Pictures Or It Didn't Happen - Original by Philsmith

I am pleased to present toy you my first original song, I have been musing on it for a while as evident in my learning log.

It brought with it lots of new challenges in addition to working through the songwriting process, like Reaper, videos, remembering new lyrics and an unfamiliar song structure. Also processing videos in Youtube to get the sound level right (still very much something I need to figure out) and even posting here after a false start. I have enjoyed the process and plan to do more, but I need to get back to learning how to play this guitar, my focus has been spread in many directions.

It is based on my experience with Aphantasia which was discussed in another thread.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
Growing up creating memories
playing games and having fun
concerts, road trips, and the parties
All those crazy things we’ve done

[Chorus]
Pictures or it didn’t happen
it’s a phrase you hear a lot
when you’re memory don’t have them
Did you live or did you not?

[Verse 2]
To all the people that I knew
I try so hard to recall you
I really really didn’t forget
No mental images come through

[Chorus]
Pictures or it didn’t happen
it’s a phrase you hear a lot
when you’re memory don’t have them
Did you live or did you not?

[Verse 3]
To solve a problem visualization
Hypnosis is such a powerful thing
No real solution, just frustration
Because there’s no imagining

[Chorus]
Pictures or it didn’t happen
it’s a phrase you hear a lot
when you’re memory don’t have them
Did you live or did you not?

[Verse 4]
Lie awake in the darkness
every night I try to sleep
Try all the methods I can harness
I only count cos there’s no sheep

[Chorus]
Pictures or it didn’t happen
it’s a phrase you hear a lot
when you’re memory don’t have them
Did you live or did you not?

[Verse 5]
And when my time on earth is ended
the highlight reel begins to play
no places, people, friends presented
Theres only screens of cold dark grey

[Chorus]
Pictures or it didn’t happen
it’s a phrase you hear a lot
when you’re memory don’t have them
Did you live or did you not?

[Chorus]
Pictures or it didn’t happen
it’s a phrase you hear a lot
cos my memory don’t have them
Did I live or did I not?

9 Likes

You set the video to private, we can’t see. :slight_smile:

It said public, now trying unlisted… :crazy_face: think I have broken youtube.

Repasted same link and it should work now. :man_shrugging:

Nice one Phil. I do love a good original and this was really well crafted and sung. Congratulations on getting this one out there and keep them coming! :sunglasses:

1 Like

Hi Phil. I loved the tune and lyrics, it does remind to some of the discussion in that thread. Your strumming was good and in time.
I think the structure of the song is repetative, it feels a bit mechanical. It might be better if you allowed for some variations (different dynamics/strumming in some verses, introduction of bridge, etc.). Just a suggestion.

1 Like

Well done, Phil, enjoyed that.

Good job Phil, first original done!

It’s hard to imagine having asphantasia… wow. Your song told a story to help understand it.

Hi Phil,

I enjoyed your first original - congrats on that milestone! Great achievement. :smiley:

You did a very good job here turning an interesting topic into a song, to help people not affected to understand, but also make others having aphantasia, too, feeling less alone. :+1:

This song will grow nicely along with you. :slight_smile:

Great first recording, Phil, and what an interesting topic. I admit I didn’t know what aphantasia was, but as I listened to your song, the movie ‘Memento’ with Guy Pearce immediately popped into my head. That must be quite a challenge for you, even to record your song. Well done!

1 Like

Good shout Phil and congratulations to you, big step to have taken and a big achievement to have ticked off, bravo to you.

Well done sir, well done indeed! :clap: :clap: :clap:

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Thank you all for listening and making such supportive comments, I do really appreciate them.
@Eddie_09 I have wanted to write a song for a while, I expected to want to hide it away once complete, but I am proud of this and want to polish it more.

@Boris1565 I had the lyrics for a while, and didn’t really know how to write a melody. When it came down to it, it just seemed to be how it sounded in my head. I totally take on board the comment about different strumming and dynamics. I am not confident enough to write or play verses with different structures, but it is something I will experiment with… Also felt a lot of pressure recording. Having had positive responses has certainly built my confidence.

@jkahn Thanks, I love that people have picked up on the story aspect.

@Lisa_S again, I love that people here the story and are interested in understanding. Definitely want to build it.

@wiredforsound Learning songs is not too hard, the thing that I am aware of that I use different memory tools than other people. It is what I am used to, so not like something you truly miss. Not resorted to tattoos yet. Still ink free, not for lack of desire, but choosing an image I would like is hard to visualize :rofl: This is the first time I have put those things together.

@Notter Thanks Mark, really happy to have done it.

Having written my one song, I definitely intend to write more. I am trying to understand more about song structure. Lots of lyrics coming into my head when out walking.

4 Likes

Congratulations, Phil- Well done! :smiley:
It takes some cojones to put yourself out there for the first time, esp. when we know our limitations :laughing: The good news is it gets easier as time goes on, and it’s the only way to get better at songwriting.
The strength of this song for me lies in the lyrics. You have something interesting and personal to share about an unusual topic.
Cool :sunglasses:
You mentioned you had the lyrics first and it took time to find the melody. I find that the hardest part too. I took Justin’s advice and started off just borrowing someone else’s chord progressions/melody for my lyrics.
As time goes on, it becomes easier to change them a bit and make it more your own.
Let’s face it, almost none of us here are going to come up with a chord progression or melody that has never been done before, and that’s ok :laughing:
As you progress, you’ll find it’s not necessary to have such strict rhyming nor start singing on the first note of each bar. I also found it helpful to be told that melodies often do not commence with the the root note of the chord being played.
Great stuff and look forward to more.
Remember: off the beaten track is good! :laughing:

3 Likes

Congrats Phil! :clap: :clap: Amazing job on your first original! I agree with the others that said your storytelling in this song was really, really good :grin:

I agree with a lot of Brian’s points. I’m no master songwriter, but I’ve written a few now and I concur that it gets easier the more you do it.

Yep! I feel like this is what happens! Once you’ve written one, they all start coming out :laughing: I’ll often try to start with one thing- a concept, a lyric or a riff I’ve been noodling with and build from there. I don’t worry about structure too much in the beginning. I kind of go with Justin’s “if it sounds good, it is good” approach. As a result, I think a lot of my practice time now ends up being less structured and more about creativity and seeing what kind of sounds I can play with :laughing:

I would love to see more of your original material when you write more! :wink:

1 Like

@brianlarsen Thanks for the encouragement and the tips about how you go about it. I am spending a lot of time listening to people talk about songwriting. There s no “way” it is what works for you at that time. I definitely feel the excitement that you can get from it. I think it also is crystallizing the thoughts in my head about playing songs how I want rather than being true to the original, not just because of my lack of skill which is also true. My music is always likely to be off the beaten track.

@Jenndye429 very interesting hearing you describe thoughts similar to mine, especially as reading your thread you didn’t have writing originals as one of your goals.

I have some other ideas in my head of topics and song styles. They are way above my play grade or writing skill. I am waiting a bit for them to ferment more as I don’t want to waste the concept.

I am finding it very interesting that the lyrics that come into my head, now have a style/rhythm/melody attached. No idea how but fascinating.

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@philsmith Yes! Exactly!

As I’ve mentioned in my LL, when I first started playing I had approximately 0% interest in writing my own stuff. Now I’ve pretty much done a complete 180 and that’s really all I want to do :laughing: All it took was one song and the rest just started falling out.

1 Like