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Parker Lounge => ON MUSICIANSHIP AND THE ART OF PLAYING => Topic started by: simonlock on February 06, 2008, 11:15:40 AM

Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 06, 2008, 11:15:40 AM
Guys, I am lined up to get a lesson with Martone on songwriting. I'm overwhelmed with expectations and flooded with too much information that I'm still trying to wrap my brain around. How the hell do you go about writing something meaningful? I like a lot of aspects of my playing and feel that what I do already should work for at least half of a song. The trouble is I'm not very good at writing those hooky riffs. When I hear an instrumental that is really good it usually contains a solid motif that is repeated and/or modified. Thing is these really shocking parts that get my attention aren't the type of thing that you just pick up the guitar and play. Sure once you get a riff down it's easier to modify slightly but the first time it's gotta be worked out. Whats a good way to start?

I thought about designing a song on paper first. Using a paint by numbers formula like ABCA or something and then developing a vision. I thought I'd get a reason for the song before i even start and then try to amplify that feeling and try to tell a story. For a melody line I was thinking of writing lyrics that I would only use to develop the melody and then work out some crazy passages to add fire to the statement.

I can listen to phenomenal playing that has beautiful phrasing but if it doesn't have something mindblowing in it I'm not very interested. I've bought 8 CDs lately from Guitar Nine and was pretty underwhelmed. It made me realize just how remarkable Martone is. I don't want to write tunes that are just shred. I want each one to have it's own signature and feel. I suppose having such high expectations is a limiting factor so hopefully with support from you guys and help from Dave I may just pull something off. I just dont want to improvise an entire tune leaving everything to chance.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: bno on February 06, 2008, 11:45:45 AM
quote:
Originally posted by simonlock

 Whats a good way to start?

Start simple.  Seriously.  It sounds like a cliche but it is a good way to start.  Make little ideas and expand them.  Set an attainable goal that you can accomplish.  Some great music comes from small ideas.  Beethoven's 5th, Bach's fugues, Paul McCartney's "Yesterday".  You like shred so create a simple melody that you can then fill out with shred scales and lines.  Then play with it.  Backwards.  Forwards, upside down, modulate, half tempo, double tempo, change modes and scales, alter the rhythm, alter where the phrase starts in the measure, change the underlying harmony.  Word phrases are a good way to generate some rhythmic and melodic ideas.  Take a piece that you like and mimic without copying.  Or go anti - find a piece you just hate, listen to it closely and try to create something that's exact opposite.  Eventually you'll hit on something that grabs you and off you go.  Learning to create original music is a worthwhile struggle.  Even a giant sequoia redwood started as a sprout.  It just takes time.
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: mojotron on February 06, 2008, 12:45:51 PM
IMO, it's kind of like constructing a speech, or a conversation, where right in the middle you want to make a big point and then find a way to leave.

For instance - you have the really cool set of arpeggios that work great over the Key of Am into Dm/F then back - lets say it goes:

Am -> G7 -> Bdim then transitions into F with -> C7/9 -> Dm7 ->Am (repeat)

Let’s say that that is what you want to build the song around...

So, now you want to lead up to it with a simple chorus/verse combo that transitions into the making the arpeggio work the break...

So, you could start the song with a simple chordal riff going between 3drs, 4ths or 5ths in the Am, G7, or Dm7 chords as a chorus

Then add a verse which is a longer section - using single notes - sustained with lots of space to develop the supporting parts - rhythm guitar, bass, and drums.

Then position the parts to do something like:

chorus-intro, verse, verse with a bit more intensity, verse, chorus, verse, break-arpeggio thing, chorus, re-break-arpeggio thing and play it out to the end.

I think the advise about looking a instrumentals that do not work is very good advice. On CD that just really pains me to listen to is constructed so that every phrase is repeated twice, exactly like it was played the first time.... throughout the whole CD: So, I know I hate that so I remember not to do that. Another thing that bugs me is the lack of intensity in recordings - so I use a fair amount of bends from 4ths-up-to-5th to root (on the next lower string) then hit the octave or 7/9/11th above the root really hard like a slap in the face... and I generally throw in some Bloomfield licks - not out of key, but the kind that make people wonder what key they were in until the next chord hits... during the slower parts... it's all about controlling tempo - going form slow to fast in an artful way as well as controlling dissonance going form maj/min triads to min/min/min in an artful way as well.

Guys like Satriani have perfected a format that lends itself to focusing on the cool part of the song. Guys like Eric Johnson have done things totally different, but still very cool IMO.

Hope it helps.

--
Mike
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: joeypazz on February 06, 2008, 02:12:30 PM
By no means am I an expert.  But the key thing to do, in my opinion, is to get a nice hook.  Well, that doesn't exactly sound hard to type.  However, we all sit down and play our guitars and stumble onto a cool riff every now and again.  Base your song around that riff.  Let there be a 'theme', if you will.  You need to establish the theme/riff in the beginning.  Then, build out from that.  

If I can post an example of something that my group has done.  We do mostly instrumental stuff.  Mostly Christmas stuff.  The reason I wanted to post this, aside from shameless self promotion :-), is because I can tell you how we arrived at the riff.  This arrangement is a derivation of a Gary Hoey version.  So by no means am I (or my group) taking full credit.

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=DRNW3YLI

Anyway, we basically tried to start out with a riff that really catches you at the beginning.  Then, we use that riff all throughout the song.  This is a recognizable song, so you can hear where the riff/hook is injected throughout.  

As the poster above me states, guys like Dave Martone, Satriani, Vai and others have a great concept of this.  One of the best examples I can think of is Vai's "For the Love of God".  He constantly brings back that melody throughout his playing and it shows.

I hope this helps.  I'm really not trying to self promote as much as it probably seems.

Parker Fly Deluxe, Ibanez Custom, Breedlove Focus Maple, Rainsong DR-1000
Steinberger XQ4, Warwick FNA Jazzman
Bad Cat Cub II, VHT Pitbull, Mesa Rect-O-Verb, David Eden WT-300, etc.

http://s198.photobucket.com/albums/aa33/joeypazzalia/Gear/?start=all
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 06, 2008, 05:18:20 PM
Mike, thanks I get what you're saying. I kinda like the idea of building the framework and theme first I think. Although if you have a great hook like Joey's way I could always build around it. Working from such a small bit seems overwhelming to me because there are just too many directions you can take.

A great help so far. I guess for me it's about conceptualizing it first. Because I'm not used to playing songs or with a band I don't tend to think in intro,verse,chorus,bridge,solo,verse,ending terms.

