PDA

View Full Version : Believing in yourself



rhymegirl
11-05-2006, 05:11 AM
I hope this is the right place for this.

It does involve writing and a person's faith in himself/herself.

I had a little discussion with my oldest son today about my songwriting. He is 20 years old, a music major in college. I have been asking him to help me with the musical notations for my latest song. I wrote the lyrics and the music, but I can't actually write music. I can't do the notations on the sheet music. That's where he comes in. He said he would do it.

He asked me to sing the song onto a tape and he would listen to it and figure out the notes/chords, etc. So I did. He gave me a sample listen to what he came up with.

It sounded pretty much right. But he was arguing with me over some musical stuff that I don't really understand.

Anyways, eventually he asked me what I expected to accomplish from my songwriting. He said, "Do you want to make money from this? Or do you just want to make a CD for yourself just for the fun/pleasure of it?"

And basically he was making me feel like I would go nowhere with this endeavor, saying that most songwriters perform their own songs, which is not what I had intended to do. I wanted to be like one of the Diane Warrens of the music industry, who composes songs for OTHER artists.

I felt like he was trying to talk me out of the whole thing. I was telling him that a person who has a passion for something, who has this ability should at least give it a try.

What do you think?

janetbellinger
11-05-2006, 05:27 AM
I think your son was being very tactful and sensitive and mature by asking you what he did.

jbal
11-05-2006, 05:41 AM
It doesn't sound that way from what you posted, Kathy. Sounds like he was just trying to find out what you were getting at. But I could be wrong. Lots of musicians here too (although the songwriting board stays pretty dead).

aruna
11-05-2006, 11:26 AM
Kathy, it seems to me a very difficult task to be a songwriter if you can't write the notations yourself. Perhaps that was what he was getting at. Your passion and your talent is one thing, but what's stopping you from learning the nuts and bolts?

As for me, I don't believe in myself AT ALL!!!! Really!
But when I am writing a novel I belive in that. It seems so much bigger and stronger than me, and so very clear, so I just write it to the best of my ability.

Misty_Blue
11-05-2006, 03:44 PM
Hi rhymgirl, your son wasnt being thoughtul but yes the music industry is just as hard as the publishing industry and any other paying industry! But of course you must always love what you do as an initial reason to do it... if you want to continue doing it do so, as you will get great pleasure from it...

I started out with a cheap music programme and spent a year messing about with computer music a few years back, always thinking I'd never go anywhere with it as such, and maybe just produce a few songs for friends to hear etc... Then the passion got bigger and after creating a label two years ago, I (we) signed a deal with major distributors to get our artists on global major selling sites...(something I would have laughed at years ago knowing nothing really about the industry)..

So go where your passions lead you.. always..but always remember to stop if you know deep inside you might be doing something because you feel you have to prove something to others.

Maryn
11-05-2006, 06:41 PM
I think Aruna's on to something. If songwriting (not performing your own work) is your dream, then you need to master musical notation to fulfill it. If you dreamed of, say, being a writer <big wink>, you'd learn to punctuate and spell, right? Musical notation is the nitty-gritty. Depending on others may ensure your dream never reaches its potential.

How do you do it? Especially if you're a busy woman, working, writing, raising a family, keeping a house, etc., and money's tight? The easiest thing might be to take piano lessons from someone who instructs young kids in his or her home. They teach the kids musical notation on both the treble and bass clefs (the standard for writing music beyond the melody line the singer follows) as they teach them to play, starting at the very beginning. If you make it clear you're more interested in that aspect, they will instruct accordingly.

That's just one way to learn, but it seems the most do-able of the ones that came to mind.

As to your son's question, which may have stung: I suspect knowing your goal helps him determine how much of his own effort he's going to put into it. Compare it to critique. If I know someone writes for self-exploration or vanity publication, my critique may be very different from one I'd do for someone who dreams of paid publication. I'm going to be a lot harder on the writer who wants to be paid, and expect a lot more effort toward mastery of every aspect of writing.

Yeah, nobody said it would be easy, did they?

Maryn, wondering if there's a tutorial online about musical notation

alleycat
11-05-2006, 07:14 PM
There's a whole industry here in Nashville of people writing songs for others.

KTC
11-05-2006, 07:24 PM
I think following your passion is the one goal you should do before passing out of this life. A lot of people don't follow their passions for various reasons...but in the end they just die without knowing whether or not following their passions would have been fulfilling. I just always think about the one inescapable fact, Kath. WE ALL DIE. Do you want to die without having the enjoyment of following your passions? I don't. I don't give a rat'sass whether I'm good at what I love to do. My main goal is just to DO IT. Doing what you love to do puts you in a zone. You are fulfilled for those moments that you are doing it. You know how you feel when you are writing your lyrics and figuring out the music that should go along with them. That feeling is the reward of doing it. Never not do something that you love...no matter who calls you on the carpet over it. We are like rivers, flowing. We should not attempt to change the direction of the current. Do what you love before you die.

janetbellinger
11-05-2006, 08:45 PM
Just a different way of looking at the same situation . I profondly respect my son't opinions. It doesn't matter what I think. It's what Kathy thinks.


