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#91658 by RhythmMan
Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:33 pm
I often finish recording a song, and think that it sounds pretty good, or good.

(And - by then, I'm sick of hearing it, too, btw).

But - 6 months later - I have improved my guitar playing skills, and I realize I can now do better than the recording I made.

(You see, when I practice, I try to play stuff that I can not play, so I get better. And I teach myself new things, constantly.)

So anyway, - on a recording, why settle for less than my best? So I re-record the song.

Also - in the industry "pretty good" & "good" are not good enough.

There's a lot of songs which are good or pretty good; but that doesn't cut it, anymore.

To make waves, a song needs to be great, excellent or exemplary . . .

.

To record a pretty good song is fairly simple. To record a good song is 3 -4 times more work. To cut a great song is 50 -60 times more work.

. . . and to record a great song IS work, a lot of work . . .
.
.
Usually, anything can be improved. Practice, practice, practice.
Pick a technique which you've never been able to pull off, and do it 10% better.
Notice tiny, miniscule little mistakes, and ask yourself to play 10% better when you practice.
.
Other people may NOT think you're making insignificant mistakes. They might be noticing your mistakes - but forgiving you, - because they like the rest of what you're doing.
.

You'll be surprised what a goal of 10% improvement will do to your playing skills.
Improve your playing skills, and your song just might 'grow something' new . . .
.
. . . 10% . . .

#91717 by Southernboy
Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:53 am
I`m n the same rut. I have 6-8 songs written. I sit back listen to them think wow this jams. Then a month later I`m like this is`nt gonna cut it. 2 month`s later and more practice I`m back to WOW this rock`s again!
Funniest thing is this now that I have these tunes I seem to want to rip them apart and take a chours`s apart and write a whole nother song around it. I seem to be my worst enemy when it come`s to writing. My bud`s are like killer stuff & so on. I just can`t seem to be pleased though?

Working progress or I`m my own worst allied? Have song`s with full melody lines, arrangments ..... & so on, killer riff`s & still can`t be pleased. Sound like any of you??
Last edited by Southernboy on Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

#91726 by fisherman bob
Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:41 pm
You can also over-analyze a song to death. Did you ever hear of paralysis by analysis? When songs get played to death they lose their spontaneity. When something sounds hot NOW, record it NOW. You might improve it later, BUT the band's enthusiasm for the song might wane. This enthusiasm translates to the recording, just as the enthusiasm playing live rubs off on the audience. Sure you want a song to get technically better, but not at the expense of completely taking your excitement out of the recording. There's just the right time to record a song, DON'T let that right time slip away...

#91728 by sanshouheil
Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:51 pm
I feel our songs are pretty good. Each individuals parts could use polish of course. That to me is all a part of the process. I much prefer doing live performances. The energy and presence of the band along with the interaction with the audience just makes for a lot of fun as well as a more forgiving atmosphere in general.
With our present situation, decent recording quality is not just a plug and go procedure.
Even with our 20+ and growing original song compilation, the whole Band experience is a work in progress.

#102269 by MAJOR MIND
Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:02 am
The song sounds good to you because you like it; it's your song. It's your baby. But others can hear things you can't. Or at least they say they can.

What to do?

#102308 by RhythmMan
Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:58 pm
What to do?
Well, if it's your song - change it and play it any way you want.
.
If you've got parts in it which you want to split apart and use as the nexus for a new song - then - by all means - do so.
.
Or, alternately, use that other, good part of the song for a long, expounded upon ending, or intro. Maybe end the song with this part repeating for 8 measures, for example . . . I've done that several times . . .
.
Or, you can make the song into a longer, 2-part song, where it changes completely, and stays changed . . .
Be careful doing this, though; you can lose your audience . . .
.
But, if you have a great part of a song which you feel is "under-used," then by all means - put it to better use.
Don't treat your initial recording as sacrosanct (unless there are thousands of people who love it the way it already is. If that's the case, you should probably just start a new song, out of respect for your fans).
.
Listen to all the criticisms - take it into account, but make your own decisions.
Listen to all the compliments, and take them into account, too.
But - a warning: if the compliments are from friends and family - you just might want to ignore them.
The compliments which are often the most important are those you get from strangers, who just want to come up to you after a public performance to let you know your song touched them, somehow.
If your song is already in that category - don't change it.
.
It's your song, man. And - you make the rules - or break the rules - for your music.
If you think that maybe it's not finished - then you are right.
Music can be whimsical - you just might want to follow your whims . . .

#102497 by MAJOR MIND
Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:53 am
If I can't hear what's "wrong" then I don't know what to change. Have a listen. Let's see if you can offer some SPECIFIC suggestions. And I know about the drum machine. People complain about the humming or buzzing, whatever. I hear guitar, drums and vocals. When I click on the MP3 I'm not completely overwhelmed by the noise of an airplane flying too low over my house as these guys seem to characterize it. I never know when another musician is giving me an honest opinion. Rivalries are so severe in rock and monies so short, apparently, that some guys want to discourage and knock out all the competition. Don't tell me that element is not out there.

