EL MABBO IN DA HOUZE!!!!

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Dec 11, 2017, 03:40 PM

Cutting down the time of a song that is too long isn’t hard to do.  Truly critique your song, read over the lyric, evaluate what you want to say then say it in as few lines as possible,
Eliminate repetitive lines in verses, pare verses down by doing away with unnecessary words. Eliminate or reduce intros, solos, and outros, and always keep in mind quality not quantity.  Seriously consider others critiques and suggestions.  These techniques work well for most, learning to do it sometimes may not seem easy, but give it a try, they might work well for you also.  Best wishes,

Speak soon

Music is an international language, say it with a song.

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Deacon Joined Aug 30, 2009
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Dec 13, 2017, 08:05 PM

MAB, believe it or not i know about commercial radio (daytime needs ads understandable) and the three minute mark for as long as I’ve been writing songs on and off over thirty years and i never had a problem with those rules and regulations but for me, i just write with the flow of thoughts memories and words understanding and now recording decides the length but MAB, what you do to help singer/songwriters that come to you the importance of the three minute mark on commercial radio is great and i respect that, but i’m not talking about commercial radio and three minute mark.

You posted your song “Hotter” and on seeing the video and hearing not just you but the crowd wanting more to me it was to short at 2.28 and i said it was to short and then you post “I actually keep ALL my songs short on purpose” then i listen to “Tables and Chairs” another great song and even though there was no lyrics to read it sounded great and believe it or not just the right length, no problem with the three minute mark, once’s it serve its purpose

The shortest song I’ve recorded is 2.58 the longest song I’ve recorded is probably over 5 minutes and there are more to come, short long will depend on recording and if i get to a stage will depend on what the crowd wants as well but anyway, i could say more but you probably slag off the Irish again lol, ar be jaysus top of the morning to you lad, hollywood haha lol.

Happy Christmas MAB to you and ALL here.

 
     
Patrick F Joined Mar 03, 2013
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Dec 14, 2017, 01:27 AM

Hey Patrick,

If I “slag” on the Irish, I’m slagging on my self. I’m Scotch Irish, but I’m really just having fun. You can do the “Alabama redneck” thing. I’m used to it.

I mentioned the “three minute mark” and radio because that is pretty much everything my life has been built around music wise for about 40 years. I got into music for one reason. WOMEN. The women always loved the singer, and the longer the song, more guitar, keyboard, and drumsolos, the more it kept me off stage, and also, women got bored, went to the restroom, picked up their conversations, etc. I just didn’t like to be ignored. Also, all the groups I emulated, The Eagles, Styxx, Kiss, Foreigner, Boston, had some pretty tight songs. When solos were involved they were in intricately interspersed in the song. And even with those, the songs were actually quite quick.

So that is where I came from, and it is just instinct with me. Getting ready to move to Nashville, I learned the craft of lyrics and how not to waste a word, repeat a phrase, tell a very tight story and get every detail in, and there was no reason to go into long songs.

How I Teach it is what I do naturally. I look at each part of a song as directing a mini movie. You have a beginning, middle and end. The first one or two lines set up the action. I am into my chorus within 30-45 seconds. My lines narrate the action just like the camera would. I put specific details in throughout the song and build the melody as I go. My chorus and the hook is the next thirty seconds. Same with second verse, second chorus and if there is a bridge, a double chorus, etc. It is formula, but it is the INSIDE of the formula that makes the difference.

I limit intros, outros and turnarounds, interludes, and almost never have solos. So that is how I do it.

A couple of things on the video of “MY GIRL’S HOTTER”. That was filmed on a night that I was onstage with several other writers. They were ALL going over time with long songs. So I would actually cut my songs down to keep the crowd attention. In other songs recorded that night and some others, I actually go a little longer, but it depends on the time in the set. I might be wrapping it up, making last minute appeals for tips or CD sales, or just setting the songs up. And if I have a longer set up, I shorten the song. I’ve been known to skip choruses, and just get to the meat of it.

