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Ande's Lyric Writing Tips

Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/01/07 03:56 PM

Thought I'd share my Lyric writing tips with Y'all

btw you might enjoy
www.SongWriterBlog.com
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Ande's Lyric Writing Tips
By Ande Rasmussen www.SongWriterBlog.com
edited 04/06/08


01) You don't need to be able to sing, read music, or even write music to write songs. You need to believe that you can write songs. If you want to write songs, start writing. Your first songs aren't likely to be very good, be patient stick with it you will improve.


02) No Rules
There are no rules, there are only tools, guidelines. You'll find exceptions to everything below, but it's generally good to use the tools, unless you have a really good reason not to. It's important to understand each guideline.


03) A song contains 3 things:
a. Lyrics: the words to the song
b. Vocal melody: the way you sing the words, the notes, stresses, and pauses and
c. Music: the notes, chords, and instrument sounds
that fit around and support the lyrics and melody


04) Study the songs you love.
Listen to them and write out the lyrics by hand (play the song over and over.)
Learn to perform the songs you love.
Write songs that are similar to the ones you love.
Read songwriting books, go to songwriting conferences, join songwriting organizations and participate, attend meetings, volunteer. Participate on online communities.


05) Song Idea Radar
Have your song idea radar on at all times, always be looking for and listening for great song ideas, when you find one, capture it, write it down or record it. Capture as many as you can. Then develop them further.


06) When a song idea arrives, let it flow, capture it, write down or record everything that arrives. Just get it out, donít edit in that moment, you can always go back later and edit. If you are cowriting and your cowriter is flowing, sometimes the best thing you can do is stay out of the way. When you have a strong idea you will think of many lines to go with it, your task is to edit them down to the strongest most effective lines that fit and sound the best.


07) Songwriting Journal
Start a songwriting journal and write down your ideas. Keep pen and paper handy where you can't bring your journal. When you have enough of a song going transfer it to your computer


08) Cowrite:
Consider cowriting, you're likely to write better songs faster. Plus youíll have another person who cares about the song and might share expenses. If you cowrite with an artist or producer you increase the chances of the song getting performed and recorded. Cowriting is kind of like dating, write with many people and you'll find a few favorites. Get the first one out of the way. Keep trying your best song might be the 5th, 9th, or 25th song you've cowritten. Learn how you cowrite best.


09) Keep a list of all the songs you've written,
the date you started,
who you wrote each one with,
the current status of the song.


10) Move People
Well written songs emotionally move listeners.
Well written lyrics emotionally move the readers.
Songs need to be universal this means many people can relate to the songís story or situation.
We write songs for our listeners.


11) Music is about theme, variation on theme, departure from theme, then return to the theme.
Song sections contrast, lyricists do this by:
a.) only using title words in the chorus
b.) using different line lengths, rhyme sounds and rhyme patterns in different sections


12) The Building Blocks of Songs
Song Structures or Forms
Lyrics have building blocks and structures.
The building blocks are:
Title, Verse, chorus, bridge and prechorus.
The title is name of the song, it's what the song is all about, the most repeated phrase in the chorus.
Verse provides the story and details about the song and leads to the title.
The chorus is summarizes the song and hammers home the title.
Bridges are a section between the last 2 choruses usually just 2 lines adding more details or a twist.
The prechorus, sometimes called channel, lift or climb is a section in some songs between the first verse and the chorus, and the second verse and the 2nd chorus.
The simplest structure or form is:
Verse / Chorus / Verse / Chorus or V C V C
Many songs have a bridge their form is V C V C B C
Songs that contain a prechorus or climb, the section between the verse and chorus, that section is called a climb or a lift
Have this structure is V Cl Ch V Cl Ch
There's several more song forms like
Verse Verse Bridge Verse, and
Verse Verse Bridge Verse Bridge Verse.
The form you choose depends on which one best serves the song idea.


13) Genuine Idea
Is the idea worthy of becoming a song?
Does it strike a chord?
Is it universal, will millions want to hear it and sing it over and over?


14) Keep It Conversational
Write a lyric the way you would say it. Lyrics are conversational, don't reverse word order for the sake of rhyme, only use words you'd use in a natural normal conversation. KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Harlan Howard said, write songs so people who are half listening can half understand.


15) Titles
Every song has a title. Titles are the songs' brand. The title is the most repeated phrase in the chorus. It's the phrase that sticks in people's heads. Find a word or phrase that DEMANDS ATTENTION. The title usually summarizes the song.

if a chorus has 8 lines: here are 5 examples of where titles are often placed

1) x
2)
3)
4)
5) x
6)
7)
8)

1) x
2)
3) x
4)
5)
6)
7)
8) x

1) x
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8) x

1)
2)
3)
4) x
5)
6)
7)
8) x

1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8) x

Some songs don't have a chorus they just have a repeated hook line.
Some choruses donít have 8 lines


16) Prove the title.
The purpose of the verse is to lead the listener to the chorus, every line in the verse should be connected to and point to the title. Verses should build up to the chorus.


17) IMAGERY
Use imagery, don't tell me, show me with images, write with all of your senses, things you see, feel, hear, taste, and touch
Specifics are special.


18) Opening Lines
The opening line of the lyric should GRAB the listeners attention
Start with a bang. Drop the cat in the punch bowl! Splash
http://www.peoplestories.org/tips.asp
Establish who what when and where in the first few lines. Start in the middle of the action.


19) Avoid cliches, they are the kiss of death
Attempt to create expressions that people have never heard before but when they hear it they understand it. Sometimes a cliche is what you need to use to best convey the emotion.


20) Transition into the Chorus
The last line in each verse should seemlessly transition the listener into the chorus.


21) Be Concise
Each lyric line in a song needs to be concise.
Each syllable has to be sung. Whatís the simplest clearest way to write each line? Cut the fat, leave the meat.


22) Some words don't sing well
don't use them.
Avoid adverbs, find the verb.
One and two syllable words are the backbone of lyrics


23) Matching
Verse 1 and 2 should have the same rhyme scheme
Syllable stresses should match, Syllable counts should be close, if not exact.
When you compare each line of verse 1 and 2, they should have close to the same number of syllables and you should be able to sing the same melody on each line ie when you compare V1 L1 with V2 L2


24) Avoid puns and being overly clever
A song should generate a real emotion in the listener rather than make the reader or listener say, "My my my you are so clever." It's fun to write funny songs but novelty songs can be tough to place.


25) Nothing New
There's nothing new under the sun, strive to have something new and special about your lyric


26) Bits and Pieces
Songs rarely arrive fully baked. They usually arrive in bits and pieces. It's up to you to put the lyric together. Writing lyrics can be like solving puzzles.


27) Great songs are Rewritten.
You can keep tweaking the song you're writing. At some point have the courage to say, this song is done, but remember just because you say it's done doesn't mean that it is. Great songs are CoRewritten


28) Make the singer Look good.
Lyrics need to make the singer look good, but not too good.


29) POV
Think about which POV would best expresses the songís situation and emotion:
a. I / We / Me / Us
b. You
c. He She They


30) Write What You Know
Write with authority, don't contrive. Write about things you've experienced.


31) Rhyming
You donít have to use perfect rhymes, like rock and block,
you can rhyme the vowel sound without worrying about the end consonants
imperfect rhymes sound similar to each other like swim and win,
imperfect rhymes give writers a larger word palette
Use online rhyme dictionaries like RhymeZone.


32) When you find a song idea youíre considering writing:
Google the title to see if itís ever been written before, put quotation marks around the phrase
You can also do a title searches on ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.
Just because there already is a song with the title you're thinking about writing doesn't mean you should stop. Go ahead and write the song.


33) Donít steal song ideas from people you know and those who know you. The songwriting community is small, word will get out. Guard your reputation. Be prepared, pleasant, real and fun. Be the kind of person people want to write with again and again. Likeability and personality play an important role in your success at building your songwriting team.


34) Critiquing
You have to become your own toughest critic. Every line and note must shine. One of the best things to do is to write a lyric, then set it aside for a few days, weeks or months so you can approach it later from a fresh perspective. Build a team of excellent writers who will be tough critiquers of your work. Though we crave compliments, we need to write stronger songs. Consider getting professional critiques. It is not sensible to critique songs in one genre with the criteria of another.
IE critiquing a pop song using country lyric writing guidelines. It's all someone's opinion. Songwriters tend to be tougher on songs than fans and listeners.


35) Melody is King
A well written lyric can inspire a great melody, but a great melody is what makes a great song. There are many wonderful songs where you can barely make out the lyrics. Marc Alan Barnette wrote: "A weak lyric can be rescued by a strong melody, it never goes the other way around." Simplicity is critical. Make your choruses jump out, make them clear simple catchy and singable.


36) Songwriting can be a Pandoraís box, if you start you might not be able to stop.


37) That's all for now but Iíll probably write more later

I hope this helps you write better songs, Let me know if it does. So now I challenge you to write a lyric.

Ande Rasmussen
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/01/07 09:54 PM

Good clear list all together in one place.
Posted By: Terry Moore

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/02/07 03:29 AM

Excellent post...Songwriters bible....
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/19/07 06:23 PM

thank you

just wanted y'all to know that I edited it today and added a few things here and there

Ande

Originally Posted by Kevin Emmrich
Good clear list all together in one place.


Originally Posted by Terry Moore
Excellent post...Songwriters bible....


Posted By: Herbie Gaines

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/19/07 09:12 PM

Very good post Ande....
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/20/07 01:15 AM

Hate to be the big bad wolf.. well not really But I've read / heard some of ande's songs and tip number 9 came Into play

9) Avoid cliches, they are the kiss of death
Attempt to create expressions that people have never heard before but when they hear it they understand it. Sometimes a cliche is what you need to use to best convey the emotion

I guess the old adage in this case though is, Do as I tell you and not as I do
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/20/07 01:41 AM

if you read it, it also says

"Sometimes a cliche is what you need to use to best convey the emotion"

I think my bases are covered

also there's

1) No Rules
There are no rules, there are only tools. You'll find exceptions to everything below, but it's generally good to use them, unless you have a really good reason not to.

ande

Originally Posted by airun
Hate to be the big bad wolf.. well not really But I've read / heard some of ande's songs and tip number 9 came Into play

9) Avoid cliches, they are the kiss of death
Attempt to create expressions that people have never heard before but when they hear it they understand it. Sometimes a cliche is what you need to use to best convey the emotion

I guess the old adage in this case though is, Do as I tell you and not as I do
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/20/07 01:42 AM

Hi Herbie,

Thank you
hope your writing is going well.

Ande

Originally Posted by Herbie Gaines
Very good post Ande....
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/20/07 04:57 AM

Let me post your song "eventually"

This is not just one little tiny cliche as you have mentioned
It's a song based on lines we have heard since forever and I am only pointing this out because you deny it
I can post other songs too if you want?
Not being a narc or anything I'm just very critical over lyrics
And you think you're some kind of songwriting mentor and to be honest this is like taking singing lessons from a person who got rejected from american idol auditions

Eventually
Written by Mark Oates, Donna Aylor, and Ande Rasmussen

verse 1
I lie in bed and wonder how you are
Little things remind me how we are now apart
No more talking on the phone
Or late nights with you alone
And tho I dont know why you said goodbye

CHORUS:
EVENTUALLY
I'LL FORGET ABOUT YOU
EVENTUALLY
I'LL LOVE SOMEONE NEW
THO ALL I DO IS THINK ABOUT
THE WAY WE USED TO BE
I'LL GET ON WITH LIFE
EVENTUALLY

verse2
I'm waiting for your memory to fade
I'm still holding onto the promises you made
You said you felt for me
A love that would always be
And I wish I could feel that love tonight

REPEAT CHORUS

BRIDGE
Somewhere between these walls of time
Someone will love this heart of mine
Though it hurts to know it wont be you

REPEAT CHORUS
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/20/07 05:15 AM

Just so you don't respond back before backing up your lyric
Let me show you what I mean and I'm wondering if everybody who critiqued It lied to you about it being good
Obviously you want to go commercial with It so there's no excuse

Little things remind me how we are now apart
No more talking on the phone
Or late nights with you alone
And tho I dont know why you said goodbye

- - Verse 1 - you're telling us and not showing
- - lines 1 2 3 4 5 and if you had a 6th are old and used

CHORUS:
EVENTUALLY
I'LL FORGET ABOUT YOU
EVENTUALLY
I'LL LOVE SOMEONE NEW
THO ALL I DO IS THINK ABOUT
THE WAY WE USED TO BE
I'LL GET ON WITH LIFE
EVENTUALLY

Chorus - - can the chorus get any more bland the hook is fine
- - But it lacks everything a hook should be

verse2
I'm waiting for your memory to fade
I'm still holding onto the promises you made
You said you felt for me
A love that would always be
And I wish I could feel that love tonight

- - Verse 2 - you're telling us and not showing
- - Lines 1 2 3 4 5 blah blah blah spare me
- - By the way lines 3 and 4.. who talks like that oh Shakesphere!


REPEAT CHORUS

- - See first chorus

BRIDGE
Somewhere between these walls of time
Someone will love this heart of mine
Though it hurts to know it wont be you

- - All you're saying In the bridge is the same non sense
- - That you said In the chorus (oops)


REPEAT CHORUS

- - Please don't repeat chorus
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/20/07 05:31 AM

This is what the chorus would look like If I wrote it, but its probably not really good and I probably wouldnt keep it

EVENTUALLY
I'LL GET YOUR SMELL
OFF MY SMILEY FACE T SHIRT
THE PHONE WILL RING
AND IT'LL BE A NEW GIRL
I'M HEALING MYSELF
SPIRITUALLY AND EMOTIONALLY
I'LL GET BACK THE WAY I USED TO BE
EVENTUALLY
Posted By: Moker Jarrett

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/20/07 06:22 AM

Ande,
you continue to inspire me, which I try to do myself everyday anyway...ha, there's another one for the list...find something that inspires you everyday...wanna hear some good bluegrass? go listen to a new demo I just posted on the mp3 board "The Apple Barn" the chops these guys have will either inspire or humble you or both...thanks for the post, things like this, it doesn't hurt to read them a thousand times, and no I couldn't stop writing if I tried...see ya...Moker
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/20/07 06:48 AM

Dear airun,

Thank you for drawing attention to Eventually
people can hear the

piano vocal at:
http://www.songramp.com/mod/mps/viewtrack.php?trackid=12739

and the

pop demo at:
http://www.songramp.com/mod/mps/viewtrack.php?trackid=12740

I cowrote the song in 1999 - 2000, I started writing songs in 1998. In 2000 "Eventually" won grand prize in the ASG Bare Bones Song Contest. (around 150 songs were entered)

I think it's a great song, people tell me it's a great song, but it's good to know there are those who don't like it.

3 artists have cut it, many artists have asked to record it.
It moves people who are suseptable to it.
Ask someone who's recently been dumped to have a listen.

When you cowrite a song with 2 other people you don't always get your way on every line.

Marc Alan Barnette wrote:
"A weak lyric can be rescued by a strong melody,
it never goes the other way around."

I am a student just like everyone here. I know what I did to accomplish what I've done so far in songwriting and I'm happy to share what I know with others.

These guidelines are tools that I use. Some I wrote, some I paraphrased from many songwriting books I've read and workshops I attended.

I share much of my songwrting journey at
www.SongWriterBlog.com
click on messages and browse through the archive of previous messages,
I often share things at jpf before I put them in my ezine.

It may not be sensible to critique songs in one genre with the criteria of another.
IE critiquing a pop song using country lyric writing guidelines

I wish you the best with your writing
Thanks for sharing Eventually with the readers of this thread.

Ande

Originally Posted by airun
Let me post your song "eventually"

This is not just one little tiny cliche as you have mentioned
It's a song based on lines we have heard since forever and I am only pointing this out because you deny it
I can post other songs too if you want?
Not being a narc or anything I'm just very critical over lyrics
And you think you're some kind of songwriting mentor and to be honest this is like taking singing lessons from a person who got rejected from american idol auditions

Eventually
Written by Mark Oates, Donna Aylor, and Ande Rasmussen

verse 1
I lie in bed and wonder how you are
Little things remind me how we are now apart
No more talking on the phone
Or late nights with you alone
And tho I dont know why you said goodbye

CHORUS:
EVENTUALLY
I'LL FORGET ABOUT YOU
EVENTUALLY
I'LL LOVE SOMEONE NEW
THO ALL I DO IS THINK ABOUT
THE WAY WE USED TO BE
I'LL GET ON WITH LIFE
EVENTUALLY

verse2
I'm waiting for your memory to fade
I'm still holding onto the promises you made
You said you felt for me
A love that would always be
And I wish I could feel that love tonight

REPEAT CHORUS

BRIDGE
Somewhere between these walls of time
Someone will love this heart of mine
Though it hurts to know it wont be you

REPEAT CHORUS
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/20/07 07:02 AM

hey moker,

great to hear from you
thanks
right now I'm dropping by
http://www.jpfolks.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=542635

Ande


Originally Posted by Moker Jarrett
Ande,
you continue to inspire me, which I try to do myself everyday anyway...ha, there's another one for the list...find something that inspires you everyday...wanna hear some good bluegrass? go listen to a new demo I just posted on the mp3 board "The Apple Barn" the chops these guys have will either inspire or humble you or both...thanks for the post, things like this, it doesn't hurt to read them a thousand times, and no I couldn't stop writing if I tried...see ya...Moker
Posted By: Lynn Orloff

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/20/07 02:31 PM

Hi Ande,

Eventually is a winner! It's lyrics are simple, but in this instance they work simply beautiful! You followed the K.I.S.S. rule (written about in every songwriting book) and coupled that with a great melody! No wonder it's such a great song!!!

Best,
Lynn
Posted By: Kaley Willow

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/20/07 07:13 PM

This may seem like an out of place comparison...but I used to both show and judge dogs...in a lifetime long ago. smile

There were judges noted for being tail judges, top line judges,
teeth judges, eye judges, front end judges, rear end judges, movement judges ...and then...there were judges who were known to be all-rounders...who eventually were respected enough in the field .... to be judging shows like the Westminister Kennel Club each February.

Where am I leading with this? ......The all rounder type judges were able to step back.....away from the dogs...and from any single characteristic..(i.e. flaw)...to see the total dog.....
the total package....and take the dog in as a "whole"....
whereas the judges known for being "single-trait" judges..(and let's say their "thing" was movement)....were known
to put up a dog that had flawless down and back and side movement... yet would be the least appealing for its breed in over-all characteristics.

Sometimes, I think as songwriters, (and we are all guilty of this at times) we can't see a beautiful song for what it is....
......because we are not well rounded enough.

Eventually is a beautiful song.... Not every song is written
with the country format in mind.....

Congratulations to Donna, Mark and you, Ande for what you've done with "Eventually" and thanks for the fine tips and reminders.

Best wishes,
Kaley

Piano Melodies and Demos:
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=8404
Kids Music:
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=6469
Andy & Friends CD:
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/kwwg
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/20/07 10:43 PM

Thank you Lynn and Kaley,

I appreciate your posts

Ande

Originally Posted by Lynn Orloff
Hi Ande,

Eventually is a winner! It's lyrics are simple, but in this instance they work simply beautiful! You followed the K.I.S.S. rule (written about in every songwriting book) and coupled that with a great melody! No wonder it's such a great song!!!

Best,
Lynn
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/21/07 05:38 AM

It's good and all for you that the song is getting good attention
That should not be your argument though

I wish everybody would look at this as just a lyric
Just forget all of the music and good singing
Maybe look away from all of the good reviews you've been getting

Send It out for a review to a song critique from a professional
Or a music website and see what they say about the lyric

Like I previously mentioned there is nothing NEW in this lyric
You even use some weird wording to try and fit in a rhyme
Does anyone talk like that anymore, are they the average person?

You said you felt for me
A love that would always be

A bridge that doesn't move the story / says what the chorus does

And all the verses lack any real originality

It's mediocrity at best and people still really like It
Honestly I'd be embarrassed to have my name beside that song
But you must be doing something right

Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips *DELETED* - 09/21/07 05:42 AM

Post deleted by airun
Posted By: Mark Schuessler

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/26/07 04:21 AM

Ande:

Thanks for sharing this list of tips. It's a great reference for writing and revising lyrics.

I think Eventually is a great song. I first heard it when I started lurking around here last spring, and I still catch myself humming the chorus from time to time. Great songs touch people and stick with them. Eventually follows some of the most important tips listed above: 2 (Genuine Idea), 18 (Move People)and 34 (Melody is King.)These seem to me to be some of the most important - and difficult - things to get right.

Mark


Posted By: PeterJ

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/26/07 09:36 AM

Ande,
Thanks so much for the guidelines. I can almost be certain to break (or at least severely bend) some of the rules, in each of my songwriting endeavors, but this will surely help to keep me honest.

I just gave my first listen to your song,"Eventually", and I found it to be very enjoyable. It's clean and simple, it conveys both pain and resolve. It gives a nice timeline from the past to the future, and best of all. It sounds GOOD.

I don't know that there is a "perfect song". All we can ever do is write from our heart and hope it touches the hearts of others. If we are successful in doing that, it doesn't matter which rules we had to break to get there. -- Oh -- wait a minute-- that's what you said at the very beginning of this thread, wasn't it?

I appreciate your generosity in sharing your wisdom.
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/27/07 05:58 PM

Hi Mark,

you're welcome
glad you like eventually
hope your writing is going well

Keep after it

Ande

Originally Posted by Mark Schuessler
Ande:

Thanks for sharing this list of tips. It's a great reference for writing and revising lyrics.

I think Eventually is a great song. I first heard it when I started lurking around here last spring, and I still catch myself humming the chorus from time to time. Great songs touch people and stick with them. Eventually follows some of the most important tips listed above:
2 (Genuine Idea),
18 (Move People)and
34 (Melody is King.)These seem to me to be some of the most important - and difficult - things to get right.