Maybe thinking about it in a multitrack editing arrangement might help. I need some funky riffs too.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Paul Marossy on February 06, 2008, 06:59:03 PM
Here's something mojotron said recently that might help (from this post- http://forums.parkerguitars.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2267):

"I started listening to Satriani when the Surfer album came out (as in real vinyl) - I thought that recording was as big of a revolutionary step for guitar/rock music as Ah Via Musicom, VH1/1984, IOU, {insert your favorite recording here}. He took some simple songs and drove the heck out of them musically, with technique and attitude - it was/is a very impressive statement. The next recording - the blue album - was great, but I started to see a sort of Satriani 'formula' forming:

It goes something like this:
- cool intro
- verse (repeat progression 3-4 times)
- chorus (featuring a small transition using a really cool harmonic change to a nice mode/scale change) repeating the chorus progression one or 2 times
- repeat verse progressions
- expanded chorus (featuring a more distinctive mode/scale change) but the length of the chorus is the same
- transition to something new - sometimes related to the intro
- repeat the verse progressions
- wrap-up"


Maybe this is where his "pop sensibility comes from? Anyhow, it has worked well for Satriani, might be worth a shot...


__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 06, 2008, 07:31:17 PM
I've always loved what Satch does with his tunes. Again some very valuable information. That sort of song construction awareness is something I just haven't developed enough. I'm certainly going to try to come up with a good structure before I start writing. It sounds like the vision process would have a lot more meaning that way rather than trying to just start at the beginning and stop at the end.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Paul Marossy on February 06, 2008, 07:44:13 PM
quote:
That sort of song construction awareness is something I just haven't developed enough.


Yeah, I am in the same boat.

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: prjacobs on February 06, 2008, 09:26:38 PM
Hi Simon,
All of the suggestions above may be helpful.  They are certainly worth a try.  At a certain point, I think that we start out by imitating what we love.  Then later we take what we've learned and feel, and do more of our own thing.   All of the intellective planning is great, it can set the groundwork, but the spark of inspiration has nothing to do with your intellect.  I never know what I'm going to write until the moment I write it. Well, to be fair, I have been asked to write things " in the genre of," but even then there's the moment of something coming out of nowhere. Just let what you love about music inspire you.  Maybe sometimes it's a melody, sometimes a rhythm, sometimes a chord progression, sometimes an emotional experience. Maybe you just want to be cool and get the girl... For me, it's an initial inspiration developed with whatever musical skill I have,and more importantly, more inspiration.  The more you know, the more you can develop your inspirations.  Ask any composer and they'll tell you it just "comes to them."  It's sort of the other Trickle Down Theory.  The greatness of Bach or Beethoven may start with a simple theme, but their incredible musical skills turn those melodies in to fugues, quartets, symphonies. If you have any doubt about something that you've written, put it aside and work on something else.  I am privileged  to be constantly writing original music. The high volume of work takes the pressure off me and I feel I don't have to change the world with every note that I write.  Each piece that we create has a life of its own, and must be accepted on it's own terms. Don't waste your time comparing yourself to anyone.  No standards.  Since your doing something new, allow yourself time to develop.  You may think that you suck and then all of a sudden come up with something that you love.
  Sorry for this convoluted, perhaps touchy/feely answer.  Take the pressure off of yourself and let it come through you.  You are bringing something into the word that didn't exist before. With any luck it may have a long happy life.
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: ckyvick on February 06, 2008, 10:23:48 PM
try different things, just jam around untill something comes out, then take that and build on it, try doing it on paper first, try doing it this way that way try everything and find out what works for you as an individual writer. do things you wouldnt normally do, use a scale of a different key for the solo, so many possibilities...
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: mountaindewaddict on February 06, 2008, 10:24:06 PM
Hey Simon - I'm a real "little leager" when it comes to this, but occasionally I'll play something that I really like.  I've noticed that sometimes I'm just imitating sounds in my world.  Maybe if you just need inspiration for a hook or something, you could go to a place that has a "soundscape" that you like with your guitar, and just try to play what you hear going on around you?  BTW, congrats on the new teaching position and the lesson with Martone.

MountainDewAddict (Casey)

Gear:
Parker P-44, Takamine G-Series,  Digitech GNX4, Korg AX3A, Crate Powerblock 150, Various other assorted pedals and gizmos

"Remember, if at first you don't succeed, you're doing it wrong."

God Bless!
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 06, 2008, 10:38:26 PM
Thanks Casey.Thanks PR, I'm a touchy/feely kinda guy so your reply was right up my alley. Hey how does a guy get into writing for shows/commercials/movies etc anyway? I know you've had VERY pro experience and likely a few connections up your sleeve. How did you come into it?

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: larrybgoode on February 11, 2008, 11:59:54 AM
Might sound strange but what works for me is to sometimes come up with a song title first, or determine a mood or atmospheric scene that I'm trying to paint.  Then I begin to compose to achieve that mood or theme, almost like a movie soundtrack.  Also, my best stuff almost always starts out in my head rather than with a guitar in my hands.  This way, I'm not limited to what I know or what's easy to finger on the guitar.  It makes for some more innovative and sometimes unguitar like riffs.  And for variations on the main theme, do things to morph it.  Start on a different beat or throw in some unexpected spaces to get some start/stop stuttering or grooving syncopation to the original ideas.  And record your stuff.
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 11, 2008, 01:02:23 PM
quote:
Originally posted by larrybgoode

Might sound strange but what works for me is to sometimes come up with a song title first, or determine a mood or atmospheric scene that I'm trying to paint.  Then I begin to compose to achieve that mood or theme, almost like a movie soundtrack.  Also, my best stuff almost always starts out in my head rather than with a guitar in my hands.  This way, I'm not limited to what I know or what's easy to finger on the guitar.  It makes for some more innovative and sometimes unguitar like riffs.  And for variations on the main theme, do things to morph it.  Start on a different beat or throw in some unexpected spaces to get some start/stop stuttering or grooving syncopation to the original ideas.  And record your stuff.



Cool stuff. Just what I was thinking....

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Paul Marossy on February 11, 2008, 02:00:10 PM
quote:
Might sound strange but what works for me is to sometimes come up with a song title first, or determine a mood or atmospheric scene that I'm trying to paint. Then I begin to compose to achieve that mood or theme, almost like a movie soundtrack. Also, my best stuff almost always starts out in my head rather than with a guitar in my hands. This way, I'm not limited to what I know or what's easy to finger on the guitar. It makes for some more innovative and sometimes unguitar like riffs.


I think this is what I have begun to do from time to time.

