The great vocals within the community, but why covers?

  1. It’s hard to write songs and even harder to write “good” songs not only from a lyrical perspective but also from a music perspective.

  2. Originals from an unestablished artist really don’t get the feedback or praise they may deserve i.e. people don’t listen to them. People online in particular (but in real life to) tend to gravitate to listening to things they know. The exception to this tends to be musical people or younger people.

  3. We all love to play and listen to songs we know. There is something very satisfying about being able to play a song you like.

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Jason has some very good points here. Lots of people with great music and lyrics. But you just dont get through due to most people like the known and established.

While I would like to compose my own songs in the future, I don’t think I’m ready yet to do so. I simply lack the skills I want to have, and one way to learn those skills is by playing covers. Many of us are beginners (or “advanced beginners”) here, after all.

I know some people like to compose simple strumming songs with a few open chords and some lyrics over those chords, and I might be ready to do that, but I don’t think it would satisfy me. When I’m ready to do my own thing, I want it to be more interesting.

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I know a lot of people who never cared if people liked their lyrics or songs.

If you want to earn money and become a star, yes I follow that. But then again, the motivation is not about composing and song writing then, but become famous, liked, earn millions etc.

So in my view, I think it is important to separate those motivations / intentions.

Hi @kimlodrodawa , this is such a nice controversial topic that I just have to dip in, if only just to give you my perspective on it.

You have had a lot of great answers already. You are aware of the purpose of this community, which is about folk that aim to learn guitar, at all levels. There is a life’s pyramid here, there appear to me relatively few folk here that would rate themselves intermediate players, and relatively many that are at the beginning of that journey. Then lots of people do not consider they have a goodnow singing voice and feel intimidated by the prospect of singing, they would much rather play in a band and focus on lead and rhythm guitar and leave the singing to a front person. So the potential group of folk that you aim at are the singer/songwriter category, which is a subset. Now about me. When I was young, I felt I had stories to tell, but I tried to explore those stories visually rather than vocally. Photography was my main thing. I developed and printed my own stuff, black and white stuff. The guitar thing was not about communication, strangely enough, I did that for me, the tactile/auditive experience. I did not sing, because I could not. The voice is an instrument that needs to be learned as well, and if you grow up in an environment where singing does not happen, well you just don’t tend to go there, especially when your voice breaks.

So having settled on pictures rather than words, as a young person, I did not try and express myself verbally, or in writing, beit in prose or in poetry. When I listened to music, I tended to focus on the guitar parts, like being wowed by the sound of the twelve string guitar in ‘A trick of the tail’ (Genesis) or the guitar playing in ‘the King will come’ (Whisbone Ash), less than the Lyrics.

Only much, very much later in life, I learned how to sing a little, and continue to learn, also in a Choir setting. For me, I use that skill to capture the feeling of times gone by. Singing songs that I grew up with, or somehow convey a meaning to me. E.g. covering songs. That is the level of my singing ambition. In my life I was provided other possibilities to have an impact on other people, professionally, and now as a volunteer, and there was/is little poetry involved there. So to answer your question, no I don’t feel any challenge to write songs, even though I might manage 3-4 chords harmonies and find a melody to it, and write down some words that might actually fit, that convey some meaning, emotionally, politically or poetically.

So, getting back to your original question, if you want to make people aware that you can write songs with a three chord sequence (Blues 12 bar for instance) or pop songs with the C, F G Am sequence that have little guitar experience, that is fine. If there are people here, that would like to try to write songs, I even think that there must be a video out there somewhere where Justin suggests its a good thing to try, and provides a helping hand how tko go about that. But it all depends on where folk want to go with their music, its not the norm that one should write originals. By the way there are a lot of covers, interpretations, that nowadays count as originals. Just ask Led Zeppelin :wink:

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The only way to become ‘good’ at something is to do it.
If you want to compose songs in the future you should start now, whatever level your skills are at. It’s psychologically much easier to write a 3-chord tune with dodgy lyrics when you are only learning, rather than wait until you have decent technical skills and then try to write ‘interesting’ songs straight away. The mismatch is likely to make it even harder. It will take a long time to become ‘good enough’ to impress strangers, but it can provide instant self-satisfaction, as well as a smile to the face of those who know you.
Even John Lennon was embarrassed about the early Beatles songs he wrote :wink:

