I wrote half a song (kinda)

Hello everybody,

While noodling around accidentally stumbled upon something, that could be confused with a song.

Basically it is just a I and a IV-Chord (C and F) with a pretty basic fingerpicking pattern. For now, it appears to be in an AABA form (also pretty basic).

The recording is pretty rough, and there are many mistakes, as I am somewhere in between practicing and writing the song :see_no_evil:

Also, I am making a super stupid face as I an focusing pretty hard, so I cut it out :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Now to my questions:

  • did somebody already write that? :sweat_smile: because it isn’t too fancy stuff, it felt that this should already be kind of a song? It also sounds as if I knew it from somewhere?

  • Suggestions, suggestions, suggestions. Sometime there was a thread saying that the comments sometimes are “too positive”, and while it is refreshing to find a community on the internet that actually isn’t toxic, i would be glad to receive honest feedback. ( I am going to be honest - the list was super long, and I didn’t read it all. Sorry :nerd_face:)
    For example: Do you find the motife too boring and repetitive? I feel like the B-Part isn’t really different enough from the A part to be interesting. Maybe somebody has an idea?

  • What next? My idea is to “have something really different” and then come back to this very idea repeating it. Because the part until now wasn’t really written, just noodling around with a bit of sorting out. I never wrote a song, so I am wondering on how to tackle this? I am in between “trying to make something happen” which did not work at all today and “just waiting for inspiration”. I would really like to finish something, and I am afraid that if I just lay it beside it dies there. Thoughts? ^^

I am curious of your answers! To anyone with the stamina and endurance to read until now - thank you :smile::nerd_face:

Regards,
Kevin

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Hallo Kevin,
I hate to disillusion you, but there is no way that could be confused as ‘a song’. Not even half of one… :rofl:
On the other hand, what you do have is the cornerstone, upon which to build a wonderful edifice :grinning:
Is it simple? Yes.
Have those chords been used before in that sequence? Definitely.
Do I recognise it and does it matter? No and no.
That fingerpicking is very pleasant to listen to. You only gave us just over half a minute’s playing which is too short to be repetitive. I thought the B part complemented the A part very well, in fact could see them both fitting together as one ‘verse’. You now need a chorus, a bridge, some lyrics and dynamics :wink:
No, seriously- that’s a really good start on a song and has lots of potential.
It takes some of us a lot longer than you to realise the importance of a smile when performing, so kudos for that as well :laughing:
I look forward to seeing how this piece develops.
Thanks for sharing.

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Hi Kevin,

couldn’t have said it any better than Brian right above me. :slight_smile:

It’s a simple, pleasantly sounding progression with some nice embellishments/melody notes in. I enjoyed to listen to this tiny piece of yours. :smiley:

You can use it and add some parts. Maybe this serve as an intro and builds into a verse with a little more dynamics, differences in the picking patterns, other embellishments or by growing into some strummed parts etc. I agree with Brian on this as well: It has lots of potential and if you feel, creativity is hitting you again, please come back at it! :smiley:

I’m curious where this one might goes and how it will develop. Thanks for sharing!

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Kevin, I’d say you have a part of a song. The muse has come a-calling and now you need to run with it. I’d not worry about how long this may take, no need to feel any sense of pressure to work on the song and ‘make it happen’. Maybe you keep noodling around and trying other chord movements or progressions, see what you discover.

What you played sounded like a verse to me, but suppose it could also be a chorus. If you add lyrics and a vocal how I hear the guitar could change.

Song structures are interesting. As Brian mentioned a common structure is Intro Verse Verse Chorus Verse Chorus Bridge Chorus Outro.

But you don’t have to use that structure. For example Neil Young’s After the Goldrush is different, just three verses with a repeated dline at the end of each verse, different for each verse. Jack White’s We Are Going to be Friends is similar but adds a bridge. Dylan’s Blowing in the Wind doesn’t really have what I consider to be a chorus, more of a refrain repeated at the end of each verse.

When it comes to chord progressions, there are songs that use the same simple chord progression, what we might call three chord wonders :grin: Neil Young’s Cortez the KIller comes to mind.

And once you have the basic structure down then you can think of arrangement. Is it one picking pattern throughout, a blend of picking and strumming. I don’t usually reference my own recordings but you can watch this and see how I mixed up the way I played the three parts of the song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91S-reqWgKc

And lastly you may want the song to be just you and your guitar but if you are comfortable with using a DAW then you can produce what I call a ‘full band production’. It is pretty straightforward these days to add drums, bass, and other instruments in the DAW using midi and digital instruments. All this can be done using free plugins.

So probably not yet half a song but certainly a part that can be grown into a song over time.

Enjoy the adventure!

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Hey Kevin,

Some good advice here already, which I won’t repeat.

I noodle around like this all the time - find parts of songs, chord and fingerpicking sequences. It’s fun. There is a large gap between inspired musical sequence and song. Let go of the idea of creating something totally different or a masterpiece.

Just write a song, finish it. Polish it later if you want, but push through that creative process first.

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All great advice above Kevin. Yes it may be simple and raw right now but what you have thus far sounds really great and pleasant to listen to. Take it and run with it now! I Look forward to hearing the completed version.