#102500 by MAJOR MIND
Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:55 am
fisherman bob wrote:You can also over-analyze a song to death. Did you ever hear of paralysis by analysis? When songs get played to death they lose their spontaneity. When something sounds hot NOW, record it NOW. You might improve it later, BUT the band's enthusiasm for the song might wane. This enthusiasm translates to the recording, just as the enthusiasm playing live rubs off on the audience. Sure you want a song to get technically better, but not at the expense of completely taking your excitement out of the recording. There's just the right time to record a song, DON'T let that right time slip away...


What induces a musician to "over-analyze a song to death" are complaints he receives from others. Complaints that may or may not be legitimate.

#102503 by MAJOR MIND
Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:59 am
Southernboy wrote:I`m n the same rut. I have 6-8 songs written. I sit back listen to them think wow this jams. Then a month later I`m like this is`nt gonna cut it. 2 month`s later and more practice I`m back to WOW this rock`s again!
Funniest thing is this now that I have these tunes I seem to want to rip them apart and take a chours`s apart and write a whole nother song around it. I seem to be my worst enemy when it come`s to writing. My bud`s are like killer stuff & so on. I just can`t seem to be pleased though?

Working progress or I`m my own worst allied? Have song`s with full melody lines, arrangments ..... & so on, killer riff`s & still can`t be pleased. Sound like any of you??


You really do have to put on the brakes. You have to be decisive. There have been times I've wanted to re-do this and add that after the songs have been recorded AND COPYRIGHTED. You can't keep doing that. It's your kid. But it's all grown up now. It's gonna be what it's gonna be. You gotta move on.

#102601 by RhythmMan
Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:40 am
You can change any song anytime you like.
For example, I have a song I copyrighted 4 years ago which I "trashed" completely.
I grabbed a good bass run out of the song - listened to the song one last time - and promptly forgot about it forever.
If I left that bass pattern in that song, because it was 'done,' then I would have lost a good bass pattern to a mediocre song. (weak chords, weak rhythm, and weak song-structure.)
But the song I put that exact same bass pattern in is a great song, and popular.
Don't try to set rules down, man; go with the flow - but - KEEP flowing . . . don't get hungup on little side-eddies and whirl pools . . .
.
I have another copyrighted song, different style of music. After hearing it several months later, I decided it was way too 'plain' for me.
I hate mediocre songs; this one needed a bridge.
So, I'll be eventually changing it - when I trip across a good bridge which fits.
No hurry - I have another ton of songs to work with.
.
They are your songs - you can work on which ones you want to, when you want to, and in whatever order you want to.
.
An artist best friend is often a trash-can, too . . .
.
If you're unsure about if a song is finished or not - file it away, and forget about it for a few months - and write 10 new songs.
Don't listen to the recording, and don't eevn play it for a lot of months. Write something new, instead.
Unless you're planning on dying anytime soon - it'll still be there waiting for you.
Afyer you've written a bunch of new songs - go back to that song you filed away, and you'll know immediately if it's done or not.
.
No rules . . .

#102606 by fisherman bob
Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:21 am
The bottom line for me if a song is good or not is how does an audience react to it? Especially when most or all of them never heard the song before in their lives. If you get a good reaction to it, then maybe you've got something. If people get up and dance to a song they never heard before then maybe you've got something great...

#102607 by RhythmMan
Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:21 am
Yeah, huh? If an audience tells you it's a good song, you should probably leave it alone . . .

#102608 by MAJOR MIND
Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:20 am
fisherman bob wrote:The bottom line for me if a song is good or not is how does an audience react to it? Especially when most or all of them never heard the song before in their lives. If you get a good reaction to it, then maybe you've got something. If people get up and dance to a song they never heard before then maybe you've got something great...


Tired, tired music, Bob.

But I agree - the audience has to like the song the first time they hear it. That's why I like to incorporate good guitar and vocal hooks. The way I was taught.

Tens of thousands have listened to my songs, and very few have said they didn't like them.

#102609 by MAJOR MIND
Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:22 am
RhythmMan wrote:Yeah, huh? If an audience tells you it's a good song, you should probably leave it alone . . .


About fifteen years ago, I took a cassette tape of my songs to an audition. The guy told me, "Good songs, bad demo."

I've heard most of you guys' songs, and my impression is just the opposite.

#102610 by MAJOR MIND
Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:28 am
sanshouheil wrote:I feel our songs are pretty good. Each individuals parts could use polish of course. That to me is all a part of the process. I much prefer doing live performances. The energy and presence of the band along with the interaction with the audience just makes for a lot of fun as well as a more forgiving atmosphere in general.
With our present situation, decent recording quality is not just a plug and go procedure.
Even with our 20+ and growing original song compilation, the whole Band experience is a work in progress.


I, too, write songs for our LORD Jesus Christ. My songs are harder edge, and they more reflect the "Kickin' ass and takin' numbers" attitude Jesus will exemplify this next time around.

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