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Any successful song-writers out there?

(30 Posts)
fedda Sat 07-Jul-07 19:47:58

Hi, following a suggestion of one of the members, I've changed the title of the thread in the hope that someone might give me some tips on successful songwriting. Any related thoughts are very welcome. Thanks.

monicker Sat 07-Jul-07 20:04:07

I run a recording studio and I can tell you some things that stand out between the good songwriters and the truly terrible songwriters if it helps?

(1) Good ones normally have a lot of material because they write often. They will often turn up with 20 songs, knowing they can only record four and hone it on the basis of the best, being happy to throw away substandard songs.

(2) Bad ones write only on one subject and that subject is normally lost love. Bad songwriters only write slow dirgey songs that make us want to hang ourselves.

(3) No instrumental solo should be longer than 30 seconds.

(4) The three chord trick is not a trick, it's an accepted convention, feel free to use it.

(5) Immerse yourself in your genre - if you want to write musicals - it helps to see lots of them - ditto pop. If you want to write heavy metal, hit yourself about the head repeatedly before starting to write.

fedda Sat 07-Jul-07 20:23:56

It's all very interesting. The only thing I don't like is no more then 30 seconds for solo. My songs are often about love - happy love, lost love. They often last for a bit longer then 5 minutes (rather 6 or 6,5). Would that limit my chances for success?

monicker Sat 07-Jul-07 21:55:10

Fedda - ooh I just answered your question about crispy duvet covers too.

That's a bit long for commercial stuff I'm afraid. If you ever want it to be successful you are aiming at three and a half minutes.

fedda Sat 07-Jul-07 21:59:16

I see. Oh, dear. Do you think if my songs are more then 5 minutes I should just forget it and only send songs for about 3 minutes or so? I actually was timing some songs and found that many of them are under 3 minutes.

monicker Sat 07-Jul-07 22:14:40

I bet your five minutes songs could be cut down. Be ruthless.

fedda Sat 07-Jul-07 22:20:44

Not really as they are written on someone else's lyrics. i can't be rustless when it comes to my co- writer's work. Wouldn't a good song stand out no matter what?

monicker Sat 07-Jul-07 22:24:50

Depends - if you want someone to listen to it, it needs to be short. TBH most A&R people won't listen to demos these days anyway for fear of being litigated against later on. But if they do, they rarely listen beyond the first 30 seconds.

fedda Sat 07-Jul-07 22:39:16

I don't know how to attract their attnetion in 50 seconds. I understand their fears but what can a songwriter do? i know that many music shios who sell records close down and I fear for the future. Do you think unless people know you and you are famous there is no chance for songwriters? it would be such a shame as I write good songs. I had many chances to check what people think of my music giving them to listen to a variety of songs by different songwriters and my songs would be among them. people liked them a lot but people who listened to them were not in the business of songwriting. there must be some way though. Somebody said to me that i need to go to the parties where all the important people come, drink with them, invite them for lunch and start talking about my music and someone might become interested. Is it really the case? Do I waste my time sending my songs to the publishers or songwriting contests?

monicker Sun 08-Jul-07 12:13:48

Couple of things - last year 93% of releases in the US sold under 100 copies - yes, that's right only 7% made over 100 just sales. It's a tough business and a crowded market.

My advice would be to record the songs and stick them up on MySpace so you can get some opinions and perform them whenever you can to get a following. You don't necessarily need a record deal you can self publish quite cheaply these days and if you are looking to sell the rights for someone else to sing your songs, you need to get your stuff 'out there' and the Internet is as good a way as any.

Personally all the record company people I know only talk to me because they know I won't foist demos on them! I worked as a singer for a while and got a hell of a lot of work just because I was drinking coffee in the same shop as a friend who worked in the biz who was too lazy to look elsewhere.

fedda Sun 08-Jul-07 17:05:39

I love cofee shops, never met anyone in the songwriting business though. Well, my voice is rubbish, I can only compose but not perform as a singer. I'll try my soace though, thanks for your advice.

fedda Sun 08-Jul-07 17:07:03

Oh, dear, not soace, I meant my space. Sorry!

whomovedmychocolate Sun 08-Jul-07 21:49:53

We get a few folks like that in the studio Fedda, normally I get roped in to sing their stuff (I was a professional singer for a while) and then they tout it around. In lots of ways being unable to sing is a plus, so many great songwriters are let down by their inability to perform but a steadfast belief that they can.

(BTW I am back in my old name in case this is confusing).

fedda Sun 08-Jul-07 22:21:26

I like your old name better. Thank you for your point. Well, there is no way I can think that I can sing. I'd simply ruin my songs. I'm still thinking if there is any way a song which last for 6 or so minutes has a chance. I've been playing my songs and singing them when nobody could hear my dreadful voice and they mostly last around 6 minutes. I can make them shorter if i play quicker or cut out some parts of them but they instantly change for the worst. To me it's like cutting out important parts of the story to fit it into the programme and suddenly the story becomes fragmental and loses it's best points. In other words, do you know any popular songs which last for 6 minutes or so?

Twinklemegan Sun 08-Jul-07 22:25:32

My suggestion worked then? Good.

fedda Sun 08-Jul-07 22:29:54

Yes, thank you. it would have worked even better if I haven't been making so MANY spelling mistakes but there you go.

whomovedmychocolate Mon 09-Jul-07 06:17:18

Yes Fedda, I understand what you are saying because there are successful songs that run to even twenty minutes - look at Bohemian Rhapsody by queen, that goes of for farking hours but no-one notices because it's good.

But unless you are writing prog rock it's seldom acceptable these days. But you could start a trend I guess

fedda Mon 09-Jul-07 09:08:00

I'd like that. I feel my songs are good and all they need it someone who'd be listening to them, just someone who'd prepared to give them a chance. Thank you for your kind words.

whomovedmychocolate Mon 09-Jul-07 16:29:44

Do you want me to give them a listen?

fedda Mon 09-Jul-07 22:33:36

Yes, please.

Hi everyone
I am new on mn.Fedda I would love to here your songs. I sing and play guitar. I also write songs although the guy who plays the guitar with me writes most of them. We are currently putting an album together but as i have just become a proud mum and he has just become a proud dad (not with each other) we been kinda busy lately. My only downfall is confidence singing in front of people. Recently i have been singing locally at a buskers night where the atmosphere is quite relaxed. Still nerve wracking tho. Been thinking of putting some up on my space when ive worked how to do it.Would be good to get different opinions.
Really sorry for babling on

fedda Mon 09-Jul-07 23:10:45

Hi, no1putsbabyinthecorner. I'd love to hear your suff too. I can't wait to see you on MySpace. By the way, I've looked up what you write about yourself on mumsnet and it's confusing. In the first paragraph they say you don't have children and later on you yourself speak about having a child. Anyway, good luck with your singing and may be when you have time you could listen to my songs.

hey yes i found that about the children confusing when i looked at other profiles.It says no children at the top but then talk about children at bottom. i have a dd aged 5 months. I been reading mn during pregnancy and only just decided to appear!!I have not got a clue how to put music up on my space not very technical. But yes i would definately find the time to listen to your music.

fedda Mon 09-Jul-07 23:32:59

That's wonderful. How can we arrange it?

I have no idea i dont even know how to upload photos on my profile page sorry useless arnt I. do you have any suggestions.

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