@kimlodrodawa, same goes for you. You obviously have a burning desire for your poems to be put to music and have generously offered several times for others to do this. You’ve researched a lot on recording requirements too.
Most songwriting requires a pencil and paper (or pc), an instrument (piano/guitar) and a simple recording device (phone).
That’s it.
Small steps.
Start now :smiley:

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In the end, I think it boils down to the availability of resources (time, energy, inspiration) and what makes people have fun (play something familiar vs creating something new).

Personally, I think it would be cool to write my own music, but I’ve got a feeling that it would be so much more fun to do it together with other musicians “ear to ear”, not necessarily in a permanent group, but still in the same space. But that’s quite a gamble and it might take a long time to find the right company.

Also, as others have mentioned, there’s an enormous amount of new music created and published every day, and only an insignificant fraction of that gets listened to, and even less of it gets listened to for a second time. As someone with a steady job and a few other commitments, I just don’t feel very motivated to become a songwriter as well.

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There’s some excellent originals in the recording section by lots of musicians of varying skills, ive been making my way through it the last couple of days and it’s inspiring. There’s some that are just for fun, some that are beginners just having a go and some that have blown me away.

I’ve only listened to a few so far but there’s one that I think is incredible, it really resonated with me. A lot of it could be down to personal taste and also where your state of mind is during certain times in your life, but honestly…this song hit me like a ton of bricks. Such a sad but beautiful song, played and sang with such feeling that it made me feel like i knew that artist that little bit more.

When listening to new songs from unknown artists I sometimes think “this would be massive if insert name of famous musician released this”, just because it would reach a bigger audience.

It’s an original from @Blobbyblob . your song, Solitary days is wonderful. I’ve only listened to the first version (many times) and so far avoided the 2nd, just because I think it’s perfect. Hope your doing good man :v:

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@TRJ - I picked this one out from your writing. To that I will say no, have nothing to do with that. Not at all. Also when reading my original post, I don’t see that in there.

Then I will thank for a very nice read and very interesting story about your path and why and how.
Also I can understand, that if you don’t have a great voice, that it is very likely you wont be writing songs but more would be composing, if any.

After I had made my post, I actually read about LievenDV at his Soundcloud, that he decompose songs and rearrange and so on. - I see that it in itself is like song writing and composing. It is just a different way of doing it, than doing it from scratch and could in some ways pose even as a greater challenge. - (Personally I don’t do things just for the sake of a challenge, but I hope you know what I mean)

Still at the same time LievenDV and Trond and others, already are very skilled guitar players and blessed with a wonderful voice, and then it just puzzled me why they are not writing and composing their own.

Personally I don’t see it as a controversial topic. For me it is just a normal valid question. Nothing more nothing less. Maybe it’s not political correct to ask such question? I don’t know :joy: :joy:
But I do find all the replies and views very interesting. Also it deepens my understanding on many other things than just the subject and question itself. It’s really cool :+1: :sunglasses:

I really appreciate what you wrote. Thnx a lot :+1: :pray:

@brianlarsen - Thnx a lot. Yeah, we have to start with small baby steps :wink:
Thnx a lot for the encouragement. - I do know I will never be a great singer or a new rockstar, but that have also never been my intention. So it’s all fine and dandy with me, even if I am the only one in the world who likes my poems and compositions :joy: :joy: :joy: :joy: :joy:
Yup, living room flooded with paper with notes and what not… :joy: :joy:

But I really agree on your take. We have to start somewhere and small steps. :+1: :sunglasses: :pray:

Thnx a lot Jozsef. - I also had that in mind, that people are already so stretched with time, that it is more or less impossible or more than hard.

I really luv your take on it and yes, I also think it would be so much more fun, to do it together with others. - Right company, can be even a bigger thing. I really get what you are saying.

Yes, I also see how much the amount of music have become. It is totally wild. For those who wants to maybe sell albums and such, I bet it will be extremely hard. - I really understand this point also, that it in itself can be a big factor in restraining oneself from even begin to write and compose own songs.