So please keep that in mind when you view some of the videos. There is one, LESS IS MORE, that was purposely done from me walking in the door, mapping out the song with the keyboard player/studio owner, getting the musicians in, and then recording the song. That was done to show the process of recording at that particular studio, and our process of charting songs. It also featured a world famous bassist, BOB BABBITT, who was the bass player for many MOTOWN hits. It was his last video performance.
That one goes about six minutes, but it did what it was supposed to. Got the studio work, me work, our band booked, and recorded some cool performances. And the result was that it won a “TELLY award” from television producers and directors. The video company got work too.

So I hope this makes sense. Been a long day today with two shows and just getting in. Wanted to get back to you. Thanks for the comments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weX_34MTLgQ

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Dec 14, 2017, 10:10 AM

Hey Patrick,

Hope that made sense last night. I was pretty tired because I had been in songwriter’s shows all day yesterday. For a fun little excercise yesterday, I kept a little log going on the amount of songwriters and times I saw yesterday. The first show is a weekly songwriters showcase I do in a local bar on our MUSIC ROW called BOBBY’S IDLE HOUR. That is where the heart of the music industry here and is the only daytime songwriter’s show. The bar has a lot of history, since it is the last remaining “honky tonk” on music row. So a lot of tourists come in, have a drink, stay a few minutes, then head back out.

The show starts at 12 in the afternoon and goes to 8, where another show takes over. I perform at four but get there around 2:30 so I can see other writers. Yesterday I saw 14 writers doing thee songs each. There were different people onstage in thirty minute sets, mostly two-three people at a time, except for me and a couple others, who do a thirty minute solo set. Then I had to leave. That was 42 songs. The average length of most of their songs were 4 1/2 minutes. That is one hundred and eighty minutes. And even where songs were actually a little shorter, they FELT like long, overbearing, lumbering things. Mostly the audience, completely ignored whoever was onstage. When I got on, most people shut up, but that is normal with me. I did 8 songs.

The evening I did a second show. There were three sets of four writers each on that. A few were some of the same writers from the afternoon but there were also different ones. There were four songs from each of those, with an average of 4 minutes each. A couple going five minutes each. And you have to factor in people getting up and down, telling their stories, etc. That was twelve writers, doing 48 songs. (this included my round as well. Even members of my round went a little longer than usual. But we still came in UNDER the one and a half hour format. (My people know this stuff.) It filled up nearly five hours of time, and the last round was on their second song when I left around 10:30.
And it was noted how many people, came into the venues (the second was a hotel bar), stay just a bit, talk, laugh and NEVER pay attention to what is onstage, are there a short time, and leave. Thank goodness, because many times their noise is deafening.

I usually have to employ some of my “stage tricks” where I go directly to the loudest and involve them in the song. That shuts people up pretty quickly when they think they are part of it. Last week, at the same gig, I had a table of Twenty people from England. I do a fairly passable English accent (one of my best friends was from Liverpool, until she passed away from Cancer in June, but I picked up a lot from her.
I came directly at those people, making up stories that we were the “Liverpool songwriting club” and had just flown in from Britian to play for them and we were flying back right after the show. Was a hoot. I was coming up with all kinds of names, Leeds, Manchester, Blackpool, that I know from reading about the Beatles and knowledge from my friend. After a little while I quit the accent thing (had done if for half the set) and we all had a huge joke. Then I did my Irish broque. WE all took a bunch of pictures after and I sold a half dozen CD’s.

So you see how this adds up. If you multiply this out, twenty to fifty writers nights a week here, up to thirty, forty or even fifty and more per night, per venue, then extrapolate that out, with millions of songs uploaded to the Internet weekly, you start to see the overall effect of why attention spans are shorter, and many songs getting longer. People are just bombarded by music in the natural course of life. (and again, this is not just Nashville. I’ve been in songwriter shows in almost every American state, and a few other countries, Canada, England and Brussels.
And I’ve worked WITH people from almost every Continent on earth. A LOT of songs, that take a LOT of time.

My deal has NEVER been so much COMMERCIAL RADIO, as ATTENTION SPAN OF THE AUDIENCE.
The people that grab and keep your attention are universally the ones who can do it quickly, and memorably.

That is about as clearly as I can lay it out.

MAB

[ Edited: 14 December 2017 10:16 AM by MBarne4908]
 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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