You wrote 100 songs in a year? What kind of fried cat #### must those sound like?

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Apr 24, 2018, 11:02 PM

Now you are answering your own question. 100 songs in a year, and you kept 2. That is about normal. We write a ton of songs to only keep a very few.Think about the songs you wrote 2 years ago. 5 years ago. 10 years ago. Do you think you write better now than then? Do you know more about the craft? Are your expectations of yourself more now than they were then?

It is not as much about numbers as it is about giving yourself more options, more choices. 100 songs a month? That is not even a possibility. 100 songs in a year? Sure. 4 a month? Yep. If you can’t do that, you are not even trying. And you answer it again yourself. You “farm out” to local artists. You put a bunch in binders never to be seen again. That is the normal way.

I used to have my “IGOR wall.” That was an entire WALL of shelves and shelves of cassettes, CD’s, ADATS, videos, and other formats, that were guitar vocals, production CD’s, full production, radio ready stuff, and 90% I THREW AWAY when I moved out of my Townhouse. I used to keep books and books and books of ideas, lyrics, cassette tapes of snippets, ideas, etc. That were GREAT IDEAS AT THE TIME. They were all total GARBAGE! And ended up where they deserved to be, at the bottom on Nashville’s landfill. But I had to write those to get to the real gems I have now.

I am currently working on my “Last physical CD.” I am doing one more and then never doing a physical product again. The reason is because no matter how much you spend you are never going to make it back. You will be lucky to pay back your recording costs. But you do it because you have to have SOME physical product just to prove you were here. You do it FOR YOURSELF.

I am doing 10 songs. Some new, some rearrangements and recordings of things I wrote years ago. I have added horns, strings, included some of Nashville’s best singers and players. Why? Because my songs deserve that treatment. And these are all songs that are some of my most requested songs. But I had to write HUNDREDS of songs to get to the ones that really stick out and stand the test of time. That is what I’m doing.

You write for yourself. You write how you feel you are driven to do. Don’t let others tell you what you should be doing. You have to decide that. But do understand the things other people go through and ways they have to get there. In my experience, you have to kiss a LOT OF FROGS to find a prince. And some songwriting is just A LOT OF FROGS.

RIBBIT.
MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Apr 25, 2018, 06:18 AM

Sorry. The other song Keistofferson has was “help me make it through the night” not “Rose Garden.” I try to correct my own mistakes.

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Apr 25, 2018, 02:19 PM

Previous post…..

“You just reminded me of something MAB. When I remember back a little further, back to when my parents first started teaching me guitar, I would sit for hours stringing chords together thinking, “wow, I could make songs like this!” Didn’t take long to figure out however, that everything I wrote that way sounded pretty much the same lol. But, like everything else in life back then, it was a great lesson that I needed to learn. As I matured I began to give myself permission to really say what I want lyrically, and consequently I began to focus more on making music fit words. I think pretty much all musicians can relate to that….... unless you were born a singer lol :) “

We all mature as writers. Like Ron, I’ve got a desk full of songs that I’ve been writing since I was a teenager… but I don’t consider them crap. I see them as ideas that haven’t matured yet, because my teenage self and I never met lol. Sometimes I’m inspired to write new stuff by revisiting the old stuff, but I’ve never felt compelled to write just for the sake of writing. You mentioned above that some bad songs even get cut….. I would ask “Why?” but you’ve already answered… “The whole thing is subjective!” Personally, I don’t believe in bad songs! Those songs just haven’t been hammered out well yet. Any lyric can be changed, and since everything is subjective…. I don’t see a one size fits all approach to songwriting…...

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Apr 25, 2018, 04:00 PM

Japov,

The process of someone getting attention from people in the industry is a fairly involved one, and takes a good while. Usually the thousands upon thousands of artist and writer wanna be’s are around for a few years by the time they come on someone’s radar screen. And they are usually passed on several times before things start clicking. And as has been mentioned, many, many (far too many) artists and songs are barely mediocre to begin with. It is easy to say “How did they get on there?” But the main reason they do? SOMEONE BELIEVES IN THEM.

