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#390849 - 01/20/05 05:48 AM Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Ricky Minor got me thinking about this. I suppose I'm fairly cautious as a musician. As a bass player, that's practically my job description.

How about you, are you cautious or risky with your music?

Are you some combination?

Any extremes your not too embarrassed to mention?

Come on, I won't tell anyone.

Mike

You have to practice improvisation.-Art Tatum

------------------
Mike Dunbar Music

[This message has been edited by Mike Dunbar (edited 01-20-2005).]


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#390850 - 01/20/05 03:32 PM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 340
TheBaz Offline
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TheBaz  Offline
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Boston, MA
Risky, for sure.

As a vocalist, I'll try anything. In doing so, I'm actually able to sing many styles, instead of being stuck to any one. That gives me more opportunity. I have done everything from selections from the Messiah to Alternative Rock to Boy Band Pop to Jazz Crooning to Country. I like variety. Often, when writing, I will actually take elements of different vocal styles and meld them (my signature below is actually a reference to crossing genre lines, which I do a lot).

When composing, I like to throw in odd chord colorings, or switch to a different style for the bridge and catch people's attention again by surprise. But I do tend to be generally "safe" when composing most commercial music.

As a songwriter, I can be safe or risky. It depends on the purpose of the song. If you want a song perfectly suited to what so-and-so is doing now, I'll play it safe and give you what you want. When I am creating just to create, I tend to be risky -- mixing genres (Germanic Folk meets Club Dance?), using uncommon words ("hircine"? "tintinabulation"? "langor in lassitude"?).

So, mostly risky. But I can "play by the rules" if that is called for.

Erik / Baz
www.eriktyler.com
www.soundclick.com/eriktyler


------------------
"The only way to get anywhere is to cross a few lines."


"The only way to get anywhere is to cross a few lines."
#390851 - 01/20/05 04:54 PM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 541
Sharpe Lurker Offline
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Any City, U.S.A.
"Today's question: Are you cautious or risky with your music?"

Great question!

Personally I would have to say I am somewhat overly cautious with my music, lyrics, and ideas. Better safe than sorry theory...

CASE STUDY #1
Years ago there was a reporter traveling with the Beatles. This reporter posed an inocent question to either Paul or John. The question was concerning new songs they were working on. The Beatles in essence "politely-declined" disclosing what new songs they were working on, believing that someone somewhere would perhaps get the jump on them, by releasing a song with the same title, words, music or theme...

There is much the average songwriter can learn from that... even though it goes against what JPF is really about... being liberal with great song ideas!

CASE STUDY #2
In the year 2001 I wrote an article for the internet in a public forum voicing my opinion on an issue that I noticed. In the year 2002 a song came on radio with the same theme/premise as my article even using a lot of the same words and refferences. Since I can prove nothing in civil court it is not feasable to name the song, songwriter, or singer... But it happened and I do have underlying disdain for the lot of them.

I would have felt much better about the whole issue if the songwriter had contacted me and said, "you know I like that article you wrote, and I would like to write a song about it and give you a [nominal?] cut in the royalties..." but no it was more like slam, bam thanks for the great idea turkey... also they goofed it up and made the whole issue sound stupid, like some kind of joke... In real life I am serious as a heart attack! The whole issue is something I will never forget.

There is much the average songwriter can learn from this... It pays not to be so liberal with your great ideas until you are ready to rock-and-roll with them!

As always I hope I did not confuse anyone! Remember your results may vary.

------------------
"digging deep in the verbal sludge of society, for the gems of interest"


"digging deep in the verbal sludge of society, for the gems of interest"
#390852 - 01/20/05 07:59 PM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 6,400
Joe Wrabek Offline
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Joe Wrabek  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2003
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Garibaldi, OR USA
Both. Or neither. Depends on your viewpoint.

I'm always interested in trying new stuff. However, if I try playing something a new way, and it works, I will probably keep playing it that way, and not change it further. So I can satisfy my "dang freethinker" and "somewhere to the right of the John Birch Society" sides at the same time, and feel thoroughly schizophrenic.

Words are different. Words happen. All I'll try to do is make the words as technically perfect for what I want to do as I can. Even whom I'm "channeling" at the time, whether it be Buck Owens or Avril Lavigne, I won't change (though if I figure out who it is early enough, it may come out sounding even more like him or her). I'll be aware of the Rules of Songwriting as I know them, but will inevitably be breaking a lot of them quite happily. I just have to figure out in each given instance whether I'm happy with ignoring what I'm ignoring.