It doesn't sound that way from what you posted, Kathy. Sounds like he was just trying to find out what you were getting at. But I could be wrong. Lots of musicians here too (although the songwriting board stays pretty dead).

DeniseK
11-05-2006, 09:00 PM
I firmly believe that if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen. But I agree that to do that you've got to learn the business inside and out. Along with the belief in yourself, YES, it can happen!

TrainofThought
11-05-2006, 09:06 PM
I felt like he was trying to talk me out of the whole thing. I was telling him that a person who has a passion for something, who has this ability should at least give it a try. What do you think?It sounds like a normal question. Trying to break into a highly competitive career will prompt questions regarding motive. There are many wanting fame and fortune with little regard for talent, and some achieve it.

I agree with you that if you have passion and ability, you owe it to yourself to aim for it. It doesn’t matter if you achieve or fail, the important thing is you did it. I try to avoid regrets, because if I never follow my dreams, I will always wonder “what if”. Good Luck with your songwriting and stay true to yourself.

engmajor2005
11-05-2006, 10:36 PM
Rhymegirl, it sounds like you're more comfortable being a lyricist than a songwriter. You might want to ask around for some local garage bands that might need some words for their music. Even though most bands out there come up with their own lyrics, it never hurts to have a few contacts out there; you never know when a band will make it big and need a lyricist.

Can you sing? It's amazing how many awesome instrumentalists that can't sing. If you can sing, again, look around for some local bands that need vocalists. That way, you can write lyrics and sing as well.

As for learning how to write music, go to any B & N and you'll find volumes of books on how to read music. It's not that hard; there's a lot of math involved but I who detests numbers can still read music fairly well (though since I put down my horn and picked up my bass I read mostly tab now).

Freckles
11-06-2006, 03:07 AM
Hi, Rhyme! I know it can sting when you feel like people are attacking your passion. I know I way extremely sensitive when it comes to my work, so maybe you took your son's thoughts the wrong way?

If it's something you feel strongly about pursuing, I say go for it headon! :)

rhymegirl
11-06-2006, 08:05 AM
I think following your passion is the one goal you should do before passing out of this life. A lot of people don't follow their passions for various reasons...but in the end they just die without knowing whether or not following their passions would have been fulfilling. I just always think about the one inescapable fact, Kath. WE ALL DIE. Do you want to die without having the enjoyment of following your passions? I don't. I don't give a rat'sass whether I'm good at what I love to do. My main goal is just to DO IT. Doing what you love to do puts you in a zone. You are fulfilled for those moments that you are doing it. You know how you feel when you are writing your lyrics and figuring out the music that should go along with them. That feeling is the reward of doing it. Never not do something that you love...nobody who calls you on the carpet over it. We are like rivers, flowing. We should not attempt to change the direction of the current. Do what you love before you die.

Thank you.

That is exactly what I wanted to hear.

KTC
11-06-2006, 03:46 PM
You're welcome. I tell the same thing to myself all the time. Happy writing, Kath.

Nateskate
11-09-2006, 09:04 PM
I've written songs that were recorded by others without writing them out- when I used to do that sort of thing.

It's the cheater's way to be a writer, but you've got to be able to record your songs. It's my understanding that people who buy songs want to hear it, not read it off a chart. People send recorded demos.

If it's good enough to get their attention, I think it would be easy to get someone from a wedding band to transpose the song for a small price, or even a music teacher from a school. In fact, for the price of a guitar lesson (per hour) you could probably find someone at a music store that would do it. For people good at writing, it's not rocket science.

KTC
11-09-2006, 11:34 PM
Jesus. There is nothing wrong with simply writing the lyrics. I drive my car. My mechanic fixes the damn thing.

rhymegirl
11-15-2006, 06:10 PM
No, sadly I do not play an instrument. That is part of the problem.

My father taught me some basic chords on the guitar when I was a teenager/young adult. But I only know a handful. I can play by ear sitting down at the piano, but nothing substantial. I come from a musical family. My cousin Mike plays drums, is a singer/songwriter, and now a record producer in Nashville. I tried getting him to help me a number of years ago. I sent him a demo tape I made with my songwriting partner. He did not even have the courtesy to write back or call. Never heard from him. And I sent him the tape more than once.