Thnx a lot for your view on this. Makes a lot of sense. :+1: :sunglasses: :pray:

Lots of interesting comments in this thread. Personally I feel that I would love to write a song, but that will happen at the right time. I have enough to do to learn guitar.

I came to Justin knowing nothing, and wanting to play. I have played at an OM and even started to add singing. So I am over the moon about where this community has taken me. At some point I will try to write something.

The point of posting though was to suggest to @kimlodrodawa, why not post up a thread of one of your poems, and see whether that inspires anyone to put it to music. I have seen and heard some amazing collaborations on this site. It may lead to nothing or you may start a great collaboration… It will also help you launch a poem into the ether. Just a thought.

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I totally get you on this. It is very understandable.
Though I do hope that it doesn’t restrain you in at least starting to get some ideas roaming in your mind. - Because if I told myself that I am not good enough and so on, I could just as well just give it up all together.

It is such a difficult balance at times.
I am crazy enough to just get into it and not really care about much. :joy: :joy:

But I totally get what you say. For me also very interesting as you actually would like to compose own songs. - I wish you so much luck and blessings and everything, that it will happen for you. :+1: :heart: :pray:

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Yeah exactly. Some of it is really topclass. But I am still fascinated by all of them, no matter skills. You see and or hear the joy and satisfaction in their expression. - It inspire me so much when listen through that section. I am not that far into it yet.

Yup, Solitary Days. I also had to listen to it several times. That is just so great, in all manners. Everything there is just fantastic. :+1: :heart:

Yes, I agree. Personal taste and what mood already in, when going for a listen. It will without a doubt have an effect on the perception.

I get you on this also.
But for those who are having these kind of thoughts, maybe start in small. Write a song for the spouse, the kids, the mom, the aunt, the dog or the birds in the sky or for oneself.
It doesn’t have to be within the narrow box of a stage and huge amount of people only. In this regard there is not really a limit for why and for whom or even it doesn’t have to be for anyone at all.

@philsmith It all started for me when the lockdown came little more than 3 years ago. I started meeting up with a lot of people and among them were actually a good amount of musicians. Some of my old time friends have been pro or semi pro musicians. - At that time I had already been writing a good amount of poems and was thinking, it could be a good idea to compose and have it as a complete song. Also inspired from my earlier community to make more arts. So it was many different things that came together and got my journey started.

I presented many of my poems and asked around if any wanted to compose some music to them. I did get some replies from people who were interested. But nothing serious ever turned back.

Then I happened to meet a person from not so far from here, which son played guitar. The thought brewed about myself compose then. Since there were no takers, so to speak. Asked the son if he could take me to the local guitar shop there and I looked at this guitar with this lovely brown wood. As been carving wood and also worked as a carpenter, I just fell in love. I just saw my perfect partner for the rest of my life. :heart_eyes: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :heart: She was from Japan or at least the brand. Nice curves. You know, everything was just so perfect.

I couldn’t play or anything. So didn’t try any guitar as such. - But she was not scared like the others. No cuts with inserted electronics. What a beauty. Me and her will compose the music for the poems and then we would sing them together down at the creek in the sunrise, midday and sunset and maybe even throughout all the night. Just me and her. :heart_eyes: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :heart: :pray:

And now I am here asking silly questions… :joy: :joy: :joy: :joy: :joy: :joy: :joy:

most of us are beginners and have a hard enough time playing something thats already been tabbed. i wouldn’t even no where to begin writing music to a poem.

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Me too. I started 1st of march this year. So I am 3 days short of being 2 month into my guitar journey. Hardly any music background. Played a little flute in school time 50 years back. Looked at piano in peoples home now and then. But never played or learned anything. I just go to it, like anything else I have learned in life. When I started as a farmer, I had no clue. Carpenter same kind of, though could use some skills and knowledge from former and so on and so on. But guitar and composing and producing music is all new to me too.

It’s a fair question. I suppose around here, there’s lots of beginners so learning to play guitar is the goal and any thoughts of song writing are very distant.