This help?

Joe
www.soundclick.com/bands/7/joewrabekmusic.htm

#390853 - 01/20/05 08:20 PM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
Joined: Dec 2003
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Jean Larson Offline
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Jean Larson  Offline
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St. Louis, MO
Never cautious. As creative as I can be. I guess you could call that risky. --Jean

#390854 - 01/21/05 12:38 AM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 340
TheBaz Offline
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TheBaz  Offline
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Boston, MA
Sharpe,

I don't mean this to sound like a challenge or insult, but you really shouldn't be too upset that someone potentially used your prose ideas or words as a song. They did nothing wrong, and would not have thought to offer you royalties.

Many good song ideas and songs themselves stem from books people read and are inspired by. They even credit the author in the liner notes. But out of courtesy or interest for the listener, not because they stole anything or acted inappropriately in writing the song.

If I read a headline in a newspaper and that blossoms into a song title (even including thoughts from the article), one wouldn't think to find the journalist and make them co-writer.

I've even heard another SONG -- a particular line that was part of a verse or bridge -- that stuck out to me and begged to become it's own song idea. That is not copyright infringement or unethical practice. It's "writing from life" -- the best kind of writing. And I don't think any of the writers above would feel slighted (rather, most would be honored) to find that their prose had inspired a song.

Just my take.

I believe that the law is still such that not fewer than 7 words or sequential "musical events" can be copyrighted anyway (though they have allowed fewer to be trademarked, as in the case with NBC and some of the cellphone companies, etc.). So, even if you HAD thought for some reason to copyright the entirety of you online journal thoughts, unless the songwriter actually lifted seven words, in order, from your text, they still would not have broken the law. I may stand to be corrected on that, but that is my current understanding.

Just FYI.

Erik / Baz
www.eriktyler.com
www.soundclick.com/eriktyler


------------------
"The only way to get anywhere is to cross a few lines."


"The only way to get anywhere is to cross a few lines."
#390855 - 01/21/05 01:44 AM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 13,618
Graham Henderson (D) Offline
Graham Henderson (D)  Offline

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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 13,618
Esperance. West Australia
Go along with Baz here.
Coming to songwriting via a long winding road of poetry, prose, journalism, advertising copy and PR, which involved me in many literature bodies, the big message to come out of it all as regard to finding subjects was.
Look at life, and what is being said about it.
Then make your own subject of anything you pick up.
From anywhere.
headlinse in papers, and often the article itself, are major sources of starting points for any writer.
Heck. A picture can do it.
Other people's lyrics are no exception.
Just have to either take it elswhere, or say it better.
Or both.
Re The beatles thing.
I can understand them not wanting to air what is i the mill.
Get it done then folks will see it if it gets cut, and then some will do their own spin off from it no doubt.
It's a bit like putting the start of an idea of a lyric up.
A. you are giving it away.
Or B. You don't see you doing it and hope somebody else will either feed you the lines needed free, or ask to collab on it.
Get 'em to finished first write stage and see what folks think .
And thank them for their opinion.
Thats how critique forums work best.
And bet there are folks lurking out therer quite happy to just read and grab, just the same as we do wioth the evening paper or TV stuff.
Big deal.
Ya can always write another song.
The big surprise for me is. The amout of folks who write prose that actually does sing, and yet when this is pointed out to them they fail to see it.
Even had them get offended at being told they writing boogies.
These days. I don't bother.
Just write it intop a lyric myself.
With the odd word change for the sake of originality of course.
Graham



------------------
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/2/grahamhendersonmusic.htm

#390856 - 01/21/05 05:11 AM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 541
Sharpe Lurker Offline
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"you know I like that article you wrote, and I would like to write a song about it and give you a [nominal?] cut in the royalties..."

There was a time when I actually really would have contacted someone and said this very thing to them... but their article would have to be very unique and off-the-wall*. Not saying the same about something a lot more routine like guy meets gal or gal meets guy type of thing.

Since that time I have read a songwriters book that plainly and clearly stated, "be on the lookout for unique words or phrases" translate them into workable lyrics for tomorrow never knows...

The book did not say anything about trying to track down the originators of such words and phrases and compensate them for their contribution...