Have you never seen artists or heard songs that you just thought THEY CAN’T MISS. Some really hot girl or guy, who seem to have it all. Or someone with so much talent it just blows you away. Or a song that sticks in your ear like an earworm and you think “THIS HAS GOT TO BE A SMASH?” And then NOTHING happens with them. At the same time, the radio and labels are FULL of people so average it makes you scream at the television, Internet or radio every time you hear them? Not only does someone believe in them, but usually TEAMS of people believe in them (everything is done by committee) and SOMEONE is engineering MONEY (about $4.5 million dollars to launch the FAILURES as well as the SUCCESSESS. Back to batting averages. You strike out a LOT more than you get a hit.

Today, usually the people who DEVELOP the artists of tomorrow are the HIT WRITERS or artists of today or yesterday. As they morph from being their own artist or hit writer, they go into developing other songs, artists or writers. As they have climbed the ladder, and earned BACK their publishing on their songs (renegotiation is everything, and when your hot, people want to keep you.) This comes from the “RAP world.” Rapper comes on the scene, brought forth by some former rap star (Biggie Smalls, Tupac, Snoop Dog) and that leads to their own “POSSE”, get their liquor and car company endorsements, and then bring in their protege’s 50 Cent, Eminim, etc.

Country more or less has followed that model. As the value of songs have gotten less and less, ARTIST BRANDING has become more and more predominate. So the hit writer will write songs around the artist, send them around to all the other hit writers, their friends and contacts. If they are signed to someone like SONY, WARNER BROTHERS, UNIVERSAL, all THOSE STAFF WRITERS get first shot. And of course they have their own songs they have written over the years, songs of friends, producers, independents, etc. You meet hundreds of people a year and those contacts mean songs, songs songs. Everyone is trying to get on the ground floor.

The actual “DEVELOPMENT” process usually is about 3-4 years. They are trotted out at parties, writer retreats, festivals, going on promo tours. And at any one time, these same hit writers are doing it with several artists, duos, bands, etc.

So where do they get songs? Sometimes they might have favors they owe to someone who helped them back in their early days. There might be a private person or persons with financial interests, and they get songs in the hopper. The hottest writers, producers, (who are hit writers themselves and have their own publishing and production companies) all are trying to jockey for position. Somebody with the latest number one, finds themselves getting tons of cuts all at the same time. Some of those may have been written, cut and ready to go for a couple of years, but then the time is just right. When it rains it pours.

But yes, all music is subjective. Again, don’t you have songs that you think Eh. “It’s okay, but I really love THIS song.” But other people think THAT IS THE SONG THAT IS THE BEST THING YOU HAVE EVER WRITTEN. Well that’s the same way with these people. They write a lot of stuff and some things they really believe in. But no one else does. And vice versa. Some things OTHER PEOPLE BELIEVE IN but THEY DON’T.

I could name you a dozen songs of friends of mine they thought were PIECES OF CRAP, but went on to become standards. “LEFT MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO”. “EVERYBODY LOVES SOMEBODY SOME TIME.” “THE GAMBLER”, “WIND BENEATH MY WINGS,” were all considered “throw away songs” by their writers. And it was just chance they were ever recorded at all. The Industry is full of songs like that.

And of course now, there is a LOT of complete garbage out there. It is what I call “The bad cassette dub” era of music. Back in our day (I’m pretty sure we are about the same age) you would do everything on Cassette. Then some friend would love some band or song and you would make a cassette dub of that. And they would make a cassette dub of that. And so on and so on. With each successive generation, the quality got worse and worse. Nobody noticed as much because many of them sounded just as bad.

Today’s artists are usually influenced by people just a couple years before them. And many of THOSE artists were pretty mediocre. And people’s standards get less and less. So what we would have thought of as complete crap, members of the public think it’s fine.

Of course, remember, music now is no longer in the FOREFRONT of our lives. It is in the BACKGROUND of our lives.

