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#1110687 - 07/14/16 09:16 AM Melody Writer vs. Story Teller  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Barry David Butler  Online Content
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Sebring, Florida USA
How many HERE can do both?
These two skills are completely different.
I'm lucky to be able to do both and also sing the songs.
BUT I write with great lyricists from all over the world.
I find that I see a story everywhere and melodies come easy to me. I learned to write a melody to existing words and also stand alone melodies.
I find that some lyricists don't understand the rhythm of a song OR the Rhyme Scheme.
I mostly like to write my OWN Story as I've always prided myself a Singer Songwriter.
Any Thoughts!!!!!!!!!!!!
Barry

#1110688 - 07/14/16 09:34 AM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Dave Rice Offline
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Dave Rice  Offline
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Hi Barry:

You are a prolific writer and composer. Many never grasp either of these abilities. Often, it is because of lack of musical training or easonable command of the language. With others, it is a limited vocabulary.

With most songwriters, the lyrics are as far as they can take a song. Some don't understand the difference between a song and a poem. Being able to play an instrument (usually a piano or guitar) allows them to step into the musical dimension of songwriting... but many never do.

All of these elements are important and a songwriter should not feel intimidated if he/she is unable to do every aspect of songwriting. There are so many other songwriters willing to help "musicate" a song as Beth Williams often puts it.

The story telling aspect is also important but the melody is the most significant part of the song in most genres.

You are a lucky man to have a command of all of these elements.
Best of luck with your music.

----Dave

#1110690 - 07/14/16 10:05 AM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Dave Rice]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Thanks for the nice comment.....I used to work with lyricists that really wrote poetry and help them fix the form. I actually charged $100 to fix up the words.....write a melody and record it in mp3 and on Youtube.....I really enjoy writing stand alone melodies but when a story starts to come I go with it....Gives me lots of anxiety for some reason....lol
Haven't written ANYTHING New since my Radiation Therapy and Seem to have a little Anxiety about writing anything new....I've been getting ideas but the Rads have given me lots of fatigue....So that's how it rolls. B

#1110691 - 07/14/16 10:37 AM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Yes,
I write all the words and work out the melody for all of my songs as such. That doesn't mean it is easy to write a good song.
I actually work out a song without an instrument and when I have it like I want it I use a guitar to play as I record a demo of the song.


Ray E. Strode
#1110708 - 07/14/16 03:52 PM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Michael LeBlanc Offline
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Michael LeBlanc  Offline
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i'd like to think i can do both.Although i don't play an instrument.The melody is always in my head.I can at least sing the lyric to a musician if needed.But i do know what i hear in my head and i know how i want a song to be,if you can understand that Barry.Mike

#1110714 - 07/14/16 04:37 PM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Michael LeBlanc]  
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Colin Ward Online content
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Some interesting viewpoints. Some people believe that it is a good idea to write the melody on an instrument that is not your normal one. That way, you are less inclined to fall into old patterns and repeat yourself. Almost anyone can pick out a tune on a piano even if guitar or something else is your first instrument.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#1110743 - 07/15/16 08:21 AM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Colin Ward]  
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R&M Offline
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R&M  Offline
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I have had a certain feeling or mood related to what I have seen or heard with melody. Then I have used lyrics to explain that.
I don't know if anyone from atom gets more out of my lyrics either way or not with that, Im terrible with forms to begin with, but it does seem very therapeutic.

Last edited by R&M; 07/15/16 09:40 AM.
#1111141 - 07/21/16 07:45 AM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Pat Hardy Offline
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Most of my melodies spring from a similar well as the melodies
known as the "American Songbook". So, my style has a retro feel, from the 30s/40s/50s ( think Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Jobim ) and I also do retro latin jazz and bossa nova. My melodies are terse, leaving not a lot of room for the lyricist to do whatever he or she wants, which many find fustrating w working with me. If I get a decent Idea, I can write the lyric, but often I'm stumped and seek a lyricist, but lyricists who are right for my style ( who understand the mindset of the music ) are rare. So, usually I write melody first, and often do the melody on the piano, or I sing it over chords. I often use extended chords and poly chords, but only if it adds to the feel, not for using them for their own sake, and I'll use simple chords when that's all that is needed. I'm not a pop writer, by no means. I have a niche, a small niche, but that's me.




#1111187 - 07/21/16 10:26 PM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Pat Hardy]  
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Andy K Offline
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Andy K  Offline
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I do both lyrics and music. Most of the songs I've cowritten I created the melody, except for a couple of songs that resulted from band jams.

I find it much, much easier to put music to existing lyrics than lyrics to music. Unfortunately, I think my best music comes spontaneously with no idea for lyrics or even a theme. Those tend to take years to finish as I struggle with finding suitable lyrics.


Stone Marmot
nouveau retro pop-rock music
www.stonemarmot.com
Check out our latest song, "Sweet Little Starlet"
#1111236 - 07/22/16 04:22 PM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Andy K]  
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Actually, I find it easier to work from rhythm, then get music and lyrics in place. But, of course, great storytelling is an artform in itself, and is never easy.


Buzz Tracks
Making media sweeter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buzztracks
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#1111246 - 07/22/16 05:40 PM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Kolstad]  
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Rick Heenan Offline
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I strive to keep my songs simple. Mostly so they are easy to show other players. I usually start with a melody, and after I play it enough and get comfortable with it, the words sometime just fall right off it. Its me Celtic heritage that makes me tell stories.

Like the time my mother was yelling at me for swimming in the canal. And I was vehemently denying it, "No, ma, I wasn't swimming in the canal." Never realizing I smelled just like it.

See what I mean, its genetic.