Mark


Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/27/07 06:54 PM

hi Peter J,

you're welcome
they are just tools for songwriters to use or not
thanks for listening to and commenting on eventually

ande

Originally Posted by PeterJ
Ande,
Thanks so much for the guidelines. I can almost be certain to break (or at least severely bend) some of the rules, in each of my songwriting endeavors, but this will surely help to keep me honest.

I just gave my first listen to your song,"Eventually", and I found it to be very enjoyable. It's clean and simple, it conveys both pain and resolve. It gives a nice timeline from the past to the future, and best of all. It sounds GOOD.

I don't know that there is a "perfect song". All we can ever do is write from our heart and hope it touches the hearts of others. If we are successful in doing that, it doesn't matter which rules we had to break to get there. -- Oh -- wait a minute-- that's what you said at the very beginning of this thread, wasn't it?

I appreciate your generosity in sharing your wisdom.
Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/29/07 06:12 AM

I love your song "Eventually". It is one of my favorites. I am a firm believer that in many cases simple is best. I think one needs to take each song on a song by songs bases. Not every song has to be complex and so overly detailed. That is the problem I have been dealing with on another thread with a co writer I am working with.

Tammy

www.tammyedwards.com
www.myspace.com/tammyedwards1
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/29/07 08:12 AM

I took it on a song by song basis and I looked at the whole package (all of a sudden lyrics aren't included?)

Not every lyric has to be complex but the bridge saysthe same obvious thing the chorus says and the whole song is full of cliches

Go on the lyric forums and you'll see people repeating what I am saying on other songs

So why does this song not apply?
Because It has killer music? Thats weak in my opinion
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/01/07 03:36 AM

thank you tammy
great to hear from you

sorry you're having a problem with your cowriter
hope things work out

ande

Originally Posted by TAMERA64
I love your song "Eventually". It is one of my favorites. I am a firm believer that in many cases simple is best. I think one needs to take each song on a song by songs bases. Not every song has to be complex and so overly detailed. That is the problem I have been dealing with on another thread with a co writer I am working with.

Tammy

www.tammyedwards.com
www.myspace.com/tammyedwards1
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/02/07 09:32 PM

I have learned something important about a creative work: complex is easy, but simple is difficult. "Eventually" has a simplicity that I admire. So does "Yesterday" or "Imagine" or "Hello, It's Me" ...simple songs, but can you write their match? Try it tonight! Not so easy.

Airun makes good points, but I would have to say that his suggested lyrics, although more imaginative, were also less universal, and a tad mean-spirited...I think they were pretty quickly and easily whipped onto paper. But they don't really work except for shock value, and the deeper meaning behind them? Well, it's someone ragging on someone else, saying 'Screw You' in a clever new way.

"Eventually" may not be breaking new lyrical ground, but it's a good listen with lyrics that match the mood and say what they mean. All alone on paper they may not stir, but they do their job to support the atmosphere, meaning and structure of the song. So they work, I think. If lyrics were the sole most important part of a song...than they would just be poems set to background music. But lyrics are just part of the whole musical piece, and Ande's lyrics do the job.

The song's the thing.
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/03/07 12:28 PM

There are and have been countless songs like this on mainstream radio.
Isn't that the idea? Beautifully done Ande.

This song works, it takes less than 30 seconds to realize that smile
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/03/07 03:23 PM

I know some people like the whole package but a weak lyric to me (And yes I do hear words not just music) Isn't a full package
Seems to be me but I can't back a lyric that says:

I'm waiting for your memory to fade
I'm still holding onto the promises you made
You said you felt for me
A love that would always be

All he forgot to leave out was "I'd die for you"

Substudio there is a difference between a clever song you hear on the radio and a song with recycled lines and words, that both say the same thing, I wonder what this falls under

I've wasted enough time on this which I can't believe I have
Peace
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/03/07 05:33 PM

thanks lyle
great to hear from you

ande

Originally Posted by Lyle
I have learned something important about a creative work: complex is easy, but simple is difficult. "Eventually" has a simplicity that I admire. So does "Yesterday" or "Imagine" or "Hello, It's Me" ...simple songs, but can you write their match? Try it tonight! Not so easy.

Airun makes good points, but I would have to say that his suggested lyrics, although more imaginative, were also less universal, and a tad mean-spirited...I think they were pretty quickly and easily whipped onto paper. But they don't really work except for shock value, and the deeper meaning behind them? Well, it's someone ragging on someone else, saying 'Screw You' in a clever new way.

"Eventually" may not be breaking new lyrical ground, but it's a good listen with lyrics that match the mood and say what they mean. All alone on paper they may not stir, but they do their job to support the atmosphere, meaning and structure of the song. So they work, I think. If lyrics were the sole most important part of a song...than they would just be poems set to background music. But lyrics are just part of the whole musical piece, and Ande's lyrics do the job.

The song's the thing.
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/03/07 05:34 PM

thanks sub

ande

Originally Posted by Mike Caro Substudio
There are and have been countless songs like this on mainstream radio.
Isn't that the idea? Beautifully done Ande.

This song works, it takes less than 30 seconds to realize that smile
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/03/07 05:40 PM

first I've edited the tips a little swapped around the order of a few and added a few words to a few

Ande
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/03/07 05:50 PM

one thing I've noticed is some of the most loved and universal songs in our culture
hardly have any words like

Yesterday,
All my troubles seemed so far away,
Now it looks as though they're here to stay,
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Suddenly,
I'm not half the man I used to be,
There's a shadow hanging over me,
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.

Why she
Had to go I don't know, she wouldn't say.
I said,
Something wrong, now I long for yesterday.

Yesterday,
Love was such an easy game to play,
Now I need a place to hide away,
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Why she Had to go I don't know, she wouldn't say.
I said, Something wrong, now I long for yesterday.

Yesterday,
Love was such an easy game to play,
Now I need a place to hide away,
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Mm-mm-mm-mm-mm-mm-mm.
Posted By: Gary E. Andrews

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/03/07 06:37 PM

Look at the structure of "Yesterday." A musical movement is given in the first stanza. The lyric opens with THE hook, the title. The first line is a simple melody, rising in an explanatory vocal fashion. If it were spoken in a conversation with a friend it wouldn't sound like it was being sung, simply stated in explanation. It's the way people talk. If you listen to conversation you can hear notes rise and fall in pitch, clip short or sustain longer for effect.
The next line descends the same way, in a conversational, explanatory manner, lyrically and melodically. The last line of the stanza finalizes the musical movement, completing the explanation and the movement, hitting the hook again.

Then the lyric repeats that musical movement, note for note, exchanging "Yesterday" for "Suddenly," and the other lines further explain the singer's story.

Now, if it was to repeat that musical movement a third time, even with new lyric advancing the story, it would risk monotony. It doesn't. It rises into the chorus, more intensive emotionally, both lyrically (meaning) and melodically, and each line piecing together this new musical movement, refreshing to the ear, and weaving back to end with the hook. That's four hits on the hook. It hits it five more times before the end, driving home that title 9 times.

Having had this refreshment of the variant melody of the chorus the listener is now ready to hear the first musical movement repeat a third time, in fact, wants to hear it again, having 'learned' it in the giving of the first and second verses.

The song is deceptively simple. Each line is a piece of the complex of the musical movement comprising the verses, and the chorus, not just the lyrical story. Singing it as notes without words reveals these pieces, separated by rests (commas, periods).

Not every song is as 'simple' as "Yesterday," getting the job done with fewer words (125 words and 7 hummed notes), but even wordier works can be analyzed by their component parts. Does each line do a job, supply a demanded function? The words lyrically advance the story. None should be extra, without purpose. The notes musically construct the melody, purposefully. A lyric can be 'tweaked,' cutting unnecessary words, changing words or lines to best do a job you want done. Enunciation can be altered from common spoken technique to 'sung' technique, to better communicate to the listener. A melody can be tweaked with notes changed to rise or fall in pitch, to clip durations short or sustain them longer, to achieve desired effects of emotion or demanded effects of communication of word meaning, or prosody, the 'marrying' of the lyric to the melody and beat.

What a wonderful art form. Moldable like clay.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/03/07 08:27 PM

That's why I say Complex is easy, Simple is difficult.

Yesterday, like most of the Beatles' songs, is a song that began with the music, and then the lyrics were fashioned to fit the song. That is invariably how I write also. When you create lyrics this way, they MUST fit into the melody, so it's an exercise in matching syllables and meaning, and somehow creating full lines that make sense. The old story goes that Paul woke up with this gorgeous melody in his head and sat down to the piano and worked on it, singing "Scrambled Eggs" instead of Yesterday, and it was even the working title for awhile. He spent a lot of time playing it for other people asking if they'd heard it before, because he couldn't believe he wasn't just remembering an existing melody from some other song. But the simple lyrics he came up with support the yearning beauty of the melody and resulted in one of the best, most covered songs of all time. But put those lyrics in a book of poetry, and that poem just plain sucks.

My belabored point is that there are certain themes that we all relate to, and we say them in different ways, but the same themes truly resonate with us. Unrequited love, lost love, broken hearts, inability to understand our actions...blah blah. We can't always be breaking into new and unexplored lyrical vistas. That in itself can result in overly "clever" songs.
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/03/07 09:19 PM

Originally Posted by airun
I know some people like the whole package but a weak lyric to me (And yes I do hear words not just music) Isn't a full package
Seems to be me but I can't back a lyric that says:

I'm waiting for your memory to fade
I'm still holding onto the promises you made
You said you felt for me
A love that would always be

All he forgot to leave out was "I'd die for you"

Substudio there is a difference between a clever song you hear on the radio and a song with recycled lines and words, that both say the same thing, I wonder what this falls under

I've wasted enough time on this which I can't believe I have
Peace


Hi

Believe me I understand exactly what your saying and what you mean. smile
And you are not wrong by any means.

This subject a great one by the way has been gone over over so many times here and by every one who has written a song, submitted a song, been rejected, etc..etc..

There is difference between a clever song you here on the radio Not really?
In some cases yes but in many no.

Oh like "Always and Forever" by Shania Twain Or "Rock Your Body" by Justin Timberlake smile Older songs but those just flew into my head as really bad lyrically and creatively. Or anything by Fergi or the countless girly girl pop songs I see on TV and hear everyday. There are boat loads of weak songs on the radio.
I hear so many uninspired and unispiring songs it's incredible. You know how many hack lyrical lines Keith Urban writes?

And yes there are so very well crafted, creative and great songs out there lyrically and musically as well that are comercially successful and good.
"Unwritten" by Natashia Bedingfield is one such song

But here is the thing You have to know the game


The game they play is - Melody, Beat, Sound, Style, Voice, Look
All have more important role in a contemporary song today then do lyrics.

Trust me and i have many clever lines and lyrics mixed into my pop/pop rock songs.
I don't like what i'm saying but I'm telling it like it is, and i still won't let hack lines into my songs at all.. maybe just a tiny bit smile

The lyrics to "Since You been Gone" from Kelly Clarkson are so bad it's not even funny. I submiited a catchy song with lyrics that blows that off the planet completely to the same guy who signed and co-producers her. And got turned down flat. I wish he would have said hey you suck and are clueless.
But instead used lines like "nothing new and fresh" about my tune.

"Since You Been Gone" is new and fresh?????????

Get the point? Rockin Out and hearing Kelly belt it out (on tape) is the fresh he was thinking of. He never even read those lyrics.

As well as Ande's thread I'll write another about this subject that will really sting smile
Posted By: Lynn Orloff

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/04/07 02:18 AM

Boy that Lyle really knows how to say what so many of us are thinking but can't put in words so eleoquently or should I say "simply".

Sometimes we tend to overanalyze things. When we post just a lyric over on a lyric board we tend to scrutinize the lyric alittle more so because it is naked of a melody. We are staring at it's words minus it's melody dressing, and that can be a blessing and a hindrance. Sometimes I may overanalyze a lyric when it is minus the melody because all I have in front of me are the lyrics so I dig deeper. If I am presented with both lyric and melody at once, sometimes what may have been a lyrical weakness in print suddenly doesn't seem to matter when I'm hearing the song wrapped in a memorable melody. When we post our lyrics alone we should expect a harder look because we have no melody to cloud our judgment per se, we are simply reading lyrics. But if we are reading the lyrics for the first time and and listening along to it's accompanying melody right off the bat, the lyrics being great or being "not so perfect" might not matter as much to the listener. "Eventually" may not be "clever", and may not contain ground breaking lyrics, BUT "Eventually" in it's totality is a great song. And that's the way it goes.......
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/04/07 03:06 AM

Thanks for the kind words, Lynn! I just joined, but I'm currently experiencing just what you describe on the lyric board with my song "It's A Lie".

The chorus:

It's a lie
It's a lie
That I told myself a long, long time ago

is the one part of the song that really hooks the listener because of how it works with the music and colors the meaning of each preceding verse. But on paper, it is bland as can be...no imagery, not...enough. To me, it's a little epiphany that ties everything together...to a reader, it's an anticlimax.

All day I've been thinking about bland lyrics by the likes of Goffin-King, Lennon-McCartney, Cole Porter, Jagger-Richards, Townes van Zandt...and KISS.

"I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day." smile

Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/04/07 04:51 AM

Style, Style, Style, Stlye..... Goes hand in hand with what kind of lyrical message you might expect to hear.

When you hear a song think about the audience it will target for a minute.

Once you do that all debates are over, if a 10 year old girl goes crazy over a song
with bad lyrics... who cares? She is happy! The writer was successful..

Once you get into thinking professionally your whole way of thinking has to be adaptable and change.

I said it a 1000 times and I'll say it again.

"You can always write what ever you want, who's to stop you."

"Try to write something that everybody wants, much much harder"
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/05/07 02:49 AM

Eh Mike ive heard fergies cd and most of her songs are more original than "eventually"
I know music has something to do with how well a song is received but why would you want to put crappy lyrics to nice music
Why not write great lyrics to great music
and you can't compare songs that were written 40 years ago to now
it wasnt a cliche lyric back then and its been used a million times by now
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/05/07 08:17 AM

Originally Posted by airun
Eh Mike ive heard fergies cd and most of her songs are more original than "eventually"
I know music has something to do with how well a song is received but why would you want to put crappy lyrics to nice music
Why not write great lyrics to great music
and you can't compare songs that were written 40 years ago to now
it wasnt a cliche lyric back then and its been used a million times by now


Hi

I have to agree with what your saying 100% I take forever with most of my songs so they can have all the good elements covered.

I'm not saying I think the song has the greatest lyrics. all I'm saying is the whole package of the songs fits today's market. And If i heard Justin Timberlake doing this song it would not surprise me at all one bit.

What songs are from 40 years ago.? The ones I mentioned are all in this decade.

I could easily point out and list HIT songs with weak lyrics all day and night long.

Style Over substance in many cases......

Producers - Pro-Tools- Pitch Correction the 3 P's make up 80% of the charts today.

Oh and heres a top 10 song from last year one of the ones I mentioned.
Since You been Gone at first I thought Kelly wrote it and thought okay she is a kid and wrote this okay yeah for her smile

Then I find out two grown men wrote it. These lyrics are hard core nonsense reminds me of Ackey Breakey Heart which must have been written with crayons.

If I had written this below I would have torn up the paper when i was working on it...It becomes a big hit.. so what? Well if a songwriters goal is to get a cut and a hit it's a big so what...
It's a lot of things happening when a song becomes a hit, many time lyrics are not the number one priority. This is the history of Pop music I know my history well smile

Since You Been Gone
Here's the thing
We started out friends
It was cool, but it was all pretend
Yeah, yeah, since you been gone
You're dedicated, you took the time
Wasn't long 'til I called you mine
Yeah, yeah, since you been gone
And all you'd ever hear me say
Is how I picture me with you
That's all you'd ever hear me say

You had your chance, you blew it
Out of sight, out of mind
Shut your mouth, I just can't take it
Again and again and again and again

Since you been gone (since you been gone)
I can breathe for the first time
I'm so movin' on, yeah yeah
Thanks to you (thanks to you)
Now I get, I get what I want
I can breathe for the first time
I'm so movin' on, yeah yeah
Thanks to you (thanks to you)
Now I get (I get)
You should know (you should know) that I get
I get what I want

Since you been gone
Since you been gone
Since you been gone

Looks and sound sells lots of records, in the pop world. I always give credit where credit is due, I like lots of things many musicians don't as well as songwriters don't.
And I always loved pop music big time. Pop music was overall alot better years ago
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/05/07 02:37 PM

Agreed with since you been gone but its also catchy and fun to sing and isnt a downer of a song
now by songs that were 40 years old i just seen people list a bunch of them i didnt mean to direct it towards you
My theory is since one of the writers from eventually frequents the board (ande) people from here seem to be Into it
They could argue that but I just think it makes them feel closer to the song just knowing their friend wrote it
Only my inane opinion anyway and I'm sure people will come and deny
If a professional writer wrote that and it was a hit would they feel the same way about it?
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/05/07 10:29 PM

I'll be a little more frank and clarify my stance, and keep in mind I am new here and don't know anyone. I do not like the song Eventually. It's not my cup of anything. But I do think it is a well-crafted song that perfectly appeals to its market, and I do think the lyrics are appropriate to the feelings being expressed. So I have respect for the writer, and I wouldn't see any point in telling him it sucks, insisting it sucks, and asserting that there is only one way to look at it. The song did what it was meant to do, and a lot of people truly enjoy it...although I do in all honesty think that kind of music, well, sucks.

But why spend a lot of energy ragging on it? It is clearly successful in its intent.

And now I'm going to put on something by The Band...
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/05/07 10:32 PM

Originally Posted by airun
Agreed with since you been gone but its also catchy and fun to sing and isnt a downer of a song

If a professional writer wrote that and it was a hit would they feel the same way about it?


Hi

Yes Since You Been Gone is catchy and fun. But being a downer of a song or a ballad or mid tempo love song etc... has nothing to do with it.

The issue was not "Eventually's" melody or music, tempo or feel. It was about the lyrics that concerned you.

So take the music completely away from "Since You Been Gone" and you are left with lyrics that a grade schooler could have wrote in class in a half hour while not paying attention to the teacher smile

Pop songs are meant to target everyone, but mostly to target the young.

I totally understand and agree with what you mean about knowing the writer and liking the song more because it's a friend and someone you know.

That's why I wrote If - I could easily hear this on the radio today. This could be done by Justin Timberlake or someone like him or a young female artist as well.

Tell me if one of these boy bands did this song or Jesse McCartney it wouldn't fly...It would be PERFECT.....

If your a non artist songwriter you have very few options to who you can pitch songs too. You have Country & Pop and the both has to be singers not bands..
Then singers who don't write all there own songs as well. Many times it's the teenage artist or artist gearde towards younger audineces this is Popular Music

]So even if it was not done by Ande and I heard it on the radio done by whoever I would not be surprised one bit. Does it mean i would run out and buy it? No.

The writers here had a goal a target and a game plan. They succeeded up to this point now they need to get the cut. And they are hoping someone like Jesse sings it and sets off thousands of little girls crying. they need all of this to happen to earn a living smile They are trying to do the nearly impossible I give them alot of credit in this regard and wish them the best of [b]luck.
[/b]

It's just the way it is smile Good discussion Air I appreciate it and respect you for being open and honest.
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/06/07 03:04 PM

It is a good discussion and it's getting the song more attention
Agreed about since you've been gone, its all about the music and performance same with eventually
Some people make their living off writing cliche songs like diane warren and I'm sure there's others so he has hope
What just gets me is ande thinks hes in a position to give people advice (likely he got from other websites etc but still) advice when all I see him writing are cliche lyrics...
Now I am sure he has the best intentions but I would want someone who has a creative style giving me tips
Thats like a singing teacher teaching their students to sing through their nose and from what I can see on american idol there are plenty out there
Am I the only one bothered by this?
Posted By: Lynn Orloff

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/06/07 09:10 PM

Hi Airun,

Nice to meet you. If I am not mistaken, Ande has several cuts and has co-written with quite a number of individuals. The debate of whether to write w/cliches or not will probably be still going on 20 years from now. Meanwhile during that time there will be hit songs written and yes, some may even contain cliches and the world will not end. I have never heard Ande call himself an expert or even intimate that he is. I don't know why you are "bothered" with someone who is taking his time and sharing with the JPF community songwriting tips. On this particular thread they are his own, (and there is nothing wrong with any of those tips) but he has also on other threads shared excerpts and articles written by other people in the industry relating to songwriting as well.

I am not "bothered" at all by someone being kind enough to take their time and share with us, rather I am appreciative. If you are "bothered" with what he offers, you can simply skip his threads and then I would suggest going to the bookstore and purchasing any number of songwriting books, perhaps you will find what you are looking for.

Not bothered, just thankful,
Lynn
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/07/07 02:08 AM

Hi Lynn I know he has had several indie cuts and a song that went to 56 on billboard but you don't seem to get my point
Maybe if he followed his "tips" that he preaches I'd be fine with it and writing songs trying to avoid cliches was one of them and there are others he's turned a blind eye to in this and other songs

Why post these tips and preach them when you don't follow them yourself ande?

P.S. the whole " Sometimes a cliche is what you need to use to best convey the emotion" doesn't count if the whole lyric is cliche, it only means if you need to use a cliche here and there

You might think I'm a jerk but I'm not I am just big on integrity
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/07/07 05:50 AM

You may be big on integrity, or at least on being an enforcer of integrity, but it is more apparent that you're relentlessly trying to pin someone to the wall, to "confess" that you are right and they are wrong. And you do it in a very caustic and insulting way. It's a real drag to read...whereas Ande's tips were excellent. At least those tips and the song were both creative contributions...all this fingerpointing is merely destructive. You've made your point: you think Ande is a hypocrite. Harsh enough. Saying it over and over is just flaming someone...the internet equivalent of road rage. Even if you are correct in everything you've said, than the best you've got on Ande is to have pointed out a weakness...and if that's all this is about then maybe you should consider an apology for hijacking a very helpful thread. You're probably a very well-meaning person, but within this thread...well, you're kind of a bully.