But that is no reason to go for the lowest common denominator. Crap gets out there. But don’t aspire to be “just as good as the crap.”

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Apr 25, 2018, 04:39 PM

Lol, I get it Marc…. from your perspective, and especially from where you’re at, you simply can’t be lazy… YOU GOTTA’ WORK IT!
Question is, what does that mean to an anti-status quo guy like me, who has no hope of ever writing anything mainstream to begin with, and statistically probably wouldn’t matter even if I could? Especially since it seems everything has to make it through 1000 arbitrary “subjective” hoops just to get to the one with enough money to say, “OK, I’ll give it a listen and let you know…....” Seriously….. and earnestly Marc, I’m not just being a smarta$$...... what is the point of it all?

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Apr 25, 2018, 05:16 PM

Japov,

We all ask ourselves the same thing every day. I can’t tell you why you should or should not do it. I don’t know. I think we are all driven to do what we do. But I’ll tell you this. There are ALWAYS people that come from no where and actually succeed wildly. When I met her at 15 years old, I thought Taylor Swift was just another cute girl with her Momanger in tow, walking around an ASCAP party. Same with Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Big and Rich, Chris Stapleton. All people who have gone on to be great that were turned down and asked the same questions. It’s a weird world and none of us know why we do it. And interestingly enough, I just did an article for some of the online entities I write for. Did it yesterday and I talk about my own experiences of today. Here it is:


MAB’s Musings:
        RECORDING. WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO?
          By: Marc-Alan Barnette

There is a point in every writer/artist’s career that you say “What am I doing this for?” Everything you do. Particularly recording, costs money, you never seem to catch up, and 90% of the time, even the most carefully thought out, carefully created, produced and elaborately cared for, mixed with blood sweat and soul don’t earn enough to pay even half of your costs. Most of the public could care less and everyone that used to buy music now expects everything for free.

So Why?

In the lines of a song I wrote, “Tables and Chairs” “YOU DON’T CHOOSE MUSIC, MUSIC CHOOSES YOU.”
Be careful what you write. It does come true.
I’m writing this as I am putting the finishing touches on what my be my last physical CD, “A LIFE WELL LIVED.” It is a ten song compilation of my favorite songs, recorded the way I WANT THEM TO BE, without regard for publishers, labels, pitching to artists, or acceding to demands of others, worried about budgets, cutting corners and sacrificing one’s soul. This is all me. Stand or fall.

So why do it?
As the Internet has become more and more involved in our lives, and more and more driven to the brink of bankruptcy trying to stay involved with our chosen way of life. For those of us who have done it for a long time (some 40 years of living this dream for me) we’ve seen an entire industry virtually disappear from our lives. Venues, gigs, publishing, record, production deals, all have given away to social network platforms, unending competition, talent contests, with even major artists being less and less able to monetize what they do. Basically overworked, and undercompensated. Welcome to life.

A lot has always been that way. (there is a reason there is a term, “STARVING ARTIST”) but now with 30-50 million artists and writers and a billion songs a month going out there,  it is easy to lose hope and just give up. And for someone like myself who tries to TEACH this stuff (I work as a teacher/mentor and consultant to writers and artists trying to find their own way in all this) you constantly ask that question. WHY DO THIS?
You fight the urge constantly when someone asks your advice or some parent of a teenager asks for direction with their kid, to say “RUUUUUUUUNNNNNNN!!!!”

But you don’t. First because it’s not your place, and second, this might be THE ONE who breaks through all the odds. Or because it might just make their lives and those of people around them a little better. I’ve always said that when you sit across from someone going through the death of a loved one, Cancer or some other health or emotional problems, and you make their lives a bit better by helping them with THEIR DREAMS.
That’s why I do it, I guess.

