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AndyTravis

Songwriting issues

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I think in all honesty, if when the tracks were sent out individually since March I would’ve had decent feedback, I could’ve done more/less on the songs.

But if someone says “yeah I like that” in March/April/May/June then replies in August with “none of that grabs me” - it’s a pain in the crack. 
 

Feel I’ve wasted my time

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as others have alluded too, my take is you need to send out completed songs and not so many of them, just complete 2 or 3 of the best ones and then send them out, and give everybody chance to learn them before the next rehearsal (you may then get suggestions for improving them), the singer sounds like he hasn't got the creative ability to create lyrics or a melody line, it does happen, Fergal Sharkey never had anything to do with the Undertones songs

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4 minutes ago, PaulWarning said:

as others have alluded too, my take is you need to send out completed songs and not so many of them, just complete 2 or 3 of the best ones and then send them out, and give everybody chance to learn them before the next rehearsal (you may then get suggestions for improving them), the singer sounds like he hasn't got the creative ability to create lyrics or a melody line, it does happen, Fergal Sharkey never had anything to do with the Undertones songs

As I’ve said these weren’t all sent out at once.

he’s had ruck loads of time to listen, say yes or no, and work on it.

i sent all 24 again with the note - “you’ve already had 22 of these for months; to save you searching I’ve put them in one place”

I also named them so they could say “Bobby’s balls” is ok or whatever.

I can’t breathe for the lad.

He said upon announcement that we should be doing something “you can do guitar as well trav...” 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, AndyTravis said:

As I’ve said these weren’t all sent out at once.

he’s had ruck loads of time to listen, say yes or no, and work on it.

i sent all 24 again with the note - “you’ve already had 22 of these for months; to save you searching I’ve put them in one place”

I also named them so they could say “Bobby’s balls” is ok or whatever.

I can’t breathe for the lad.

He said upon announcement that we should be doing something “you can do guitar as well trav...” 

 

 

well it sounds like you are going to have to breathe for the rest of the band, they don't seem that bothered, or they don't like your songs but are too nice to say anything, maybe you need a heart to heart gloves off conversation with them

Edited by PaulWarning
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Just now, PaulWarning said:

well it sounds like you are going to have to breathe for the rest of the band, they don't seem that bothered, or they don't like your songs but are too nice to say anything, maybe you need a heart off heart gloves off conversation with them

I’ve been talking with the drummer. He’s into the ideas and has seen them for what they are. He wants to pursue them.

The songs since day one have been based upon my output as a starting point - can’t be that bad.

The guitarist moving to the midlands has killed it a bit.

the singer was the sticking point before guitarist left. 

He’s got a decent enough voice, but came to us from a covers background where the songs are already written and there’s little other than reinterpretation to learn as such.

I’m sort of sat looking at things and deciding what to do with myself.

someones got to write something if we’re to move forward. And I get the impression that Mr Singer isn’t going to be doing it...like I say; he’s had all the opportunity I’ve had to get ideas to us.

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, PatrickJ said:

@AndyTravisI quite liked the Demo you posted in the Auditions thread.  Taking it for it is, an idea / demo to build on I thought it was great

Edited by AndyTravis

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@PatrickJ won’t let me reply underneath.

Thanks for that comment- didn’t think it was the strongest idea, but having just listened to it again - wouldn’t take much to sort.

Just trying different things - the bass is too busy at points. 
 

I might get the kids to bed and reimagine it.

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It sounds like you and the drummer are on similar wavelengths. Singist is going to bail out soon judging by the moving in different directions comment.

I reckon you need a singer/guitarist with some balls and go out as a punchy three piece. Or can you sing and play?

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I've been following the thread.......... and this sounds like a communications problem, not a talent issue.

You could simply straight out ask him how he wants the songwriting to work?

 

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24 minutes ago, BreadBin said:

It sounds like you and the drummer are on similar wavelengths. Singist is going to bail out soon judging by the moving in different directions comment.