#1111249 - 07/22/16 09:59 PM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Rick Heenan]  
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Aaron Authier Offline
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I think the trick is to not bog your song down with too much information. If you want to write a story with a lot of detail write it as a short story. A song should include a few details per verse that can be tied to a chorus. But don't use too many words to describe it and don't take long to get to the chorus. Get there in 30 seconds.

#1111255 - 07/22/16 11:41 PM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Aaron Authier]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Barry David Butler  Online Content
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Easier said than done...lol
Barry

#1111265 - 07/23/16 11:01 AM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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I write both ways. I'm tuned into rhythm and composing compelling melody lines yet most of my songs are also story songs. They're not mutually exclusive properties. One can tell a story where it's like watching a movie in your head and still keep it relatively short. True, story songs can run a bit long in general but if the story is compelling as well as the melody and rhythm it still keeps the attention of the listening audience.

I recently released an album made up of story songs that in itself makes up a musical drama telling a larger overall story. I'm performing the whole album live and it runs 52 minutes in length, 14 songs and a narrative interlude. I was concerned at first that it might be a little too long to hold the continued interest and attention of an audience but I've received very positive feedback from audiences so far, whith lots of folks coming up to me after a concert, telling me how much it touched them and how they could relate to it in their own lives. Doesn't get much better than that for self validation.

Stevie

#1111297 - 07/23/16 02:12 PM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Little_stevie_b]  
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Aaron Authier Offline
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I'm not into story songs. Most of them are preachy and want us to learn a lesson. Nobody learns a lesson by listening to a song though, they learn it the hard way. It's like when someone tells you to live like you were dying. I have no idea how to live like that because I'm not dying. I think it's a brilliant song but I'm just not capable of understanding what it's like. Another song that comes to mind Is Don't Blink by Kenny Chesney. Telling me to don't blink cause life goes fast doesn't work on me, I'm still young. I think story songs are more for older listeners anyway. I mostly want up tempo songs. Something that doesn't get me thinking. Music is supposed to be an escape for me and not a chore. I mostly love songs with catchy hooks lyrically and melodically. I don't have time to be learning a lesson. But that's just me. It's probably a millennial thing.

#1111299 - 07/23/16 03:05 PM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Aaron Authier]  
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Little_stevie_b Offline
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A story doesn't have to be a lesson or preachy, just a good story. I guess your just into "I Love You, You Love Me, Ooka Dooka Dicka Dee songs. A story song can still have a catchy melody, rhythm and hook...and tempo. You don't like intellectual stimulation though apparently from what you said. I have story songs that are in the 2:30 to 3:30 range are very uptempo and people think they're catchy musically. And not just old fogies like me. The younger kids are attracted to them too, at least from what they tell me.

What do you mean you don't have time to be learning anyway? I notice you're always preaching your views on the USA via Canada on the General forum. Does that mean no one should take you seriously on your views concerning things like Universal Healthcare or Gun Control because you don't like to think? If it's a millennial thing that explains a lot about current culture. I hope you're wrong though. My grandkids will have to pick up the rubble left behind.

#1111301 - 07/23/16 03:33 PM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Little_stevie_b]  
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Aaron Authier Offline
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I don't get intellectual stimulation from music. I read a lot and I'm always learning that way. I don't really know why you're being a jerk. You should chill. I made a general comment on myself.

Last edited by airun; 07/23/16 03:36 PM.
#1111302 - 07/23/16 03:47 PM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Aaron Authier]  
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Little_stevie_b Offline
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Apologies then. I was just commenting on your statement about still being young and not wanting to learn lessons. I took that to mean a lack intellectual curiosity. I stand by my question concerning your pontificating on the state of affairs in my country via Canada though. You mentioned story songs being preachy and yet you preach constantly. Major disconnect. Gonna go chill now with a glass of warm milk and a nap. That's what we old folks do ya know. That and be jerks.

#1111303 - 07/23/16 03:59 PM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Little_stevie_b]  
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Aaron Authier Offline
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I don't want to be preached to in music form. Unless it's Kacey Musgraves preaching to me but she's preaching to the choir there. And she's the best. And that's the bottom line because Stone Cold Aaron said so.

#1111304 - 07/23/16 04:02 PM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Aaron Authier]  
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Little_stevie_b Offline
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Haha. Then I guess I best believe.

#1111306 - 07/23/16 04:39 PM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Aaron Authier]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Barry David Butler  Online Content
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That's what makes ART so amazing where everybody sees their own beauty.....I have story songs that aren't too preachy...lol
One that comes to mind is ANGEL BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD...
B

#1112734 - 08/09/16 06:10 PM Re: Melody Writer vs. Story Teller [Re: Aaron Authier]  
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Pat Hardy Offline
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Pat Hardy  Offline
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Originally Posted by Aaron Authier
I'm not into story songs. Most of them are preachy and want us to learn a lesson. Nobody learns a lesson by listening to a song though, they learn it the hard way. It's like when someone tells you to live like you were dying. I have no idea how to live like that because I'm not dying. I think it's a brilliant song but I'm just not capable of understanding what it's like. Another song that comes to mind Is Don't Blink by Kenny Chesney. Telling me to don't blink cause life goes fast doesn't work on me, I'm still young. I think story songs are more for older listeners anyway. I mostly want up tempo songs. Something that doesn't get me thinking. Music is supposed to be an escape for me and not a chore. I mostly love songs with catchy hooks lyrically and melodically. I don't have time to be learning a lesson. But that's just me. It's probably a millennial thing.



yeah, I kinda feel the same, unless there is really a compelling story, but many can be preachy, etc. I like basically a song with a single idea, that states it in a fresh, unique, or clever, or compelling way. "It's Five O'clock Somewhere" is a great example of this. But, Ive got songs with real saccharine lyrics, but they are there just as placeholders while I'm searching for a better lyric.


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