When you write, do you try to conform or innovate?

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  • @ustaknow 2 weeks

    Per the title of the OP, do you think, if do either, you are accurate in your self assessment, and why?

    Do the folks that comment in your regard, appear to understand your focus, and why do you think so?

    [ "Me", - yes, and is arguably self evident; I have no niche focus, it's all very, e.g., "Mourning Morning News Headlines" inspired 5 min writes, as one example. ]

  • @andygetch  2 weeks

    Innovate. Based on reactions, very few songwriters I know outside of FAWM and 50/90 seem to get that LOL.

  • @nadine 2 weeks

    Honestly, I neither think about innovating nor sticking to expectations. I just write what feels right for me, so I may do both from time to time. I dont have a topic, style or niche I stick to.

    Most folks don't get it when I do something new. Especially the electronic music listeners want me to meet the expectations. Some years ago I wrote a song with weird chords and scales. People said I wasn't allowed to use these chord progressions. And DJs went nuts because they were not able to integrate them in their set. Only two guys had the guts to ask. I'm thankful for them reaching out.

  • @ustaknow 2 weeks

    - Yes, I've visited from time to time varous "songwriting" forums (at various times and always remaining current), - and groups, and the very formulaic and prolifically opinionated as "you're wrong" folks tend to kill the boards, and yet grow it; however, they do appear to nevertheless populate "it" with more of the same, or the very naive or the "spammer" who's there to sell something.

    The true "Guilds" are few and far between, - yet, are the innovators if even are like the morning dew, here for only a moment and then evaporate like the mist that it seems to be.

    What I've noticed too, is the anti-creative folks try occassionally to infect the "Guilds", yet a guild-type almost always fails in any effect if attempts to facilitate artistic creativity or otherwise demonstrate their praxis of, "never to conform, to any normative standard" πŸ˜€ as said about me πŸ˜€ hahhh; which I wear proudly as a badge, label, and rare capability πŸ˜€ it would seem.

    I am so glad to see folks of like mind come out and discuss that πŸ˜€

  • @chipwithrow  2 weeks

    I get you, @andygetch!
    Good thread topic - I had to step away to do some laundry while I thought about my answer.
    I write in a lot of styles - folk, rock and roll, blues, country, bluegrass, soul, spiritual/yoga ... And I play a lot of instruments - guitar, piano, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, harmonium, tongue drum ...
    Most of what I do is based on tried-and-true formulas, but I do try to come up with interesting twists - new licks, unusual chords every now and then, unusual instrument combos.
    My lyrics are mostly about me, things that have happened and things I've observed. And most of my songs are meant for me to perform on guitar/vocal. Yet, right now I'm working on an instrumental album of songs for yoga.
    So, I suppose I'm some sort of traditionalist innovator!

  • @ustaknow 2 weeks

    - Ah, the use of formula as creative tool.

    Well, there is a literal component, indeed.

    I use the alphabet and, hard to believe have even argued English syntax, yet I am considered a "nonconformist", or innovator regardless of qualification.

    Therefore, I feel it may be necessary for the quite "literal" to expand their scope of understanding in the meaning of words that have several dictionaries and even entries in each for use of a word, or group of words.

    So, it may be that "limitation" chosen or otherwise to limit understanding, thereby limiting "Art" if even simply not capable of understanding, - do not harm, so to speak when participating.

    Now, that do no harm element needs expanded, non-literal engagement, understanding. For example, if I feel strongly about an opinion I may have, after assessing it has any value to "even express it", - I choose my framing accordingly.

    There are folks who then, no matter the framing object to anything other than, "love it" and that is understood; and, those folks avoided for comment until shown as "advancing", so to speak, if ever do or remain in the group.

    I would suggest that, the "majority" of folks "here", now fall into the quite capable of understanding nuance elements, such as exist here (OP), and may only be limited discussed here.

    It is actually why I enjoy the very near end of FAWM, the "real" end πŸ˜€ since it may be that those are the folks not seeking to simply be seen as "correct"/right, but to consider what may never otherwise be engaged - "Art". (- Not a special "lock-down" accommodation, rather in "normal" process of "this".)

  • @yam655  2 weeks

    Of those two categories, I'm firmly on the innovative side.

  • @headfirstonly  2 weeks

    I write to amuse myself. The fact that other people occasionally enjoy what I do is a bonus.

  • @metalfoot  2 weeks

    I'm very much a conformist but I try to do so in a way which I find interesting anyway.

  • @mikeskliar  2 weeks

    "Innovate within (and hopefully sometimes outside) the parameters of what I can do" I guess? (There's a great David Bowie quote to the effect of 'if you're just at almost the deep end, just a little bit past what you feel you can do, you're in a good spot") So, innovation within limits, perhaps? New album just posted on bandcamp, see for yourself πŸ˜€

  • @ustaknow 2 weeks

    What could be interesting, and may have enough time, or could move to 5090 forums is for the folks who post above, - are you willing to receive opinion of agree, or disagree and why, for the pupose useful information to consider self perception accuracy, authentic self sincerity, so to speak.