Oh, man, and now I'm doing the same. This place is not for me. Over and out.
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/07/07 02:32 PM

Hi Lyle I don't owe an apology to anybody
I'm just telling it like it is even though his tips are right
It might make them more believable if he "followed" them himself
It's like do as I say and not as I do
Posted By: Ray E. Strode

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/07/07 04:57 PM

airun,
I believe you have made your point. Have you posted anything? I have looked on the mp3 board and the lyric boards. Can't find anything by you?????
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/07/07 06:37 PM

Dear Lynn, Ray, and Lyle,

thank you for your support, I'm just here trying to share, like I do in many of my posts.

Our buddy air, is focused on one song I wrote 7 years ago. I have hundreds of songs.

Two weeks ago I decided to block his posts, I can't read them. when he posts on jpf all I see is:

*** You are ignoring this user ***

So as far as I'm concerned with him, I've got my eyes closed, my fingers in my ears and I'm saying "la la la la la."

The unfortunate thing is none of us can succeed in songwriting on our own, we have make friends, build relationships and teams. First impressions matter. He's made quite a first (and last) impression with me.

Thanks again
I wish you all worlds of success with your writing,

Ande
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/08/07 07:36 AM

Then you haven't looked very hard Ray
And I've read about 8 other songs of his all being cliche
Some "mentor" he would be
That's all I'm gonna say about him
Posted By: Ray E. Strode

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/08/07 02:30 PM

airun,
Gee. Nice answer. Please post or re-post some of your songs/lyrics so I can have a look.

P.S. I usually don't post lyrics,I just get them ready to pitch to contacts. However my Publisher has indicated he is going to put up another Web Site and several of my songs will probably be there. Your songs???
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/08/07 08:11 PM

Thanks Ray,

Hope your writing is going well.

Ande

Originally Posted by Ray E. Strode
airun,
Gee. Nice answer. Please post or re-post some of your songs/lyrics so I can have a look.

P.S. I usually don't post lyrics,I just get them ready to pitch to contacts. However my Publisher has indicated he is going to put up another Web Site and several of my songs will probably be there. Your songs???
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/08/07 10:02 PM

I have been watching this thread to see where it would lead. I also have wondered how long Brian would let this continue.

One thing that will usually get Brian involved is a direct attack on a member, especially when it is unprovoked in any way.
I am not sure what Ande might have done to you, Airun, but this is Just Plain Folks and our motto here is We Are All In This Together.
Ande seems to understand that. He attempts to help others. Not by attacking them but by posting information that might help them become better songwriters. I don't think I ever remember seeing Ande say he was a great songwriter, or and expert.
If it was up to me you would have been sanctioned long ago. It is fine to do a critique on a song but to go and dig up a song and bring it into this thread, then proceed to tell everyone how terrible you think it is has me wondering just who you think you are. Then I think you called him a hypocrite?
I have only seen one lyric of yours. You sent it to me in a PM. Stating that you would not risk posting it for fear someone would steal the hook.
Well, let me say this, I don't think you have to worry about it.
(Actually, I wrote a song a couple years ago that has a very similar hook and story line. It was posted here on Lyric board three)

If you want to promote yourself as a great lyric writer then I suggest you post some credits to back it up. So far the only person here that knows how great you are is you.....Oh, wait a minute, you sent me one of your "great lyrics" and asked my opinion. Well....
I have been helped by Ande's posts. Not by his songs, but the information he has shared.
I'll give a little example of how that might work. I recently ordered a book written by one of the JPF mentors. The book was on songwriting. One Chapter in the book dealt with some of the Authors songs. Well, I did not like a few of the songs. But that did not take away from what I learned reading the book.

Oh! I saw this posted by you...
Some people make their living off writing cliche songs like diane warren and I'm sure there's others so he has hope

You are now going after Dianne Warren? One of the most successful songwriters in history?
Man you have one hell of a pair of Gonads I got to say that for ya.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/08/07 10:22 PM

I came so close to just taking a walk from this whole forum. But the next day, I remembered it is just one guy offending me to the core. The more I surf around, the more truly good people I find, and wow what a useful resource.

Airun, I won't jab you anymore--life's too short.
Posted By: Herbie Gaines

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/08/07 10:23 PM

Hi Airun
(Airun wrote)
You might think I'm a jerk but I'm not I am just big on integrity
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The real trouble here is that you have not established enough integrity here YOURSELF to be the self appointed "integrity police"...you stated what you thought (and you were absolutely entitled and encouraged to do so),BUT... once was enough...now let everyone make up their own minds ! ! ! ! We are all big boys and girls, we will think for ourselves, thank you
Posted By: couchgrouch

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/08/07 10:28 PM

Ande, please don't pull my posts from other sites into a discussion of yours unless I'm already part of it. Marc's little love song is no Yesterday. Yesterday has an almost classical melody and a beautiful title and lyric.

I think it's a mistake for a lyricist to settle for simplistic cliches and when someone calls attention to it, they say "look! Michelle has a simple lyric, too!" that's forgetting everything else that went into Michelle and songs like it.

I think it's also a mistake for a lyricist who can afford expensive demos to settle for simplistic cliches knowing their glossy demo will cover them up for less discerning listeners. That's taking a short term view of music. eventually that guy's gonna have to put his cards on the table and come up with some decent lines.

the fact is...writers write WHAT THEY CAN. a guy that can pen strong lines and hooks will, just like a guitarist who can really play won't overuse the same old blues changes.

There will always be an audience for treacly love songs with nice production. There will always be an audience for soaps about doctors who bone nurses in the broom closet. just because you can say there's a market for something doesn't make it any good. McD's is the busiest restaurant in town but I wouldn't take my wife there for our anniversary.

here's the best lyric writing tip there is...don't be boring.

Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/09/07 10:00 AM

For the people who want to see my work I have 353 posts and theres an option on my name that says "view posts"

Maybe next time I see a cliche song I should just say
Hey I loved it, it was great and I can sure hear Rascal Flatts singing this!

Every post I type is obviously my opinion for anyone who thought otherwise

And by the way Bill I never said I was a great writer
I know I have a few cliches in a few of my songs but I try my very best to avoid them at all cost and it doesn't make me a hipocrite, If he tried to avoid them I wouldn't have brought it up
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/09/07 06:22 PM

thanks bill
touche, very well put

ande

Originally Posted by Bill Robinson
I have been watching this thread to see where it would lead. I also have wondered how long Brian would let this continue.

One thing that will usually get Brian involved is a direct attack on a member, especially when it is unprovoked in any way.
I am not sure what Ande might have done to you, Airun, but this is Just Plain Folks and our motto here is We Are All In This Together.
Ande seems to understand that. He attempts to help others. Not by attacking them but by posting information that might help them become better songwriters. I don't think I ever remember seeing Ande say he was a great songwriter, or and expert.
If it was up to me you would have been sanctioned long ago. It is fine to do a critique on a song but to go and dig up a song and bring it into this thread, then proceed to tell everyone how terrible you think it is has me wondering just who you think you are. Then I think you called him a hypocrite?
I have only seen one lyric of yours. You sent it to me in a PM. Stating that you would not risk posting it for fear someone would steal the hook.
Well, let me say this, I don't think you have to worry about it.
(Actually, I wrote a song a couple years ago that has a very similar hook and story line. It was posted here on Lyric board three)

If you want to promote yourself as a great lyric writer then I suggest you post some credits to back it up. So far the only person here that knows how great you are is you.....Oh, wait a minute, you sent me one of your "great lyrics" and asked my opinion. Well....
I have been helped by Ande's posts. Not by his songs, but the information he has shared.
I'll give a little example of how that might work. I recently ordered a book written by one of the JPF mentors. The book was on songwriting. One Chapter in the book dealt with some of the Authors songs. Well, I did not like a few of the songs. But that did not take away from what I learned reading the book.

Oh! I saw this posted by you...
Some people make their living off writing cliche songs like diane warren and I'm sure there's others so he has hope

You are now going after Dianne Warren? One of the most successful songwriters in history?
Man you have one hell of a pair of Gonads I got to say that for ya.
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/09/07 06:32 PM

Hey Robert,

Great to hear from you

I edited that post and poof it's gone from this thread

Like I've written before, it's a song I cowrote back in 2000, there's 2 other writers on it. We're unlikely rewrite it at this point.

thanks for your comments, Good luck with your music,
From what I've seen you're prolific as ever.

Ande



Originally Posted by couchgrouch

Ande, please don't pull my posts from other sites into a discussion of yours unless I'm already part of it. Marc's little love song is no Yesterday. Yesterday has an almost classical melody and a beautiful title and lyric.

I think it's a mistake for a lyricist to settle for simplistic cliches and when someone calls attention to it, they say "look! Michelle has a simple lyric, too!" that's forgetting everything else that went into Michelle and songs like it.

I think it's also a mistake for a lyricist who can afford expensive demos to settle for simplistic cliches knowing their glossy demo will cover them up for less discerning listeners. That's taking a short term view of music. eventually that guy's gonna have to put his cards on the table and come up with some decent lines.

the fact is...writers write WHAT THEY CAN.
a guy that can pen strong lines and hooks will, just like a guitarist who can really play won't overuse the same old blues changes.

There will always be an audience for treacly love songs with nice production. There will always be an audience for soaps about doctors who bone nurses in the broom closet. just because you can say there's a market for something doesn't make it any good. McD's is the busiest restaurant in town but I wouldn't take my wife there for our anniversary.

here's the best lyric writing tip there is...
don't be boring.

Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/09/07 06:38 PM

Hey Herbie,
great comments
thanks
Ande

Originally Posted by Herbie Gaines
Hi Airun
(Airun wrote)
You might think I'm a jerk but I'm not I am just big on integrity
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The real trouble here is that you have not established enough integrity here YOURSELF to be the self appointed "integrity police"... you stated what you thought (and you were absolutely entitled and encouraged to do so),BUT... once was enough... now let everyone make up their own minds ! ! ! ! We are all big boys and girls, we will think for ourselves, thank you
Posted By: PeterJ

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/10/07 01:02 AM

Airun,
There are preachers that sin. There are diplomats who deliver insults. There are teachers with bad information. There are hair stylists that can't cut hair.

Nobody is perfect (well, I heard of one once, buy you know what they did to him). I don't think Ande is saying do as I say, not as I do. I think what he is saying is that nobody can follow all the rules all the time, but here are some lines painted along the side of the road. They won't prevent you from pulling over for a rest, or driving right off and over a cliff, but they are there, and if you keep your eye on them, you will improve your odds of reaching your destination.

So what if you don't like the song Eventually. So what if this is an example of when Ande pulled off to the side of the road. There was clearly enough room on the shoulder for him to get around the obstacle that stood between him and his destination. I believe this is evidenced by the support seen on this thread for the song in question.

Let it be. Let it be. Let it be. Yeah, let it be.
There will be an answer Let it be.

One final thought.
Those who can, do.
Those who can't do, teach.
Those that can't do or teach criticize and impune.
Posted By: Tricia Baker

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/10/07 01:22 AM

Pete, you said a mouthful.


Quote
Then you haven't looked very hard Ray
And I've read about 8 other songs of his all being cliche
Some "mentor" he would be
That's all I'm gonna say about him


Hi, airun. I had the pleasure of spending some time with Ande this past weekend. I learned alot about songwriting from him both from his posts and now, in person.

He is professional and one of the kindest, most sincere people I've ever met. He is the type of person who studies songwriting like it is a science. He's very serious about it. We all can learn from his knowledge and practice.

He has a way with people that is admirable-he helps them. He gives them good advice. He's nurturing. He takes the time to share what he's learned. He's excited about songwriting and wants others to be excited, too. He's very professional in his manner and approach with people. People respect him.

I've sort of kept quiet about this thread because you're entitled to your own opinion about lyrics or songs, in general. Obviously, it doesn't grab you but it grabs almost everyone else so there is something special about Eventually. I wish I'd written it.
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/10/07 01:46 AM

thanks peterj

hope your writing is going well

ande

Originally Posted by PeterJ
Airun,
There are preachers that sin. There are diplomats who deliver insults. There are teachers with bad information. There are hair stylists that can't cut hair.

Nobody is perfect (well, I heard of one once, buy you know what they did to him). I don't think Ande is saying do as I say, not as I do. I think what he is saying is that nobody can follow all the rules all the time, but here are some lines painted along the side of the road. They won't prevent you from pulling over for a rest, or driving right off and over a cliff, but they are there, and if you keep your eye on them, you will improve your odds of reaching your destination.

So what if you don't like the song Eventually. So what if this is an example of when Ande pulled off to the side of the road. There was clearly enough room on the shoulder for him to get around the obstacle that stood between him and his destination. I believe this is evidenced by the support seen on this thread for the song in question.

Let it be. Let it be. Let it be. Yeah, let it be.
There will be an answer Let it be.

One final thought.
Those who can, do.
Those who can't do, teach.
Those that can't do or teach criticize and impune.
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/10/07 02:15 AM

thank you Tricia
I very much enjoyed meeting you
I wish you the best with your writing

Ande

Originally Posted by Tricia Baker
Pete, you said a mouthful.

Quote
Then you haven't looked very hard Ray
And I've read about 8 other songs of his all being cliche
Some "mentor" he would be
That's all I'm gonna say about him


Hi, airun. I had the pleasure of spending some time with Ande this past weekend. I learned alot about songwriting from him both from his posts and now, in person.

He is professional and one of the kindest, most sincere people I've ever met. He is the type of person who studies songwriting like it is a science. He's very serious about it. We all can learn from his knowledge and practice.

He has a way with people that is admirable-he helps them. He gives them good advice. He's nurturing. He takes the time to share what he's learned. He's excited about songwriting and wants others to be excited, too. He's very professional in his manner and approach with people. People respect him.

I've sort of kept quiet about this thread because you're entitled to your own opinion about lyrics or songs, in general. Obviously, it doesn't grab you but it grabs almost everyone else so there is something special about Eventually. I wish I'd written it.
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/23/07 08:08 PM

Did a bit more editing
Hope it helps, let me know if it does.

ande
Posted By: billrocker

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/24/07 05:38 AM

Airun,

Who are you anyway? You are very mean and obviously have a chip on your shoulder. I find the people in Nashville that have the 'most' negative things to say about others usually are those that are the 'most' bitter about their own failures, although I'm sure this would never be the case with you.

What major cuts have you had? (Please list below)

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Listen to "Somebody Like You" by Keith Urban. The lyric is fairly pedestrian, but it's such a great song. You can't just judge a lyric by itself. As much of an expert as you purport to be, you should know this. You have to consider the whole package. I'm a big fan of saying it differently, saying something new, having the 2nd verse say something other than a rehashing of the 1st verse, and having the bridge go somewhere else. I agree with you that some of these things don't happen on Ande's song. But you have a lot to learn about being a nice guy and being a supporter of your colleagues who are trying to do just that by offering their experience and wisdom.

In short, if you can't be constructive, please go away. You just annoy everyone with your bad attitude.

br

What cuts do you have? Curious. We'll listen
Posted By: mattbanx

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/24/07 08:02 AM

The overiding theme in the first post seems to be to keep it universal yet original.
That is what I have been persuing in lyric writing.
Sometimes to humiliating results. But I keep trying to refine myself with it.
What would go for Nashville I would think would be universal.
Even though I hav'nt done anything Nashville except attempting some lame country rock original once.

If there is politics or satire, than a cliche may help.
But of course, it should be somthing not heard a million times before.
Having words that read like a short story or poem in a lot of cases would be more boring in lyrics than cliches.
The biggest obstacle there seems to be is that everything has been done to death.

Even in the comedy world, if someone does anything similiar to a Richard Pryor or George Carlin, there is the sense that we have been here before.
It can be only improvised on with a different spin, but satire and dark humor has been done over in so many ways.
Same with lyrics and music.

And I am not one for creating a new genre and love anything rock.
But what can be done with that that already has'nt been touched off on?

I'm glad there is a post like this to make people think.
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/24/07 08:31 AM

Yeah Matt , trying to create a song that is universal but original does have its difficulty, and all over the internet and songwriting books and forums, you see the avoid cliches advice clearly

I have high expectations of my lyrics and every other lyric I read I am critical about them because I know they can be way better than that, What some people think is brilliant I may think is crap

Somebody like you was co written by Keith Urban
But do you think if one of us wrote that, that anyone on here wouldn't mention the cliches and how bland it is?
Can't speak for anyone else, But I do know I would

Take care
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/24/07 08:40 AM

As a post to Bill Rocker, the original message I was trying to get across was as so:

Ande has his own newsletter full of songwriting tips/advice
So I joined up and thought it would be cool
So then I did further research and then read the lyrics to some of his songs, and I got angry, the rhymes were weak and simple
And even though he's just trying to help, I felt ripped off

Like that seinfeld episode where Jerry buys a racket and he sees this guy whos supposed to be good using the racket (who also sold the same racket to Jerry), and he is not very good at it
Obviously Jerry felt he got used and ripped off like I did

He was not even following his own advice that he writes in his newsletter, which ticked me off as well
That is just me though, I could find the same advice on other websites also so the advice, which was copied, is still good
It is the concept, so that is what the whole ruckus was about
Should I have been less subtle, probably, sorry
I don't think I'll get lost but thanks for the invitation
I do not owe you any other response besides that
Posted By: mattbanx

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/24/07 01:11 PM

There are 3 lyrics forums here, airun.
I have a few you could call me on, if that does'nt annoy you too much.

Being compared to Keith Urban is actually kind of a compliment to me.

Hopefully I can songwrite even remotely that good one day to pull those lyrics through.

Everything in lyrics are words borrowed over time (at least 99.8%).
Phrases.
It seems to be more up to interpretation what is cliched.
I think of cliches as common phrases.
I look more at muti-themes. Not the same tired theme over and over again. And I don't look at necessarialy if the lyrics are cliched or not.
But some musicians are so good to listen to that there are exceptions to having just one theme.
Doing just love songs would be the typical example of what I mean by single themed musicians.

But not having "cliches" to a certain degree would seem to take a lot out of making a point in a song.
Posted By: billrocker

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/25/07 02:33 PM

Dear Airun,

Thanks for addressing my comments. You felt ripped off, but if credentials were the crucial issue to you rather than the teaching skills of the teacher you sought, then why didn't you inquire about his credentials before hand...you know, finding out whether or not he had (ahem...roll eyes...)'independent' cuts rather than (nose in the air) 'majors', as you so demeaningly point out?

Please know that there's a big difference between "can't get cuts" and "haven't had cuts." Billy Montana wrote in this town for at least 7 years before FINALLY scoring a #1 with Sara Evans on "Suds in the Bucket". (He currently has the new Garth Single.) I suppose if Billy had taught you something in those first 6 years you'd have dismissed it as rubbish outright? Please also know that one person's passion might be teaching over working the tip sheet, another's passion might be pitching over teaching. That says nothing about one or the other's potential success at either. As I read what he wrote and find that not only is it informative, accurate, insightful, and helpful (yet imperfect), my need to know whether he had 25 chartbusters begins to fall by the wayside. Will Ande be my one and only source as I seek skill development? Probably not.

I think Ande's like the rest of us. He's a writer who has learned much and has much to learn. He just happens to be willing to share the former, and in an impressively organized fashion. What if you'd hired someone with 6 number ones in a single year who wasn't nearly as proficient in expressing his thoughts as Ande, who maybe said nothing more than 'keep writing....don't give up'? WOuld you then have felt like you'd gotten your money's worth? Judge soley by credentials these days and you just might wind up with Terrell Owens. ;>)

There are also writers in this town who've had ONE noteable cut and suddenly they're starting a graduate school in songwriting. They piss me off a lot more than the one's who haven't had cuts who have a passion for teaching about writing. I watch the writers flock to these one cut 'teachers' in droves, hungry not for writing skills, but ravenous to learn the secret formula for a shortcut to the brass ring. Vanity's like porn...it always sells, and no one knows that better than these writers who've had a taste of the real deal, but find that they aren't being offered seconds on the first trip back to the buffet. They give up and turn to selling out to fame hungry out of town writers. Yes, they hate what they do, and they do it because they've lost the passion for writing and they've sold out. It's a sad story for them and even sadder for the people who give them their money. I talk to these writers...many of them aren't really interested in writing songs...they're interested in success and fame. Come for success, you go home a failure. Come for the love of music, you just can't NOT stay.

Final note:

Dude, all ya gotta do is be nice to people. Don't forget, we're all on the same team. Your points are well taken, and I agree with just about everything you say regarding what you feel is important in a song (obviously very strongly, and I believe that that's good!) YOu obviously know quite a bit about what your talking about. I bet you're a good writer too, and you have a lot of passion for writing. I dig that. But we want to be your buddy, and if you tell us we suck, well, that just may slow down the whole process a tad. If you've had a difference of opinion with a member, then send him an email or call him up and bitch at him. Don't tell 60 million readers he's a shitty writer just cause you're pissed off at yourself for committing to something without doing your research. That's just not a nice thing to do. It also makes you look a lot worse than him.

I can't speak for Ande, but if you were one of my clients, and you wrote me a NICE letter and said, "Dude, it's just not what I thought it was...I should have looked more closely and that was my fault. But I gotta say, I'm just not feeling satisified with our deal", you know what? I'd give you a refund in a frickin' heartbeat. But if you viciously attacked my art in front of a huge audience? Well, I might just not get around to answering your emails.

A little courtesy and respect go a long, long way. How about we all start all over again, eh? You have much to offer, it's clear by what you write. We need ya.

Sincerely and with respect.

br
www.writethismusic.com
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/25/07 02:56 PM

Bill,

You seem to have well thought out ideas and have brought a lot to the boards in the short time you have been here. Welcome again.

Kevin
Posted By: billrocker

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/25/07 04:31 PM

Thanks Kevin. That means much.

