "author".

If the "magic" is there, it's undeniable, and any form of Krappe, becomes a decent song...

Other then the above, above me, -- keep it up! Go back to the original, parent discussion, -- reread.

Again, confusion, having no idea of what this is about, -- is the thesis core element. It's all good data.

For folks who know how to write and compose here, -- they will pick up nuggets of do's and don'ts. Yet, the Help section has extensive input on this very topic, -- this is very specific to Lyrics to Composition for non-Musician's. Per the above, needed.

However, each "event", FAWM, will be recovered, -- endurance, longevity, is everything Smile

The best outcome for this thread, is, --- how to quickly, get "This", out of the way, if you can.

The tag, explained_critiuqe_only, or as commented, is a great Method. And, just, doing that, risking a sideways remark. Get that, and stay away, -- effort, valuated. It happens all the time, no? Eh, so what?

-- Cheers!
Better minds, prevailing here, keep going!

For comments, I try to find what I like best. Then I look at something that bugs me, and think "How could this be improved?" Then I try to finish off with something encouraging. It helps me because it forces me to be positive, and look for the good... it lets me acknowledge that it isn't perfect, but look for solutions... So it's probably more a learning experience for me than it is for the songwriter.

It's easier to see number of lines, line length, rhyme scheme, rhyme types. Picking up problems in rhythmic flow from one verse to another is more difficult. It's all going to affect me if I try to put those lyrics to music.

Writing music to someone else's lyrics is easier than a "real" back and forth collaboration. The communication involved for a co-write is much more intensive and time consuming. I've tried some software that was supposed to make it easier - had real time chat and real time audio arranging, but it was buggy and frustrating. In real life, I don't have big blocks of time to sit with my friends and co-write, so I try to make the best use of my time here.

Which I'm out of. So someone else will have to try to figure out what Ustaknow is trying to say. It's fun to be clever, but it can be tiring to read. Have a great day, y'all. See you tomorrow.

Smile Well, I amends, profusely for being so encumbering and ignorant to personal, sensitivities of the gentry, Smile ... yee - hah... I'll let a little blood out now, -- is a teaspoon e'nuff, or, will more be required. Wow..., mom 'n dad don't get me, another misunderstood musician, such a rare thing, indeed. (breath..., it's just a forum linked to another in the context of many other posts ..., it's not the IRL world...)

I think katpiercemusic's, kc5, et al. are spot on in the response... from which can be gleaned for elements in a comparison list of Lyricists vs. Composers, both combined in mentor, for collaboration as per the original thesis ID'd in the parent post; or, as it well morphs, as needed, --wonderful!

From what I can see, there may only be very few, as variables to list.
( --- Again, the Help Category here, -- did/does a great job on this. Maybe, should be Re-labeled, "Read-me-first", ? when folks sign up. I know when new to FAWN this year, I had no idea "what" was going on. Video walk through, orientation?)

Other:
Deductively speaking, Wink -- I see here, why, consistently, -why I don't. It never changes. If you're lucky, you get the rare one-off. In the 2323 "here", so to speak, -- I've had one, in two years.

Sorry. I wasn't familiar with your writing style. I thought you were being clever and intentionally hard to understand. Biggrin Last night I read more of your forum posts, so I owe you an apology. No blood required Smile