What we love about music writing

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So, here we are again. Indeed, we are Smile

-- So, what do we love about music, songwriting?

-- How have things changed over time?

-- What is your plan moving forward?

-- How have you improved over time, or not, and why (do you think so)?

And since this thread, [ read the URL path, is in the "Free for All" topic ] ... what I'll say is,
---- in the flow of thought, the free for all writing [ is ] what gets me writing and I love it. I do. Then, I musicate.

I noticed recently, over a weekend -- asked to evaluate a track and uber-dub. Hmmmm, weekend brain, had no Chaos. Come Monday moring...? ... I didn't have time in the day for "WORK" Smile hahhh and all the stuff that flowed for "it", the track. (Came out stunningly... Wink yup, Chaos... it's a wonderful sorting tool.)

So, for example, IRL, ---- I met someone recently (not "here"), --- who had a buddy on another thread (in another country, not his either)... and, well, this person, how to say?, in fact did not write when "level"... many do not, they wrote when "down", or "manic". So, when another different co-hort asked me, "do we need to be concerned?" No Smile -- just how they are. (That foreign country thread Red Flagged his posts and warned would be referred to that countries federal police Wink for commenting "suicide" online. Indeed, different countries, different rules. (I have a story about that, but to much all at once for now, so, skip it, Smile for a change Wink )

-- So, we all need to allow enough room for each other to be ourselves and over time in a long term relationship.

I've been around artists and musicians my entire life (O M G), ---- and most groups I've been in IRL, all parts of the country (big cites, back woods appalach), it's like the lobby of a State Mental Hospital waiting room (lots of family in the business at one time)... just how it is, -- artists, and normal folks? they all be crazy. I am. Yes? No? Maybe? Am I even here? Is this even important? What would Aristotle say? Ah, but I digress, again, down another rabbit hole. ADD-OCD, it's a fun place to be! And, I get ALLOT done Wink (I'm the boss, so plenty of help. -- Wow, look at that bird go Wink ... hahhh! )

-- So what? The art and music et al, it's just beautiful to behold, ain't it? Wink And it's all music and all about the music.

Life, live it, it may be almost over.

What a great post. It's morning where I am and your thoughts make for a very positive start to the day. Perhaps the last sentence is a little sombre but not necessarily so.
'What do we love about music, songwriting?' you ask. So many things of course but here's one to start with. I love the unpredictability of writing a song. It can change so much during the writing process.

I love creating something that (hopefully) didn't exist before. Of course we have our influences, or oft used chord progressions, but it's a kick to bring something new into existence

To answer the original questions:
What do I love? Lately, songwriting offers a tenuous grip on sanity and stress relief.
How have things changed over time? I don't take songwriting, or myself, as seriously as I did 15-20 years ago. Now I write entirely for my own entertainment and amusement. I listen to my own songs quite often - if anyone else does (and mainly that's just FAWMers and 5090ers), that's cool, too.
Plan moving forward? I do in fact have a few goals for how to use my songs. Mainly in the yoga world I inhabit.
How have I improved over time? I can write a decent song really, really quickly. Then on to the next one.
Good thread!

This was such a positive thread that it got me to take up an open tuned electric guitar, add some slide and make a happy tune. might add vocal later but this is my instrumental way of stating what I love about music and songwriting. Thanks for starting this thread @ustaknow
Here's the tune http://fiftyninety.fawmers.org/song/42757

Two things come to mind. I love when the pieces fit together. I love that feeling when a song clicks and you just feel like there it is. I made that. I get a huge dopamine rush when I complete a song and I feel like I did it "right." I guess maybe I'm a little addicted. Addiction runs in my genes so I'd rather it be this than other stuff.

I also like getting my point across, though I do that less in music than I'd like. I'm good at written expression, but I'm not always good at getting people to listen to me. When I write down my opinions I get folks telling me that I need to write to my representatives or that I should do editorials for newspapers. Sometimes people tell me I should run for office. But when I speak up in a staff meeting everyone looks at me like I'm new. I'm 41 and I've been in that school for 12 years but I just don't present myself in a way that demands attention I guess. When I write a song and I sing it, it's different. People pay attention then. I like that feeling.

Thanks for putting this up there.

I think what I love most about music and songwriting is the feeling of putting together a puzzle from scratch. I love looking at structure and how to make the music and lyrics fit together in a way that works. I really love it when things just kind of "download" and boom, there's a song.

How things have changed over time: I feel like I'm finally creating the music I wanted to create when I was in middle school trying to write heavy rock songs on the piano, lol. Basically over my lifetime I went from classical to pop to rock to folk to ukelele silliness, then back to rock/pop. FAWM and 50/90 have been the main vehicle for my experimenting with different styles.