I reckon you need a singer/guitarist with some balls and go out as a punchy three piece. Or can you sing and play?

I can sing and play but I hate doing it. Hate my own voice and i prefer someone else doing it.

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39 minutes ago, AndyTravis said:

@PatrickJ won’t let me reply underneath.

Thanks for that comment- didn’t think it was the strongest idea, but having just listened to it again - wouldn’t take much to sort.

Just trying different things - the bass is too busy at points. 
 

I might get the kids to bed and reimagine it.

Please repost when you do .. I've become emotionally invested in the fate of the602.

In fact you should post all 22 ideas, we'll help sort the wheat from the chaff 👍

What happened with Mike "Klinghoffer" Auditionee ?? I'd throw him the track see if he'd add some guitar on top for you #TeamMike.

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2 minutes ago, Nail Soup said:

I've been following the thread.......... and this sounds like a communications problem, not a talent issue.

You could simply straight out ask him how he wants the songwriting to work?

 

Believe me when I say everything is a communication issue with the bloke.

how he wants the songwriting to work...

”Like what I'm saying is we plan a song (bpm, feel, structure, progressions) then pick riffs/ideas from the ones you sent.”

“Or are you thinking pick a few that you've already done to turn into full songs as-is?”

So my point about them being ideas to move forward with?

He then disagrees with me on this and tells me that sending ideas over to work from won’t work.

I really don’t get him. 
 

“I fancy a song at 112bpm...so write something”

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, PatrickJ said:

Please repost when you do .. I've become emotionally invested in the fate of the602.

In fact you should post all 22 ideas, we'll help sort the wheat from the chaff 👍

What happened with Mike "Klinghoffer" Auditionee ?? I'd throw him the track see if he'd add some guitar on top for you #TeamMike.

Wouldn’t want to put you through it mate. Nor put myself on the chopping board even more so😂

I don’t know if I’ve explained myself particularly well, I feel some posters on the thread see me as some mad Richie Blackmore control freak, Some think I’m onto a loser with the singer...and some think I’m just not very good 😂

And Mike was due to Audition on Monday.

when singer told him rehearsal room wasn’t open - he didn’t reply and hasn’t replied since.

Edited by AndyTravis

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3 minutes ago, AndyTravis said:

"I fancy a song at 112bpm...so write something”

Good tempo that, I see where he's coming from.

Also you're a funk band, so the progression is I - IV.  Get him to pick a key (I assume he has limited range so it'll be one of the 3 he's comfortable with) and boom you've got yourself a song 😁

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9 hours ago, AndyTravis said:

don’t know if I’ve explained myself particularly well, I feel some posters on the thread see me as some mad Richie Blackmore control freak,

I don't think it's that at all. In a lot of threads the bass player also runs the PA, sets it all up, books all the gigs, drives the singers mother to bingo... I, and I think most of us, get it. Like most of us on BC you're dead keen to get things going. However others in your group aren't pitching in for whatever reason. It's trying to find what that reason is, doesn't like the way it's being done, insecure, can't be bothered... That's the tricky bit.

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14 hours ago, AndyTravis said:

“I fancy a song at 112bpm...so write something”

Is that a true quote?! My goodness!! If a drummer said that because he had a cool pattern he really wants to play then fine. But a singer?! Is he rapping over a really heavy beat?! Surely "I fancy a slow ballad type song" or "we don't have enough faster songs with a driving beat" is a better comment. Either he struggles to express himself or he's incredibly awkward and just wants to mess you about. 

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18 hours ago, AndyTravis said:

I think in all honesty, if when the tracks were sent out individually since March I would’ve had decent feedback, I could’ve done more/less on the songs.

But if someone says “yeah I like that” in March/April/May/June then replies in August with “none of that grabs me” - it’s a pain in the crack. 
 

