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#1156328 - 09/07/19 05:30 AM Quantity Or Quality  
Joined: Mar 2010
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Cheyenne Offline
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Cheyenne  Offline
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QUANTITY OR QUALITY


This is an interesting article written by Professor Gary Ewer


Back when the late Stan Good used to write
A Song Par Jour,on J P F, hardly any of those
Lyrics got turned into finish songs, nothing
wrong with that I’m sure most here would agree, however sadly Stan would hardly ever consider re writing a lyric, I only know that
because Stan and his wife stayed with us at our holiday home in FRANCE at least on two occasions, via a visit to their son who was studying at a French University for a couple of years,
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Article written by professor Gary Ewer

Getting lots of musical ideas is only good if they’re good ideas.
Ask yourself how many songs you think you should be writing, and why. If it is a hard question to answer, it’s because the number of songs you write is probably only important to you, and that should tell you something.

Think quality, not quantity. Like Sechter, no one will remember you for the number of songs you wrote. Songs that have any kind of longevity are ones that show that the writer had a true grasp of the fundamentals of good song structure. That has little to nothing to do with how much.

If quantity is still important to you, consider having several songs on the go at any one time. Having 3-5 songs in various stages of completion allows you to move from one to another as you “get stuck” with one. It’s probably your best way to move into the world of being prolific. (copyright by Gary Ewer)

(Back To Me)

I expect we all have varied views on this, I would add Stan never played a musical instrument , but it wasn’t for lack of trying
I woke up one morning and heard him trying to
Get a melody out of my Bass Guitar out on our
Patio

Good Old Days R I P Stan

P S Good memories, and I am certain Stan did finish a few songs in collaboration with older J P F members ?

Last edited by Cheyenne; 09/07/19 05:34 AM.

One of the most important principles of songwriting is to remember that a good song is a partnership of many different components, all working together to produce a satisfying musical experience.

In that respect, song components are either enhancing or compromising their combined effects.
#1156330 - 09/07/19 06:18 AM Re: Quantity Or Quality [Re: Cheyenne]  
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Roy Cooper Offline
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Stan.. what a great person he was, always finding time for others. And never getting upset.
I know that many many people on JPF have fond memories of him.

R.I.P Stan and God Bless

From me and Helen who is now with you in Gods arms.

Roy


'You Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs To Find A Prince'

Our Record Label

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#1156333 - 09/07/19 10:46 AM Re: Quantity Or Quality [Re: Cheyenne]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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Good ol' Stan! I'll never forget his kindness.

[Linked Image]

John smile

#1156334 - 09/07/19 12:02 PM Re: Quantity Or Quality [Re: Cheyenne]  
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Fdemetrio Online content
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I remember Stan, good guy.

Quantity or Quality for songwriting? Depends who you ask. Some say the only way to learn how to write good songs is to write alot of bad ones.

From what I understand, Springsteen's Darkness on The Edge of Town, originally had 70 songs written and only 10 made the album!

Writing alot of songs also enables you to use pieces of those songs for other songs. Plus writing alot keeps the engine running.

There's also the problem that nobody knows what a good song is.... but that's another story.

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 09/07/19 12:36 PM.
#1156338 - 09/07/19 05:58 PM Re: Quantity Or Quality [Re: Cheyenne]  
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maccharles Offline
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Quantity is an exercise on the path to quality, one learns ones strengths and abilities via quantity.

One will most assuredly reach some form of subjective quality only through the exercise of quantity.

Three cents.

#1156340 - 09/07/19 06:26 PM Re: Quantity Or Quality [Re: Cheyenne]  
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maccharles Offline
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And by the way.....I miss Stan too.. ..he was so incredibly affable and.....well....stan.

#1156342 - 09/07/19 10:47 PM Re: Quantity Or Quality [Re: Cheyenne]  
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JAPOV Offline
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Lol.... I listen to great songs every day that will never make a cent or be played on the radio..... I guess that just makes me a poor critic smile

#1156344 - 09/07/19 11:55 PM Re: Quantity Or Quality [Re: Cheyenne]  
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couchgrouch Online content
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The goal is quality.

Stan was a great guy, no question. But he posted hundreds of lyrics of very poor quality...no hooks/titles, wildly uneven meter rendering them unusable by composers, themes no one would ever want to sing etc, etc. He never improved. His lyrics weren't rungs on a ladder to quality.

JPF had many such posters back then. If you go back and read posts from 2004, you'll see weak lyrics with dozens of positive comments that went nowhere. An honest critique about writing to the hook, smoothing meter or structure was a rare bird, indeed.

Also rare from those days is a viable demo born of those lyrics. Part of being viable is a meter and structure where the
singer isn't forced to "talk" the lyric because it's unsingable. Verses that support a memorable hook. A theme that lends itself to a second vs and bridge that progress beyond the section that preceded it. Quantity means nothing without those things.

Last edited by couchgrouch; 09/08/19 12:11 AM.