Sincerely,
br
Posted By: billrocker

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/25/07 04:51 PM

P.S., in response to your emial, let it be known to the world that I don't have any major cuts....again (I state that clearly on my website as I have on this forum.) Or should I say I don't have any major cuts YET!

But I believe 2008 is my year. I've got a couple goodies. Maybe you and I can write a hit. Anyone with your fire, passion for writing, and mind numbing, if not brutal, honesty has an open invitation on my writing calender.

2 years ago I was very bitter, very pissed off, and I almost left Nashville to go back to Rockville Maryland where I could be a big fish. Someday I'll share what happened to keep me here (too tired tonight), but I will say that when I finally escaped the "i hate everything...radio, Clear Channel, Record companies, the Bluebird, ANYTHING related to Nashville, songwriting, most people, all writers, myself, you name it" trap I knew I had a chance. Not saying that's your trap or that you're even in one...but that was mine and I had to escape.

I don't mean to presume but I do think you and I have some things in common.

br

Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/25/07 09:36 PM

Hey bill

great to hear from you

I enjoyed reading what you wrote

I got tired of dealing with airun
So air is the only jpf member i've ever blocked

wish you the best with your songwriting

ande

Originally Posted by billrocker

Dear Airun,

Thanks for addressing my comments. You felt ripped off, but if credentials were the crucial issue to you rather than the teaching skills of the teacher you sought, then why didn't you inquire about his credentials before hand...you know, finding out whether or not he had (ahem...roll eyes...)'independent' cuts rather than (nose in the air) 'majors', as you so demeaningly point out?

Please know that there's a big difference between "can't get cuts" and "haven't had cuts." Billy Montana wrote in this town for at least 7 years before FINALLY scoring a #1 with Sara Evans on "Suds in the Bucket". (He currently has the new Garth Single.) I suppose if Billy had taught you something in those first 6 years you'd have dismissed it as rubbish outright? Please also know that one person's passion might be teaching over working the tip sheet, another's passion might be pitching over teaching. That says nothing about one or the other's potential success at either. As I read what he wrote and find that not only is it informative, accurate, insightful, and helpful (yet imperfect), my need to know whether he had 25 chartbusters begins to fall by the wayside. Will Ande be my one and only source as I seek skill development? Probably not.

I think Ande's like the rest of us. He's a writer who has learned much and has much to learn. He just happens to be willing to share the former, and in an impressively organized fashion. What if you'd hired someone with 6 number ones in a single year who wasn't nearly as proficient in expressing his thoughts as Ande, who maybe said nothing more than 'keep writing....don't give up'? WOuld you then have felt like you'd gotten your money's worth? Judge soley by credentials these days and you just might wind up with Terrell Owens. ;>)

There are also writers in this town who've had ONE noteable cut and suddenly they're starting a graduate school in songwriting. They piss me off a lot more than the one's who haven't had cuts who have a passion for teaching about writing. I watch the writers flock to these one cut 'teachers' in droves, hungry not for writing skills, but ravenous to learn the secret formula for a shortcut to the brass ring. Vanity's like porn...it always sells, and no one knows that better than these writers who've had a taste of the real deal, but find that they aren't being offered seconds on the first trip back to the buffet. They give up and turn to selling out to fame hungry out of town writers. Yes, they hate what they do, and they do it because they've lost the passion for writing and they've sold out. It's a sad story for them and even sadder for the people who give them their money. I talk to these writers...many of them aren't really interested in writing songs...they're interested in success and fame. Come for success, you go home a failure. Come for the love of music, you just can't NOT stay.

Final note:

Dude, all ya gotta do is be nice to people. Don't forget, we're all on the same team. Your points are well taken, and I agree with just about everything you say regarding what you feel is important in a song (obviously very strongly, and I believe that that's good!) YOu obviously know quite a bit about what your talking about. I bet you're a good writer too, and you have a lot of passion for writing. I dig that. But we want to be your buddy, and if you tell us we suck, well, that just may slow down the whole process a tad. If you've had a difference of opinion with a member, then send him an email or call him up and bitch at him. Don't tell 60 million readers he's a shitty writer just cause you're pissed off at yourself for committing to something without doing your research. That's just not a nice thing to do. It also makes you look a lot worse than him.

I can't speak for Ande, but if you were one of my clients, and you wrote me a NICE letter and said, "Dude, it's just not what I thought it was...I should have looked more closely and that was my fault. But I gotta say, I'm just not feeling satisified with our deal", you know what? I'd give you a refund in a frickin' heartbeat. But if you viciously attacked my art in front of a huge audience? Well, I might just not get around to answering your emails.

A little courtesy and respect go a long, long way. How about we all start all over again, eh? You have much to offer, it's clear by what you write. We need ya.

Sincerely and with respect.

br
www.writethismusic.com
Posted By: billrocker

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/26/07 09:13 AM

Ande,

Thanks dude. Glad to be back. I've been doing a lot of traveling. Hope to check in more regularly.

later.

br

Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/26/07 08:45 PM

Howdy Bill, His credentials were on his website and I agree with everything you said, sometimes I'm too honest and forget that saying peoples work suck is insensitive
It doesn't really happen that much anymore, I've just decided not to comment on a lyric that I find strongly cliche
Most of the time I am thinking they want to pitch the song too which may not be the case for most of them, So I should find out beforehand what the song is for
I'm not much of a P.R. man but I am sorry to Ande and everyone else

Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/26/07 09:50 PM

Originally Posted by airun
Howdy Bill, His credentials were on his website and I agree with everything you said, sometimes I'm too honest and forget that saying peoples work suck is insensitive
It doesn't really happen that much anymore, I've just decided not to comment on a lyric that I find strongly cliche
Most of the time I am thinking they want to pitch the song too which may not be the case for most of them, So I should find out beforehand what the song is for
I'm not much of a P.R. man but I am sorry to Ande and everyone else
An interesting lesson here. I got offended earlier in this thread when I was posting my very first posts...so much that I decided this place wasn't for me and I meant to go away for good. But then I decided to read a few other sections just to test the waters...that's when I was hooked. I realized just how large, generous and supportive this community was, and I began to see the advantage of posting some of my work here for critique. I also looked at other songwriting sites...they seem to lack the traffic and often devolve into little cliques that I just didn't feel were worth penetrating. So I decided I was just being angered by an opinion and came back within a day. Since then, I have learned extraordinary lessons. I've rewritten old songs and wrote new ones. I've also enjoyed and learned from Airun's posts. I've developed a thicker skin, but I've also learned there is a way to point out a negative without suckerpunching someone, or de-motivating them. So, all in all, I've found even the negative experiences on this board can lead to a positive learning experience.

Now my philosophy on posting---as a result of this thread, really---is to promote the honing of our mutual craft...and to avoid road rage.
Posted By: billrocker

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/26/07 10:14 PM

Lyle,

Well said. I believe your remarks reflect the hearts and minds of many who've engaged this thread.

br
Posted By: billrocker

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/26/07 10:33 PM

Airun,

Your comment at the end...not knowing whether or not someone's trying to pitch the song...is one that's grossly underestimated in importance by just about everyone. I'm so glad you brought this up.

I get songs from people all the time, for evaluation, and I just ASSUME they're interested in getting the song cut by a major. That begs a very different kind of critique than one offered to someone who's in the novice stages of craft development. I've learned to ask what the intentions of the writer are. Naturally everyone's ultimate goal is a major cut, but does the writer really think THIS is the song for Alan Jackson's next record? If the answer is yes they need to be prepared for accepting world class criticism (not that my criticism is 'world class' in quality, but criticism geared for art competing in the top markets.

I've said this before: in no other arena are so many so clueless (yours truly included) about level of skill and accomplishment than in the arena of the musical arts, particularly songwriting. Acting might run a close second. I thought I had 10 songs that were ready for major artists, so much so that I moved to a new city, and I wouldn't play you those songs today. I still wonder how could this happen to a fairly reasonable, not too insane person like myself, but I think I have discovered part of the answer.

My theory is 2 part:

1.that it's almost impossible to quantify songwriting skill. Many sports skills are easy to quantify...how fast, how long, how low, how high, how many, etc., but how do you quantify a great song lyric? You can believe with all your heart that you're ready for the olympics but if your bench press number is hovering a little above average.... In songwriting it's not easy to stick a number on a song regarding it's overall quality. I've attempted to come up with a system of quantification that I use in song evalutations that scores songs, but it's still highly subjective. It's useful as a first step....

2. it's impossible to appreciate the difference between good writing and great writing without learning something ABOUT writing. When I first started out I thought my songs were great because I managed to get them to rhyme, I said something about something that was important to me, and because they came from my heart (which, of course, I rhymed with start). But when I took a class in trout fly tieing my gross inadequacy was quite clear within the first few moments of tieing my first fly.

I get some really cool songs that are just really cool songs because that's what they are...really cool songs. Are they all ready for Alan Jackson or Martina McBride? Some are closer than others, but most aren't close in their first state. Do some of them move me to another dimension? Yeah, sometimes they do. Are they ready for creating joy in the hearts of those that hear them? Absolutely. Could they be 'gotten into shape' for Alan Jackson? Maybe, maybe not. Is the writer hell bent on becoming a professional songwriter no matter what? Maybe, maybe not. If so, is the writer ready to do the work and accept the criticism that goes with that? Maybe, maybe not.

If ya play a little baseball, and you have a bit of a knack for it (or maybe you don't have a knack but you simply LIKE playing baseball), does that mean you need to show up at Red Sox spring training as a walk on?

If I had a knack for playing baseball I'd need to explore local leagues (writers nights), identify the local talent (writers with experience who've maybe had some indy cuts or some holds), start training with weights and doing a couple hours each day on the treadmill (writing all the time, taking classes, reading books, going to song camps), studying other players, and scouting their unique abilities, etc. (studying other writers, identifying their strengths, etc.), etc. etc. etc.

Publishers hear from a LOT of walk ons...players with no local experience who are trying to enter the big leagues out of the box. We also hear from a lot of home town winners, maybe even reginal winners, who are doing eveything they can to become better players and are asking for help from more experienced players who have managed to at least break into the minor league, if not the majors, knowing full well that qualifying for the minors is a rite of passage toward becoming a major league player who's face is seen by millions during the world series.

Should anything less be expected or anticipated in the arena of songwriting?

Thanks for pointing this out.

br
www.writethismusic.com
Posted By: billrocker

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/26/07 11:40 PM

Airun,

p.s. I almost forgot...I can't speak for everyone, but thanks for your explanation and I accept your apology. IMHO that was a good thing.

br
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/27/07 01:49 AM

Hi Bill

All of your threads are very helpful, insightful and are creating examples that all can relate too in one way or another.

I have to say your observations and analogies are excellent. The way your thinking makes sense and you obviously study the angles of the music game I use the comparison between music & sports all the time and felt like I was the only one who gets it.

Too add ro your theories, Sports are much like music.
1- They are two things that
anyone can pretty much do and we can all do them just for fun. Guys play softball on the weekend and others get together and jam. They can both be a very simple child like game or hobby. And one day you may be rich & famous for playing that same game. They both involve the word Play

2- Fierce competition - Team work - Relying on others - Role Players - Disappointments - Traveling being away from home - Dealing with being rejected -
The feelings are the same.....

The only thing that's so much tougher about the music business is there are Fewer To No Outlets No built in system. Unless your a classical musician who can use the school system to advance. Songwriters and other players don't have that in the same way at all.
Sports have the school system you play in a the little league, if your good and dedicated you make the high school team, if you are good and dedicated you can get to the college team, if you are good and dedicated you get scouted by the pros.
With Scholarship oppurtunities all the way along to the big bucks.
Even the classical players who may get the scholarship don't make the big bucks.

In contemporary music you get nothing... you're on your own.
Posted By: billrocker

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/27/07 02:52 AM

Hi Mike.

Thanks for the kind words! it's my hope that others can benefit from what I've learned, and vice versa. My secret motive in all this is to find a brilliant lyricist for my music.

Your sports analogies are great. It's true, there's no 'in place development' plan for rock, country, pop music... Jazz, marching band and classical you can at least touch on in school, but the rest is learned in the basements of other obsessed artists you hope to meet somehow who's not only not insane but one who you actually find common interest with. What's worse is those environments aren't always the healthiest. Sports has that positive, socially embraced and accepted component to it. Musicians aren't viewed quite the same way.

Thanks for your addtional development to my little theory. It mystifies me more than anything how someone can think they're ready for the big leagues when they're not even ready for sand lot. I got a song today that was so absolutely, incredibly, horrifically, astoundingly BAD that I almost couldn't bear to listen to it, but this artist was CONVINCED the song would be a PERFECT MATCH for Reba McIntyre. I'm like, "how can you possibly think that????" I KNOW if they heard something LIKE it on the radio, they'd be like, "Huh?" But because they wrote this song, they think it's ready for Reba. Go figure....

thanks again.

br
Posted By: MATT STONEHAM

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/28/07 02:09 PM

Hi There,

99.9 per cent of songs sent to publishers are so bad , you ask yourself are they tone deaf? Do they ever listen to the radio? Have they ever read and absorbed the best books on song writing.

This site is full of little groups of friends who want praise not appraisal,

Just read the critiques, do they ever mention , Composer tricks like Bass inversions, Change of Pace, Prosody, Varying the starting point of each phrase, say a pick up or the first downbeat.

Varying the chord count per measure, between verse and pre chorus and/or chorus.

No trite comments like " I like this thanks for sharing."

A few have small time Publishers who have difficulty in writing a letter of introduction , let alone writing a modern interesting lyric, that stands out from the rest.

Whenever we get a C.D. with a pile of songs (More Than Three)
we never get past the first song, How many hits do they think they have written?
As for Sound Click the charts are a joke.


just recently I tuned into the sound click Country charts,
And listened to probably the worst male vocal and the worse female vocalist ever, and probably the worst songs written in that genre.

At number two and three in the country charts
One was by a guy who wore the typical clichť Stetson, the other was some women with a child like voice, singing about dreaming .

Both lots of lyrics were amateur, infantile , and full of clichť
The song by The Stetson Clown, was in very bad taste , completely tactless, and it was not even clever in a distasteful way, Like some hip hop and rap songs, can be.


Both were dreadful , how do these awful songs get to the top of these charts, do they pay ,? And are people down loading them , for a laugh because they are so bad.



I understand that itís a way of getting your songs heard, but itís also a quick way to get a bad reputation, if your songs are as bad as these songs were at the top of the ďModern Country Chart ,


I enjoy music of any genre, if itís well written and well sung
And produced, but the fact that anyone can up load a song,
Would put off any genuine Publisher or Artist looking for new material, it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Best Wishes Matt .


Posted By: MATT STONEHAM

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/28/07 02:41 PM

Hi Again,

I also used to get Andes Daily E mail page, It was most enjoyable
and Like most I looked forward to reading it , he is a deep thinking man who was happy to share his thoughts and observations
with many of us.

To citicise his lyric/s in this open fashion, is not correct,
he does not deserve that.

Matt Stoneham

Posted By: Nigel Quin

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/28/07 05:01 PM

Hi

I have just read this whole thread, yes really! - Ande posts a useful set of well tried and widely accepted song-writing tips/guidelines, then ends up getting slagged off for his trouble. This is a tip sheet on how to improve lyrics. It's a useful list, some may want to check against other may not, what's the big deal? Just because Ande may have a one or two cliches in his lyrics does not make him a hypocrite; Any more than if I suggested to someone that they should keep a diary if they want to manage their time better, when I don't use one myself. Does that make me a hypocrite? Does my advice become bad?

A more constructive thing would be to work out how we can add to the list (if lists are your thing) or discuss exceptions to it, and why they work. My personal view is if you get too obsessed with checklists, syllable counts, structure etc, your lyric runs the risk of losing soul and originality. Maybe some want to take the painting by numbers approach to extremes but if you want a good song, it will need soul to connect with the listenerís psyche and it must feel right.

Nige smile
Posted By: MATT STONEHAM

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/28/07 05:59 PM

Hi Nigel,

Yes lists should not be taken to extremes, but if you are writing to make a little money or for the want of hearing your song sung on the radio, T.V. that certain rules come into play,

So many writers think it's all inspiration and hardy change from their first so called ispired draft, that's nonsense.
beacause we are writing and composing from our thoughts,
first drafts are bound to be cliche.

Re writing is essential honing it down till it's the very best you can do, and that may not be good enough.

In the same token a listener can only react if his brain has
a reasonable helping of the subject matter, and he/her is in tune to the voice and the emotion. comedy songs apart.

Brittany sings songs for young people who are growing up
The majority of country singers sing songs that apeall to women from 25 to 35,.

Catchy songs do not need to be novels, just a fresh way of saying things in a new and apealing way.

What I listen for in a song is the singers voice, and the song
needs to match the image of that voice, take Sex Bomb Tom Jones
a great lyric, great music matched to a great singer.

I dont know of anyone on todays country scene who can bring a lump to my throat like Wille Nelson.

But the song must be very good as well.

Good writing is the answer, prosody between your lyric and the music, of course we can bend the rules.

But without rules, familiar format ,a catchy hook, and clever chord harmony, all you have is songs fit only for a vanity album.
that no one can, or wants to remember.

Sincerely Matt Stoneham
Posted By: Ray E. Strode

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/28/07 06:53 PM

Yep, Matt,
My Publisher told me much the same thing about most of the songs he received for Publishing consideration. Songwriters you need to do your homework before pitching your songs. A Good basic Guitar/Vocal is OK but if you can't sing very well have a demo service do it for you.

Putting songs on a Web Site that aren't ready is a no,no.
Posted By: mattbanx

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/29/07 08:08 AM

Rough drafts in most cases definately need to be refined.
I have done a few retakes of the several recordings I have up and intend on doing a few more retakes.
But there are some recordings that actually seem to be killed and would be better off left the way it is.
I feel very atmospheric when I record.
Everything is for the moment.
That does'nt mean that that moment can't be exchanged for even a better one.
I wonder how many here may have thought that their rough draft was better?

There are probably more than a few one take artists on the net.

I usually know if I have a song idea that is more workable right from the onset.
I like to do retakes and take advice so I can make what I do more of a shared thing than just my thing.
That makes the compromising worth it and can make a song better.
Thank God for forums for me to do that.
It is easy to get stuck in a rut without as much immediate information on a given work.
I want to do the impossible and get it straight upon that first draft.
I have even considered music school.

But if I had to refine a song to the point to where it is a shell of it's former self, I always have to do a gut check if my heart is really in that.
Feeling inspired is of upmost impotance to me.
It may not give me praise or sell me, but any musical tip out there can not teach inspiration.
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/29/07 10:55 AM

Originally Posted by billrocker
Hi Mike.

Thanks for the kind words! it's my hope that others can benefit from what I've learned, and vice versa. My secret motive in all this is to find a brilliant lyricist for my music.

Your sports analogies are great. It's true, there's no 'in place development' plan for rock, country, pop music... Jazz, marching band and classical you can at least touch on in school, but the rest is learned in the basements of other obsessed artists you hope to meet somehow who's not only not insane but one who you actually find common interest with. What's worse is those environments aren't always the healthiest. Sports has that positive, socially embraced and accepted component to it. Musicians aren't viewed quite the same way.

Thanks for your addtional development to my little theory. It mystifies me more than anything how someone can think they're ready for the big leagues when they're not even ready for sand lot. I got a song today that was so absolutely, incredibly, horrifically, astoundingly BAD that I almost couldn't bear to listen to it, but this artist was CONVINCED the song would be a PERFECT MATCH for Reba McIntyre. I'm like, "how can you possibly think that????" I KNOW if they heard something LIKE it on the radio, they'd be like, "Huh?" But because they wrote this song, they think it's ready for Reba. Go figure....

thanks again.

br


Hi Bill

I understand completely. I work mainly in Modern Rock/Pop Alternative but I have been involved in the Dance music world and R&B as well in the past.
I also study the game and the angles and have been for a long time. I still scratch my head.
People need confidence to get anywhere but can lose sight of the realities quickly.
What many don't know is even a bad song has to be a good song.
I can hear a hit song and it can really offend my musical senses in many ways but I can still understand and figure out why it's a hit, ya know for the most part.
Some I can't find that reasoning out for even with stretching it and being open minded.

Of course you have to allow for the Artist writing there own songs. That can often mean sub par material getting by because hey "I'm A Star"
But that's part of the rewards for getting there. Trace back o that artist and you will always find there break through song was a real good one.
That's what we can all lose focus of the "The Break Through Song"

Anyway sometimes when we hear a large dose of songs that aren't great the bar gets lowered and we all feel we deserve a chance.
I heard a song the other night by Brad Paisley that wasn't just bad it was an embarrassment. All I kept thinking was how does this guy sleep at night smile Don't know if he's the writer or someone actually had the nerve to submitt this...
But the sad thing is it got cut and is a hit.. which proves to everyone with a brain that they can sell whatever they want whenever they want, as long as they put it out and make it seem like it's hip (force it actually) the people can be brainwashed. smile
That song was called "Tick" or "Ticks" To be open minded i have heard Paris Hilton songs better smile

Lame lyrics are one thing, very common in todays scene but this was such a bad stretch I just cringed in disbelief. The big payoff was "I wanna check you for Ticks" lol... And where are supposed to go ; wow how clever? How sexy? How funny? more like How Come? smile Please Brad Play your guitar more and say NO to these songs sometimes.... So anyway what songwriter wouldn't believe they had something decent with songs like that and quite a few more coming out of Country everyday. Artsist also race to have a new song constanly, have a better song that lasts longer, you're already well off financially make it about the music again for a few minutes....

Thanks Bill I know you understand.... smile
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/29/07 12:17 PM

I believe paisley co wrote that and is very proud of himself...

I don't even think "Give it away" is a good song
Heck it got song of the year , Now what hurts the most is the most impressive song in the 00's in my opinion

Mark Wills covered it (Pop)
Rascal Flatts (country)
Joe O'Meara (Pop)
Bellefire (pop)
Cascada (Dance)

3 different genres of music, I think

How it didn't want a grammy I don't know
These are the kinds of songs that people should be trying to for
Just my opinion though
Posted By: MATT STONEHAM

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/29/07 12:49 PM

Hi Guys,
As Nigel said it's better to talk about writing in general, rather than picking on one particular person, who has done nothing wrong.