Feel I’ve wasted my time

I feel your pain.  I did a couple of demos  during lockdown and sent them to the band,  Nothing as frustrating as your singist has come back, in fact nothing has come back except the guitarist saying "I prefer this one, its a bit like the Strokes"  No comment at all from the others in the band.  I'd actually have preferred them to tell me they hated them than just blank it.

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39 minutes ago, uk_lefty said:

Is that a true quote?! My goodness!! If a drummer said that because he had a cool pattern he really wants to play then fine. But a singer?! Is he rapping over a really heavy beat?! Surely "I fancy a slow ballad type song" or "we don't have enough faster songs with a driving beat" is a better comment. Either he struggles to express himself or he's incredibly awkward and just wants to mess you about. 

No, I was being a tit. It’s basically what he’s getting at.

”we need a slow one”

”a faster one”

talking about “feel” I just booked my head over this a fair bit yesterday and @PatrickJ was a big help - as was a chilled vino once the kids were in bed.

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19 hours ago, AndyTravis said:

“Creatively I'm thinking I've got a different idea of what I want then you guys. If we're going in different directions then that's just how it is and part of life.”

Sounds like he’s one foot out of the door. This sounds like his opportunity.

 

I hate to say it out loud - though it sounds like you've come to similar conclusions - but that quote reads like the opening of a resignation email. You've mentioned that the loss of your guitarist has put a real damper on things, so I wonder if he's lost enthusiasm. Do you think a replacement guitarist would put the spark back in him, or is it time to think about a new singer?

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3 minutes ago, EliasMooseblaster said:

I hate to say it out loud - though it sounds like you've come to similar conclusions - but that quote reads like the opening of a resignation email. You've mentioned that the loss of your guitarist has put a real damper on things, so I wonder if he's lost enthusiasm. Do you think a replacement guitarist would put the spark back in him, or is it time to think about a new singer?

Well, yes to both - sounds awful but the drummer and I really get on, have similar ideas and approaches. 
 

The singer will do things like “send the track over without drums” and then record a really OTT drum take from his electronic kit over the idea.

Again - the ideas/demos he’s done this over are ones I’ve sent as a part of this batch. 

But now they don’t “grab” him - ?

At rehearsals, he’ll pick up a guitar, the bass or sit behind the drums and do the “it’s easy this” routine. Very uncomfortable.

When I was explaining all the shenanigans to Mrs T last night, it was actually a long list Of complaints to consider.

 

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21 hours ago, Monkey Steve said:

my two penneth...

Songwriting is more art than craft and expecting or demanding that band members join in is a waste of everybody's time and efforts if they just aren't any good at it.  No amount of insisting will get them to become good song writers, or song writers who work to your preferred methods.

I've been in bands where everybody wrote their own stuff and brought fully developed songs to the studio to be jammed and arranged; bands where everybody brought riffs and melodies to the band to see what fitted together into a song; and bands where one songwriter demanded that everybody play exactly the parts that he wrote for them. It's not about what works for you, it's about what works best for everybody.

If the singer isn't interested in writing lyrics or melodies, then get somebody else to do it - Rush and Akercocke (niche reference for the extreme metal fans there) haven't done too bad for letting the non-singing drummer write all the lyrics, and I've certainly been in bands where some members haven't wanted to participate in the writing or arranging, they just want to be told what to play/sing.  In cases where a singer has been slow to sort out the lyrics and melodies, I've written my own, but with the message that they are free to change whatever they want if they thunk they can do better (to help soothe their massive egos...they are singers, after all)

In the OP's position I'd do a bit more work at my end - start putting things together and rather than sending out 24 separate bits, how about one or two more developed songs.  That might help focus the others on what they think works, and prompt them into developing things if it sparks an idea, or if they think it can be done better

shout out for the akercocke boys. Going off piste if I may David Grays lyrical work on the Voices album London was amazing

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6 hours ago, AndyTravis said:

talking about “feel” I just booked my head over this a fair bit yesterday and @PatrickJ was a big help - as was a chilled vino once the kids were in bed.