Personally I’ll be very happy if I get to the stage of being able to competently playing some of the music I love and don’t have ambitions (currently) beyond that. I think even if I get to that stage, I have far too much anxiety to consider writing words to a song and putting them out into the world.

As for more comptent musicians than me I suppose covers are more likely to get watched. Even if you can’t monetise a cover, you can build a following that way.

On your other question about reaction videos, I mostly avoid those too. There’s a few people that I would trust to put one out that might actually teach me something about a song but there’s many because they’re easy to make and are very click-baity (I’m not talking about the insightful ones when I say they’re easy to make).

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Hello Kim,
This is such an interesting topic. for me, and to answer your question, why not do covers? I see playing covers as a way to learn how other writers put songs together, everyone starts somewhere.

There are two of my originals on the website and it was Justin who inspired me to have a go. I do not know if they are good enough or not, and it is not really up to me to judge, that is for the listener.

My journey on guitar began quite some time ago, see my introduction, and it seemed a natural progression to attempt to express myself in words and music of my own making. It is doubtful that any Grammy will be forthcoming soon, but that is not why songs are written, words come and music follows, that is at least how I do it.

You write poems, you are learning guitar, why not put your own words to music you find pleasing to you. It will never be that easy, at least for me, but you will find such pleasure in doing so.

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@mattswain - I actually feel a little saddened by the anxiety part. It seem to be something that comes up pretty frequent. The world shouldn’t be like that IMHO. Maybe too many nasty people have pushed it that way!? So much suffer comes from that and so much creativity is being killed even before it starts. - You mention: I suppose covers are more likely to get watched. Even if you can’t monetise a cover, you can build a following that way. - I can imagine that some do it for that reason. Not that it is bad in any way, just another reason for doing what they are doing.

Yes, there must be some trend thingy going on as well among some. It is just how it is. In my youth I also once followed along with some trends. It is kind of natural it also will be like that within this. - Thnx a lot for these points also. It contribute to show how many different reasons and mix of reasons there is for doing this or that, or not doing this or that. :+1: :pray:

@Malz - I see how covers is a very good way to learn to play, sing etc is. It is a good way to get into the whole music world from being a listener to actual play and even song writing and composing. Certainly a good place to start. — I need to feel very connected with the lyrics, in order to train a song. Those few songs I would love to play, is so technique demanding, so it will take a good amount of time before I will be able to even start training them. I want to play them for my own sake and only that. I will not publicly play others songs. It is a personal thing and also goes along with what I might compose in most cases. I don’t mind at all people doing covers. And it is certainly not to downgrade covers at all, which some might think. Not at all!

I will have to look up your originals and have a read into your journey as well. So happy you got inspired by Justin to do it!. :+1: :pray: He is very good at that besides being an excellent teacher. :+1: :sunglasses: :muscle:

You write: It is doubtful that any Grammy will be forthcoming soon, but that is not why songs are written, words come and music follows
I have the same. Songs are not written and composed in order to become famous or rich or both. That would be a totally wrong take for me. That for me have nothing to do with making music, making art. Then the music, the art, will just be a tool to achieve the goal of becoming rich and famous. That’s a no go for me. - I can however understand why some would take that approach, but I think it is a road to create a lot of suffering for oneself.

You write poems, you are learning guitar, why not put your own words to music you find pleasing to you. It will never be that easy, at least for me, but you will find such pleasure in doing so.

I did my first one, that is not one of my older poems. It just came by itself, almost all of it. Tiny little effort I had to complete it and have it as a draft. I don’t care if others like it, but it was such mind blowing satisfaction sitting down at the creek and play it over few times. The birds, insect and frogs were there to listen. - My Japanese beauty made in China and I just had such a wonderful time down there, playing to the universe and all the beings that were around. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :pray:

I hope I will be good enough one day to actually compose music to many of my older poems. Also some of them to a more advanced point, where drums and such is involved. The reason I now have got Guitar Pro, a DAW and soon will get a keyboard also. Made my first little drum sample also. :joy: :joy: :joy:

I just luv making this stuff. :notes: What a wonderful world! :notes:

Very nice read from you. Thnx a lot :+1: :pray:

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