Let's all remember that there is a big gap in the quality
of songs posted here , from what the pros' are writing.

There are one or two very good story tellers, but their work needs condensing.

Even top writers right bummers now and then, ever bought a Kris Kristoffersen Song Album.
When he was good he was very very good, but when he was bad.

Somebody pointed out a song by Keith Urban, the lyric looked less than ordinary, but the music compensated for it, that's the business.

If the Brad Paisley song made money, someone is doing something
right.
Some songs get there by the music others make it because they have great lyrics, a few get buy because the public like his or her voice.

Dianne Warren writes in many genres, and I think most would agree is an outstanding composer lyricist.

Yes there are a few little publishers? that will sign up anything
I believe I know most of these, through my work.

Their submissions are binned by any legitimate A n R office or Legitimate Publisher,or Artist.

Keep up the constructive comments chaps, remember we are all a long time dead.

Dont let's get too personal with each other, we all right crap now and then, but crap is a great fertiliser, and it can lead to some beauty's.



Matt Stoneham



Posted By: Derek Hines

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/29/07 12:51 PM

Hey Mike

You know the scary thing? I went to a site called smart lyrics and looked at what people had to say about this song. Ya know what? They loved it. Thought it was real funny. Some said it was the best song ever written. (ok I lie they said it was the bestest song ever written). Some even said it was a wonderfull love song. I thought the one I wrote about the girl asking the guy to twist her top off (Beer top) Was bad in this department. I think it beats ole brads lyric hands down. But this just goes to show what people think music is these days. And Gene Simmons wants to blame college kids for the decline of the music biz. I think songs like this are more to blame. In fact songs like this are exactly why I don't listen to the radio anymore sheesh.
Derek
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/29/07 02:40 PM

Originally Posted by Derek Hines
Hey Mike

You know the scary thing? I went to a site called smart lyrics and looked at what people had to say about this song. Ya know what? They loved it. Thought it was real funny. Some said it was the best song ever written. (ok I lie they said it was the bestest song ever written). Some even said it was a wonderfull love song. I thought the one I wrote about the girl asking the guy to twist her top off (Beer top) Was bad in this department. I think it beats ole brads lyric hands down. But this just goes to show what people think music is these days. And Gene Simmons wants to blame college kids for the decline of the music biz. I think songs like this are more to blame. In fact songs like this are exactly why I don't listen to the radio anymore sheesh.
Derek


Hi Derek

I put the video on of "Ticks" just before to show my wife I didn't say anything.
She went "No, Oh man you have got to be kidding right" ?
Funny? it wasn't.. Bad it was! Now I also listened to the song "Online"
Okay that song is lame BUT I can still see the appeal in it and appreciate the cleverness. Also the hook was much better. So I'm not against this particular artist
but he should be a bit embarrassed not proud don't you think.
They call him the new this and the Eddie Van Halen of country and singer/player/songwriter...He's more like The David Lee Roth I guess (funny guy) When he watches John Mayer doesn't he feel like "duh" Do you think Mayer would do such a ridiculous thing as that.

That's what I mean man a little sense of pride... Like All the artists in my business (the ones who know better are gonna think what of me? ) You don't have to live by that but geez... I picked up one of his CD's I wanted to check out the hype... Maybe if he would have played some guitar on his own album I wouldn't have sold it on Ebay after one listen.

Anyway My wife turned to me and said this is about as appealing as a song about gynocological examinations. lol.. smile
She said hey why don't you just write a song about a Pap Smear
How about this lyric....
Honey right after I finish this beer"
I wanna give you a Pap Smear
lol... stupid right? or are Ticks supposed to be much cuter? lol....

I love giving props to all kinds of artists and songs but this was just one of those where you insult my intelligence by trying to say "well it's a hit right"?
I have been very good this year in not ripping into things especially when it has no relevance on my life. But I couldn't let this one get by.

The thing that bothers me most about these kinds of songs is they try SO HARD to force something that is NOT appealing or a far stretch to try to come off like they are clever and unique songwriters. It was a bad idea but they proved that doesn't matter.
Listen I don't expect the people to know any better and I have said it 1 million times
they will buy whatever you show them. that's how our Country works..
We put medications on TV commercials where the side effects are DEATH and people buy them, oh yes they sure do!

But industry people and artists like Brad Paisley who are signed to Aritsa records should know a little better. Most of his songs show me that he wants to be recognized as a clown... hey that's cool I love clowns smile

Speaking of clowns I'm off to see my doctor in a few hours i better get some sleep..
Posted By: Derek Hines

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/29/07 03:01 PM

Hey Mike

I'm with ya on the clown doctors lol.

Also with you on Brad. I think sometimes people get so noticed in the public eye that they try to do something lame just to see what people will think. For an example find me more than two good songs on the Magical Mystery Tour Album (I mean classic timeless songs) The Beatles as great as they were made huge errors in their careers (Both together and seperately) All you have to do is take George's classic "Something" (Which even though a Beatle song he kinda wrote it on his own) And compare it to Ringo's Solo HIT? "You know it don't come easy" or even one of George's Others such as "If you want it here it is come and get it" Which by the way was considered to be a pretty good song.

I Guess what I am getting at here is sometimes you get so big you try for mediocrity because you can't live up to the legend. That's why people as dynamic as Kurt Cobain couldn't handle continuing to live cause it was a constant struggle to try to keep doing something real and original. One interesting piece of that is after his Death a bandmate started up a band called foo fighters. At first I really liked what he was doing kinda pop rock catchy stuff with half way decent lyrics. Didn't even hurt that he did a cover of Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street. Now every new track they do is the same ole thing. I can't listen to them anymore not even the stuff I once liked because it's just too cookie cutter.

My but I do ramble lol. At any rate I don't think Brad is as bad as all that but we must remember even elvis didn't get it right everytime Vegas? Jump Suit? 70s gaudiness? Elvis? yikes lol. And yet even to this day that's how the king is remembered.
Hope things go well at the doctors!
Blessings
Derek

Edit ok I did see that Magical Mystery Tour has more than two memorable cuts however both penny lane and Strawberry fields forever where sposed to be on Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band lol. That leaves Hello Goodbye and all you need is love lol
Posted By: billrocker

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 12:49 AM

Ok, I'm taking a chance here on losing the respect of lots of JPF readers and participants :>0. I think Check You For Ticks is very well written. Do you 'like' the song? No, and that's totally cool. But are you saying the song isn't well crafted or are you saying that song just flat out shouldn't have been written because it's such a bad idea. If you are saying the former, I'm interestefd to know what it is about it that is poorly written. Your wife's reaction "You've got to be kidding" when she heard the hook speaks louder to the issue that the concept was the bone of contempt. But if we applied the standards we use to critique ourselves as songwriters I'd be very surprised if we'd come away in unnanimous agreement that it doesn't measure up from a song craftsmenship perspective. Of course it's all subjective...or is it. I think "I hate that song because of what it is, what it says, and what attitude it portrays" often gets confused with "That song is just poorly written." Anyone agree? Those who don't, what is it about the song specifically that says 'bad writing' to you? I'm just curious, truly not trying to be argumentative. The thing that I was so impressed with on that one was that he had the guts to tackle it and did without looking like a complete idiot. But others obviously thought he DID look like a complete idiot so what do I know.

Musically I think it's very strong, both melodically and conceptually (chord structure, progression, arrangement) although you might beg to differ on that and I fully respect your opinion if you do. But what about it from a strictly songwriting craft to you take issue with? I'm not married to it either way so I won't fight you...at worst I'll disagree.

I think this kind of stuff is what these boards are all about...discussing, agreeing, and disagreeing on what defines a bad song, a good song, and a great song. I wonder if we'll ever really know. If we don't I do believe we'll become a tiny bit better as writers for having discussed it. But again...what do I know. :>)

br
Posted By: billrocker

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 12:53 AM

p.s. and reading back I didn't mean to ask you the same question "what do you think makes it bad as a song" 20 thousand times.
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 02:10 AM

Hi Bill,

I'm following you smile yes it is good to discuss these things and it'a hard to let personnal
opinions fly a little. But first let me mention something to my friend Derek.

Derek - I hear ya... Only The Beatles are not a good example. They are actually never good to bring up in any music business conversations really. lol....
I can't find 2 Bad songs on "Magical Mystery Tour" and millions would probably agree. The Beatles were so good it's not even fair to bring them into anything smile
Also few will remember Brad Paisley in 10 tears never mind 40 years.
Your right Elvis ia much better example . And Brad could never be like Elvis no one could actaully. He's an Icon that trancends just music.

And remember elvis did that at the End of his career.. not in the beginning.

Oh and thanks for the support with my health i greatly appreciate you for many things pal smile
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 03:01 AM

About ticks? Well, maybe it's a camping thing...it doesn't creep me out...sort of cracks me up. But when you spend time in the woods, that's eventually what you do. Now, checking for lice or crabs...that's a bit different. Anyway, I haven't seen the video or heard the music yet, but the write looks good (just read it on a lyrics search).

Someday I intend to write a Chuck Berry-style song called "My Little STD". Hands off--I've staked my claim! grin
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 03:10 AM

I admire original and well written songs, I do admire "ticks"
I mean to think of making a song like that and then actually pull it off takes lyrical writing skill plus the music just tops it off

Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 03:28 AM

Hi Again Bill smile

Okay...It's a great idea to discuss these kinds of things I agree, It's hard to leave personal opinions out of discussions like this but being open minded and a professional helps. I'll try best I can to be both lol...

My biggest problem with this song "Ticks" was the entire concept as well I walked away from hearing it twice and nothing stuck musically. His other song "Online" at least had the hooks and the idea was far better. Although I'd die before using
"My Space" in my lyrics, besides nothing dates a song faster than mentioning technology lol..

Now back to this song... It's just not appealing. And someone said to themselves lets figure out someway of using "Ticks" Very nice image right? yes Ticks and Limes Disease turn me on....as a way to write another song about sex and alcohol
Aren't we clever? I wanna check you for ticks to see you naked... Lame! period. Ticks are just not romantic, sexy or funny in anyway so what it the purpoes? Bad Bad Bad! I can't be convinced otherwise lol...

I clicked on another video of Montgomary Gentry "What Do You Think Of That" liked everything about it......

Okay lets put up these lyrics

Every time you take a sip
In this smoky atmosphere
You press that bottle to your lips
And I wish I was your beer

Okay It's like my Pap Smear / Beer line I wrote above...
Anyway of using "Beer" in a Country song.. like forcing this right down your throat.
"I wish I was your beer"
That kind of talk is corny & lame lol...

In the small there of your back
Your jeans are playing peekaboo
I'd like to see the other half of your butterfly tattoo.

Okay These are the best lines in the song... clever and could be used in [b]any song that has nothing to do with "Ticks" right?[/b] Could of used them without any reference to Ticks.

Hey that gives me an idea
Let's get out of this bar
Drive out into the country
And find a place to park.

Again back in the bar sex & alcohol, fine just leave out the "Ticks" and you're okay. Nothing special at all but that's okay.


'Cause I'd like to see you out in the moonlight
I'd like to kiss you way back in the sticks
I'd like to walk you through a field of wildflowers
And I'd like to check you for ticks.

If this was me I would look at my writing partner laugh histerical smile because we came up with a joke novetly like Weird Al and drop this whole concept due to self respect.


I'll keep you safe you wait and see
The only thing allowed to crawl all over you when we get there is me.

Yes real guy talk! smile Girls would laugh at a guy who talked liked that in my neighborhood smile

Okay the point is for a regular fun sexy light hearted song it's all fine... Any of us non established artists write it we get rejected by the publisher on the spot.. but that's another story.
The whole Ticks thing is a real desperate stretch at trying to be unique and orignal... which I give the song credit for being it was a unique idea but a bad one...

Hey Achy Breakey Heart looks like a 10 year old wrote it with a crayon, but I can totally still see how it was a hit...

Maye it's just me and I'm alone in my feelings on this one?
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 03:46 AM

I see the thinking...and I'm ignoring a lot of my own preferences as I learn to write country, believe you me...but when a song reaches number one with a bullet...

...how much money is that worth? And in order to reach number one, people need to purchase the song, right?

I think a lot of people like the song. This is probably one of those perfect lessons about REALLY reading the market...
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 04:07 AM

Any of you guys ever check your wife for ticks? I have, many times. We did a lot of camping early in our "courtin'" days, it was a wonderful, necessary excuse to be very intimate. If a new bride was a shy little wildflower, as my baby was, she'd want to turn out the lantern and snuggle in the sleeping bag. As youngsters, lots of ladies are teasers while us guys are explorers.

"Come on, baby," I'd frown, looking for excuses, "it's warm under this sleeping bag."

"Uh uh, honey, I get a chill, just cuddle here next to me."

"OOH, baby, looka this! I think I got a tick! How'd it get way down there?"

"Aaaah. Honey, don't say that, I'm itchy all over!!"

"Well there's another one. These must be the one's that are immune to OFF."

She'd squirm and rustle under the blue L.L.Bean bag with the red paisley (honest to God...it was paisley) lining. "Honey," she'd say, "Can you check me."

I'd light the candle in the tent lantern and gently caress her skin in the flickering glow, making sure I didn't leave out the tiniest bit of surface.

Brad Paisley's "Ticks." It made me laugh and it made me remember. What a great song!
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 04:21 AM

Originally Posted by airun
I admire original and well written songs, I do admire "ticks"
I mean to think of making a song like that and then actually pull it off takes lyrical writing skill plus the music just tops it off



Pulling it off only takes being a Mega (Country Only) supertsar..... smile

Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 04:23 AM

Originally Posted by Mike Dunbar
Any of you guys ever check your wife for ticks? I have, many times. We did a lot of camping early in our "courtin'" days, it was a wonderful, necessary excuse to be very intimate. If a new bride was a shy little wildflower, as my baby was, she'd want to turn out the lantern and snuggle in the sleeping bag. As youngsters, lots of ladies are teasers while us guys are explorers.
"Come on, baby," I'd frown, looking for excuses, "it's warm under this sleeping bag."
Brad Paisley's "Ticks." It made me laugh and it made me remember. What a great song!


Hey Mike D - For Real?
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 04:29 AM

Gotta agree. Like I said, I'm the outdoorsy camping type.
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 04:36 AM

100%

Art, good art, never fails to surprise. We can all agree that the ball either went into the basket or not, but we can't all agree on the color of the ball.
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 04:39 AM

Hi Guys smile
I was taking myself out of this topic as I am at a loss for words.

But my wife (over my shoulder) is not LOL.... I can't stop laughing

To Quote her -
"Yes there's nothing like having your new boyfriend check the crack of your ass for ticks"



smile smile smile
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 04:48 AM

Hi
Boy we've hijacked Ande's thread for sure.

Also the different back grounds and locations come into play.....
Anyway It's all in good fun..... no offense is intended - even to Brad lol....
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 04:51 AM

That's not where you find 'em... wink
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 04:55 AM

Hey, how 'bout a song about nitpicking?

I bought a bottle of RID
Yeah that's what I did
'Cause I'm a nitpickin' son of a gun

(insert twangy Tele lead)
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 06:17 AM

From what I gather, It sounds like a pick up song to me
Like he's trying to pick this girl up and maybe he's a hick and that's how the character thinks and talks
It certainly sticks out that is for sure, which is a good thing
Posted By: mattbanx

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 06:43 AM

I think a lot of it has to do with attitude and schtick, for however unmusical one musician or another may seem to whoever.
Getting into mostly angst driven rock in my youth, it is the guy that says if told they suck that the other guy sucks more, and point out anything at all in their songs that I see as a weakness that get more attention.
The humble that admits their weaknesses sadly are not going to be considered one of the big boys or in the chin stokers column in the given group.
To market something, I would have to do a product and have all belief in it regardless of what everyone else thinks.
There are people that have the audacity to market recordings I would never think of marketing.
But maybe it works for their act.
90% of the population dislikes even the biggest musicians.

But if I was'nt out for critique purposes, I would'nt be as humble.
The difference between now and then though is I would'nt feel the need to tell someone else they sucked.

I don't know if simply judging the music or lyrics is enough.
You could look up members pro or not that have been to different music sites and find total contrary opinions to the same recordings.
Maybe much of the good responses are not from pros or some artsy fartsy magazine publication.
But who are we supposed to be marketing to, anyway?

I have a vision of what I want to do musically.
It may be even more far off than what the pros would do.
I used to get in the defensive with any unfavorable response there was with what I would do.
Until I discovered that I am taking something I started out with for a love of doing and turning it into a pissing contest.

Yeah, in a way it is like men with women.
Down to the agressive attitude commonplace with posing musicians.
Hopefully we can draw strength from our little ticks.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 06:50 AM

Originally Posted by Mike Caro Substudio
Hi Guys smile
I was taking myself out of this topic as I am at a loss for words.

But my wife (over my shoulder) is not LOL.... I can't stop laughing

To Quote her -
"Yes there's nothing like having your new boyfriend check the crack of your ass for ticks"



smile smile smile



Mike that's was the best laugh I have had in months. That was pretty much my wife's take on it too. Big Hugs to you and your wife. How you feeling these days? Better I hope.
Posted By: Derek Hines

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 07:10 AM

Hey Bill

Well you won't lose my respect for speaking your mind Bill. Maybe what me and Mike meant wasn't that it was a badly written lyric (as far as structure goes) and it does try to make itself seem like reasonable idea.

But if I get Mike's reaction correct and it fits my own I would say the problem is the subject matter. I agree it is rather a bold idea but I don't personally know a lot of girls who would turned on by the idea of a guy asking if he could check her for ticks. I kinda think the only reason a girl or woman would like that is because of this song.

That said I think that was mine and Mike's point it wouldn't work except that he made it work. Before this song asking a woman that question would have got you slapped at best(might even still).

So my point on this is that it's a well written lyric in real poor taste. But then that's only my opinion let's hear what others have to say.
Derek

Edit ok I guess I got late in on the conversation here lol. I see what others think and I'll gladly accept it and mosey away for a while with an amused look on my face.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 07:19 AM

I think the un-sexiness of the hook is geared for laughs on purpose... and because he's bold enough to say something so stupidly un-sexy, he becomes endearing to the right listeners. The guy makes his way right back to sexy. Sharp cookie, I think.

And a #1. You have to remember that was no fluke. How did he know?
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 07:28 AM

He's Brad Effin' Paisley
Wildflowers grow taller when he's around!
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 10:16 AM

Hi Guys, Thanks Bill smile I'm glad you got the humour lol...
How far away are we now from Ande's original post smile sorry Ande smile

Let me tell ya about my little expierence with Country Music.
Of course when i was a kid it was mixed into the mainstream with other popular songsYes "Rose Garden" & Glenn Cambell songs were on the same charts as other genres of music, before the word genres lol....

But really I was working as a house painter in the early 80's and my boss an all Greek man named Gus (of course) was a Country Music Freak! So he would leave that station on 8 hours a day while we painted.
Now this was nerve racking to a Rock N Roll & Classic Soul freak like me lol...
And in that decade I was heavy into jazz'rock fusion as well.

But I love pop music big time and love any music that appeals to me in some way.
So needless to say my favorite Country songs & artist are probably in that decade.
Not all but I like a lot of songs I heard while working.

You won't believe this but ME my own wedding song was a Restless Heart song called "I'll Still be Loving You" I was actually working for the post office the first time I heard it. It literally froze me... The acoustic guitar and opening melody is staggeringly great. And the acoustic guitar solo sends chills down my spine till this day. The harmonies and feel those guys laid down wow! and it had all the great things that, Great Cat Stevens songs or JT's or Croces or Chapin songs would have.. yes I know all those guys songs of course.

So that was my wedding song believe it or not, and everytime I hear it it also makes me say " Man this should have been one that I wrote. I can see myself writing this" That kind of song... a Grammy winner as well. I would never be embarrased to have written that.. it's simply beautiful.

I really liked Ronnie Milsap then as well...

Now back to Brad Efin Paisley (that was a good one Airun) smile

Personally I think Vince Gill blows him away in every regard,
Vocally for sure, Vince never came off like a goofball, Plays the guitar every bit as good, And is just better all around musically. So there is somebody in his own world that he can take a lesson from.

I may never be able to come up with a Witchita Lineman sublime! great song..
But neither can Brad so why should we treat him like has done so smile he's a talented guy no doubt I'll leave it at that... smile
Posted By: Derek Hines

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 11:29 AM

Hey Mike

Totally with you on the early 80s country. Restless Heart was a favorite band for my dad and I Saw them in concert twice as well. And I think there are others they penned that are equally great. Hears where we might differe a little. I think of restless heart as being less country and more pop rock. That said I think they did some awesome music. I just don't see them as fitting the country genre. Then again as you mentioned about the early days of country it wasn't always about genre's. Another good one from Restless Heart was Fast Movin' Train. I get chills whenever I hear that one really emotional song great melody and harmonies. Ok now that I am completely off track lol.

What I meant earlier about the Beatles wasn;t that they made huge mistakes musically. I meant that if you or I had written the songs on Magical Mystery Tour we'd been laughed off the stage. Sometimes an artist makes the song. Could you hear anyone else getting praise for singing about a guy in a bar picking up a lady with a line as odd as "Well excuse me but I think you got my chair?". But with George Strait singing it people (mostly women) Are like whoa yeah that's awesome. His delivery on that song I feel are some of most well delivered lines. Now take the get er done guy and have him sing the same song. Doesn't work does it? Would anyone else have been able to get away with the mumbo jumbo of Blinded by the light"? Bruce didn't need that little gem to make his career he didn't even need "Born to run". But with those songs he made himself that much bigger. Of course everyone remembers Manfred Mann for singing Blinded but I hope you get my point. So maybe what we have here with "Effin Brad" is a guy who can do no wrong in some peoples opinions will he last? Who knows I do know this though if I'd written "ticks" and posted it on board 3 I'd be chased off of JPF lol.