So here's the most recent update:
My son is going to help me. He did the notations on sheet music. We just have to work out a few kinks. He told me I should join BMI. Apparently the membership is free and it will help protect my song rights and help make sure I receive compensation if someone uses my song.

Birol
11-15-2006, 06:38 PM
My cousin Mike plays drums, is a singer/songwriter, and now a record producer in Nashville. I tried getting him to help me a number of years ago. I sent him a demo tape I made with my songwriting partner. He did not even have the courtesy to write back or call. Never heard from him. And I sent him the tape more than once.

Rhyme, did your cousin ask you to send the demo? Because, if not, to me this sounds like bad form. It's like the friends and family members who have never written anything since high school and yet approach the editors they know wanting their manuscript to be published.

You might have wanted to hear what KTC said, but I think you should listen to what others have been saying, too.

Celia Cyanide
11-15-2006, 09:10 PM
I felt like he was trying to talk me out of the whole thing. I was telling him that a person who has a passion for something, who has this ability should at least give it a try.

Hi, Kathy. I agree that it's a good thing to follow your passion. I don't believe in anyone thinking that it is too late or too difficult to find something new. I didn't start acting until I already had a full time cubicle job, and I've done very well with that. It is fullfilling, and I even get fan letters from people who have seen my movies. Many people would have thought I was too old to get started, and that it's not worth it unless I'm on magazine covers. But I don't care.

I used to be in a band, and I couldn't write music. I sang and wrote lyrics. My guitarist did not like his own lyrics, so he had me write lyrics for the music he wrote. Maybe this is what you would like to do. If you can find bands who are looking for someone to write their lyrics, you can talk to them about it.

If you truly want to write songs, maybe you could take a class in reading music? I look voice lessons a few years back, and reading music was easier than I thought it would be. I think your son was just asking what your goal was with this. If you want to write songs, but you need to have someone else do the musical notations, it's going to be difficult. Maybe he just wanted you to know that. Personally, I would recommend you learn how to do it yourself. You'll be more involved with the whole process, and learning to read music is fun and interesting.

popmuze
11-15-2006, 10:06 PM
I hope this is the right place for this.

It does involve writing and a person's faith in himself/herself.

I had a little discussion with my oldest son today about my songwriting. He is 20 years old, a music major in college. I have been asking him to help me with the musical notations for my latest song. I wrote the lyrics and the music, but I can't actually write music. I can't do the notations on the sheet music. That's where he comes in. He said he would do it.

He asked me to sing the song onto a tape and he would listen to it and figure out the notes/chords, etc. So I did. He gave me a sample listen to what he came up with.

It sounded pretty much right. But he was arguing with me over some musical stuff that I don't really understand.

Anyways, eventually he asked me what I expected to accomplish from my songwriting. He said, "Do you want to make money from this? Or do you just want to make a CD for yourself just for the fun/pleasure of it?"

And basically he was making me feel like I would go nowhere with this endeavor, saying that most songwriters perform their own songs, which is not what I had intended to do. I wanted to be like one of the Diane Warrens of the music industry, who composes songs for OTHER artists.

I felt like he was trying to talk me out of the whole thing. I was telling him that a person who has a passion for something, who has this ability should at least give it a try.

What do you think?


As a professional in the music business and former lyricist, here's my take on the situation.
1) You don't need to know how to write music. Most of the greats have no idea. Most songs are not sold or pitched on the basis of sheet music.
2) As long as your son is a music major, he can take care of that part for you. Or you can pay someone to notate your music. I used to do it that way.
3) The big question, other than whether you love doing this, is do you think, or has anyone ever given you reason to think, you're any good? If you know you're good, then you should obviously keep doing it. But the next step is to consider all sorts of creative ways to get your songs out to people.
4) If you think your son was trying to tell you that you're really bad, then you may want to step back and think of how to improve. How long have you been writing songs? Do you feel you're getting better all the time? Is at least one out of every ten songs you write a keeper? I once wrote a lyric a day for almost a year, but only about ten percent of those songs were worth putting music to. Some of them turned into lyrics for other songs. If you write a lot, don't expect everything to be great. But by this point you should have some standouts.
5) You don't want to write in a vacuum. You want to think about who sings other people's songs, or Diane Warren songs, which is everyone. Then try to write songs like that. Or take songs you've already written and see who they might fit.
6) At which point, I know there's someone here who would love to show your best Celine Dion song to the appropriate person.

rhymegirl
11-15-2006, 10:26 PM
Rhyme, did your cousin ask you to send the demo? Because, if not, to me this sounds like bad form. It's like the friends and family members who have never written anything since high school and yet approach the editors they know wanting their manuscript to be published.