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Torin on February 11, 2008, 03:05:40 PM
I recently had the pleasure of meeting an engineer/producer who had gold and platinum records on his walls and has worked with some pretty big names. He gave me some interesting advise that I found useful so I thought I would share. He said to focus your thoughts is two modes: create mode or edit mode. While creating don't think about what else might be better, or if what your doing is working or anything really other than focusing on creating. Just let whatever flows out flow out. Then in the edit mode of thinking, be critical and take away anything you don't like, being careful not to slip into create mode and think about what you could do that would fix it. By going back and forth and keeping them seperate you don't inhibit your creativity by second guessing yourself or otherwise blocking the creative process, and you allow yourself the chance to be honest with what you like and don't like. Hope that makes sense, he put it much more concisely than I did. On a different note I have found that what works for me is to find something to inspire. Often my songs come from things that have nothing to do with music. I Just find some experience that creates that feeling of needing to release emotion, (not usually intentionally), and then when I pick up a guitar that emotional response flows out very easily and I don't have to think too much about it. Sometimes that experience inspires me to write lyrics first, and then later those lyrics will inspire a song to go with them. Often this process will get me most of a song (working on that), and then I will fill in the holes by thinking more logically about it or just trying things until something fits. Anyway, thats my two cents, hope it helps.... happy writing!
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 11, 2008, 05:27:27 PM
I'm diggin this thread more all the time.
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Paul Marossy on February 11, 2008, 06:06:18 PM
Yeah, there's lots of great suggestions so far. [^]

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: uburoibob on February 11, 2008, 09:11:50 PM
When I am writing, I try and figure out what I am trying to say, first. Not necessarily with words or lyrics - could be just a feeling or a visual or thoughts of a person or event. I often just sit and play and think about that.

If I have no musical ideas, I'll just let my fingers wander, but just about always not let myself drift into any "riffs" like blues riffs, or rock riffs, etc.

Also, I tend to not use a pick when doing this as it opens things to harmony that wouldn't otherwise happen. From the wandering and restrictions, I'll typically find myself playing more melodic meanderings.

Also, I record everything. If I hear something that's intriguing, I will repeat it a few times. Then move on. Then try to recall it.

Sometimes, this process takes many sessions to get something that's strong. And, most certainly, some sessions are MUCH better than others. So, some sessions get almost magical, where others are just good practice.

This is also cool to do with another musician(s). Vow not to jam in the traditional sense - ie: one person plays chords while the other solos - but to have a more free-flowing exchange. Essentially, this gets you thinking in an improvisationaly supportive sense, rather than as a lead player.

Ultimately, it comes down to melody. Doesn't need to be catchy hook. Just something that expresses how you feel. Might even be a good idea to just write down words that express what you are trying to say - they don't have to rhyme or even be rhythmically significant.

It's important to just sit down and set aside time to do this every day. The more you do it and force yourself to play stuff besides lead guitar or rhythm guitar, the more you'll find it easier to let your fingers express what your insides are feeling.

When you've got some melodic passages, then you can start crafting supportive figures for it - chords, counterpoint, bass lines, etc. Then add in the fabulous solos you've been dying to play since the beginning of the process.

Anyway, that's how I write instrumentals.

For songs with vocals I generally write the words first and then find the melody with my voice. Then figure out the accompaniment - chords, bass, parts for different instruments, etc.

Growing up studying the Beatles really helped in my songwriting. I can't think of better models to emulate.

Bill Frisell's work has been equally inspiring in putting together my instrumentals, primarily cuz they aren't about the solo, but about how melody can be stretched throughout a composition.

Don't know if any of this helps, Simon, but it's the way I do it.

Bob


2001 Parker Fly Single 2 Silver  â€¢ 1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  â€¢  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod •  http://bobmartin1111.com
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: loumt123 on February 11, 2008, 09:36:02 PM
I've noticed that making a song by humming it helps me get out of guitar mentality and into composition mentality. Humming, piano, even writing notes on a page always gives me something entirely different than if I was to pluck a tune out on the guitar. Experiment a little.
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: uburoibob on February 11, 2008, 09:40:18 PM
Very good point, Lou. I meant to get into that more. Singing is HUGE - singing melody, just making it up. Or playing on a different instrument. Or, even using a guitar synth with other instruments dialed in, and phrasing like that instrument...

Bob

2001 Parker Fly Single 2 Silver  â€¢ 1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  â€¢  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod •  http://bobmartin1111.com
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: loumt123 on February 11, 2008, 09:45:36 PM
I've been trying to play back everything I hum...I found it's helped fine tune my ear and translate thought into music a little easier.
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Picks on February 13, 2008, 02:59:40 AM
Okay, I aplogize first because I sincerely do not want to offend or insult you.

Just looking at your Fly collection is almost enough to answer your question for me. Not sure how you afford that many Fly's, but I bet Martone doesn't even have that many. Think about what that might mean. Are you a musician or a hobbyist? This will obviously affect the level at which you can produce music. When your rent relies on it, your work reflects that. If you are a pro musician, you're obviously very successful with all those Fly's!!! :-)

Most 'real' musicians, scrape by. It takes sacrifice to develop what you seek, and what you're really looking for, is something to say in your music. You're trying to realize it by force of will, thinking learning new scales or weird chords, playing something 'mindblowing' will make a difference.

I took some lessons from a guy out here named Simon Jarrett who also build amazing amps. He is probably one of the best players in the city and no one really knows it. He reminded me once that the greatest improvisors in jazz were all 'junkies'. Think about that one. No, please don't use drugs, but it's a sad truth.

I'm not sure if this will help as it sounds like you're looking for some kind of magic recipe. I know listening to your idol too much will freeze you because you will always live in that shadow.

Quit listening to guitar music.

Or as Zappa said...Shut up and Play Guitar! :-)

A.




quote:
Originally posted by simonlock

Guys, I am lined up to get a lesson with Martone on songwriting. I'm overwhelmed with expectations and flooded with too much information that I'm still trying to wrap my brain around. How the hell do you go about writing something meaningful? I like a lot of aspects of my playing and feel that what I do already should work for at least half of a song. The trouble is I'm not very good at writing those hooky riffs. When I hear an instrumental that is really good it usually contains a solid motif that is repeated and/or modified. Thing is these really shocking parts that get my attention aren't the type of thing that you just pick up the guitar and play. Sure once you get a riff down it's easier to modify slightly but the first time it's gotta be worked out. Whats a good way to start?

I thought about designing a song on paper first. Using a paint by numbers formula like ABCA or something and then developing a vision. I thought I'd get a reason for the song before i even start and then try to amplify that feeling and try to tell a story. For a melody line I was thinking of writing lyrics that I would only use to develop the melody and then work out some crazy passages to add fire to the statement.

I can listen to phenomenal playing that has beautiful phrasing but if it doesn't have something mindblowing in it I'm not very interested. I've bought 8 CDs lately from Guitar Nine and was pretty underwhelmed. It made me realize just how remarkable Martone is. I don't want to write tunes that are just shred. I want each one to have it's own signature and feel. I suppose having such high expectations is a limiting factor so hopefully with support from you guys and help from Dave I may just pull something off. I just dont want to improvise an entire tune leaving everything to chance.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly


Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Paul Marossy on February 13, 2008, 03:32:45 AM
quote:
Most 'real' musicians, scrape by. It takes sacrifice to develop what you seek, and what you're really looking for, is something to say in your music.