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Hi Kevin. I’ve given you a ‘like’ up above. I can’t add anything to what’s already been said.

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A nice big of noodling Kevin and others have said all that needs saying.

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Hi guys,

Thank you so much for your encouraging comments.

Trying to! :smile:

Interesting idea with the strumming! Maybe I can do something with that :smile:

Do you have any suggestions? I have no idea of DAWs… :grimacing:

Good advice, I think otherwise I would never finish… :wink:

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Really not necessary, Kevin, nothing wrong with just writing and performing the song in solo singer-songwriter style.

I’m reminded of Neil Young’s Hitchhiker album. It was released in 2017 but originally recorded in the 70s. Just Neil and his guitar and harmonica, one track with piano instead of guitar. The songs were family to me having heard them on other studio or live albums. At the time the record lable didn’t want to release it, thinking it may be to simple. Similar to Springsteen’s Nebraska.

Of course if and when at some point you are tempted to explore home recording with a DAW and all it offers, then there are several folk here who can answer questions and offer suggestions.

For now, you can just keep flowing in the creative process to write the song.

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Hi guys,

So these days I was noodling a bit more, and I came up with a chorus. The recording for now, to make things short, has just the verse and the chorus. I think I’ll still do a bridge, and the mix a recording with all of it together. This way I can finish the chords/ song structure and then try to think of a melody/ Text as the next big step.

As always, open for suggestions :smile:

Greetings,
Kevin

2 Likes

Hello Kevin, as I’m totally unexperienced when it comes to song writing, I can’t offer you any tips or useful advice. I just wanted to say, that it sounded really nice and I enjoyed the listen :blush:. Great picking skills btw :star_struck:.
I’m curious to see how this song grows :slightly_smiling_face:.

Hi Kevin,

very pleasant to listen to, sweet and smooth picking also for the chorus. It is distinguishable from the verse so far and introduces some variation. :+1: :clap:

All in all, the level of verse and chorus is still quite equal, i.e. not too much difference in dynamics at the moment. But as a basis, I really like it and one has to see how it will work out in the big picture in the end. There are a lot of sweet tunes that are fingerstyle throughout, but still create interest to follow, so I would not consider of changing that now. Actually, it has a nice flow exactly as is at the moment, which I really like. :slight_smile:

There will be so many things coming together with ongoing process: Adding lyrics and melody will change the overall dynamic of the song as well as a bridge, which you plan on incorporating to. Even how you’ll structure the song will play a role here. So there is some solid foundation to build upon and I’m really curious how it will come out in the process. :smiley:

You really have some nice, smooth picking skills (I’m only a little jealous :joy:) and it’s more than worth to show them in your developing song. May the muse keep on inspiring you. :slight_smile:

Cheers - Lisa

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Hi guys,

So here is a little update.
I recorded everything into garage band and started to play around with it… for now I have the first verse a chorus and then another verse.

Let me know what you think, I tried to make a big enough difference in dynamics between chorus and verse, but am still unsure.

Especially the transition between the chorus and the second verse is still very rough. Anyways as usual, i am always open to hear your suggestions! :smile:

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That sounded sweet, Kevin. Nothing to suggest, I just enjoyed it.

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Hi Kevin,

great to see how this little project of yours develops nicely. :smiley: That sounded very smooth and sweet to my ears and the build up in dynamics works fine, too! :+1:

I gave it a very close listen and there is one thing that kind of “disturbs” my listening flow between around 41 - 47 sec, a kind of very distorted guitar sound that’s also gone suddenly. So is there on purpose or by accident? For me, this is the only part I would change/remove, but that’s only my view.

Overall, I like the integration of several layers of instruments in the song and especially how you introduced them, piece by piece, not too much at the same time. My favourite is how the drums come in, very nice! :smiley: Further, all the added layers support the first guitar layer rather then “overwelm” it, if this makes sense. :sweat_smile: So for me, this first “play around” is already something quite round and something that could work great as first part of the song already as it is.

I’m so curious and looking forward to the next bit you’ll share! Thanks for letting us take part in this, Kevin! :smiley:

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Good point. I solved it now differently using the base to have a build up.
For now my to do is to-do write a bridge, then see what happens next

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Yeah, this works much better to my ears. :slight_smile: Thanks.

Good luck with the bridge!

Coming along very nicely Kevin.

Hi Kevin! Great song idea and I’m loving seeing how the development of it comes with each instalment. As a reader/listener, I’m thinking “I wonder where he will go next?”

Here are the sections that stood out to me:

  • Finger picking pattern - is that what they call Travis picking? Very pleasant pattern especially with the added or removed notes.
  • The cello/contra staccato bowing on each beat. I am not sure if you did it I was imagining it, but I was hearing a steady increase in volume of this part throughout the song, as though this was a continuous theme that reinforced an emerging and growing story.
  • The jangle of the electric guitar in the chorus - I almost felt you could make more of this through the chorus to create the texture and dynamic difference and standout from the verse - maybe even have the electric double up the acoustic or something else complementary?

I’m really looking forward where you go with a bridge - a great opportunity to introduce a different melody and chord progression that stands out from, yet complements, the rest of the song.
Do you have a song title or theme or lyric idea emerging as you write that might become the basis for the lyrics?

Looking forward to the next instalment!