    Therefore, if feel one way about oneself, and is generally or specifically agreed with or not agreed with and stated as to why, - for the purpose of constructive effect that could be considered valuable feedback. (It all gets deleted anyway πŸ˜€ )

    @ustaknow @andygetch @nadine @chipwithrow @yam655 @headfirstonly @metalfoot @mikeskliar
    - or anyone else from here forward, *if at all. You'd want to opt in, certainly.

    - I opt in, why not πŸ˜€ it's kinda a reason for being here to begin with.

  • @andygetch  2 weeks

    Based on comments here and elsewhere, people find the innovation where I generally conform because that is how the song came out, or people find the conformity in songs where I feel like I have been innovating because that is what they are looking for. TBH I generally ignore feedback anyway LOL .

  • @ustaknow 2 weeks

    An element made very clear in one online class, group, thing-y, - that had amazing "Group Formation Elements" was when I had commented something.

    Within that group a student then said, e.g., I am sure this is not what you intended, however I know what you mean and then restated it, - both ways, so to speak.

    It did two things, it was correct in that it could be "heard", - read one way, never intended, and the restated, - "what I understand you to mean", was correct as well, - both well illustrated; - the *meaning, (intended, and known or communicated for), being the important element.

    I feel that, - that is the "feedback", - a granular definition on one way of engaging that, and we all listen to it, that; why else, otherwise be here. We may dismiss (otherwise) "comments" for many reasons debated every year here πŸ˜€

    - Comments are not Feedback.

    So, on that last element, - I simply am not "there", and therefore am not subject to listening to "comment", versus, Feedback.
    (I am not in most threads, not on Facebook, not at other (many other?, OMG, so many) songwriting forums, - as "evidence" of my not listening to "comments" versus Feedback; seeking the "Music" not Social Activity to fill my day.)

    I know there is a difference, as I see it all the time πŸ˜€ And yet the skills to engage Feedback, versus "comment" to not listen to is nearly never proactively, consciously engaged πŸ˜€ Moreover, the "ones" that do not "get that" typically either do not have the simple Capacity to do so, or for some reason choose to be "Online Status Quo" about it; - typically due to some niche, clique payoff they pursue versus, - the Music! πŸ˜€

    So, may one claim, as a "found" thesis element, to engage a "group" of some kind, and to never listen? The above explains my meaning, "deductively" versus "inductively" πŸ˜‰

  • @timfatchen  1 week

    I'd like to say "yes" and "yes" but the fact is I'm a hardwired classicist and also a hardwired pianist. Both of those lead to easy melodic, harmonic and technical invention where in theory the brain can think and direct and look ahead while leaving it to the eyes, hands and hindbrain to fill in the sketched idea that's forming. But it's soooo easy to fall into the same old same old lack of innovation. (12-bar is a thing on its own of course, there's gotta be an exception for sanity 😁 !)

    I do get upset at the continued re-appearance of particular progressions, specific chords, riffs and rhythmic twitches.and have to fight hard not to do the same thing over and over. I find switching instruments helps hugely as they suggest other places to go (didn't make any use of the wonderful synths available to me this FAWM. Nor orchestras, choirs. I blame all that recorder practice!) . Also, songs with lyrics are easier because the focus is then not the music but serving the lyric, and often non-innovative stuff does that better.

  • @guatecoop  1 week

    Definitely innovate. Whether I succeed is open to judgement. I will never knowingly copy or repeat.

  • @rshakesp  1 week

    I wrote a lot of contemporary β€˜classical’ music when I was younger for chamber groups and orchestra that was distinctly innovative. I try and carry some of that into my songwriting and rarely will you find me reaching for β€˜normal’ chords and I do love a bit of suspension and even dissonance, like a quirky time signature and a challenging melodic phrase. But of course all this has been done before by the prog rockers, the Beatles, Zappa etc.. so it’s hardly innovative - but it is different from the norm and people do comment β€˜I wasn’t expecting that’ which is good enough for me!

  • @ustaknow 1 week

    Yes, "tim", - I had one just last night, and thought OMG! nooo... and then as you explain, - I jammed "to it" and the 1+1 that all sound alike across 1000 years of music πŸ˜€ evolved into "something" else on it's own, - so glad when that happens.

    Actually, I stumbled onto a new, old, - tool. A version of it that for some reason works in the present time for me. It could be the tool, or me or both. So, now, keep that on hand and will when, record-write, then jam that same to it, dub.