As far as plans to move forward, I'm releasing my new album on August 1st and I've been trying to get into sync licensing, although I'm still a baby at that. My dream is of course to be a full-time, self-employed musician, but we'll see, lol.

I've definitely seen improvement in my own songwriting just by playing around with different styles and structures. It's fun to take a song you really like and try to emulate the things you like about it without trying to recreate the song. That activity has been a huge factor in my progress and allows me to play with things like production styles and sounds.

I can really relate to every comment in this thread. If I responded directly, it would be way to much. Smile so, won't, hahhh! One thing that is the same, but maybe in reverse is that I have never taken my music more seriously, personally, and write entirely for myself; and the more I do that the more others become interested. By that I mean, hahhh!, I've never posted my stuff less, or not at all, and had more people look for and find it. Counter intuitive in a good way. (The last song I was not sure about, so to keep folks from downloading it, put the max amount bandcamp allows, - I figured, that will keep it there until fully comfortable Smile But, hey, I'd be very comfortable at that level if they really wanted it Smile hahhh! Life, it's a funny thing.)

-- It's so nice to read the above comments, really great.

Music is the one constant in my entire life and is in the core of my being. There is often a song playing in my head triggered by current environment, overheard somethings, and my own feelings. When the song playing in my head is one I wrote then I know I did something. Similar to what @katpiercemusic I have channeled my addiction tendencies to music and songwriting.

The other day I wondered how ten years or more past version of myself would feel about 2020 events. One aspect of that is that year 2010 and earlier versions of myself would be amazed at how many songs I can now play and have performed, and as @Chip Withrow mentioned how fast I can write a song and how many I have written. In 2010 I had written a total of less than ten songs and it took weeks or months. I could only play a few chords, and struggled with playing in from of anyone. I only played from a lead sheet. Now I can put a song puzzle as [Robyn Mackenzie] said in an hour or less. I have memorized (and forgotten) more than I knew how to play in 2010 or before. 2010 and earlier versions of me would be amazed at my meager performance skills.

At age 60, and currently in a retirement preview mode, I still want to write and perform music just for fun. I hope to keep writing and posting songs on interweb challenges as long as I have a universe of meaning to write about. I will likely continue to cull and refine the Bandcamp longer term postings. Future projects likely include 1) developing a proper catalog to organize the songs I have written; 2) Edit/rewrite/rerecord some of them; 3) Continue working on my electric car POV musical project; and 4) whatever 2021 and future versions of me find meaningful and fun.

dzd's picture

Music to me well it kind of just is.... kind of always has been, songwriting, there isn't so much a love of it, as I often hate parts/aspects of it, but as others have stated its an addiction or at the very least a therapy.
Things have changed over time, as it becomes more and more clear to me it isn't just a "hobby" believe me, I've tried to find others, and to put such childish things away so to speak..... to no avail.
If I had plans moving forward that would always be nice.....planning anything for that matter might be something I should look into someday Smile
@AndyGetch I can so relate to an earlier and younger version of myself being shocked and amazed at my meager performance skills.....one of those things it seems that the more you know the harder you try, and the bigger you fail. Ahhhh to be young/dumb and just not have any cares anymore Wink I can channel that sometimes, as long as I know nobody is listening Wink which is usually the case hahah.

Back before I started making my own music, I was always trying to hear in songs the way they worked - it sent me down the rabbit hole of good hi-fi, so that I could hear what was going on more clearly, to be able to dissect the songs. Songwriting and the creation of the music for the songs is an extension of that - seeing if those bits and pieces that are in my head from all the listening can be put back together in shapes of my choosing.

I suppose the real joys come from a combination of satisfaction when the pieces fit into something that sounds 'finished', the pleasure in having created something at all (for someone in a job that is all about strict procedure and process, a creative outlet of any kind is a matter of sanity) and the unexpected joy of listening back to an old track and it sounding much better than you remember it.

As far as improvement goes - I think my songwriting improved rapidly in the years immediately after starting FAWM and 50/90, then mostly plateaued, though occasionally I surprise myself. Over the last couple of years it has been production that has been improved - things are sounding better (at least when I'm not forced to record vocals in the car, as I have been this year) even if the songs themselves are no better musically or lyrically.

Aha! A multi-part exam question! I usedta romp through these! Lessee:

-- So, what do we love about music, songwriting?
I didn't even know i COULD till I was fifty. I need to make up for all that lost time!