Ok now that I have said way more than a mouthfull I'll try and let this settle back into being Ande's lyric writing thread.
Derek
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 12:32 PM

Hi Derek

Yes Restless Heart did have rock influnences but that's when the trend started happening and now it is very rock influneced. Country's Grammy winner and biggest artist (Keith Urban) is A Bon Jovi clone. Now some folks will come on and say hey that's not really Country... Okay but that's what the rest of the world thinks Country is because that's what they shove down everyones throats.. everytime we see anything to do with Country music that guys face is all over it. That is not opinion lol....

Restless Hearts "That Rock Won't Roll" and "Wheels" sounded pretty country to me. But also pop.... very very catchy songs with not lame lyrics trying to get cute by liteally explaining everything a human being has in there face all day....
Let Tim MCgraw keep singing about people dying and the fatally ill... And do it so literally... turns me right off brother. That guy has always been a poser anyway in my mind.

Again can't talk about The Beatles If we wrote one song from Mystery Tour we would never ever be laughed off the stage. Even if they wrote a silly song The Beatles sense for melody and counterpoint was BEYOND Belief...
This is all I will say about The Beatles.. If Beethoven was alive today he would walk over & right by Brad Paisley and many many many others like myself.. He would adore The Beatles. I would bet my life on it. Paul MCartney is so good it's not even fair to the rest of us. Beethoven was the pop superstar of his day, which also entailed being brillant at the same time. Stevie Wonder shares that unique position.

And finally - If I was bitten by a vampire and could roam this earth for centuries I wouldn't be able to come up with the equal to one Beatles album, never mind the miles of great work they did in - ready only ( SIX YEARS)

Bruce - He did kind of need "Born To Run" it defined him and remains his masterpiece.Top Ten all time records ever.. Mike A told me great stories about those days and that whole Manfred Mann thing.... Great version of that song by the way. Everyone who coverd Bruce's songs did great with them.. Patti Smith "Because The Night" her biggest hit smile
The Pointer Sisters, Manfred Mann etc.... You already know my partner Produced that album right? smile

ThunderRoad is a song to marvel at. Makes any songwriter or anybody go... wow! If you can't spot that greatness it's time to see the head doctor smile

All kidding aside, If anyone hear wrote "Ticks" we would all be happy and most very impressed. We all know the sole songwriter trying to sell a song game. So we take nothing for granted, But what we are saying is Okay - Is this the best you got out there? #1 Your rich beyond belief and my hard work and dues & talents can not even put food in my or my familes mouth....The gap is a tough thing to swallow sometimes.

Everytime I put on Stevie Wonders "Songs In The Key Of Life' I wanna quit music and realize how much I don't have... everytime! he makes everyone seem tiny bro! Then after a few songs I get inspired all over again by him time and again. And realize what it's really all about, the guy is pure gold man.

Brad won't allow himself to ever even be an ounce of that,especially playing inside that box he's in. Hey I'm still a muisc lover and fan And don't mind looking up to people.

Oh and Beethoven might have stopped to give Hendrix a second look smile

Derek you're a good guy, all the best pal!


Posted By: Derek Hines

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/07 02:21 PM

Hey Mike

I'll be the first to say if the Beatles were getting back together(kinda impossible now) I'd quite my job and wait in line for 250 days never caring to shower just to have the opportunity to get a ticket. Might even sell my own mother! lol. That said I think sometimes we all get a little big about ourselves or others. My point is this the Beatles were great and probably will never be surpassed as far as a musical group goes. Does that mean we shouldn't try? Hardly for every Beatle fan out there, there is a stones fan or a jefferson airplane fan. Now as much as I love the beatles and as sick as I am about the stones getting back together every few years. I gotta admit the stones were a lot more edgy than the beatles could ever have hoped to be. Not to say the Beatles didn't have their own edginess as well.

At any rate I agree I think the Beatles were awesome. However agreeing to disagree I still think some of what they did was subpar and I still think if you or I were to write it, it wouldn't have the same effect or have gained the same noteriety. This again is only my opinion but I still feel some bands transcend good or bad just by who they are. I want you to know I am be no means comparing the Beatles to Brad Paisley. He is not worthy to lick the bottom of their feet let alone be mentioned in the same conversation oops :O . Well at any rate I think we agree on most of this so I'll leave it at that. Hope thinga are going well for you brother and your in my prayers daily! I really dig hanging out and chatting with you.(even if it is just online lol)
Derek
Posted By: Aaron Authier

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/01/07 01:24 AM

Hey, good timing for this article about paisley and other writers for the tick song

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071130/BUSINESS11/71129051/-1/RSS05

In other words, Paisley still worries how his material will be received by fans and at radio. And he and fellow songwriter Tim Owens admit neither was sure how well "Ticks" would be received.

Owens said the writers were particularly worried about the lines "The only thing allowed to crawl all over you when we get there is me," and "Don't worry, babe, I've got your back, and I've also got your front."

"We were like, 'Brad there's no way,' " Owens said. "We were convinced it wouldn't work at the time. (Paisley) said, 'Oh, it will.'

"It's so fun to write with him because you think he won't go there, but he does. Writing with Brad, you have an opportunity. Some artists you write with have a certain thing they do and they don't go outside of that box, but Brad reinvents himself all the time."

"I'm still nervous about it," Paisley said of "Ticks." "I still wonder how it's going to go over, but I look forward to it every night in concert now. It's one of those songs that's very reactive. I've had more people than I've ever had willing to tell me they hated it. I guess, after eight years of recording, they felt like they could say they didn't like something if they didn't. But when something is that polarizing, people love it just as much as they hate it. I'm glad that we weren't completely insane."

Owens said that although "Ticks" did get tweaked several times, the initial song was written in about a day. That's in stark contrast to "Online," which Lovelace, Paisley and DuBois said took weeks to complete.

Moral is we shouldn't be afraid of going outside the lines,
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/01/07 01:44 AM

Human nature.

Folks complain that Nashville doesn't take risks. Then someone takes a big one, is wildly successful at it, and...folks complain.
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/01/07 01:56 AM

Hi Air

This was great smile thanks for sharing it.

Yes I knew that they had to have some concern, my gut told me so.

Brad is smart enough to know he'd better be established some before he try's to get over with the "Tick" song. Again what do we talk about when we say "The established artist" If you have the money to advertise people will buy anythng if you are already popular and hot it's even easier selling them on something.. Just a fact of life and business. Phil Collins who is deep talented [/b enjoyed the same kind of success in the 80's with songs like [b]"Susudio" But first listen to his work
on Genesis's oh lets see "And Then There Were Three" awesome!

The funny thing to me the refernces to "outside the box" what's going on over there is anything but "outside the box" They mean a little more tiny bit risky than
exactly what the others are doing.. They don't know what breaking rules are about at all, but all genressuffer that fate currently. Or do they they think they are the only ones writing silly songs, about sex & alcohol that people bop up & down to? smile Take a look around you... Write a seven minute number one hit song.. that's breaking rules...
Congrats to all for another #1 hit smile
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/01/07 02:31 AM

I think we're picking on a risktaker.
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/01/07 02:52 AM

Writing a three minute song for Phish...now THAT'S thinking out of the box. Or there's checking the box for Ticks?
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/01/07 04:20 AM

Originally Posted by Lyle
I think we're picking on a risktaker.


Hi Lyle

Actually I'm the only one picking on him, and it's largely to do with being in a foul mood lately, the kind only doctors and lawyers and dentists (teeth) can put you in lol...

Like I said the businees is different today for sure. But really I'm mean your a Beatle knowlegible person. Now knowing they those guys once they got passed the statring gate of doing everything Brian Epstein wanted them to.. weren't they real risktakers? You better believe it.
Tell ya what Brad STOP touring completely after your second year in the business and still out sell and out do everyone else in the entire industry Shall I continue on what else they did first or maybe we don't need the history lesson. Or maybe we do.... yes when your very popular you can bend the rules Brad is VERY popular but how is he bending any?

It's very simple if the Beatles are the ultimate rule breakers(and they were) I hope I don't have to make a list... than how do you put Brad Paisley anywhere in that conversation or sentence? I hate to use the Beatles for any examples but this one fits....
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/01/07 04:36 AM

I give up, you're right. Brad Paisley's not the Beatles he's...uh...whatever it is you want to think he is. Now, tell me why I shouldn't like licorice?
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/01/07 04:51 AM

Lyle,

Originally Posted by Lyle
I think we're picking on a risktaker.


We're tisking on a tick picker.
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/01/07 05:38 AM

Originally Posted by Mike Dunbar
I give up, you're right. Brad Paisley's not the Beatles he's...uh...whatever it is you want to think he is. Now, tell me why I shouldn't like licorice?


Hi Ya Mike

I didn't mean to skip your resonpses smile It's funny you know how a new post can come on the board before your able to finish the one you're writing lol.....

Please,please forgive my foul mood I probably shouldn't be writing posts at times like these but I can't go out, and I can't play, And That's how I wound up watching current videos the other night, and started this whole Tick discussion LOL. I repsect the heck out of you Mike in every regard.

Nobodies the Beatles of course... And I love some of the silliest sappiest songs ever written. I'm a 70's pop music freak as well as other styles. I just always question the people who confuse the two and talk about them in the same sentence. (It makes me curious) Epecially when we start out talking about what we should do when submitting songs etc...and talking shop...
Bill Rocker was talking shop then he split for a while, he'll be back smile

I don't even do all the things I'm talking about most of the time. I write alot of really catchy, simple minded pop/rock tunes. My goal is write something that can put food on the table and cover my bills and medical costs. Big Accomplishment right? lol.. Then once I have that write and play songs mostly intrumentals and do what ever the heck i wan't musically. But I do write radio friendly songs out of love as well
I have always loved pop tunes...

Now the difference to me is my licorice pop hit gonna be as killer as lets say "Fooled Around And Fell In Love" or The time capsule hit "Still The One" by Orleans or is it gonna be like "Ticks" by Brad Paisley, Brad your the genuis guitar God player, listen to the guitar in both those pop songs then burry your head pal smile I listened to his whole CD and thought someone had the guitar tracks muted smile

If you get a chance or have time go back to that Orleans song.... Mike
I can't believe it, what an incredible arrangement..muiscally & vocally. And that intro outro is fantastic.

Love ya Mikey D smile


Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/01/07 06:14 AM

Our dance band has played "Still the One" every weekend for as long as I've been with them. When it came out, in the early seventies, I was teaching at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. The folkies in Chicago thought "Still the One" was pop fluff, not serious music like Pete Seeger or Tom Paxton, but romantic, sell-out commercial nonsense like the Beatles.

I used to defend popular music against the traditionalists back then. Looks like I'm still doing it now smile

I love you too, Mikey, it's fun arguing music. You never have to quit arguing because nobody wins, nobody's wrong, nobody's right. There's only you and me and we just...

Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/01/07 07:32 AM

Originally Posted by Mike Dunbar


I love you too, Mikey, it's fun arguing music. You never have to quit arguing because nobody wins, nobody's wrong, nobody's right. There's only you and me and we just...



Just..... disagree! Dave Mason Love It! smile

I knew you'd love that Orleans song... To me that song could be put in a time capsule and be in a hit in any decade it gets let out in period.. smile
Posted By: Derek Hines

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/01/07 11:36 AM

Mike if you like "Your still the one" by The Orleans have I got a song for you. Listen to another one of there's (it's sorta obscure) called "Let there be music" I'll give you and excerpt of the lyrics.

The Orleans

When the world was in trouble
And it looked like there'd be hell to pay
Fire fire everywhere
And the news got worse each day

Well people really wondered
Just how long they could hold out
God looked down from heaven above
And he began to shout

Let there be music
Let it shine like the sun
Let there be music
Everybodies gotta have some fun

And you wanna talk about an awesome guitar arrangement whoa! Blew me away the first time I heard it melody and harmonies are excellent as well man this one puts "still the one" to shame and that's hard to do. Another of their great ones is "Dance with me" shoot wish I could make an acoustic sound that good!
Derek
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/01/07 12:18 PM

Hi Derek

Cool I have to hear that one! And "Dance With Me" really wow what a melody that song has huh? Catchy has the day is long and really really good.... So memorable
Hooks that never end....

I love "Crazy Love" by Poco as well.. it's in that same world.

Boy I will always be at battle with myself deciding which decade is the best 60's or 70's I guess I'll have to say I love them equally. That just had it and did it all.
Posted By: Derek Hines

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/01/07 12:51 PM

Wow Mike you are bringing back memories.

How bout "The things we do for love" or even Firefalls' "Just remember I love you" full of cliches but wow great song. I think one of my favorites from the 70s was Summer Breeze by Seals and Crofts awesome little guitar lick in the middle interval in the chorus. Boy now things are coming back like Amy/ Falling in and out of love with you by pure prarie league. That opening solo for amy is incedible. Also bread man they could do some great melodies I think "If" is also a longtime 70s favorite of mine. The Letter was also and incredible song in my opinion very good lyric and the singing was great as well (though I think that might have been the 60s). So many great band so little time to listen to them all. Hope things are well in your world and let me know what you think of that Orleans song. I'll tell you this much when I'm in the dumps it's a total mood lifter better than any drug the second verse is pretty darn awesome as well. Take care brother thanks for helping me reminisce.
Derek
Derek
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/10/07 09:07 PM

looks like y'all had a great discussion
no worries

ande
Posted By: Kenny Chaffin

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/30/07 10:27 PM

Just ran across this and wanted to say thanks for the effort and posting of this Ande.

KAC
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/31/07 12:32 AM

you're welcome
hope it helps you write well crafted lyrics
that melody writers drool over

ande

Originally Posted by Kenny Chaffin
Just ran across this and wanted to say thanks for the effort and posting of this Ande.

KAC
Posted By: billrocker

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 01/17/08 09:27 PM

Originally Posted by Mike Dunbar
Human nature.

Folks complain that Nashville doesn't take risks. Then someone takes a big one, is wildly successful at it, and...folks complain.


THANK YOU MIKE!!!!!! This says it all.

One more round on 'Check You for Ticks"...that someone said, and I paraphrase, "I think it's well written, but I think the concept is bad", makes my day. This is a songwriting forum and I get frustrated here because it seems more often than when people talk about a 'bad song' they aren't referring to a 'poorly written song'. This distinction, between 'a song I don't like', and 'a poorly written song' is crucial in my humble opinion.

I think not liking the song is not a problem...but on this one more country fans did than didn't as evidenced by it's chart successs (and please don't start with the unfair record company marketing influence crap...even if got a jump start, it had legs of it's own). What I believe made this song a hit is that it accomplished the ultimate goal that we as writers are trying to accomplish. It said something that everyone already knows, but in a new, fresh, and highy entertaining way. Checking for Ticks is restating the idea that no guy is ever at a los for thinking up new ways to try to get women to take their clothes off. The mind is always working...always thinking...always scheming...and of course, rarely succeeding...which is what makes it SO DAMN FUNNY!!!! The desperation at work in what formulates what a guy thinks of as a 'good idea' when it comes to the art of seduction, is nothing short of hilarious! What stuns me is that people commented on this as him actually being SERIOUS in his ploy to see her naked. The girls point of view is clear without ever being said: "Check me for ticks??? What, are you KIDDING ME??! (slap) Do you think the girl said "Hey, that sounds like a great idea!!!" Of course not! She rolled her eyes and found another seat at the bar...but you better believe she was awestruck by the ingenuity, charmed by the tongue in cheek shoot from the hip confidence that comes with the 'I'll try anything because you're beautiful' and I know I can get away with it without you thinking I'm some kind of perv 'cuz I'm just that cool' twinkle in his eye. She's a girl who's more than just a little bit flattered. Girls WANT guys to WANT them to take off their clothes, even if they don't want to take off their clothes. This affirms that whole age old thang in flying colors. It makes girls feel good, makes guys look funny and not so clever as they think they are, yet very male (can you say 'unflappable virility'? ugh...sorry)

Love it, hate it, no problem here. But it's a damn good 'song' in accomplishing what a good song is supposed to accomplish. Well crafted. And of all the songs that came out that week on records, THIS one became a hit! What are the chances??? ;>)

br
www.writeTHISmusic.com
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 01/20/08 08:22 PM

it's funny how opinions vary about songs
seems to me that songwriters are the harshest critics of songs
I liked Ticks, it's a cute song

have you seen the live performance
http://youtube.com/watch?v=L4JFul5Ff50
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 03/09/08 09:06 PM

edited it a little
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 04/06/08 04:41 PM

did a little editing today

Ande
Posted By: Michele Howlett

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 04/09/08 10:23 AM

Hi Ande

I am only a beginner with songwriting, and I wasn't very good at school, eek but what you have posted, I find easier enough to understand, grin so I was wondering could you email it to me, so I can print it out, that would be fantastic. wink My email is elliza1@bigpond.com.au, and thanks a bunch, I need all the help I can get. grin

Michele
Aussie girl from down under cool
Posted By: Chasengirl1726

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 04/09/08 06:42 PM

Hey! I just wanted to say hey and thanks for the tips in a concise and organized format. I would also like to mention that I liked the lyrics to "eventually"- I could identify with them and appreciate them. However, the person who tried to rewrite it, I do not think did a good job. I could not relate to the "smiley face tshirt" as much as I could to the orginal song. thanks for your help and keep it up!
Posted By: Michele Howlett

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 04/10/08 01:11 AM

Thanks a bunch Ande for emailing it to me, very easy to read & understand. Cool, I am not so dumb after all.



Michele
Aussie girl from down under



Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 04/10/08 04:09 AM

Hi Michele,

you're welcome
I hope they help you take your writing to a new level

Ande

Originally Posted by Michele Bolton
Thanks a bunch Ande for emailing it to me, very easy to read & understand. Cool, I am not so dumb after all.



Michele
Aussie girl from down under



Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 04/10/08 04:11 AM

Hi Chasen,

you're welcome
thanks for your kind comments on eventually
We got a new female vocal for it
http://www.songramp.com/mod/mps/viewtrack.php?trackid=61657
and continue to hope that someday an artist will come along and want to cut it

ande

Originally Posted by Chasengirl1726
Hey! I just wanted to say hey and thanks for the tips in a concise and organized format. I would also like to mention that I liked the lyrics to "eventually"- I could identify with them and appreciate them. However, the person who tried to rewrite it, I do not think did a good job. I could not relate to the "smiley face tshirt" as much as I could to the orginal song. thanks for your help and keep it up!
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 05/15/08 10:15 PM

got a nice email the other day from someone who thanked me for writing these tips

ande
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 06/29/08 09:38 PM

anyone using these?
Posted By: Tom Shea

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 07/01/08 05:07 PM

Terrific --- thanks very much. Your ideas clarify many things for me.

Tom
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 07/04/08 11:10 PM

you're welcome
now go write hits

ande

Originally Posted by Tom Shea
Terrific --- thanks very much. Your ideas clarify many things for me.

Tom
Posted By: Ralph Blight

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 07/05/08 12:13 AM

Originally Posted by Ande Rasmussen

14) Keep It Conversational
Write a lyric the way you would say it. Lyrics are conversational, don't reverse word order for the sake of rhyme, only use words you'd use in a natural normal conversation. KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Harlan Howard said, write songs so people who are half listening can half understand.


This tip is genre specific. It is a good tip for country music lyrics but not such a good tip for hard rock or heavy metal, where lyrics can often be very mystical and poetic.

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now
It's just a spein clean for the may queen




The above is not very conversational. Neither is the following:

Wake up,
Grab a brush and put a little (makeup),
Grab a brush and put a little,
Hide the scars to fade away the (shakeup)
Hide the scars to fade away the,
Why'd you leave the keys upon the table?
Here you go create another fable

You wanted to,
Grab a brush and put a little makeup,
You wanted to,
Hide the scars to fade away the shakeup,
You wanted to,
Why'd you leave the keys upon the table,
You wanted to,

I don't think you trust,
In, my, self righteous suicide,
I, cry, when angels deserve to die, Die,

Wake up,
Grab a brush and put a little (makeup),
Grab a brush and put a little,
Hide the scars to fade away the (shakeup)
Hide the scars to fade away the,
Why'd you leave the keys upon the table?
Here you go create another fable

You wanted to,
Grab a brush and put a little makeup,
You wanted to,
Hide the scars to fade away the shakeup,
You wanted to,
Why'd you leave the keys upon the table,
You wanted to,

I don't think you trust,
In, my, self righteous suicide,
I, cry, when angels deserve to die
In my, self righteous suicide,
I, cry, when angels deserve to die

Father, Father, Father, Father,
Father Into your hands I commend my spirit,
Father, into your hands,

Why have you forsaken me,
In your eyes forsaken me,
In your thoughts forsaken me,
In your heart forsaken, me oh,

Trust in my self righteous suicide,
I, cry, when angels deserve to die,
In my self righteous suicide,
I, cry, when angels deserve to die.


Chop Suey - System of a Down



And then there's Kurt Cobain

load up on guns and
Bring your friends
It's fun to lose
And to pretend
She's over bored
And self assured
Oh no, i know
A dirty word

Hello hello hello, how low?
Hello hello hello, how low?
Hello hello hello, how low?
Hello hello hello

With the lights out it's less dangerous
Here we are now
Entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now
Entertain us
A mulatto
An albino
A mosquito
My libido
Yeah

I'm worse at what i do best
And for this gift i feel blessed
Our little group has always been
And always will until the end

Hello hello hello, how low?
Hello hello hello, how low?
Hello hello hello, how low?
Hello hello hello

With the lights out it's less dangerous
Here we are now
Entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now
Entertain us
A mulatto
An albino
A mosquito
My libido
Yeah

(solo)

And i forget
Just why i taste
Oh yeah, i guess it makes me smile
I found it hard
It was hard to find
Oh well, whatever, nevermind

Hello hello hello, how low?
Hello hello hello, how low?
Hello hello hello, how low?
Hello hello hello

With the lights out it's less dangerous
Here we are now
Entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now
Entertain us
A mulatto
An albino
A mosquito
My libido
A denial
A denial
A denial
A denial
A denial
A denial
A denial
A denial
A denial


Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 07/06/08 01:17 AM

hey rblight,

I think tip 2 covers it,
plus tip 38 which I haven't written yet
which is

"artists can do whatever they want, it just needs to sound good"

Originally Posted by Ande Rasmussen


02) No Rules
There are no rules, there are only tools, guidelines. You'll find exceptions to everything below, but it's generally good to use the tools, unless you have a really good reason not to. It's important to understand each guideline.