    I find it so so so very interesting to listen to the 1+1, then the added "head space" manual mixing to a pure dry recording, then as I pile onto/into it - just how different it then sounds 30 mins later. It's a "version" in itself, so keep it, yet, do want to expand the "melody" if there is much of one, over the spoken word syntax (BOX) I fall into 1+1 and many 1+1 of any genre.

    I can't help but think in this Moment, of KISS πŸ˜€ when first heard their Acoustic 1+1 versions of songs on Prime-Time-TV so many years ago. Even "Dad" was like, who's that πŸ˜‰ they sound pretty good.
    - It goes to show that even the beer-hall polka sing along fan can love a KISS song if remove the Make-up and Amplifier and wear a nice "Polo-shirt" πŸ˜€ hahhh! OMG! His "Normal" rhetoric (not that I played their music), of "music" would be, "turn that f'n scheit music off", and other profanity that is fully not acceptable in "today's" world, - but likely many neighbors enjoyed on a hot summer evening with the windows open πŸ˜€

  • @chipwithrow  1 week

    I've been going back and forth about whether to post anymore because we have just a few days left here, but what the heck, I'd like to respond:
    @ustaknow regarding difference between comments and feedback: I went back through all of my comments this FAWM (and I appreciate every single one). Only three gave me what I consider feedback, that is, advice to consider to make a song better. But the comments were helpful in that 1) they are encouraging and 2) they let me know what people like about not just the song but my style.
    @timfatchen regarding 12-bar blues: I've written several albums' worth of 12-bar blues in my 14 seasons of FAWM/5090. It's a simple and effective way to get the songwriting juices flowing. And while quite often I've just picked up my guitar and stuck to the tried-and-true format, I've also done some weird tweaking of the format .My favorite blues to listen to are the old acoustic songs, and I'm still discovering artists who innovated with just a guitar and a bit of attitude.
    One thing I've always admired about you, Tim, is your ability to shift from your awesome sweeping cinematic instrumentals to songs you'd hear and love in a tavern or similar setting.

  • @timfatchen  1 week

    I love you too, Chip! Yes, I have two bedrocks, as it were. One is my intensive and detailed classical training, from early childhood. The other is the blues, picked up in part from my first exposure to pop music at the age of 14, just as the merseybeat R&B revolution fired up, and subsequently at uni. There's a wonderful quote of the blues as a soul-soother, which I've forgotten, and when all else fails, the blues are there to fall back on. @chipwithrow

  • @ustaknow 1 week

    @chipwithrow as you see, know πŸ˜€ wonder ? - I toss out things to consider, and if folks do, or not, well, - that is the interesting part (typically context driven and changes rapidly). However, so is the as that-those driver(s) may be, - timing and context.
    - Time, lifespan of a thread, interesting qualifier..., - it took me a moment to get Married, but those seconds, well applied, will last a life time, - effect; perception and directive; intent. And so any comment-feedback-response? πŸ˜€

    - Anyway, I see in context of your comment-feedback-response you had three Skirmishes (a kind of presumed response shall occur for that work-product), and one collaboration, which pulls in 3 kinds? (response-feeback-comment)? [yours, theirs and the "new"] (collab-curious).

    - So, did you happen to notice, regardless of appreciation for all since, prima facie, "we are here" (as qualified above) πŸ˜€ - of which piece of Work-product (timing, context?) you derived as Feedback (the preference?), as you summarize-define as, "advice to consider to make a song better".

    - Me, I tend to get the most to consider when I ask directly, and to those of whom I may that no longer do "drive by's" πŸ˜€ - they know I am *asking for efforted-thinking πŸ˜‰ or, when it's obviously experimental, of which I had several this Project. I also am just as aware of folks, timid-polite-folks, who didn't comment-respond-feedback since, well, they do not realize ? many members here can decipher most adjectives of any kind, and collate them to useful meaning πŸ˜€

    Well, there's no need to comment, "you should burn all your instruments and never engage music again", that's more challenging - to find useful. However, your changing, - Keys 3x's was oddly disturbing and while may never be Top-40, liked it. (The more polite way of saying "scheit" πŸ˜‰ to folks who's music moved you πŸ˜€ subject to interpretation.) - Not to teach anyone here, just going on a bit πŸ˜€ 'cause, well, I do that sometimes πŸ˜€

  • @candle  1 week

    I try to innovate. I sort of go out of my way to experiment with new ideas, techniques, effects & tonalities. But, like everyone else, I do have a "Happy Bag Of Usuality" (i.e. chords, progressions, melodic phrases that I always seem to use) that I often stumble back on (usually unconsciously). Because I improvise 90% of my stuff, my "Happy Bag" just naturally gets mixed in with the new. So maybe it's not so much innovation, but perhaps new variations upon an old theme?

    Great thread & discussion here folks. Thanks @ustaknow for always posing the interesting questions 😁

    See You In The Shadows…

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