-- How have things changed over time?
I can write freely and fast and effectively and professionally but oh! it was an ego-beating learning process. Which is why I love FAWM/5090, which gave me the courage to lunge into the Real World and a place to return to lick my wounds, amputations etc and get motivated again.

-- What is your plan moving forward?
Trying not to die. I'm serious. For now, no more Grand Designs, the last nearly killed me, and musically,artistically, it was a huge success but trauma, disappointment and angst-wise, it could have been worse, I guess. At least, no-one actually died because of it.

-- How have you improved over time, or not, and why (do you think so)?
Improved? I believe I have. Others may disagree. The why: it's the simple 10,000hour practice rule.

Do I get my diploma now?....no, wait....got one of them...

So, what do we love about music, songwriting?
The act of creation is a feeling/experience unlike most others. I liken it to flying. I'm addicted to it. To the point where I don't really improve at songwriting all that much because the actual act of writing a song is such a high. I guess I'm addicted to it.

How have things changed over time?
I'm more aware of what I'm doing, how I'm doing it, the tools I have and how to use them, some of the tools I lack. I have gotten "better" but what is that, exactly? Some of it is performance. Some of it is pure songwriting. Some of it is undefinable.

What is your plan moving forward?
"Releasing" more music. Re-recording to a higher standard or taking decent recordings and fixing the details and putting it "out there." Maybe submitting some stuff to song libraries for possible sync licensing, etc., (as I have recently been advised to do.)

So, in a four day period, it seems as though "hate" is more popular than "love".

68 comments for the Hate thread, but had a head start. (Boy I am glad my name is not Nancy.)
13 comments for the Love thread. (And, -- posted in the Free for All Forum so I can't risk being "Locked" again Smile !! Sea...?!? Though, never was clear why, all things, considered, ~now~. Ah, to be a cool-kid... Wink )

So, (as of this moment):
If my math is correct?
5.23 x 13 = 68

So, a little over 5 x's more popular.

So, I ask myself, -- are folks really tired of Hate? Are they really not interested? Or do they gravitate toward it. It could explain, well, allot, -- currently, generally speaking.

Is this analogous to our current state, condition?

Well, certainly not for me to consider, more than notice, but, I did. So, notice taken!

-- -- -- > I ~ wondered ~... and well, derUgo! Wink < -- -- --

Another lightening rod post, just seeing what strikes and self identifies, be that what it may.

-- Well, all the best to all; and, now, we shall Sea...!

Oh, a thought just came, before I go..., maybe it only takes a fifth of Love to balance out the Hate... wiskey rye... is Love a hundred proof? Wink could be.

@dzd The harder I try the bigger I fail too, but somedays I just might fly Smile
@atitlan yes learning from the songs that move me and how to shift the music relative to emotion also helped me immensely.
@tcelliott yes to 'undefinable' learning. I want to say that what I feed my subconscious and what comes back out falls into that category.
@Stephen Wordsmith when you get your diploma let me know!
@ustaknow thanks for starting this thread! I want to believe that love always wins! I would also humbly suggest that more of the other threads and most of the song comments have love at the root. Makes it more difficult to keep score though Smile

IA's picture

Conflict demands action.

People build their identities around belief systems. When those systems are under attack, they must be defended, or the identity might be destroyed.

Love doesn't require any sort of action. It just exists.

So, you see, it's not really fair, because they can't be quantified similarly. Those numbers merely tell you that hate is more conflict-oriented than love.

No that’s not it. Maybe this. Yeah closer. Still not there. What about? Yeah that, but with this. Ok now together. One more time. Ok done.

I'll jump in here, ---having read a bit of both the 'hate' thread and this here 'love' thread, I'd rather respond to the 'love' thread. To answer the thread title 'what we love about music writing'... for me, its many things, but I think its a way to use the so-called 'right brain' and 'left brain' in equal measure- that is, both the verbal/intellectual side and the more instinctual musical side. I get a lot of satisfaction out of it at least some of the time, tho, like anything, my involvement and interest can ebb and flo.
About a week ago I was on a great little songwriting spree, but this week life has intervened and I've been bus with other things, plus my motivation can go up and down in writing/creating new songs at times. At a bit of a crossroads right now on how much more I'll do here in the short term.... not to say I won't do any more, Im sure i will (maybe even late tonight or over the weekend) .. but,, we'll see. anyway, later!

dzd's picture

@JamKar I think that sums it up Smile

and while true you can't have love without hate....they're really not opposites as they're both such strong feelings, the opposite would basically be a strong indifference, can't even really throw a nihilist into that as they have very strong feelings that they feel and believe nothing Smile

I find this very interesting and revealing.

Consider, "This" thread is under "Free for All". The other is not.