Nashville demos etc:

https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=431939

other demos:

https://soundcloud.com/wabash-cannibal

Amazon Kindle books by Robert George you may enjoy:

1) Americana

2) Teenage Graceland

3) The Will to Be

4) Fort Mystery

5) Wheel Sea

6) My One True Love
#1156356 - 09/09/19 08:28 AM Re: Quantity Or Quality [Re: Cheyenne]  
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Sunset Poet Online content
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Personally

I think quantity is what people do when they lack focus and meaningful song ideas.

it's akin to the idea of achieving 25 years of experience at something, versus achieving one year of experience 25 times.

my 2 cents

#1156357 - 09/09/19 09:25 AM Re: Quantity Or Quality [Re: Cheyenne]  
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Michael LeBlanc Offline
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Michael LeBlanc  Offline
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Quantity is what keeps my brain from going stagnant,it also holds "hooks or other useful lines" i can go back and steal from and write a quality lyric.RIP Stan.

#1156365 - 09/09/19 06:01 PM Re: Quantity Or Quality [Re: Cheyenne]  
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Mark Kaufman Offline
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Quality or Quantity?

The part of me that ultimately answers the question is The Editor. He sits there and judges, thumbs up or down, and is probably right. But he's also a boring drag who who can't write (too busy judging), so The Editor doesn't get to play, doesn't get to have fun, doesn't get to mess around and create. He has to wait. He only gets to come in when it's time to alter, arrange, re-record, edit, mix and master.

The part of me that creates just wants to play. It wants to fly. It wants to paint things, reveal things, shout about things and make you feel it. It's like a force, an energy being channeled, and when I'm in this mode it's all the same quality to me, at this point anyway—it's all just stone being chiseled, paint being squeezed, stuff pouring out.

For me, quantity has to do with how often I get to create—I don't write any faster or slower than I ever do, I just write at the speed of writing. Some ideas strike like lightning, some slowly percolate to the surface, some are methodically constructed. If this were my sole profession, I'd be at it 80 hours a week minimum, kicking out boatloads. As it is, I have maybe ten hours a week to make music, so I don't need to load any boats. Whatever the pace, I only play what interests me, and I try to make whatever I'm making as well as I can.

So with me the speed of output doesn't change the quality of the output—I don't have an Awesome Mode and a Suck Mode. I just have this insufferable armchair quarterback of an Editor, judging it all after the fact.

#1156366 - 09/09/19 08:47 PM Re: Quantity Or Quality [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Sunset Poet Online content
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Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman
Quality or Quantity?

As it is, I have maybe ten hours a week to make music, so I don't need to load any boats..


Exactly, so you focus on the best stuff that comes to mind and spend what time you have developing that.
Even if you have more time...that's the way to do it.

#1156374 - 09/10/19 01:18 PM Re: Quantity Or Quality [Re: maccharles]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
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Originally Posted by maccharles
Quantity is an exercise on the path to quality, one learns ones strengths and abilities via quantity.

One will most assuredly reach some form of subjective quality only through the exercise of quantity.

Three cents.


Yes. The worst thing any writer can do is hype over a handful of songs for DECADES without writing anything new or better. I think you need to do both to get where you are going. I do not believe that getting stuck in seeking perfect at the sacrifice of good enough is a trap that too many entry level writers get in. You have to write a lot of bad songs before the good ones come along. One exception? Susan Gibson wrote Wide Open Spaces in it's finished form as her first song. But, and this is key, she writes SO much better now. When you're first song is one of the highest earning songs in Country music history, that's a pretty good base to build on. But her newer stuff is far superior to it.

And Stan was... in 2 words: The Man!


Brian Austin Whitney
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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

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#1156376 - 09/10/19 06:29 PM Re: Quantity Or Quality [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Sunset Poet Online content
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Sunset Poet  Online Content
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Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Originally Posted by maccharles
Quantity is an exercise on the path to quality, one learns ones strengths and abilities via quantity.

One will most assuredly reach some form of subjective quality only through the exercise of quantity.

Three cents.


Yes. The worst thing any writer can do is hype over a handful of songs for DECADES without writing anything new or better. I think you need to do both to get where you are going. I do not believe that getting stuck in seeking perfect at the sacrifice of good enough is a trap that too many entry level writers get in. You have to write a lot of bad songs before the good ones come along. One exception? Susan Gibson wrote Wide Open Spaces in it's finished form as her first song. But, and this is key, she writes SO much better now. When you're first song is one of the highest earning songs in Country music history, that's a pretty good base to build on. But her newer stuff is far superior to it.

And Stan was... in 2 words: The Man!



If you're in the business of songwriting and write a song every day and write with others, I agree.
If you are an ammy who wishes they were, I suggest using what time is available and cherry picking your best stuff to spend it on.
If merely having fun is the goal, then one should do whatever they feel like doing with their songwriting at any given moment.

Including opining about quantity versus quality if that provides a good time.

Context


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