I have known a few exremely good and talented pro musicians here in Vegas, and some of them played on The Strip and stuff, but were always living hand to mouth. It's a shame. That's one reason why I have my engineering day job and why I never really tried to go "professional" - I just value financial security too much since I never had much of it while growing up. Maybe it's just the nature of this city? [B)]

quote:
I took some lessons from a guy out here named Simon Jarrett who also build amazing amps. He is probably one of the best players in the city and no one really knows it.


Yeah, I bet there are lots of people in that category. [:(]

quote:
I'm not sure if this will help as it sounds like you're looking for some kind of magic recipe. I know listening to your idol too much will freeze you because you will always live in that shadow.



It can. It makes me sad, for example, when I see someone who has decided to become a Stevie Ray Vaughn clone - I mean they dress just like him, can play all of his songs, do all of his solos, mimic all of the nuances in his playing, etc., etc. That's an accomplishment, but I also feel like it's a waste of time and talent when you go that far. Get your own personality for crying out loud! [V]

Sorry, that sort of thing just bothers me a lot. I can appreciate the tribute bands and stuff, but some people just go way too far. I am really for developing strong individualistic traits. Players like Allan Holdsworth, for example, would not have ever come on the seen if all they ever wanted to do was to be a copy of someone else. I'm glad that people like him come along and want to be their own person and blaze their own trails to inspire others to do the same. [^]

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: loumt123 on February 13, 2008, 10:29:35 AM
Sorry, but I have to completely disagree with this. I'm not sure if it's their business practices or what, but theres no reason a musician can't make a solid living. My teacher isn't a famous professional, but with hard work and a solid plan music helped him buy a corvette. In fact, he has a habit of saying "Hey, Louie you like this, guitar bought this yea".

    My point is I really don't think it's that hard to make a living off of music. I think if you start building your business from the ground up (phasing in students aside from your "real" job) you're making a MINIMUM of 30 an hour (the lowest price for lessons I've seen were 60 a month, 15 dollars for 1 half hour lesson, 4 lessons a month). On top of this you can gig, and I bet you love your job [:D]. I think it's very plausible to make a solid living off of guitar, so I take offense to saying "Real" musicians scrape by. Smart musicians take their ideas and turn it into a business.
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Paul Marossy on February 13, 2008, 10:54:23 AM
quote:
My point is I really don't think it's that hard to make a living off of music. I think if you start building your business from the ground up (phasing in students aside from your "real" job) you're making a MINIMUM of 30 an hour (the lowest price for lessons I've seen were 60 a month, 15 dollars for 1 half hour lesson, 4 lessons a month). On top of this you can gig, and I bet you love your job . I think it's very plausible to make a solid living off of guitar, so I take offense to saying "Real" musicians scrape by. Smart musicians take their ideas and turn it into a business.


Yeah, it's true you can make money teaching. In fact, one of my local friends who is a world class musician is making more money teaching than he ever did gigging around town. I guess that's OK if you like to teach people how to play this or that song. I just don't have any interest whatsoever in doing that.

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 13, 2008, 11:48:27 AM
I know Simon Jarret and he is a great guitarist. I could've done without the rest of the post though.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 13, 2008, 11:54:16 AM
The harder you work and the better you play the more money you'll make. I made 30/hr teaching yesterday and since I quit working on cars (how I got all my flys) I am a pro. I don't have any other source of income except what I'm doing with my guitar.

Your post doesn't really serve any purpose except to reveal your own flawed values. I don't need your beliefs thanks.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: loumt123 on February 13, 2008, 12:04:51 PM
Amen simon. Hard work and perseverance will get you what you want out of life.

 And PS I didn't know you were a fulltime teacher/musician. Man, that has to be an awesome job [:D]
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 13, 2008, 12:06:45 PM
Yup it sure beats hurtin your back all day.
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: mojotron on February 13, 2008, 01:14:31 PM
There is simply no one way to go about being a musician. I think that some people assume that unless all of your income comes from your musical skill you aren’t a 'real' musician.

In reality, there's a pretty wide spectrum – with a vast majority of skill/life-choices somewhere in the middle.
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Paul Marossy on February 13, 2008, 02:27:49 PM
It's great teaching guitar if you have the students to keep you booked all the time. I still do better at my engineering job - it's a six figure package deal.

None of my comments were directed at anyone here, BTW. I chose my own path to take, just like everyone else. [;)]

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Picks on February 14, 2008, 05:18:05 AM
Well you miss my point here. First, your friend who bought the corvette using a guitar, is a 'teacher'.

Those that can, do. Those that can't teach.

The question was about how to create music that is satisfying to a critical ear that is sploit from listening to guys who do nothing but stay in the zone by continual practise routine, recording and gigging. This makes a dramatic difference on the nature of music this person makes compared to the 9-5er, guitar instructor or not, who squeezes in some guitar time a couple hours a day.

It's dead simple. You are what you is.

Your art will be a reflection of your life. Any time you spend teaching kids how to play a C major chord, thats all you doing.

Does your friend have a dental plan?
quote:
Originally posted by cmpkllyrslf96

Sorry, but I have to completely disagree with this. I'm not sure if it's their business practices or what, but theres no reason a musician can't make a solid living. My teacher isn't a famous professional, but with hard work and a solid plan music helped him buy a corvette. In fact, he has a habit of saying "Hey, Louie you like this, guitar bought this yea".

    My point is I really don't think it's that hard to make a living off of music. I think if you start building your business from the ground up (phasing in students aside from your "real" job) you're making a MINIMUM of 30 an hour (the lowest price for lessons I've seen were 60 a month, 15 dollars for 1 half hour lesson, 4 lessons a month). On top of this you can gig, and I bet you love your job [:D]. I think it's very plausible to make a solid living off of guitar, so I take offense to saying "Real" musicians scrape by. Smart musicians take their ideas and turn it into a business.

Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Picks on February 14, 2008, 05:51:46 AM
Well Simon, I started my post with an apology because I expected that reaction. Try that idea this way: You love Martone, what makes the difference between you and him. Answer that question and you'll find what you need. No, it isn't Berklee.[:D]

Maybe what you seek is more about surrender than aquisition. I'll give you that one as a hint, and it won't cost you a cent.

Not being facetious, just completely understanding and objectively realistic.

Lastly, your statement below is a curious one. The better you play the more money you make? I wonder if Holdsworth or Shawn Lane would have shared that opinion? Tlk about a flawed belief!

Hell, I;d be a billionaire! [:D]

Relax dude, I'm on your side.


quote:
Originally posted by simonlock

The harder you work and the better you play the more money you'll make. Your post doesn't really serve any purpose except to reveal your own flawed values. I don't need your beliefs thanks.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly


Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: loumt123 on February 14, 2008, 06:13:42 AM

"Those that can, do. Those that can't teach."

Those who can't do either troll message boards.