Originally Posted by rblight
Originally Posted by Ande Rasmussen

14) Keep It Conversational
Write a lyric the way you would say it. Lyrics are conversational, don't reverse word order for the sake of rhyme, only use words you'd use in a natural normal conversation. KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Harlan Howard said, write songs so people who are half listening can half understand.


This tip is genre specific. It is a good tip for country music lyrics but not such a good tip for hard rock or heavy metal, where lyrics can often be very mystical and poetic.

Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/01/08 04:01 AM

should these be included as tips:

a. The more you've worked on a lyric the more likely you are to be blind to its flaws and the more eager you are to want to say it's done and move on to the next one.

b. Some lyrics are worth revisiting and rewriting,
others aren't and were just stepping stones to your next ones.
Posted By: Tom Shea

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/02/08 05:27 PM

I continue to go back and read this list of tips. I find that the more songs I write the more meaning I find in these tips. Thanks very much,

Tom
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/02/08 06:41 PM

Hey Tom

You're welcome
Glad to hear they're helping you

ande
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/28/08 06:43 PM

anyone using these?

Ande
Posted By: Beth G. Williams

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/28/08 07:29 PM

Hey Andy,

First off, thanks for all these tips...several I already knew, but others, I was like, DUH, what was I thinking? Plus, it's nice to have this concise list to refer back to.

It seems I never have enough time to write, but no matter what's going on, my song radar IS on 100% of the time. My family and friends are constantly subjected to "hmm, there's a song in there somewhere". Just in conversation here on the boards, I find that happens a lot..."HOOK ALERT!"

So here's at least one person using your tips -- and I suspect there are more than a few others....

Cheers,
Beth
Posted By: Kristi McKeever

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/28/08 09:02 PM

Originally Posted by Ande Rasmussen


26) Bits and Pieces
Songs rarely arrive fully baked. They usually arrive in bits and pieces. It's up to you to put the lyric together. Writing lyrics can be like solving puzzles.

I hope this helps you write better songs, Let me know if it does.

Ande Rasmussen

Ande, to let you know, this tip saves me a lot of worry. I can now jot down the beginnings of something and leave it for later, confident that it's all not "here" yet. My mind will work on it while I'm doing other things. And every time I come back to it, I see and add new things! smile So, thanks for that bit of wisdom!

Kristi
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 03/31/09 10:37 PM

hey beth

thank you glad to hear it

ande

Originally Posted by Beth G. Williams
Hey Andy,

First off, thanks for all these tips...several I already knew, but others, I was like, DUH, what was I thinking? Plus, it's nice to have this concise list to refer back to.

It seems I never have enough time to write, but no matter what's going on, my song radar IS on 100% of the time. My family and friends are constantly subjected to "hmm, there's a song in there somewhere". Just in conversation here on the boards, I find that happens a lot..."HOOK ALERT!"

So here's at least one person using your tips -- and I suspect there are more than a few others....

Cheers,
Beth
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 03/31/09 10:41 PM

Hey Kristi,

You're welcome.

Songs come to me in bits and pieces. Very rarely complete & fully baked. Also overcome the desire to drown them at birth. When I reviewed rewrites that helped me and my cowriters finally arrive to our final draft, some of the early drafts were pretty bad.

I'm a big believer in the set aside technique. I'll set lyrics aside for weeks, months & sometimes years. Then come back to them.

Great songs are co-re-written.

Ande



Originally Posted by Kristi McKeever
Originally Posted by Ande Rasmussen


26) Bits and Pieces
Songs rarely arrive fully baked. They usually arrive in bits and pieces. It's up to you to put the lyric together. Writing lyrics can be like solving puzzles.

I hope this helps you write better songs, Let me know if it does.

Ande Rasmussen

Ande, to let you know, this tip saves me a lot of worry. I can now jot down the beginnings of something and leave it for later, confident that it's all not "here" yet. My mind will work on it while I'm doing other things. And every time I come back to it, I see and add new things! smile So, thanks for that bit of wisdom!

Kristi
Posted By: Barry Crannell

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 03/31/09 11:20 PM

Great post Ande. Always nice to have a point of reference to go back to, even when experience tells us we don't need it. One thing that always stands out to me is the need to listen - a lot.
"Why isn't my song better than it is?" "What makes that one work so well?"

There will always be dissenters around structure and method, etc., and certainly exceptions to everything.

Anyway - well done.

Barry
Posted By: Rand Bishop

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 04/02/09 02:57 AM

Ande:

Wow,you really know your stuff!

This is perhaps the most concise, complete and accurate list of songwriting tips I've ever seen. It took me more than 250 pages to say what you've summed up here. Of course, I included a bunch of song examples and more than a dozen stories of serendipity, self-destruction, recounting decades of close calls on my road to eventual victory (an experience, BTW, I wish on every creatively compulsive soul who applies him or herself to achieving songwriting success).

Anyway, I'd add only a couple of comments to your brilliant treatise.

First, songs (as copyrights) actually have only two essential components - music and lyrics. Music comprises the melody, the chordal context of the melody and the rhythm (including the relative length and dynamics of each note and the spaces in between).

Secondly, every song needs a "concept." That might be what you're getting at with your reference to "themes" and/or "ideas." By concept, I mean the characters, the story, the message, the point of view. A title is usually meaningless in and of itself. After all, what does "Yesterday" mean without that forlorn, heartbroken man longing for it?

So, as we keep our radar up and collect new song ideas and titles, we will need to paint them into a landscape that captures or re-captures a moment in time, or a period of time, or projects a wish upon the future, AND demonstrates a point of view. And, you are so right. Songs are, first and foremost, emotional things. That's how they communicate.

All in all, you have provided great wisdom in this post. As a pro in this biz for nearly 40 yrs, I take my hat off to the blogger from Texas.

Thank you for sharing this with the JPL family.

Rand Bishop
songwriter/producer/author - Makin' Stuff Up, secrets of song-craft and survival in the music-biz
www.makinstuffup.net
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 04/03/09 10:49 PM

Thank you Barry,

I wish you the best with your songwriting

Ande

Originally Posted by Barry Crannell
Great post Ande. Always nice to have a point of reference to go back to, even when experience tells us we don't need it. One thing that always stands out to me is the need to listen - a lot.

"Why isn't my song better than it is?"
"What makes that one work so well?"

There will always be dissenters around structure and method, etc., and certainly exceptions to everything.

Anyway - well done.

Barry
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 04/03/09 11:35 PM

Wow Rand, thank you, what an honor. I just stole bits and pieces from everyone & everything I've ever learned about lyric writing & songwriting to make it what it is. Every writer needs a frame of reference.

You're right lyrics & melody makes a copyright.

What people hear on the radio is music, melody, & lyrics. I feel like melody is most critical, and sometimes there's really cool things in the music that makes a HIT a HIT. Ear Candy. Stuff people love to hear. Over & over. Mind Meth.

Like the cool signature licks:
the Bass line in Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wildside,"
The Instrumental intro of Shania Twain's "Man I Feel Like a Woman,"
The Guitar Riff in "Heaven" by Los Lonely Boys
Intro to "LaBamba"
Guitar Riff in Aerosmiths "walk this way"
Prince was great at this in many of his huge hits in the 80's
There's thousands I love.

You're right! Every song needs a concept, something that makes it stand up & be unique. The challenge we all face is every type of song has been written, we need to find new interesting ways to communicate something that millions of people connect with, with a unique distinct melody. No one has ever quite put it this way. Sometimes it's putting together 2 common things in a new way.

Taylor Swift is great at writing songs that connect with millions of teenage girls.

Katy's Perry's Hot n Cold tells off a wishy washy person in a super catchy way.

Rascall Flatts "What Hurts the Most" by Jeffrey Steele & Steve Robson is a thing of beauty with it's raw emotion & killer melodic changes.

I think Zac Brown Band's "Chicken Fried" is one feel good catchy song with a touch of Patriotism

I recently heard & really liked Pat Green's "What I'm For"
It fell into my Wow!-I-wish-I-wrote-that-song list

I look for how people (who know nothing about music & songwriting) react to a song. The true measure of a song is "Fan Reaction." Sometimes I feel songwriters can be unnecessarily overly critical about songs, especially their own.

Rand thank you for sharing your wisdom.
Folks oughta grab a copy of "Makin Stuff Up" by Rand Bishop

Ande Rasmussen



Originally Posted by Rand Bishop

Ande:

Wow,you really know your stuff!

This is perhaps the most concise, complete and accurate list of songwriting tips I've ever seen. It took me more than 250 pages to say what you've summed up here. Of course, I included a bunch of song examples and more than a dozen stories of serendipity, self-destruction, recounting decades of close calls on my road to eventual victory (an experience, BTW, I wish on every creatively compulsive soul who applies him or herself to achieving songwriting success).

Anyway, I'd add only a couple of comments to your brilliant treatise.

First, songs (as copyrights) actually have only two essential components - music and lyrics. Music comprises the melody, the chordal context of the melody and the rhythm (including the relative length and dynamics of each note and the spaces in between).

Secondly, every song needs a "concept." That might be what you're getting at with your reference to "themes" and/or "ideas." By concept, I mean the characters, the story, the message, the point of view. A title is usually meaningless in and of itself. After all, what does "Yesterday" mean without that forlorn, heartbroken man longing for it?

So, as we keep our radar up and collect new song ideas and titles, we will need to paint them into a landscape that captures or re-captures a moment in time, or a period of time, or projects a wish upon the future, AND demonstrates a point of view. And, you are so right. Songs are, first and foremost, emotional things. That's how they communicate.

All in all, you have provided great wisdom in this post. As a pro in this biz for nearly 40 yrs, I take my hat off to the blogger from Texas.

Thank you for sharing this with the JPL family.

Rand Bishop
songwriter/producer/author - Makin' Stuff Up, secrets of song-craft and survival in the music-biz
www.makinstuffup.net
Posted By: EdThomas

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 04/05/09 04:44 PM

Quote
I think Zac Brown Band's "Chicken Fried" is one feel good catchy song with a touch of Patriotism


Interesting thing about this song and perhaps an encouragement to folks out there..... the song is not recent. It is several years old (I think at least 4 years old) before it became a "hit"

Posted By: Michelle Chapman

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 04/06/09 05:22 AM

great advice Ande,I find all of your advice very helpful to me(a newbie)I remember some of the advice that I first learned when I signed up with SongU,was that there are a lot of rules that you should apply when you are songwriting,and there are times when you just need to throw those rules out the window.After hearing some of your music,it does seems that you have mastered the art of when to follow the rules,and when not to...and "Eventually" is absolutely beautiful...my teenage daughter thinks its about her and her BF...lol
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 04/06/09 06:09 PM

Hi Michelle,
I'm glad you find my advice useful
there's more if you go to http://www.songwriterblog.com
then click on messages
songU is great,
if folks want a trial membership they can drop by
http://songu.com/ifs

I feel fortunate to be a cowriter on Eventually.
It's a break up song. Glad to hear your daughter likes it too.

Keep writing, critiquing, & studying songwriting, you will improve as a writer and your songs will be stronger.

Ande

Originally Posted by michelle67
great advice Ande,I find all of your advice very helpful to me(a newbie)I remember some of the advice that I first learned when I signed up with SongU,was that there are a lot of rules that you should apply when you are songwriting,and there are times when you just need to throw those rules out the window.After hearing some of your music,it does seems that you have mastered the art of when to follow the rules,and when not to...and "Eventually" is absolutely beautiful...my teenage daughter thinks its about her and her BF...lol
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 08/20/09 01:06 AM

anyone using these?
you might find them helpful

ande
Posted By: Ethan

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 08/20/09 02:54 AM

Truth:

"artists can do whatever they want, it just needs to sound good"

Posted By: chapman

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 08/20/09 10:57 PM

Ande, is the mail list still active? Just wondered, haven't received anything for what seems ages...

Chap
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 08/21/09 01:51 AM

that's true artists can do whatever they want, though
what if you're a songwriter who's creating songs for singers and artists to record and perform?

hey chapman,

I haven't sent one out since

here's the home page for IFS
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/DIFS/

here's the IFS Message Archive
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/DIFS/messages


Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/25/09 08:56 PM

anyone using these?
I believe they'll still work
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/29/09 04:31 PM

tony on songramp
http://www.songramp.com/homepage.php?userid=13425
posted this

instead of sharing your lyric ideas,
SET THE DAMN LYRIC ASIDE
and talk to each other and come to an agreement on
WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY
in each part of the song...
keep it simple...
you have to decide:

First: what is the general storyline?...
just sum up the what you want to happen in the song from beginning to end -
NO LYRICS PLEASE...
here is where you should decide where you let the listener in on the twist, if there is one...

verse
decide what you want to say here to set things up? ...
don't share the lyric, just decide what part of the story you want to tell here...you might talk about how you lead into the chorus (no lyric!)

chorus:
what is the central idea you want to drive home here - you might discuss possible working hooks at this time

verse 2:
how do you use this verse to move the song through time and/or to share some completely different angle on what started in the first verse...whenever possible you want to use the last line of this verse or a lift to give a new reason to repeat the chorus - it's cool when it's a little different type of lead in than you used at the end of the first verse...you can discuss that in general terms...

chorus
whenever possible, you want the second singing of the chorus to provide a little more insight into the central idea - you do this by the way you choose to lead into it - you can talk about that here...

bridge:
how can you use this to say something that hasn't been said elsewhere in the song - often this is the place to put the twist and really send the listener off into the last chorus with an "aha!" - and a complete understanding of the song...

all of this discussion can take place without sharing ideas for a single line in the lyric - one of the problems you've been having is that in your posts, many of you are sharing valid ideas for the song WITH maybe a so-so lyric idea to accomplish it (or vice versa) and that's where you lose each other i think these should be kept separate - especially when trying to coordinate so many people's opinions on one write...

my advice at this point: i would get together even now and agree on these issues - then go back to all the stuff you've accumulated lyrically, and see what accomplishes what you want it to...don't force it!...write new stuff if it doesn't fit with your vision for the story in each part of the song...

hope this helps...
tony
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 01/15/10 11:11 PM

How's everybody's writing going?

Anything cool happening?

Ande
Posted By: Joe Wrabek

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 01/16/10 12:21 AM

Great tips, Ande. I think Scott Rose and I went through much the same process when we wrote "Born Again Barbie" (except we were usually tossing random lines at each other the whole time). We discussed Barbie's motivation, and history, and her problems with Ken (and the impact of Ken finally coming out of the closet), and why she'd turn to religion and how it fit in with her being a role model (if a somewhat airheady one) for girls. And then everything fell together almost instantaneously. It does work--and you get a good product out of it.

Joe
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 03/16/11 09:59 PM

Hey Joe,

Glad you like my tips, I hope they help more JPFers strengthen their craft and REwrite stronger songs. Great songs are Co-Re-written.
"Born Again Barbie" sounds hilarious, do you have a link to it I'd like to listen

Write On,

Ande

Originally Posted by Joe Wrabek
Great tips, Ande. I think Scott Rose and I went through much the same process when we wrote "Born Again Barbie" (except we were usually tossing random lines at each other the whole time). We discussed Barbie's motivation, and history, and her problems with Ken (and the impact of Ken finally coming out of the closet), and why she'd turn to religion and how it fit in with her being a role model (if a somewhat airheady one) for girls. And then everything fell together almost instantaneously. It does work--and you get a good product out of it.

Joe
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/04/11 03:42 PM

These might help writers write better songs.
Study hard
Build your craft up to the point where you can write exceptional songs
Posted By: Lynn Orloff

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/07/11 12:37 AM

Still lovin' "Eventually"! Still completely baffled why it's not being covered by a major artist though Dave Brooks sings like one already! Great, great, great song!!! love

http://www.songramp.com/mod/mps/viewtrack.php?trackid=12739


Best,
Lynn smile
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/13/11 12:13 AM

Originally Posted by Lynn Orloff
Still lovin' "Eventually"! Still completely baffled why it's not being covered by a major artist though Dave Brooks sings like one already! Great, great, great song!!! love
http://www.songramp.com/mod/mps/viewtrack.php?trackid=12739
Best, Lynn smile


Thank you. It was the first good song I ever cowrote.

http://www.songramp.com/mod/mps/srplayer.php?type=hipub&trackid=12739

we got several demos of it

Halie Loren
http://www.songramp.com/mod/mps/viewtrack.php?trackid=61657

Alex Anders
http://www.songramp.com/mod/mps/viewtrack.php?trackid=12740

Alex's brother Adam is the music producer for Glee
http://www.andersmusic.com/about-us/
http://www.myfoxla.com/dpp/entertainment/television/Glee_Adam_Anders_20091015
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/glee-music-producer-adam-anders-186441

Hows your writing going?

Ande
Posted By: Lynn Orloff

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/13/11 02:41 PM

still in love with songwriting smile
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/15/11 07:34 PM

Halie Loren Rocks!
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/16/11 10:44 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Halie Loren Rocks!

Halie Loren seriously rocks.
She is simply amazing

I've had the great fortune to have her vocals on the following songs

All Of Us Together

Safe In Your Arms

Dreamer and Her Dream

That Magic

Send Me Out

Eventually

Blue Holiday

I Resolve (the New Years Resolution song)

My Forever Family

Pieces of Her Past

and my biggest mistake was
not having her sing on more

She is a super sweet person and I love her sound. She just launched her latest CD "Heart First" and re-released her holiday CD "Many Times Many Ways"
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/20/11 03:11 PM

Ande,

You've had over 42K different people read this, (a click is one unique visitor IP clicking on it) so I'd say since the numbers keep growing, folks are still using it!

Brian
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 01/20/12 08:07 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Ande, You've had over 42K different people read this, (a click is one unique visitor IP clicking on it) so I'd say since the numbers keep growing, folks are still using it! Brian


Wow that's crazy!

just looked at CDBaby, Halie Loren's latest isn't up there yet but they do offer

STAGES

After Dark

Full Circle

They Oughta Write a Song
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 04/12/12 06:39 PM

Halie's latest is Halie Loren: Heart First

In 2011 she rereleased Many Times, Many Ways by Halie Loren and Matt Treder (2011)
I'm thrilled & honored that she included Blue Holiday that I cowrote with John Gillam.

Here's a youtube of her performing IN TIME
that she used to help Japan's Earthquake victims.


Originally Posted by Ande Rasmussen
Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Ande, You've had over 42K different people read this, (a click is one unique visitor IP clicking on it) so I'd say since the numbers keep growing, folks are still using it! Brian


Wow that's crazy!

just looked at CDBaby, Halie Loren's latest isn't up there yet but they do offer

STAGES

After Dark

Full Circle

They Oughta Write a Song
Posted By: blackwearsblue

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 06/13/12 09:36 PM

10) Move People
Well written songs emotionally move listeners.
Well written lyrics emotionally move the readers.
Songs need to be universal this means many people can relate to the songís story or situation.
We write songs for our listeners.

This one makes sense.. songs should be an instrument of moving people to be better.. super LIKE on this!!!!!



15) Titles
Every song has a title. Titles are the songs' brand. The title is the most repeated phrase in the chorus. It's the phrase that sticks in people's heads. Find a word or phrase that DEMANDS ATTENTION. The title usually summarizes the song.

problem sometimes is some songs has great contents yet poor choice of title sometimes makes them less attractive.



_________________________________________________
These blogs keep the fire of music burning in me:

www.scarysquids.com
www.audiomasteringman.com
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 06/15/12 06:33 PM

Originally Posted by blackwearsblue
10) Move People
Well written songs emotionally move listeners.
Well written lyrics emotionally move the readers.
Songs need to be universal this means many people can relate to the songís story or situation.
We write songs for our listeners.

This one makes sense.. songs should be an instrument of moving people to be better.. super LIKE on this!!!!!



15) Titles
Every song has a title. Titles are the songs' brand. The title is the most repeated phrase in the chorus. It's the phrase that sticks in people's heads. Find a word or phrase that DEMANDS ATTENTION. The title usually summarizes the song.

problem sometimes is some songs has great contents yet poor choice of title sometimes makes them less attractive.


Thanks, good luck with your writing.

Ande

Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 08/09/12 08:14 PM

kinda crazy this thread has now had over 86,000 views
how's everyone's writing going?
Posted By: JustinTravis

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 08/12/12 09:49 PM

I joined the site not long ago. I've recently fell for songwriting and have written a few. Each one seems to get a little better as I learn the tools needed to execute them properly. I've found this thread to be very helpful. Thanks for all the postings!
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 08/16/12 08:24 PM

Ande does a great job. Can't believe I've known him so long already. Time flies. His contacts and knowledge built up from persistent work forward is certainly one to mimic for anyone out there.

Brian
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/16/12 06:27 PM

Originally Posted by JustinTravis
I joined the site not long ago. I've recently fell for songwriting and have written a few. Each one seems to get a little better as I learn the tools needed to execute them properly. I've found this thread to be very helpful. Thanks for all the postings!