I do remember reading lyrics on this site and thinking;
"oh I like those words"...
or "oh now that's a cool phrase"...
or "that's a great idea/premise for a song", but it [the whole thing] could be written better... here is how I would have done it...

There had to be about ten songs that if I were a great independent singer I would have contacted the songwriter to make arrangements to have the song as an album cut on an independent release cd.

Translation: I see great ideas everywhere I practically look. Maybe I should start a new thread and ask if anyone ever thought their unique lyrical ideas or cool guitar riffs had been misappropriated. But I think stuff like that has strong potential of leading others into hard feelings.

There is an old saying, "the more you stir chit the more it stinks".

*off-the-wall= something new and unique that says much with few words and has not been lyrically worked to death or flat run into the ground over usage.



------------------
"digging deep in the verbal sludge of society, for the gems of interest"


"digging deep in the verbal sludge of society, for the gems of interest"
#390857 - 01/21/05 07:06 AM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 13,618
Graham Henderson (D) Offline
Graham Henderson (D)  Offline

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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 13,618
Esperance. West Australia
In a situation like this, I sometimes suggest it would be a good move to find the lyric to The Fol And The Olive Tree.
not sure that is the right name, but it is the right message to reflect on.
Graham

------------------
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/2/grahamhendersonmusic.htm

#390858 - 01/21/05 02:44 PM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 541
Sharpe Lurker Offline
Serious Contributor
Sharpe Lurker  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Sep 2004
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Any City, U.S.A.
Good Morning Graham,

I tried searching the phrase you mentioned. The closest thing that came to the surface was this thought from you in @2002.

Sort of put me in a "A fool sat beneath an olive tree" mood for some reason... Graham

Was that a popular song in Australia at some time in your life? Sounds very interesting. Just wanted to let you know we don't get to hear all the songs that are popular from down there. Not quite sure what all we are missing out on in that aspect.

Hope this helps jog your memory more so you can tell us more?

------------------
"digging deep in the verbal sludge of society, for the gems of interest"


"digging deep in the verbal sludge of society, for the gems of interest"
#390859 - 01/21/05 08:36 PM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 13,618
Graham Henderson (D) Offline
Graham Henderson (D)  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 13,618
Esperance. West Australia
I think it may have been a singer called Richard Tauba, and that may not be the right spelling.
It was based on a fool asking why be content with an olive when he could have the tree/grove/world, and the thinking tiring him to the extent he went to sleep.
While the singer, who was behind the olive tree and heard him, went out and put the thought into practice.
Yep I wa a popular song. Around the '50's.
Operetta i guess.
Graham

------------------
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/2/grahamhendersonmusic.htm

#390860 - 01/28/05 03:03 PM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
Joined: Jan 2005
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bullchik Offline
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bullchik  Offline
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Posts: 99
Independence, MO
Great Questions!

As an artist I was always open to trying new things. As I take hold of the business side of the process, I find that the whole thing is a risk so while I know I should be cautious, I just really have the attitude to go out there and give 100%, be prepared for the worst, and hope for the best.

Ironically I find myself working with a talent that lacks confidence and ers on the side of caution, when he is really so talented it blows me out of the water. I tell him all the time until he owns it and believes in it no one else will.

How do you help one develop confidence?


Some days you are the bug.....and some days you are the windsheild!
#390861 - 01/28/05 04:07 PM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Good question, bullchik, I'd say that one needs to practice confidence. There's an old Zen story about the Samurai and the Teamaster.

A Teamaster, the Emperor's chief of tea ceremonies, had somehow insulted a great Samurai who in turn challenged him to a fight. Knowing he could not best the Samurai, he turned to the Emperor's Swordmaster for lessons. The Swordmaster showed him the basic moves and exercises which time allowed. The Teamaster asked for any wisdom which would help a beginning swordman face a Samurai. The Swordmaster told him, "When you face the Samurai, do not be the beginning swordman, be the Teamaster."

Confidence is an attitude. Find that attitude in your life and adopt it in other aspects.

All the Best,
Mike

------------------
You have to practice improvisation. -Art Tatum

Mike Dunbar Music


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#390862 - 01/31/05 09:52 PM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 66
C'est moi Offline
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C'est moi  Offline
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Montana
"I suppose I'm fairly cautious as a musician. As a bass player, that's practically my job description."
*lol* I play bass in bluegrass/acoustic groups, and I always say the bassist's creed is the same as the physician's: first, do no harm.