My teacher plays, teaches, and is endorsed by a few companies, so you best watch who you talk trash on because you don't know what you're talking about, bud.

 To me it sounds like you don't have a clue as to what you are preaching. I'm done here.
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Bill on February 14, 2008, 06:46:26 AM
I think there are some great tips on this thread so I hate to close it out with the usual "pissing contest".

BTW, almost all of the great masters in any field- Art, Science, Sports-whatever,  were also great teachers. The ones that weren't were usually neurotic, psychotic, or idiot savants.

Lets look at this statement for a second:

"It's dead simple. You are what you is.
Your art will be a reflection of your life. Any time you spend teaching kids how to play a C major chord, thats all you doing."


Does that life assessment truly reflect what kind of musician you are ? Or does it reflect what type of human being you are ?

I dont mean to Picks on anyone. In younger years, I have said this kind of bravado generalization before and I hope no one took me as serious as I am being now.

It is often said that you don't truly understand something until you figure out how to explain it successfully to someone else. Very often I have thought I knew all about something until I tried to explain it to a colleague. Then in doing so I would look at the subject at a different angle and appreciaate an aspect of the subject I hadn't realized before. In short, we were actually both learning.

I know very well where the phrase "those who cant do, teach" comes from. Sadly it has its relevance at times. But like any popular stereotype it is not true the vast majority of the time.

A more correct way to view it: Doing is accomplishing for yourself:Teaching is helping others accomplish for themselves.

What I like about this forum? Its mostly about teaching. If I want to hear somebodys guitar solo I would hang out surfing utube. I come here to learn and share (rarley). Or at least to share a laugh occasionally. [:)]





A few Flys in my soup
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Paul Marossy on February 14, 2008, 09:37:12 AM
I'm disappointed to see these kinds of reactions happening in this thread.

Just because you have a teaching job doesn't mean that you have "arrived". It it doesn't mean that you are a "has been" or someone who "missed the target", either. It's all about what you choose and what you can live with. Teaching isn't all bad, at least your doing something positive with your guitar playing. I mean this whole thing is like saying you're only a physicist because you can't be an astronaut. Both are smart people with valid jobs. And so it is with teaching guitar. Even the big name players are sometimes taking lessons from someone else. So what?!

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: bno on February 14, 2008, 10:58:39 AM
Let's see;  Bach, teacher.  Mozart, teacher.  Beehthoven, teacher.  Stockhausen, teacher.  Schoenberg, teacher.  Nearly every orchestral musician in every major opera or orchestra, teachers.  

Success can be fairly random and fickle and in some measure largely a function of social engineering and issues that go beyond simple talent.  Charisma, an empresario relationship, market timing, psychological stamiina.  We all know about great artists who struggled in poverty and lived in relative obscurity juxtaposed with vacuous entertainers who lolled in wealth and luxury.

I would prefer the saying to be:

Those who don't know what they're doing, can't teach.

Simon, it's more than laudable that you have been able to transition yourself into full time musician - maybe you'll be one of the lucky guys who plays music for a living and works on cars for fun.  Follow your muse.  Make what compromises you are comfortable with, pay what dues you are willing to pay.  Teaching is a noble profession.  Anyone who trashes teaching hasn't had a good teacher.  (Man, I'd love to hear what Martone thinks of all of this - but he's too busy, teaching, composing and touring.)

The one thing that kills more careers than anything else is poor business sense.  So, it's worth it to gain an understanding of how to create and manage your business affairs.  Particularly as you become successful.  Four lads from Liverpool lost hundreds of millions because they didn't have a clue about what was going on and the survivors still don't own the right to determine what happens with their music.  

If no one thought big, nothing would get done.
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 14, 2008, 11:26:19 AM
I'm done with this thread. This guy has really turned me off. I hope I never meet you buddy,

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Paul Marossy on February 14, 2008, 11:30:10 AM
quote:
Those who don't know what they're doing, can't teach.


+1. You can't teach what you don't know. [^]

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: loumt123 on February 14, 2008, 11:30:21 AM
I just think it's incredibly rude to come on here and troll. Picks, you don't know my teacher and you don't know simon. Where do you get off saying some of what you said? Either you're 14, or you haven't learned manners yet. I can respect someone's opinion, but your harsh generalizations and statements lack tact.

 This guy just sounds like another self indulgent shred head.
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 14, 2008, 12:09:58 PM
The sad thing is Lou is that I think he genuinely thinks that his input is helpful. Yes I'm offended but I also recognize it for what it is. There is enough truth in what he's saying that he has accepted it as truth. I haven't.

I started this thread because most of this forum is happy to contribute positive support for one another. I'm not the only one benefitting from this thread(or was until it got trashed).

The statement "those who can blah blah blah" This is a CLASSIC limiting belief!!!

Shawn Lane and holdsworth huh? Hmmm Definately can't bash the playing. But I think they both got what they wanted as musicians. Allan and Shawn don't strike me as guys that wanted to be in the spotlight all the time. They were very guarded individuals. I've never seen Holdsworth play because he's not incredibly driven to work that hard.

Daniel Adair works his ass off and he got to be so valuable that Nickelback could not stand to be without him. He was hired because of his belief system not just his drumming,

A billionaire huh? Well you must be a wonderful player but you'll have to dump some of these "truths" if you're ever going to succeed. Tony Robbins the self help success guru made up a title for people that come along in your life to trash your dreams and "help" you with information that prooves that you'll fail. He calls them "dream stealers".

I am furious about this intrusion and feel like smashing something right now but I'm trying to write this with as much kindness as possible. Seriously dude I'm giving up 70k a year to give this everything I've got. I don't need someone that works in a music store telling me what I can't do. I grew up in a family that liked to trash dreams like you Picks so I got pretty good at it. I can trash yours too if you like. Tell us your dreams.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Picks on February 14, 2008, 03:09:59 PM
It's unfortunate I'm percieved the way I have been, as delicate as I tried to imply, I still ruffled some feathers. I am sorry.

Denial of truth, simple truths, can sometimes be hard to face and sadly, there are situations in this world right now much more challenging than how to compose meaningful 'guitarw**k' that are the result of this tendency or trait. I fight against the same predisposition myself.

The ego in music can serve to push or stifle. A bruised ego, such as the musician who thinks he has been slighted is common. That is a signifier of confidence and a representation of 'state' or level. A meglomaniac like Malmsteen, a perpetual self doubter like Holdsworth. The ego in the musician, in diatmetric opposition.
I'll leave that at that.

I offered a very clear, objective and obvious truth, it touched a nerve and there you go. Use your illusion, it is just more comfortable.

The knee jerk replies here are the ones that carry venom, not mine.
I have no anger and didn't wish to anger anyone.

I did not attack or say anything untoward, I made a statement about the difference between one who works in theory or hypotheticals and one who is in realtime practise of that lifestyle and in the 'fight' as it were.

