Dusty Road

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VikingBlues
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Dusty Road

Post by VikingBlues » Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:24 am

As for starting threads in the blues room I see I've just one in October, one in November and one in January. Not good enough VB!

I've just recently finished a 6 week MOOC (free online) course on song arranging. The main feature was to take a supplied poem and turn it into a song. We went through various aspects of rhythm, harmony, melody, chord progressions etc. Surprisingly good for a free course and I enjoyed the song coming to life. So it occurred to me if I've learned that stuff I need to write my own lyrics to arrange a song for. Something that has only occasionally happened in the past (just over a year ago the last time).

It's the lyric writing that's a HUGE problem for me. I'd had an idea for a song about three months ago but just haven't been able to get anything developing on it. I tried using a piece of software called VersePerfect last Sunday. Basically it's rhyming software. I put some words into it to do with the song idea and when rhymes came up and I started looking at them ideas for the song started popping into my head rather than my finding rhymes to use. A couple of hours later I had a complete song after three months of nothing. Could be a one off lucky strike though.

Not that the lyrics are much good and they are a bit gloomy and basic ... but at least they are better than the nothing that I had before. There is a positive twist at the end of the lyrics which I hope makes up for the negative feelings in the early verses. A bit of a bizarre love song in a way.

Acoustic guitar, PRS SE on lead, and also used for (simulated) bass. Doubled up second run at vocals for the chorus. I went for early takes and tried to keep a live feel to the song - and just 3 days from finding lyrics to the final recording. (Good excuse for the mistakes guys!).

:music1: http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13329856
Lyrics are at the foot of the Soundclick page.

I hope it's worth a listen.
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

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Blindboy
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Re: Dusty Road

Post by Blindboy » Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:42 am

Well, I quite like this. :clap:
To me it has a "Steeleye Span" vibe, and that is a GOOD thing.
This is a great effort. Well done! :thumbsup:
"Throw yo' big leg over me Mama, I might not feel this good again!"

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12bar
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Re: Dusty Road

Post by 12bar » Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:48 pm

Blindboy wrote:Well, I quite like this. :clap:
To me it has a "Steeleye Span" vibe, and that is a GOOD thing.
This is a great effort. Well done! :thumbsup:
Exactly, plus a little Donovan vibe, somehow.
Playing and lyrics are great - the refrain could be mine :big_smile:

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Blackhorse
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Re: Dusty Road

Post by Blackhorse » Sun Mar 06, 2016 12:04 am

Hi VB,

You've certainly come on a lot! Recording sounds great, very clear and well-mixed, no problems I can hear - maybe that sounds like faint praise, but I know how difficult it can be to make it sound effortlessly good, and this does!

Lyrics are fine, nothing awkward, sounds like you've been writing for years, and the song is very well crafted - starting very simple, and I like that you added some electric guitar on rhythm later on - there is some variation/progression between the verses, they are not all exactly the same, and that can be hard to pull off without sounding forced or overdoing it. You got it spot on.

I'm not that familiar with Steeleye Span, but I was thinking stripped-down Jethro Tull, or maybe Syd Barrett/very early Floyd. Keep writing!!!

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VikingBlues
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Re: Dusty Road

Post by VikingBlues » Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:09 pm

Thanks Guys. :thumbsup:

I first put this song up on an acoustic forum a couple of days ago and found my nerves were jangling about it almost as much as when I posted by first ever online recording to a forum here at 12bar just over 6 years ago.
Blimey ..... 6 years!!! :yikes:
Blindboy wrote:To me it has a "Steeleye Span" vibe, and that is a GOOD thing.
Funny you should mention that BB - this last month or so I've been listening to Fairport Conventions first 5 albums, a couple of live Christy Moore albums, and the first 8 ... yes ... Steeleye Span albums. :handshake: Hopefully it's not too much of a rip off and more just an influenced by. I do wish I could put together something that has the quality and variety in the arrangements that Steeleye managed!
12bar wrote:the refrain could be mine :big_smile:
That's good to hear. :D I've been having an initial look at the lyric writing process and there's advice that says writing in a general enough way that you connect with other peoples more detailed feelings is a good thing as it involves the listener into participating.
Or something like that! :icon_whoknows:
It is very much a refrain rather than a chorus. I find a chorus quite a bit more tricky and a bridge very tricky indeed. On the plus side a lot of the more acoustic / folk type of music often has just verses and a refrain.
Blackhorse wrote:sounds like you've been writing for years, and the song is very well crafted - starting very simple, and I like that you added some electric guitar on rhythm later on - there is some variation/progression between the verses, they are not all exactly the same, and that can be hard to pull off without sounding forced or overdoing it.
.....
Keep writing!!!
Very pleased to have positive comments from someone who I recall writing songs that I admired a great deal. "The Man Behind the Mask", "Dr Doom", and "The Wolf" to name but three. :pray:

I'm very happy that you feel there's that variety - very difficult to know when you're too close to a song - it's been in my head now for over a week and I'm really wishing it would stop looping. So much of the process seems instinctive I feel, regardless of learning stuff on courses.

I am intending to try and keep writing. I'm seriously considering another free MOOC - a Berklee one, which looks to be more geared up to lyric writing than arranging, though there is some of both. I'm put off it a bit as there's peer review every week - and as it's a course open to anyone regardless of experience how does that work successfully! What do I know about giving a critique on someone elses song writing when I have so much difficulty writing one myself.
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

MichaelRobinson
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Re: Dusty Road

Post by MichaelRobinson » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:32 am

In one word ; excellent............... :clap: :clap:

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VikingBlues
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Re: Dusty Road

Post by VikingBlues » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:47 pm

Thank you Michael! :D
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

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Blindboy
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Re: Dusty Road

Post by Blindboy » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:27 pm

VikingBlues wrote:Hopefully it's not too much of a rip off and more just an influenced by.
Not at all! Certainly no more than I am influenced by SRV. (Less, actually :roll: )
I only noticed because I had heard them on a radio show, recently, and looked up some of their early concerts on youtube. I was, at one time, a big fan but had never seen what they looked like on stage.
"Throw yo' big leg over me Mama, I might not feel this good again!"

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VikingBlues
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Re: Dusty Road

Post by VikingBlues » Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:01 pm

I first saw them on TV when they did a set of gigs in dining halls of old country houses. I did like them then, but I've really only started listening to them seriously in the last month. The variations and arrangements of their songs impress me so much and they have so many good singers their harmony work is high class indeed.

I'm glad it's an "influenced by" situation! :lol: :thumbsup:
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

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VikingBlues
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Re: Dusty Road

Post by VikingBlues » Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:32 pm

Just a wee update.

As all the other instruments on the song are acoustic there's a case to be made for having an acoustic guitar play the solos too rather than an electric.

I used the La Mancha Rubi nylon string guitar and had a go at that and this was the result.

On Box.com :music1: https://app.box.com/s/k0d1biyvtmr2scsxisdhrc1deksmf510

I feel both electric and nylon versions are different but I'm not sure I feel one is better than the other. I think both are valid ideas. :think:
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

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