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Author Topic: Instrumental Songwriting Help!  (Read 10017 times)

Offline Paul Marossy

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Instrumental Songwriting Help!
« Reply #60 on: February 17, 2008, 10:08:39 AM »
You're a good man, Simon. Stay the course, and you'll get there. [8D]

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Instrumental Songwriting Help!

Offline uburoibob

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Instrumental Songwriting Help!
« Reply #61 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

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« Last Edit: February 17, 2008, 01:13:29 PM by uburoibob »
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Instrumental Songwriting Help!

Offline mountaindewaddict

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Instrumental Songwriting Help!
« Reply #62 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)

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God Bless!
« Last Edit: February 17, 2008, 01:22:22 PM by mountaindewaddict »
Casey

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Instrumental Songwriting Help!

Offline Paul Marossy

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Instrumental Songwriting Help!
« Reply #63 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]

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Instrumental Songwriting Help!

Offline mojotron

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Instrumental Songwriting Help!
« Reply #64 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.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2008, 02:40:57 PM by mojotron »
 

Instrumental Songwriting Help!

Offline mojotron

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Instrumental Songwriting Help!
« Reply #65 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 [:)]
 

Instrumental Songwriting Help!

Offline Paul Marossy

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Instrumental Songwriting Help!
« Reply #66 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...

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Instrumental Songwriting Help!

Offline simonlock

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Instrumental Songwriting Help!
« Reply #67 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
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Instrumental Songwriting Help!

Offline bno

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Instrumental Songwriting Help!
« Reply #68 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.
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Instrumental Songwriting Help!

Offline Paul Marossy

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Instrumental Songwriting Help!
« Reply #69 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]

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« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 11:03:25 AM by Paul Marossy »

Instrumental Songwriting Help!

Offline prjacobs

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Instrumental Songwriting Help!
« Reply #70 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