Teaching guitar is a noble responsibility in today's world. With the internet, Playstations all that can distract young minds, to get a kid playing a guitar amidst that is serious obligation. Most kids would rather play Guitar Hero. But I digress...

I'm off to teach myself, so you see, I emphasize and represent what I advocate.

Just curious simon. Do you play in any bands? Do you play live or just jam in your studio/bedroom? This makes a huge difference with regards to your personal relationship with music.

I've seen your youtube vids simon, you sound good to me. You're no Martone by any stretch, but you can neuro-muscularly twitch through scales and you can jam along to a backing tracks comfortably. Enjoy!!! We can't all be Martones! Keep taking those lessons and I'm sure some great things will rub off. Look at how Keston benefited from Martone's tutelage! Shredder!

I know Dave and Daniel quite well, on both a musical and beer level.

And, you have met me!

All the best, I'll leave this as you wish and not darken your ambitions any further!


quote:
Originally posted by simonlock

The sad thing is Lou is that I think he genuinely thinks that his input is helpful. Yes I'm offended but I also recognize it for what it is. There is enough truth in what he's saying that he has accepted it as truth. I haven't.

I started this thread because most of this forum is happy to contribute positive support for one another. I'm not the only one benefitting from this thread(or was until it got trashed).

The statement "those who can blah blah blah" This is a CLASSIC limiting belief!!!

Shawn Lane and holdsworth huh? Hmmm Definately can't bash the playing. But I think they both got what they wanted as musicians. Allan and Shawn don't strike me as guys that wanted to be in the spotlight all the time. They were very guarded individuals. I've never seen Holdsworth play because he's not incredibly driven to work that hard.

Daniel Adair works his ass off and he got to be so valuable that Nickelback could not stand to be without him. He was hired because of his belief system not just his drumming,

A billionaire huh? Well you must be a wonderful player but you'll have to dump some of these "truths" if you're ever going to succeed. Tony Robbins the self help success guru made up a title for people that come along in your life to trash your dreams and "help" you with information that prooves that you'll fail. He calls them "dream stealers".

I am furious about this intrusion and feel like smashing something right now but I'm trying to write this with as much kindness as possible. Seriously dude I'm giving up 70k a year to give this everything I've got. I don't need someone that works in a music store telling me what I can't do. I grew up in a family that liked to trash dreams like you Picks so I got pretty good at it. I can trash yours too if you like. Tell us your dreams.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly


Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 14, 2008, 05:31:36 PM
Yes there are some truths that are hard for me. I have a lot to learn and was gleaming what I can from this thread. I'm sorry I let anger color my statements but like you said I was ruffled. Performance and writing are my next big steps and I think once I can accomplish something in those areas I can take my playing to the next level.  You're absolutely right about survival making you a better player and that's why I dove in and abandoned my safety nets because this is my time to give it a shot.

We're all just here to learn and make each others lives a little fuller. Hopefully in a few years I'll have stretched a little closer to Martone. I put in a lot of work and it's starting to pay off.

When and where did we meet picks?

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: loumt123 on February 14, 2008, 07:15:58 PM
I don't care how good anyone is.... I don't need to be lectured on what a "real" musician is. This financially challenged musician argument is old. If you're not trying to make it as a full blown rockstar I think one can do fairly well having a career in music. good day.
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 14, 2008, 07:35:24 PM
My goals aren't out of touch with reality I just want to pay the mortgage make CDs and become a sought after teacher and musician. I know I can if I can overcome my anxiety of people and recording devices.lol Oh and keep working my ass off like i have been.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: mountaindewaddict on February 14, 2008, 07:43:09 PM
All I have to say is this: Picks, if you know Simon as you say you do, man up and tell him all that garbage to his face.  All of us picked up a guitar in order to express ourselves in the first place, which is a highly individualized ideal.  Who is any of us to dictate to the others how to take a journey that is really about self-expression?  'nuff said.

MountainDewAddict (Casey)

Gear:
Parker P-44, Takamine G-Series,  Digitech GNX4, Korg AX3A, Crate Powerblock 150, Various other assorted pedals and gizmos

"Remember, if at first you don't succeed, you're doing it wrong."

God Bless!
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 15, 2008, 01:05:35 PM
This thread is really bothering me. Even with good intentions people can be unbelievably cruel. Kinda reminds me of my Mom. I didn't keep up with my guitar career because there was always someone there to tell me how the wolves were going to get me. I suppose people like that are everywhere and especially in a trade like music.

I was playing Malmsteen and Vai when I was 15. I could play a few Malmsteen tunes all the way through and a few Satch tunes too. I was even hired for my skill to learn and play a solo in a music video for Gino Vanelli that ran for a couple years on Much Music. Since I didn't have support or a direction to go with it and all my ideas seemed like a waste of time. Which is how picks made me feel. So I became a mechanic.

Guitar wasn't even a serious thing again for just over ten years. It was something i did but i just played the songs I knew and poured out my heart once in a while. But I didn't work like I do now. I worked hardest at bodybuilding and was obsessed with it. All the while I hated being a mechanic and having to be in such a negative environment with people spitting poison every day. It's cut-throat in a big flat-rate shop especially when it gets slow and guys can't pay the bills or feed their kids. They'd say anything to help you hate your job more so that you'll leave. Maybe that's what picks wants? Do you want me to quit or are you trying to be of assistance?

Seriously, I am a far better player and have a lot more potential than what I've put on youtube. I believe if I can create songs that it will give me a chance to hone my skills on riffs that repeat. All my playing has been improvising and playing something new to my fingers nearly every phrase. YOu'd be amazed what you can play when you set your mind to work through something. So I wonder what i can do if everything I play was meant to be played? Think of all those kids that can play "for the love of god" because they memorized it like robots. A person can play far beyond their improvised level.

This B S also taught me a lesson. To watch out for the poison spitters in this trade too. I'm not happy about it and right now feel like quitting but a small part of me wants to shred their heads off.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 15, 2008, 01:17:55 PM
Picks you must have been the guy I met at Montmart just before christmas am I right? YOu seemed like a pretty nice guy. How bout we play nice ok?
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: bno on February 15, 2008, 02:58:53 PM
Simon,

The list of artists that got bashed, insulted and rejected is endless.  On the one hand you have to expose your soul in order to express yourself and on the other hand you have to have the inner strength to withstand withering assaults on your very essense.  Charlie Parker got kicked off the bandstand and thrown in the street.  Stravinsky's Rite of Spring was booed and universally lambasted at its premier.  Find your close inner circle that supports who you are and what you do and ignore the chaff and noise.  People from both sides of the aisle, successes and failures, will try to undermine you to protect their own insecurity.  Ignore them.
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 15, 2008, 03:07:35 PM
Thanks BNO, It's good advice. I suppose it's just the reality of the industry and also I suppose the world. I do have a circle of friends that actually know what I've been through and how hard I've worked and how far I've come in a few years. They're always encouraging and happy to talk about what we're all up to.