Consider, this thread you can say freely what you may care to. The other, wow, no, you can not. You can't necessarily even agree.

Consider, the facts of:
Hate is the abscence of Love. Love is the abscence of Hate. What does that than mean?

Does this thread shine a 5000 watt light on what I considered it may? Yes. How bright is Lightening if even momentary.

It as well revealed Love within some I am glad to see that it exists within.

If one gets angry with being properly framed in facts, well, this thread did not do it, ironically they did it theirselves.

Do not equate Hate with Violence and then the action of Opression and Evil, -- all of what we see or do not see in those collated words within the different threads. All seperate, standalone elements in that tool belt.

However, Love, that one powerful element, 5:1 was it? (so far), as this did, defeats all of them. And, all one has to do, -- is engage it, and loose the weight and work and cancer of the others.

What I love about songwriting is that it often feels like a collaboration even when I'm writing by myself.
I've woken up in the morning with fully formed lyrics or songs already in my head.
Where did they come from?
Or I'll be doing some sound manipulation or something and things "accidentally" fall right in to the perfect place with no effort on my part.
It's as if the music is writing itself sometimes.
I love the feeling I get when that happens.

I love how challenging it can be and at the same time, how some songs seem to write themselves.

edit: I see @Fuzzy just covered that, sorta, but I also like the challenge. For one, we do some things because they’re difficult. Those tough songs to write, when you get stuck or lose steam, they make the easy songs seem divinely inspired, almost spookily so.

I think what Fuzzy just said above, -- captures some of what works for me. Well put.

=== === === === === ===
Other, from the other side?:

See, [it worked, -- gone] Wink

There's an old saying ? for every unpleasant thing one does, it may take Five "good" ones to make up for it, 5:1... I guess there is something to that old tale Smile

- Satan's Bait, just don't take it.

=== === === === === ===
Oh and look at the Dates, 20th - 25th today, -- just say'in, just say'in... 5:1 ---- who knew?! Weird aye?

For me, music is the perfect blend of art & science. This speaks to the two powerful sides of my personality. My wild artistic side & my rational über-logical side. You need creativity & inspiration - but you also have to use science to make music (math, physics, technology, &c…). I really think that Music is the perfect melding of Art & Science; Chaos & Order - even Emotion & Rationality. And if I didn't have music, if I couldn't play my guitar & record moments in time (because let's face it: that's what I'm really doing. I'm not recording songs: I'm capturing a particular feeling during a particular moment in time), I'd probably go insane (moreso than I already am - since no one is "normal". Not that I WANT to be "normal" LOL). Even if I didn't have the equipment I have right now (read: technology); I'd find a way to record those frequencies (read: physics) following the beat of my heart (read: math) & capture my inspiration (read: art) when my Muse (read: spirit) dictates.

See You In The Shadows…

@Candle yes, that's a great observation.

For a time, in my region there looked like that may be a trend of "corporate bands" forming... since many as you say, math and etc. are musicians as well.

Actually that's how in part I presume how, e.g., "www .altso .org" got a 2x's a year, fairly high end fund rasier. Once a year in Manhattan, a descent venue is engaged in the Fall and many "Wall Street", finance, and other corp. pub face knowns come out and do their thing. They do it in one other city that I am aware of.

Anyway, -- that would be a great trend to see proceed.

Side note observation, in today's context... Smile :
Wow, imagine, a corporate picnic where folks had a good time and liked each other and jammed all day... hmmm, what would that be like. Well, one day some country culture may be capable of sustaining that! I wonder what it would take for that group formation to occur?

dzd's picture

@ustaknow would take a utopia Biggrin One oil-field company I used to work for managed to pull it off, their picnics were over a long weekend huge yearly ordeals.....but it was a ground-up sort of company(a real rarity, I now know) which had a lot to do with it, nobody there wearing a suit to work, hadn't put in the years/blood/sweat that even the lowest paid employee had. I started as a small kid just mowing some of that guys grass doing some other various yardwork and got year end bonuses that consisted of more than just a cheap crappy ham and a thank you card hahah.

Was a lot of great music at those things, even if they weren't "practiced "professional" veterans"........they knew what it was to put on some entertainment, moreso than a lot that have been supposedly doing it for years Smile Another thing I love about music, especially true with live music.........when it's genuine and done for genuine reasons(to entertain, not pad your own ego Wink )........it always shines though, and nobody cares if you're a bit off-key, hit a few wrong notes, forget lyrics or just make it all up as you go..... as long as you're having a good(or bad) time others will to.


-- Yes, indeed.

Great stuff, great stuff.