Yes, of course he did ask me to send it. That is how I knew the correct address.

stormie
11-15-2006, 10:32 PM
Someone, anyone: Correct me if I'm wrong about this, but didn't Paul McCartny once say he couldn't write musical notation, he just wrote the songs and played the tunes he heard in his head on his guitar? If that's possible, Kathy, then anything is possible. And even if not, if that's your dream, go for it, however you reach that goal.

aghast
11-15-2006, 10:49 PM
i think your son wants you to be realistic, doesnt want you to get hurt, i dont think hes trying to discourage you for pursuing your dream but he knows music and how hard it is even for people study music so hes trying make sure you know so you dont get hurt, i think it shows maturity in your son and how much he loves you

sassandgroove
11-15-2006, 11:15 PM
All Ihave to say is follow your dream. Maryn made a good point. I want to be like Maryn when I grow up...

Celia Cyanide
11-16-2006, 12:12 AM
Someone, anyone: Correct me if I'm wrong about this, but didn't Paul McCartny once say he couldn't write musical notation, he just wrote the songs and played the tunes he heard in his head on his guitar?

This is somewhat off topic, but this is not true about Paul McCartney. Paul came from a long line of musicians, and knew how to play and read music from a very young age. He was the first Beatle to write a song, "I Lost My Little Girl."

Maryn
11-16-2006, 12:13 AM
(Maryn blushes.) What a nice thing to say!

You know, some day when we've all moved to Absolutewriteville, the community center is going to be hopping with people teaching people what they know, from music notation to guns to rituals of the ancients. So long as there's childcare, anyway.

Maryn, off in a daydream in which AWers are the neighbors (Keep it down, will ya, Spooky?)

rhymegirl
11-16-2006, 06:32 PM
(Maryn blushes.) What a nice thing to say!

You know, some day when we've all moved to Absolutewriteville, the community center is going to be hopping with people teaching people what they know, from music notation to guns to rituals of the ancients. So long as there's childcare, anyway.

Maryn, off in a daydream in which AWers are the neighbors (Keep it down, will ya, Spooky?)

Absolutewriteville? Nice name for a little town. Maybe someone here could write the screenplay. Kevin will be seen trying to fly off a building, Teddy will be the town crier going around telling all the news and also serving as a commentator on the television news, Trish will be an Avon lady going door to door selling cosmetics and dishing gossip, Sass will run her own restaurant, cooking up tasty dishes for all of us, Ray will be a gigolo going from woman to woman, Maryn will teach a class on how to write erotica, Rob will drive a limo, sharing his philosophies with all his customers, Fizzy will be a doctor, always ready to examine patients wherever they happen to be, and I'll be a singer/songwriter performing at the local pub.

sassandgroove
11-16-2006, 10:20 PM
Absolutewriteville? Nice name for a little town. Maybe someone here could write the screenplay. Kevin will be seen trying to fly off a building, Teddy will be the town crier going around telling all the news and also serving as a commentator on the television news, Trish will be an Avon lady going door to door selling cosmetics and dishing gossip, Sass will run her own restaurant, cooking up tasty dishes for all of us, Ray will be a gigolo going from woman to woman, Maryn will teach a class on how to write erotica, Rob will drive a limo, sharing his philosophies with all his customers, Fizzy will be a doctor, always ready to examine patients wherever they happen to be, and I'll be a singer/songwriter performing at the local pub.Kathy, you read my mind. In another universe I own a restuarant, I just know it.

Re: KTC's post...

***I love my big brother!***

Branwyn
11-16-2006, 10:46 PM
I truly believe that if you have the passion to do something, and the persistance, you can acheive anything your heart desires. It may not happen over night, or in a year--but it will.
Focus.

It's amazing how our kids sometimes take the role of parent. I think it's a good thing, you've taught him to look deep into situations.

TeddyG
11-16-2006, 10:59 PM
Teddy will be the town crier going around telling all the news and also serving as a commentator on the television news

Teddy will also have a special TV News Spot called:

Ears Perking in AbsoluteWriteVille

In this Spot Teddy will report all the dastardly doings of members of the community that Trish has supplied him with (gossip, Trish, gossip!) as well as what goes on in the community Hot Tub on a daily basis. We should have a lot of really hot stories with Terri running through the streets in her bra and panties calling everyone Dorks and Ray's new conquests.

One thing we will show on the News every day..is part of Maryn's daily run along the streets...and Kevin's secret hideout where we he meets with himself and has lively discussions with all four of his personalities.

As for Jaycinth...we will have a special "Small Coffee Cup Jaycinth Show" every Friday recapping her momentous times during her dates with moi :D (as long as there are no turtlenecks!)

We will also announce Sass's Menu for the day - Non Kosher and Kosher (so moi can eat :D)

Oh and Unique will be my official spy. :D