I've heard players bash everyone including Satch,Vai, Malmsteen and even Martone. They all sounded like scared little rejects after their statements. Like they were protecting themselves from something.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Bill on February 15, 2008, 03:14:28 PM
1+ bno

Come on Simon you cant really let idle comments from a stanger on a web thread get to you.

You will need to let a lot more phlem than that roll off your back to get where you want to be. I actually do think he is trying to help. Imagine what its like when you meet people who really want you to fail yourself.

At this point you shouldnt be doing this to win the admiration of others. You do it because you want to be true to yourself. These types of comments should have no effect whether they are positive or negative. If you feel you are where you need to be right now and you're not hurting anyone, what else matters?
Hang there and plug along until its time for the next thing.

In regards to your students remember: Any average guy can learn from a wise man. But it is a really wise man who can learn from an average guy.

You will learn from your students too if you are open to it.


A few Flys in my soup
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 15, 2008, 03:48:22 PM
Agreed Bill. I'll try. I'm thinking about avoiding this forum for a while though. Maybe to clear my head.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Paul Marossy on February 15, 2008, 08:05:48 PM
quote:
Any average guy can learn from a wise man. But it is a really wise man who can learn from an average guy.

You will learn from your students too if you are open to it.



I know from experience that this is a true statement. [8D]

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: uburoibob on February 16, 2008, 08:47:24 AM
My guitar teacher, Steve Greene, has a sign above his head, that only students can read, that says, "You are the teacher..."

Bob

2001 Parker Fly Single 2 Silver  â€¢ 1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  â€¢  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod •  http://bobmartin1111.com
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 16, 2008, 09:14:32 AM
Wow cool Steve couldn't read it but his students could? That's spooky Bob [:o)]
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: uburoibob on February 16, 2008, 10:00:42 AM
quote:
Originally posted by simonlock

Wow cool Steve couldn't read it but his students could? That's spooky Bob [:o)]



LOL! Steve has ears in the back of his head, where others have eyes!

Bob

2001 Parker Fly Single 2 Silver  â€¢ 1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  â€¢  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod •  http://bobmartin1111.com
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Lwinn171 on February 17, 2008, 12:56:14 AM
Simon,

Man, I'm happy for you. You've made a positive transition, IMHO, and I hope it works out well for you. You're obviously well suited for what you're doing. My advice concerning instrumental writing is as follows.

Start a group. Try to arrange something simple at first... maybe bass and drums to start. Play together once a week, ideas coming from all. After a while, your instincts will engage, and you'll come up with stuff. Others can bring out great ideas, and are a good sounding board (pun fully intended) for your input. Pick interesting artist with whom you click. Keep it casual, but focus on getting 45 minutes worth of material. Now you have a gig. Playing live feeds me. Might do the same for you.

Also... did you mention you had a passing interest in woodworking? I get a lot of ideas while I'm doing something like sanding, wiping on a coat of finish. Maybe you should build yourself some shelves, a coffee table, something simple and rewarding. He11, I used to get music running through my head playing soccer... Take a walk. Shake up your listening habits. Any number of things could possibly trigger the part of your brain the muse inhabits. Listen for simple ideas and larger themes. I've found that relaxing, truly entering a mental state where worry and stress are gone, brings ideas in a flood. It isn't easy to get there (well, some are easier than others, and are usually considered vices, but meditation, yoga, reading Taoist poems, whatever gets you there )... but that's where the muse lives. At least in my brain.[;)]

P.S. My Dad was a professional mechanic in his early twenties (around the time I was born). At one point he worked for the Porshe-Audi dealer in Atlanta. He recently told me some stories about his experiences in a large shop. Well, I can see why that atmosphere would be nice to be rid of. Kudos, on what I'm hoping is a great new direction for you.[^]

Your pal...



Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic,1998 Classic
Boogie MK IV, Behringer ACX-1800, Zoom A2, various effects
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 17, 2008, 01:37:35 AM
Lawrence your post was a pleasure to read man. I am a total softy and was nearly teared up recognizing our similarities. My father was also a mechanic for many years. He was a big part of why I took that path. When i was working with him on my first car it was a different kind of experience and the first time i really got to know him.

I have some big pains from lost family. I'd have a lot to say about it but am saving it for when I am better at writing. I wouldn't want to make something that didn't feel right.

The guy I hooked up with teaching is a real performer kinda guy and he's gonna get me out playing to cut my teeth and possibly get this to the next stage...

I'm so pleased to see this thread back on track and thanks Picks for some enlightenment even if the lesson was delivered to my sensitive ego. I try to be humble but you know how things can be.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Bill on February 17, 2008, 06:38:21 AM
Well of course I'm a real novice. But I do enjoy writing songs occasionally.

I've found that it is easier to stumble over cool melodies on the keyboard. For some reason its hard for me to let go and make up a melody to sing over guitar chords unless I already have the melody in my head.

Of course Larrys advice is fantastic. The few times I have sat down with an accomplished keybaord player we have come up with new good stuff right off the bat. I mean so quick we couldnt write it down fast enough.

Sometimes one plus one equals infinity.

A few Flys in my soup
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Paul Marossy on February 17, 2008, 10:08:39 AM
You're a good man, Simon. Stay the course, and you'll get there. [8D]

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: uburoibob on February 17, 2008, 01:11:25 PM
Hey Simon,

I think that Lawrence hits the nail on the head when he talks about playing with other people in front of a live audience. The rehearsal process and the actual performance hones your skills in ways practicing alone never can. It teaches you to think with a whole different part of your brain. It teaches reactionary thinking. Making things work collectively, especially when there is some license for everyone to change things up a bit, is invaluable to the creative process. You'll find people you love to play with and some that you don't. But most importantly, you get to know that music is always more than a one-sided affair. Even when playing a solo gig, the other half of the equation is the people who are listening - and they are as important to the creative process as anyone in the band is. You never know when you'll have a Mozart at table 3.

Anyway, this experience gets you to the point where performance and playing become second nature - as normal as breathing. From there, the world is your oyster, from a writing point of view.

This from a band who writes 2 entire sets of new material live, collaboratively, every week!

Bob

2001 Parker Fly Single 2 Silver  â€¢ 1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  â€¢  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod •  http://bobmartin1111.com
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: mountaindewaddict on February 17, 2008, 01:21:42 PM
Hey Simon, what Lawrence said (below) reminded me of something:

Quote
Originally posted by Lwinn171
I've found that relaxing, truly entering a mental state where worry and stress are gone, brings ideas in a flood. It isn't easy to get there (well, some are easier than others, and are usually considered vices, but meditation, yoga, reading Taoist poems, whatever gets you there )... but that's where the muse lives. At least in my brain.[;)]
Quote

I remember reading something somewhere that before Vai wrote "For the Love of God," he fasted (from food), and meditated for a week.  I know that the Spiritual Disciplines are not designed to increase creativity (rather, devotion and submission), but increased creativity is a powerful side effect.  I'm not trying to proselytize here, but I humbly suggest that Vai might have been on to something.  If you're stuck or want inspiration, those ancient disciplines can get your mojo working!