We do it for personal satisfaction, to leave a record of WHAT WE DID. And of course, you do hope people will care enough about you to actually PURCHASE it from you. That would be nice. So I’m doing it. I’ll be back in there with one more CD, (No, I’m not retiring or quitting or anything even recording, I just don’t plan on any more physical CD’s. Most all is going to digital downloads, so I will too.) I’ll do some pictures. Probably a video. Have it on social networks, I Tunes, and the other avenues that we all have to do these days.

But the key to me is THE MUSIC. As I have sat and listened to what myself, Jay Verne, and several amazing musicians and singers have created, I would think to myself, “THAT IS WHY I DO THIS.” Cause it KICKS MY OWN BUTT!!! I’m really proud of this. Hope some of you will get into it. And thanks for always supporting all of us who try to write something down and record it.
I hope you feel it is worth it.

MAB

http://www.marcalanbarnette.com

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Apr 25, 2018, 05:24 PM

See Japov,

I think everyone gets to caught up in “making it” and don’t look at many of the other aspects of this. Touching lives. That to me, is what it is all about. Whether you have two or two hundred million people that love what you do. As long as you keep doing it, keep trying, keep trying to get what’s inside you with as many people as you can, I think that’s why you do it.

You have recently been doing your own thing with Tune core, and now other platforms. That is what you should be doing. That is all that matters. You do your music because it MATTERS TO YOU. And those that you come in contact with. You come here because you like to stay involved, help when you can, push a few buttons, but I think it’s because you are always questing. I think you genually believe in what you do, and no matter if anyone embraces you or not, you will still do that. And probably you have more than your share of people who embrace your music.

Because you are NOT a “STAR” (whatever that is), does that diminish what you do? OF COURSE NOT. you are an “Anti establishment guy? So was Elvis. So were the Beatles. So was Springsteen. Many people who have done what they have done were anti establishment. Some times the “ANTI ESTABLISHMENT becomes the establishment. At one time,Rap, hip hop, alternative, Grunge, Punk, were all the anti establishment. But at some point all of them made their own place and in their own genres BECAME THE ESTABLISHMENT.

And there are heroes that MADE THEIR ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT part of their overall package. Ever hear of WILLIE NELSON, WAYLON JENNINGS, JOHNNY CASH? They were ALL CONSIDERED ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT in their day.

Does that mean you are going to be the star? Have no idea. I don’t know where anyone ends up. I think they do what they do and let the cards fall where they may. And I think that’s what you, Deacon, Gavin, and anyone else who gets up and tries to put pen to paper, computer put some lyrics to music, drum loops, musical passages, etc.

YOU DON’T CHOOSE MUSIC, MUSIC CHOOSES YOU.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Apr 25, 2018, 05:36 PM

It’s that .00001% chance that keeps you hopefull…. Music is like playing the lottery, except it costs a lot more to play and the pay-out sucks! :)

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Apr 25, 2018, 05:51 PM

Yep. But at least you get to keep your tokens.

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Apr 25, 2018, 05:58 PM

Let us know when your CD is out! :)

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Apr 25, 2018, 06:49 PM

I will. its slated for Friday July 20th. I’m throwing myself a big party in Nashville with a full band show and CD release party. It’s my 30th year in Nashville and 60th Birthday. I’ll be putting up some info on it from time to time. Thanks for mentioning.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Jul 11, 2018, 03:18 AM

Most Mornings I will come up with song themes and titles,  However I

dont go straight to the Recording Machine,          I write down some words

and the musical notation including the Chords and Top Line on,  a Treble Clef  


That eventually gets into a Word Doc , but only if it stays with me for several days


My main work is polishing and re writing songs that are usually different and have commercial

Interest .

The Prosody between Lyrics and Melody evolves as I write and re write each song

I then usually do a backing track,  where I can gradually sing the phrasing , altering

and trying different,  alternatives often going back and choosing something from and

earlier take

I dont write Five minute songs ,  never have ,  I Re Write and Re Write getting the

best vocal take I can till I am satisfied

Then comes the next move Pitching your work to the right people

It’s not simple , but it can work, via Hard Work

 
     
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Peter Kristian Joined Jan 11, 2008
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