I've found the best way to be uninhibited when I'm preforming is to be so well rehearsed I know it will go OK. Then I can go with the moment, not having to worry about playing correctly.

#390863 - 02/01/05 01:13 AM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 2,096
TrumanCoyote Offline
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TrumanCoyote  Offline
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Posts: 2,096
Well...I write what I want to; I play when and what I want to; I record my songs the way I want them. I'm pretty mainstream. Nobody would say my music is edgy or pushing any enveolpes...but it is exactly what I want to do.

So...is that cautious or risky?

#390864 - 02/01/05 03:32 AM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
Joined: Jan 2005
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kandd Offline
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kandd  Offline
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Posts: 2
BC
A little caution and a little risque. Writing gospel music and getting the worship songs out there and sung is the whole point to worship itself. The gospel kind of loses its point when one is worrying about losing credit. Inspiration that happens on the spot right at the moment during the flow of a set has no chance to be copyrighted or sent to one's self by registered mail. Letting the HS lead is risque but better. Cash on the barrel may come from time to time but tunes 2 God, 4 God and about God is all about taking that risk in stride.


wench
#390865 - 02/01/05 02:09 PM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
These are all excellent. It's made me think, "What is risk."

One man's risk is another man's passion. I would think it rather risky to jump out of an airplane, but for many it is a favorite activity. Often, during solo section, I'll quote parts of the song's melody. Some players think this is a risky thing to do (risking wrong notes), and other players think it is being cautious (rather than improvising one's own melody).

I like Kandd's understanding of just Whose music it is, anyway? We don't really own music. It's like a jack and ball set your father gives you and says, "Here, go play with it, show me how good you get at it." I mean, we didn't invent the overtone system, any more than we invented electricity...we just play with it. (Based on your post, Kandd, I believe you are also a steward of your gifts, and while freely giving of your gifts, you also protect them from thievery. I will give a poor man a dollar. I will not let a thief steal a dime.)

So, is risk relative? I know skiing is riskier for me now than it was 30 years ago. How does that work with our music?

Mike



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You have to practice improvisation. -Art Tatum

Mike Dunbar Music


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#390866 - 02/01/05 04:27 PM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
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Graham Henderson (D) Offline
Graham Henderson (D)  Offline

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When ya get as old as me ya say Stuff nthe risk. This is what I want to do before I die.
Graham

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http://www.soundclick.com/bands/2/grahamhendersonmusic.htm

#390867 - 02/01/05 05:25 PM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


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Risk is proportional to talent, experience and learned ability. A novice is taking a risk whereas a veteran often is not in nearly any field. The more you know and are trained and have talent, the less doing many things is any risk. So the most mundane thing to one person really is a giant risk to someone else.

Brian


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#390868 - 02/01/05 06:49 PM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music?  
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TrumanCoyote Offline
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TrumanCoyote  Offline
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Good points, Brian. I'm not sure I agree with your first sentence ("Risk is proportional to talent, experience and learned ability."), but I agree with everything else.

Maybe another way to put it (or another way to look at it) is that risk is proportional to what one has to lose. For a beginner, who does not have a career riding on his decisions, and who does not have a lifetime invested in his art, he does not have much to lose. So a "risky" enterprise may not really be all that risky. If a policy of caution and a policy of risk net the same result, is there really a difference?

On the other hand, for a guy who has invested a lifetime, and who has a career riding on the outcomes of his decisions, EVERYTHING carries some risk. The title of the new album may not mean squat to the guy releasing an indie from his basement. It might be a make or break decision to a veteran.

Garth Brooks certainly took a huge risk with the whole Chris Gaines thing. I suppose most people would say that the risk was a failure. It probably cost Garth millions...but since he had mega-millions, what was the big deal? I doubt you will ever hear him say that he regetted that he did it.

And then, or course, there are a lot of people who believe that being too cautious is the greatest risk of all.

#1010625 - 06/02/13 09:47 PM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music? [Re: TrumanCoyote]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


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I guess risk is more about whether you have the rent, food on the table and the means to sustain it past the weekend.


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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#1020835 - 08/24/13 01:51 AM Re: Are you cautious or risky with your music? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Sep 2008
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Keith Gamble Offline
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Keith Gamble  Offline
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Taking chances and exploring is what it`s all about in avant-garde jazz. Risk is part of the art.


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