It was a genuine pleasure!

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I'm glad you created this thread @AndyTravis - it's interesting because the problem of creating new songs must be one that haunts most bands - the one thing I've wanted for years was some kind of writing partnership and I guess we all feel we'd like that because we've all got our limitations and get stuck or run out of ideas or steam. There is a load of good advice and ideas in this thread that's why I had it in mind for a while to come back and  go through it and read everything again - I liked a lot of comments first time through and liked a few more this time round.
 

The drummer sounds great so I'd focus on trying to work with him and I think you'll just have to try and accept the limitations and lack of useful feedback and engagement from the others - there are plenty of decent musicians and singers who just aren't interested, able or willing to get into songwriting - it's often not a simple or straightforward thing to do - it's difficult. You probably stop at some point because you aren't sure how best (or whether) to proceed and this is where you could just try and work out what input of feedback you want from the others - sometimes it helps to narrow down the problem for them. Do you just want the singer to write some words or even just work out a melody. I'm think it's hard to be too definite about rating fragments of songs - even with a few words - I've found it can take a very small change, a spark of imagination, to save something that seems to be going nowhere; those sparks often come through persistence imho. 

I have a lot of unfinished songs where I have a verse, maybe 2 and maybe even the bare bones of a chorus - I'm good at starting things - OK on the words, melody, singing, finding chords but I'm not good at creating great rhythms or riffs or at finishing things. Most of the time I have no idea what a song might be about - I make up words and chords by improvising them both at the same time - I get a few more chords then add a few more  words with a melody and this prompts a few more chords, the structure starts to evolve - it's all very ad-hoc - I never write all the music or all the words first. My closest musician friend of nearly 19 years now is completely different - he composes and records all the music for one song (often has the melody completely worked out too) then frets (he says) over the lyrics for weeks but then seems to write them relatively quickly - he doesn't do what i do and flit from one new song to another when I run out of ideas for one song. We both have our limitations but overall, he is far more successful than I am - I had hoped we would manage to work together on his or my songs but it's never happened - I'm confident sitting down with a guitar and blank page and I just don't think he would feel comfortable putting himself on the spot to work that way yet he's a good musician, singer, songwriter - we are just different. I send him fragments as I go along wondering if he has much to say - I'm open to suggestions; he sends me songs that are completely finished and really he is not open to any feedback at all but all credit to him - he gets the job done - I'm an admirer even if I think some of his songs could be improved with a bit of feedback earlier on in the process.

So - the conclusion I've come to - and I think this is where you might be too - is that, if I want a supportive songwriting partnership - I need to find the right person or people to work with or just try and do the whole thing myself - could you and the drummer put your own band together or is there enough of what you want and need in the rest of the band for you to stick with it?

If the singer has only contributed a few songs in a a couple of years I think you can just forget about trying to involve him. Does your band play many covers? Does the singer suggest any? If that's more in line with his background singing covers - maybe he can focus on that, finding interesting, possibly little known songs, or thinking about ways to bring something new to old songs - I liked Noel Gallagher's version of Help - using a lot more minor chords to suit the lyrics better - even a mashup. 

What's happened anyway - any progress or how you are going to work with your band to satisfy your want to create more original songs? You sounded a bit frustrated you just hadn't had any help or feedback from the band that was that useful. The limitations of the lockdown aren't likely to be helping - I've found my friend most helpful when we've been in the same room together and I have his full attention on a fragment I've started on - he's nowhere near as engaged when I've emailed over an mp3. 

Keep us posted!

cheers

Neil

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@lemonstar

Hi Neil,

We’ve pushed on with a new guitarist who’s ace, things were looking Good and then (Half expectedly) the singer called it a day.

We’re now In the process of auditioning his replacement.

Look for “602 auditions” thread which is like a basschat version of war and peace - I think I started that thread around the time of this one.

Thanks for your reply - I was very frustrated, but I’m hopeful now.

Andy

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