Hi Justin,
Welcome to the community, it can be pretty overwhelming when you get bit by the songwriting bug. There's no cure. Just write more songs. Keep studying and learning.

you might find this info helpful too
http://groups.yahoo.com/messages/DIFS
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/16/12 06:53 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Ande does a great job. Can't believe I've known him so long already. Time flies. His contacts and knowledge built up from persistent work forward is certainly one to mimic for anyone out there.
Brian


Thank you Brian
Where have the years gone?
Posted By: Michele Howlett

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/28/12 08:38 AM

Hi Ande

Yep, I'm reading your tips. As to the bits and pieces, I'm with Kristi, I get them all the time. I was chatting in an email to my song writing mentour months back, finding many Hooks, in many of my emails to him, and also they were just coming to me. Well I got one, that is so perfect, Not a title in the world like it, and once it's written, no one can ever use the same title again. But currently it's not flowing for me, and one day me and my mentour when I do get to Nashville will write this song. I've still got lots of learning to do.

Co-writing is good for me, and collobarating seems to work well for me too as I haven't the experience just yet. Here is my latest on the Mp3 forum, love it if you checked it out. Yep a great collobaration, which I'm sure you'll love too.

http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=10768122

Sitting here this morning on JPF, this song came to me, and I haven't written in months, yep still needs lots of work, but I have no doubt I'll get it right with a little help from my friends here on the boards. smile It's called "In A Minute", one for me and my little girl to record. I really want to write for my daughter now, as I'd like to see more songs for children in Country Music. When I take Elliza who is 10 yrs old to our Country music practice nights, the songs are way to old for her to sing, or the lyrics are not appropriate etc, so I feel strongly to write songs for her hey. Hmm, I better go read about structure, not sure if I've got that right with "In A Minute". eek

I've been reading your tips again today, and I'll keep reading them.

Yep, I had to give it a Bump so I didn't have to go right back through the posts laugh so I could read it again. smile

Edit, eek, I don't like number 11.Lol. laugh

a.) only using title words in the chorus

Ande, I don't think I can get out of putting In a minute in the verse hah, crazyother wise I lose the story. Can I get away with it being Country Pop? Donna just showed me on the lyric 3 forum regarding my question. Yep you are right, and so is Donna. What I need to do is start a folder up, and put in it all the developments, critics, changes made to the song and label each change, then I've got it to always look back onto, as suffering with Post Traumatic Stress, doesn't help much as to remembering important steps to help me grow as a songwriter. crazyEdit, eek, now I'm up to 12 The building block, structure, mine goes VVCVVCBC is that ok Ande? Back to reading your tips. smileYep Donna offered some great suggestions, I'll see what others suggest too.
Thanks Michele

In A MINUTE! (Mum and daughter song)Yep I know the lyrics are still not right, this is just my first draught. What I enjoy the most about working on a song, is it's development from beginning to end. So addictive, and lots of fun. smile

VERSE (MUM)
Elliza Jane can you lend me a hand
There are dishes to be done
Our clothing to be washed
Those now smell and begin to stand

VERSE REPLY (Elliza Jane)
Mum Iíll be there in a MINUTE
Iím a little busy on my facebook page
Iím typing a message to Taylor Swift
And I'm just chatting away to her (boy) fans (friends)?
Mum Iíll be there in a MINUTE

CHORUS (Mum talking to herself)
In a Minute, In a Minute
30 minutes has passed me by
Yep in a Minute, in a minute
Sure, Iíll be there in a Minute

VERSE (Mum)
Elliza Jane I havenít got all day
All your chores Iíve just about done
It is now, is what I meant
Clean your room and get off that net

VERSE (Elliza Jane)
Mum Iíll clean my room in a MINUTE
Iím just a little bit busy right now
Listening to ďMeanĒ on YouTube
Singing along with Taylor Swift
Mum why do you have to be so mean?

CHORUS (Mum talking to herself)
In a Minute, In a Minute
2 hours now have passed me by
Yep in a Minute, in a minute
Sure, Iíll be there in a Minute

BRIDGE (Mum & Elliza)
(Elliza) Mum can you make my lunch, (Mum) In a Minute
(Elliza) Mum can you get my cloths, (Mum) In a Minute
(Elliza) Mum can you brush my hair, (Mum) In a Minute
(Elliza) Mum can I go to my friends, (Mum) In a Minute

CHORUS (Mum singing it to Elliza)
In a Minute, In a Minute
The day has now passed us by
Yep in a Minute, in a minute
Sure, Iíll think about it in a Minute
In a Minute, In a Minute
Sure, Iíll think about it in a Minute

Edited by Michele Howlett (Yesterday at 10:02 PM)

Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/18/12 10:49 AM

Another thing to consider is each song has 1, 2 or a few themes
AllMusic.com has a list of many at:
http://www.allmusic.com/themes
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/18/12 05:30 PM

Hi Michele Howlett,

How have you been?

Glad you like & use my tips.

" finding many Hooks" can be a problem,
I found many more than I could write

"Not a title in the world like it, and once it's written, no one can ever use the same title again. "
You can google a phrase by putting quotes around it. You can search for a phrase in PRO & music databases. You can't copyright a title.

"But currently it's not flowing for me, and one day me and my mentour when I do get to Nashville will write this song."
Don't wait for Nashville

I've still got lots of learning to do.

Co-

Sitting here this morning on JPF, this song came to me, and I haven't written in months, yep still needs lots of work, ...
"In A Minute", one for me and my little girl to record.
~ isn't it fun when you write a new lyric especially after a dry spell

"i'd like to see more songs for children in Country Music. When I take Elliza who is 10 yrs old to our Country music practice nights, the songs are way to old for her to sing, or the lyrics are not appropriate etc,":

)

Edit, eek, I don't like number 11.Lol. laugh
a.) only using title words in the chorus
~ remember these are tools not rules for songwriting fools. Guidelines

Ande, I don't think I can get out of putting In a minute in the verse hah,
Maybe, there's other ways to say I'll get around to it

Structure, mine goes VVCVVCBC is that ok Ande?
The structure is fine
Looks like vcvcbc

first draught = first draft?

Michele, I read the lyric, to me the biggest issue might be, I think you wanted to write a lyric for pretweens like your dau. But because of the bridge it's really a song for moms. The gist is I told you to do something, you put it off, when you want me to do something I'm going to put it off.

To get kids to do what you want them to all you need to do is change the WIFI password then give it to them when their chores & homework are done, inspected & approved

I think the chorus needs short phrases and to be more rhymey

I think songs that kids love will be about them, from their POV, about relationships & situations with other kids.

Study
Taylor Swifts earlier songs
The climb Miley Cyrus
Pink Raise your glass


Posted By: Michele Howlett

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/20/12 07:23 AM

Hi Ande

I could of been better! Golly gosh, I seem to find those abusive people who take advantage of yah. crazy But I'm good now, I just finished doing a Domestic Violence Course, I learnt a lot, feel heaps wiser, and have the knowledge to know what to watch out for in the future. 50yrs old next year, and I feel I'm just starting to live life, hows that hah. I'm single, happy, and I've got back to where I belong, songwriting.

Ande, I have lots to learn, and thanks for pointing out (Looks like vcvcbc) so I learnt something new today, Cool. smile

"Not a title in the world like it, and once it's written, no one can ever use the same title again. "
You can google a phrase by putting quotes around it. You can search for a phrase in PRO & music databases. You can't copyright a title.

"But currently it's not flowing for me, and one day me and my mentour when I do get to Nashville will write this song."
Don't wait for Nashville


I wish I could copyright the TITLE! It's UNIQUE in it's own RIGHT!

You are absolutely RIGHT, I'm not waiting, my Mentor is to busy, so Stan Good and I are working on it now, and it's looking great. I can't wait to be able to show you, my unique title that I thought of, YIPEE! Stan he's an amazing writer to work with, and this song is gonna ROCK! I'm very excited!

As to the song "In a Minute" yes, it is a duo, Mum and Daughter song,(and thanks, you gave me a few other idea's for the song) grin Stan and I have achieved that, but before I post songs up now, I want to get the melody, go over the lyrics like a fine tooth comb with my producer, because I've found when Rodney starts writing the music for the song, Yep those lyrics can change, and it's all worth while when it's finished.

Childrens songs, thanks for your advice, I will google Taylor's and those others you've mentioned, because it's certainly a challenge writing songs to suit a 10 year old. I'm going to start listening to words that she come's out with, story idea's, and go from their.

Ande, your TIPS are excellent! whistle Thanks for the FREE advice, because I financially live from week to week, single Mum now, but I'm doing it, and I'm proud of my recent achievements, especially coming from the bad place that I've got us out of, and I'm excelling in every way, and so are my two youngest children. smile

Hooks, I save everyone that I feel has potential, when I see them. This songtitle I never lost it in my mind, and I'll let you know when we post it up on the Mp3 forum for you to listen hah? grin It's just about finished, waiting on Stan, oh golly gosh, he hasn't been on the boards, EEK! crazy laugh

Originally Posted by Ande Rasmussen
Hi Michele Howlett,

How have you been?

Glad you like & use my tips.

" finding many Hooks" can be a problem,
I found many more than I could write

"Not a title in the world like it, and once it's written, no one can ever use the same title again. "
You can google a phrase by putting quotes around it. You can search for a phrase in PRO & music databases. You can't copyright a title.

"But currently it's not flowing for me, and one day me and my mentour when I do get to Nashville will write this song."
Don't wait for Nashville

I've still got lots of learning to do.

Co-

Sitting here this morning on JPF, this song came to me, and I haven't written in months, yep still needs lots of work, ...
"In A Minute", one for me and my little girl to record.
~ isn't it fun when you write a new lyric especially after a dry spell

"i'd like to see more songs for children in Country Music. When I take Elliza who is 10 yrs old to our Country music practice nights, the songs are way to old for her to sing, or the lyrics are not appropriate etc,":

)

Edit, eek, I don't like number 11.Lol. laugh
a.) only using title words in the chorus
~ remember these are tools not rules for songwriting fools. Guidelines

Ande, I don't think I can get out of putting In a minute in the verse hah,
Maybe, there's other ways to say I'll get around to it

Structure, mine goes VVCVVCBC is that ok Ande?
The structure is fine
Looks like vcvcbc

first draught = first draft?

Michele, I read the lyric, to me the biggest issue might be, I think you wanted to write a lyric for pretweens like your dau. But because of the bridge it's really a song for moms. The gist is I told you to do something, you put it off, when you want me to do something I'm going to put it off.

To get kids to do what you want them to all you need to do is change the WIFI password then give it to them when their chores & homework are done, inspected & approved

I think the chorus needs short phrases and to be more rhymey

I think songs that kids love will be about them, from their POV, about relationships & situations with other kids.

Study
Taylor Swifts earlier songs
The climb Miley Cyrus
Pink Raise your glass


Posted By: Michele Howlett

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/21/12 05:58 AM

Hi again Ande

Oh I couldn't wait, please check it out hah, we are very excited about this unique title, song. love

A song is never finished, until it's finished, so yep, we will see what others say, and we'd really appreciate any feedback you give us before we put this to Music Ande. smile

Thanks Michele/Stan/Rodney

http://www.jpfolks.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/984813/page/1#Post984813
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 08/22/13 10:22 PM

Hi Michele,

Just realized I didn't reply to this
yes stay away from those abusive people who take advantage

"know what to watch out for in the future."
The problem is these people start out as charismatic handsome and charming plus when people fall in love, we tend to
1) project (giving them qualities we want them to have, but they don't)
2) magnify the positives &
3) minimize the negatives or just be completely blind to them
4) repeat, Life gives us lessons, and it tends to repeat the lesson until we really learn the lesson. We also tend to attract the same types of people, sometimes your new love could be similar to those we've already had relationships. The difference is, if you get any early warning signs you are in another abusive relationship, have the courage to end it sooner rather hanging on and taking the abuse.

good to hear you're songwriting.

It's nice to have a killer title but it's more important to have a killer idea, approach or melody


you can't copyright a TITLE!
but if you build a valuable business around it you can trademark it.
IE Margaritaville

yep don't wait, get to work. It's fun to think it's looking great but when the creative flow is done editing begins.
"this song is gonna ROCK!"


"As to the song "In a Minute" yes, it is a duo, Mum and Daughter song,(and thanks, you gave me a few other idea's for the song) grin Stan and I have achieved that, but before I post songs up now, I want to get the melody, go over the lyrics like a fine tooth comb with my producer, because I've found when Rodney starts writing the music for the song, Yep those lyrics can change, and it's all worth while when it's finished."
It's OK for lyrics to change, I tell my cowriters I am for whatever is better.


"Ande, your TIPS are excellent!"
thank you

Thanks for the FREE advice, because I financially live from week to week.
you're welcome

My main suggestion to any songwriter is:
"don't spend a lot of money on a song until it's strong enough and really ready."
Sometimes we're over eager to get something done.
Also search hard to find production sources that provide excellence and affordability.

Ande
Posted By: Michele Howlett

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 01/22/14 07:12 AM

Hi Ande

Thanks for all your advice, I honestly really get it now hey. I'm now a VICTOR not a VICTIM, and can actually see that I won't be going into another abusive relationship ever again. I don't deserve not to be Loved, and I hope one day I do find the right man who will love me as much as I'd love him.

I have grown in myself a lot, and yes you are right, Harsh Lessons, I've learnt a lot on the way, they are so damn good at conning yah, but not this Aussie woman cause I can actually see it now, and I straight away remove myself from those types of people.

Ande, I used one of the 1-8 Chorus examples with Ms Perfect, grin and I was wondering would you mind showing me in a 1-4 1-5 1-6 1-7 of were the Hook should be in a chorus, as I'm currently working on a new song idea, and would appreciate your help.

As to finding an affordable producer, I have found him, Rodney is excellent, talented, and his fee's are very reasonable. smile

I noticed the views on your songwriting tips, Wow Ande. One day I hope one of my songs will get that many views. laugh

Thanks Michele

Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/24/14 06:23 AM

Crazy that this has now had over 400,000 views
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/24/14 11:47 PM

People get excited over busy and long posts. Same way on all message boards. The more traffic, the more traffic.
Posted By: ben willis

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/25/14 12:57 AM

If you could only condense this thread into a Readers Digest story.

I wonder what name Airun is using now?...let me guess.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 10/25/14 09:36 PM

You know something else about this post is an amazing lesson and it has NOTHING to do with songwriting. It has to do with PROFESSIONALISM and DEALING WITH TROLLS and LESSONS ABOUT HOW PEOPLE FIND SUCCESS IN THE REAL WORLD.... and all you need to do is read the visceral hatred spewed by Airun (a born tool if ever there was one) and the unbelievably professional way in which Ande deflected not only his venom, but even his legit attacks. Folks, if you want to know why people like Ande find success and others do not, you need not do more than read the first page or more of this topic. It's brilliant. His tips are solid, especially for someone learning to write a song, but his actions offer the best lesson that people who do anything professionally on line could learn a lot from.

I had actually forgotten about the discussion at the top until someone mentioned the troll and I thought, I need to take another look. Sometimes trolls do have their place in moving things forward. Of course they're almost always cowards of unimaginable proportions, like Airun who wouldn't just use his real name and take the consequences (he truly defines trolldom).

Write on, =)

Brian
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/03/14 05:05 AM

Dear Brian,

Thank you

I'd forgotten about airun. I just remember he was viscous mean and persistent at attacking me & Eventually.
http://www.broadjam.com/artists/songs.php?artistID=12856&mediaID=96362

http://www.broadjam.com/player/player.php?play_file=12856_96362

At some point I quit responding to his posts then blocked him.
All his posts show up as
*** You are ignoring this user ***

Some songs are lyrically sparse. Eventually is one of them. My lyric writing tips are tools not rules. I felt like he critiqued Eventually, a pop song, using country tools.

Melody and prosody are more important than lyrics. Songs like Yesterday or Unchained Melody or At Last don't have many words. When a song has few words, it makes room for interesting melodies. A recent example is Sam Smith's run away hit "Stay With Me"

[Verse 1:]
Guess it's true, I'm not good at a one-night stand
But I still need love 'cause I'm just a man
These nights never seem to go to plan
I don't want you to leave, will you hold my hand?

[Chorus:]
Oh, won't you stay with me?
'Cause you're all I need
This ain't love, it's clear to see
But darling, stay with me

[Verse 2:]
Why am I so emotional?
No, it's not a good look, gain some self-control
And deep down I know this never works
But you can lay with me so it doesn't hurt

[Chorus 3x]


But you know what? The melody is so amazing and his voice is gorgeous, I don't care. I feel no need to jump into the ridiculousness of saying, it's ok but I'd really like more imagery and story.

Each song has its own journey.

Also songs are art, they are our creations, at some point we need to have the courage to decide that when a song is done. Also, when you cowrite, you don't always get your way & sometimes the relationship is more important than being right or thinking you're right. Always separate song and writers, always approach with the intent to make the song better and people valued and appreciated.

What's interesting about Eventually was, I wrote the chorus, then invited Donna Aylor in on the lyric and we cowrote some country verses for it. Then we invited melody writer, Mark Oates in on the song and his 1st draft was kinda country blue grassy & uptempo. We immediately told him we didn't feel it matched what the lyric was about, being totally in love then suddenly dumped, heart broken, blindsided, aching for the one we lost, stuck in misery and futility.

As a side note Mike Reid & Allen Shamblin's early draft of "I Can't Make You Love Me" was uptempo and bluegrassy. The cowrite took several weeks, they had a break, after the break they got back together to finish the song. Mike told Allen I've got something I want you to hear. He played his rewritten version of "I can't make you love me" as an instrumental. It was the version we know. When Mike finished, he asked Allen what he thought of it and what he should change. Allen had no clue it was their song. He told Mike "That was the most beautiful amazing thing he'd ever heard and shouldn't change a thing." Then Mike told him, "It's our song "I can't make you love me" Then he played it again singing their lyrics.


Back to Eventually, Donna and Mark got together without me and totally rewrote Eventually's verses and bridge to what they are now. I wasn't part of that dialog, but I love what they did and totally support their choices. I am proud to be a cowriter of "Eventually." I'm happy to help people on their songwriting journeys.

Sometimes songwriters can be overly critical of other writers songs.
Sometimes songwriters are way more critical than fans.

But if you're a writer who's hoping for commercial success, you've got to develop your skills to a very high level, you've got to have the ability to be a tough self critic. The song game has changed, it's hard to get cuts, there are fewer acts, fewer songs & CDs sold. Many artists are also writers. Which is why labels now want 360 deals where they earn a piece of everything artists do.

If you want songwriting success, your best bet is to be an artist or find talented up & coming artists, songwriters or producers, get to know them as people, help them and cowrite with them or place songs with them. Also know if they get really successful, they get really busy and many might move on & up.

Brian, thanks for everything you've done over all these years, you are JPFolks but truly far from plain. Thank you especially for resisting the temptation to sell out in the early years during the internet boom. JPFolks is a great community and a true labor of love.

Ande
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 04/18/15 05:32 PM

Last night I had the pleasure of witnessing Allen Shamblin performing
"I Can't Make You Love Me" and
"The House that Built Me"
In his story tellin he said this
http://youtu.be/onKsZTqGGn0
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 12/28/15 05:02 AM

I hope these tips provide tools for folks to write stronger lyrics.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/30/16 10:05 AM

This post is deservedly one of the most viewed. Perhaps Ande will continue to add to it?
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 06/30/17 04:34 PM

Thank you Brian, maybe I should. What else is there?
Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
This post is deservedly one of the most viewed. Perhaps Ande will continue to add to it?
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 09/22/17 04:12 PM

Ande,

You mean all the possible songwriting tips in the world are already in this post? So no need for all those books? heh.

I think the challenges today are very different than they were even 5 years ago, let alone 10-15-20. If anyone can address those new challenges with first hand knowledge, that would always be appreciated.

Brian
Posted By: Ande Rasmussen

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/02/17 12:55 AM

Hi Brian,

Forgive my absence. I think the lyric writing tips stand up, MAB is well versed on what it takes & has plenty to add. The music biz is a paradox, opportunity is wide open but it might be more challenging than ever to make a descent from just music.

Thereís one book called
ďDo What You Love and The Money Will Follow.Ē

Thereís another called
ďShould I Do What I love or Do what I Do so I can do what I love on the Side?Ē

This is the path Iíve chosen. Thereís some careers where you can be exceptional and still barely eek out a living and thereís other careers where you can be average and do well.

MAB can probably tell you Nashville ainít what it used to be, but itís still possible to get cuts.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/04/17 11:12 AM

That's actually the advice Ihave been preaching for over 30 years... do what you love and if others love it and you make money, great, if not, you still win. Chasing success has always been tragic in my view unless you don't love music, you're just good enough to do it to make commerce.
Posted By: MATT STONEHAM

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/12/17 09:13 AM

We can even learn from badly written songs , just a thought

I wonder how many Learning song writers , study what is known as The Vowel Triangle

I found it years ago in a book written by a well known Berklee Professor who's name escapes me

at this time ,

I just remembered his name it is Patt Pattison he also does some handy you tube talks on the art

Another You Tube Must for us all is Leonard Bernstein

Oh and I dont know why many J P F writers look on Nashville as the Be all and End all of

getting cuts , there are so many other outlets in the world try looking at the Big Picture I would say


Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: Ande's Lyric Writing Tips - 11/12/17 10:31 AM

Originally Posted by MATT STONEHAM
We can even learn from badly written songs , just a thought

I wonder how many Learning song writers , study what is known as The Vowel Triangle

I found it years ago in a book written by a well known Berklee Professor who's name escapes me

at this time ,

I just remembered his name it is Patt Pattison he also does some handy you tube talks on the art

Another You Tube Must for us all is Leonard Bernstein

Oh and I dont know why many J P F writers look on Nashville as the Be all and End all of

getting cuts , there are so many other outlets in the world try looking at the Big Picture I would say




Matt, you're so correct about learning. Bad songs are much better teachers than great songs. Great songs first have to avoid all the fatal errors of bad songs THEN must have some level of artistry that can't be taught on top. So looking at bad songs can help you learn the fatal errors and how to avoid them and then you avoid those and add your artistry and hopefully it becomes brilliant.

Brian
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