MountainDewAddict (Casey)

Gear:
Parker P-44, Takamine G-Series,  Digitech GNX4, Korg AX3A, Crate Powerblock 150, Various other assorted pedals and gizmos

"Remember, if at first you don't succeed, you're doing it wrong."

God Bless!
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Paul Marossy on February 17, 2008, 01:39:39 PM
quote:
I think that Lawrence hits the nail on the head when he talks about playing with other people in front of a live audience. The rehearsal process and the actual performance hones your skills in ways practicing alone never can. It teaches you to think with a whole different part of your brain. It teaches reactionary thinking.


Yeah, it's a new ball game when you are in front of people. I'm not much of a performer, though, I just like to play my guitar and play how I want to play. If people like it cool, if not that, that's OK too. I'm not doing it for them.

quote:
Making things work collectively, especially when there is some license for everyone to change things up a bit, is invaluable to the creative process. You'll find people you love to play with and some that you don't. But most importantly, you get to know that music is always more than a one-sided affair.


I especially like that challenge. It's really fun to just "go with the flow". Sometimes it cna be a trainwreck, but if you've played long enough with your bandmates and know where thay are coming from, that's one of the most awesome things there is, IMO. [8D]

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: mojotron on February 17, 2008, 02:36:41 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Paul Marossy
...
Yeah, it's a new ball game when you are in front of people. I'm not much of a performer, though, I just like to play my guitar and play how I want to play. If people like it cool, if not that, that's OK too. I'm not doing it for them.



I have gone through periods where I played live a lot and not through the '80s and '90s... I tell ya, I have found playing in a bass/drum/guitar trio doing original music was the most challenging and rewarding experience for me - with respect to creativity. I can't even compare the music I wrote before playing in a trio and after playing with a trio: And, there are only 3 personalities involved - everyone has their space... Doing long solos is tough in a trio band, but they are my favorite.

Having a keyboardist (or even a singer sometimes) in the mix allows you to increase the solo time significantly, but it seems like it's also significantly tougher to be as creative. Adding more band members seems to diminish the creative space unless you all get along like brothers/family.


quote:
Originally posted by Paul Marossy

quote:
Making things work collectively, especially when there is some license for everyone to change things up a bit, is invaluable to the creative process. You'll find people you love to play with and some that you don't. But most importantly, you get to know that music is always more than a one-sided affair.


I especially like that challenge. It's really fun to just "go with the flow". Sometimes it cna be a trainwreck, but if you've played long enough with your band mates and know where they are coming from, that's one of the most awesome things there is, IMO. [8D]
...



I always try to keep in mind that anything remotely technical in my playing has got to be perfected at about 1.5-2X the speed I want to play it live - this overcomes the challenge of playing in front of others and adds enough creative overhead to allow for more successful improvisations: But, it's funny when I recorded some of the live shows I did, the trainwrecks ended up being really cool sometimes.
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: mojotron on February 17, 2008, 02:52:21 PM
quote:
Originally posted by mountaindewaddict
...
I know that the spiritual Disciplines are not designed to increase creativity (rather, devotion and submission), but increased creativity is a powerful side effect.  
...


I suppose I would call it 'religious/meditation disciplines'... but ya, I think it's all about focus and concentration. It can add to creativity , IMO, but a trip to McD's always makes me more creative [:)]
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Paul Marossy on February 17, 2008, 03:26:07 PM
Yeah, I can relate mojotron. All of my improv experience so far has been at church in "free worship". But I was playing with a group of very talented musicians who knew how to improvise, so it was never cheesy or lame. It sometimes seemed like anything was likely to happen, musically speaking. I have heard stuff in some of those evening services that rivaled even the most progressive bands. In fact, once or twice I heard stuff that I have never heard anyone anywhere do. Totally out there.

Anyhow, those were some really cool and sometimes wild times. I hope to do this somewhere again. It seems that in Vegas, no one is even remotely interested in a band that does a lot of improv. If I started a band, we would really blazing a trail...

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: simonlock on February 17, 2008, 10:19:01 PM
Thanks Paul. I'm glad you noticed [:D] You're pretty darn great too!

Do you guys think having a goal of a completed CD by next year is a little optimistic?

Simon
Vancouver,BC
2000 Fly Supreme
1998 Fly Supreme w/Jerome Little knobs
1999 Fly Artist w/Ken Parker sig and Jerome Little knobs
2006 Fly Nylon w/Jerome Little knobs
2002 Fly Classic Hardtail
2006 Fly Classic
2006 Fly Mojo
1999 Fly Deluxe w/Gen1s
2001 MidiFly
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: bno on February 18, 2008, 10:21:14 AM
I'll point you back to my original contribution.  Set attainable goals that you can accomplish.  Putting a deadline on creating a completed CD is putting pressure on yourself to accomplish a formidable task for which you have no immediate experience.  Instead.  Set a goal of completing and recording a single piece of music, recorded, reworked, debugged and closed.  No timeframe.  Just one piece.  Complete.  Finished.  Brought to life.  Keep a loose journal of the process to record simple reactions (notes on the process).  Repeat this process.  Each time you complete a piece you have marked a success on your path.  If a pieces dies on the vine, archive it for further reference, maybe ten years from now it will come to life.  Once you have gone through this process a number of iterations, creating small successes and absorbing small failures you will discover you have created your CD as a byproduct - not as a goal.   It may take a year, it may take six months, it may take a long time.  It doesn't matter, your CD is a collection of your successes.  Not a success all by itself.

As you become skilled at creating new material you will discover you can keep multiple compositions in development at the same time.  You need to measure your successes in increments to avoid eating your failures in bulk.  Small things have to be good for the big things to be great.
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: Paul Marossy on February 18, 2008, 10:59:40 AM
I agree with bno. A full length CD is probably too lofty a goal. An EP may be a more realistic goal.

But I agree w/ bno, concentrate on one at a time, from start to end. So where that takes you. [8D]

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Instrumental Songwriting Help!
Post by: prjacobs on February 21, 2008, 11:02:11 AM
Simon,
I've been gone for a week and I can't believe the bizarre turn this thread took.  We're all here because we love music and we all bring, with a few unfortunate exceptions, valuable musical and as importantly, human contributions. For me, the Parker forum community has been extremely helpful on a wide range of subjects. Take the positive and flush the rest away....
Bottom line.... Music is beautiful.  Follow your heart and bring your brain and soul along. I wish you and everyone else on the forum continued musical and personal growth and thank you all for your continued participation.

Best,
Paul