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Guitar Musician e-zine 06/28/2006
In This Issue:
| "...The movie "The Girl Can't Help It" (1956) completely
did me in, particularly seeing Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps who looked
really dangerous. it started me wanting my own guitar ...another motivating
factor was the collapse of rock and roll in 1959. Elvis was drafted, Buddy
Holly was dead and there was no real danger anymore. Overnight everybody was
named Johnny This or Johnny That, and they were all singing this terrible
V-neck sweater music. So it was like, "What are you bastards doing with my
music? I'm not going to have that taken away!" So I think we decided we just
wanted to take it back..."
- Jeff Beck / Yardbirds / Jeff Beck Group
A group of Tyler Texas friends went deer hunting and paired off in twos for the
day. That night, one of the hunters returned alone, staggering under the weight
of an eight-point buck.
"Where's Henry?" the others asked.
"Henry had a stroke of some kind. He's a couple of miles back up the trail," the successful hunter replied.
"You left Henry laying out there and carried the deer back?" they inquired.
"A tough call," nodded the hunter. "But I figured no one is going to steal Henry!"
A Lesson For The Learning
Interested in guitar lessons? - Be sure and check out the guitar lessons offered by Andrew Koblick at Amazing Guitar
GUITAR Q AND A
To Click or Not to Click
Kelly Monroe, Sacramento, CA
Q: When recording should I use a click track?
A: This is more of a preference thing. I tend to like the band to groove with each other without a click track but some bands swear by the click.
If you don�t use a click you run the risk of speeding up or slowing down the tempo while recording. I like for a song as it gets louder dynamically to speed up a few BPM which you can�t do when using a click.
My recommendation is to try recording both ways and see which feels the best for you and your band.
Hope this helps!
Yours in Music,
Feature Paid Advertisement
Writing Song Lyrics
By John Braheny
The first words from a singer's mouth are critical, particularly if they're the first words you've ever heard from that artist. It all goes into that evaluation you make as a listener about whether or not you I like the record. So with your writer's hat on, you need to think about how strongly you can interest the listener with that first line or lines. When a publisher or producer hears that first line, he's deciding whether to keep listening or turn it off, too. If it doesn't sell him, he's not optimistic about selling it to an artist.
Don't fall prey to the temptation to start with "I'm just sittin' here (a) writing this song (b) thinking about you, or (c) looking at the . . ." or "Woke up this mornin'. . ." (didn't we all?) or other equally uninteresting clich�s. Though these might be penciled in to get your motor running, when you get down to a rewrite they should be the first things that get penciled out.
Your first line should set the tone for the whole song and make us want to hear what comes next.
You can set your first scene by asking several questions. The answers will contribute to what you want your lyric to accomplish.
Where is it taking place?
Are there evocative features? If you allude to a particular country or city, the mountains, beach, etc., be careful of passive "picture postcard" openers that don't carry with them action, flavor, attitude, or emotional charge. "Ten miles west of Houston," "In a dirty downtown doorway," "At home in your love," "Halfway into Heaven" are all about places, either geographical or emotional.
Is there an active image you can use? If you're expressing an emotion, can you do it in a poetic or dramatic way? "I feel so out of place," for instance, just kind of lays there. Contrast that with George Gobel's old line, "The world's a tuxedo and I'm just a pair of brown shoes." Of course, that type of cleverness isn't always the answer< ## HC mdash ##>it depends on the tone you want to establish.
A listener should have the answers to the "who, what, when, and where" by the end of the first verse, as well as know the song's attitude and mood. But most importantly, the listener should be persuaded to keep listening, no matter how you accomplish it, with your lyric, your music, or better, by both.
Here are some examples of good opening lines:
My stupid mouth has got me in trouble
It's sitting by the overcoat
You said I'm gonna buy this place and burn it down
I was standing in the grocery store line
This excerpt is from John Braheny's book, The Craft and Business of Songwriting, 2nd Edition). It's available at Amazon.com and bookstores everywhere. For info about John's critiquing and consulting services, go to www.johnbraheny.com.
Brought to you by TAXI: The Independent A&R Vehicle that connects unsigned artists, bands and songwriters with major record labels, publishers, and film & TV music supervisors.
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