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New Song/Feedback Wanted


MimingMinds

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Hey all,

 

Just wrote this yesterday and then spent the entirety of today recording and producing it. I think I got a great tone and sound out of my Gibson Hummingbird Pro

 

Anyways, I want to know what you think generally, specifically, and all that. Specifically, however, I'm looking for feedback on mixing levels and on my voice. I'm trying to quit smoking but I fear that at 19 my voice is already kind of pitchy from smoking too much. That's my fault and something I need to fix. Singing's always been natural for me so it doesn't hurt to do it ever. Sometimes I just feel that the finished product has a warble like Conor Oberst or something similar.

 

Thanks in advance,

Aaron

 

The song can be found here - http://aaronwinston.bandcamp.com/track/rambling-man

 

And the lyrics are:

 

Rambling Man - by Aaron Winston

 

 

i, i have a question

for a rambling man

can you help me please?

 

i, i saw the river

it was black as night

reached to my knees

 

all alone at night

left to think and breathe

time festers horribly

brings me to my knees

 

and i don't know my name

drank my share, i'm born again

i fall, down, down, the stairs

 

i'll take you on my knees

negotiate with your disease

just try, try to care

 

and i, i have a question

for anyone who's lost their way

 

and i i have a woman

who holds me tight, and tells me to stay

 

smoking by myself

lungs feel so heavy

the cold cold biting night

dulled by warm whiskey

 

controlled by all your fears

under your bed, drove you to tears

and tried tried to grab

 

the lights talked to themselves

made me feel like someone else

i'll try, try to care for you

 

take me to my last

two coins my eyes, lay down depressed

it's okay, i'm with you

 

and i don't know

my rambling man keeps me from you

 

and i don't care

the river black as night, i swear

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Hi Aaron, sound is great. You asked for feedback on recording but you also posted the lyric, so, I will give you my honest opinion on that, too.

 

Your guitar sounds fab, your voice sounds fab. The overall vibe of your song is very pleasing, indeed. I love the sound and feel of what you have done.

 

Your song structure and lyric... I think you should treat this rendition as a learning experience and then start over. Cutting to the chase, the song doesn't make a bit of sense. It seems as if you are just rambling around. Your structure is what? What's the verse? What's the chorus? Is there a bridge? More than one? Are choruses and bridges the same or are the changing their structure? Does your meter change from verse to verse? What is the syllable count of each of your verses? Do they vary greatly?

 

And then we come to the story. What is the story? Does that lyric make sense or is a hodge podge of rambling thoughts? 99% of all hit songs have a well-crafted story. The ones that do not are most often, poetic. There are exceptions, but that's the norm. Bob Dylan is one of the best songwriters of all time. The vast majority of his songs had a story that make perfect sense. And then we have My Back Pages. I still don't know what it means but I do know that it is hugely poetic and has a million dollar hook for a refrain -- "Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now."

 

Furthermore, 99% of all hit songs have a well-crafted structure. And that is the bar, hit songs. Study them. Buy every book you can get your hands on about songwriting. Start with The Craft And Business Of Songwriting by John Braheny.

 

Aaron, you got the goods and I hope you will take all of this in the right way. I would give anything to go back to your age. You are about 40 years younger than me. You are far, far more talented than I was at that age. If you want to be serious about songwriting, and I think you should be, study, study, study and write, write, write.

 

I have read as many interviews of hit songwriters as I can find. Songwriters write in various ways but for the majority of hit songwriters, it seems that beyond the initial inspiration, they toil laboriously on crafting the song to be as good as it can be. As for me, that means about 40 hours of work. Yep, I have calculated that it takes me about 40 hours of crafting the lyric to put it to bed. Some more, some less. I have spent several years on a few songs. Other songwriters say the same. You'll know when it's done. If I finish a song, I like it. And I always like it from the getgo. But, the final, finished product is far, far better than the initial draft. Music comes easily for me. Words flow effortlessly from my pen. But for me to make that song be the best that it can be takes about 40 yours of working on the lyric. I write hundreds of phrases that get thrown away on each song.

 

P.S. Good luck with quitting smoking. If I could snap my fingers and do anything for the human race, beyond world peace, it would be to make cigs poisonous. Oh wait, they already are. I used to smoke some when I was your age. Thank goodness, I quit decades ago. I played a gig at a bar last weekend. 90% of the people in there smoked. It was unbearable, very poor ventilation. They wanted to hire me again. I declined. I had to cut that gig short because the smoke was so bad, I was not able to sing after a couple hours. It was that bad.

 

That's how I do it anyway, perhaps you will find value in some of that. Write on!

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I added a PS about your smoking but it disappeared! Good luck with quitting smoking, that would be the best thing you could do for your voice and your long-term health. Believe me, you will not get to 50 years old and say "Man, I am so glad I smoked for the past 50 years."

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Thanks live music!

 

I understand what you're saying and I've come across this critique before regarding my lyrics: the funny thing is, I understand them all perfectly. Mainly because I wrote them I suppose. For explanation, this song is basically about being alone. My girlfriend and I are very close so those times that I'm back home and away from school, it's a little rougher, reminiscent of my last year that was filled with depression. I'm a happy kid now, don't get me wrong. And then, my girlfriend also suffers from an eating disorder, something that takes up a lot of our talking time. Hence, "negotiate with your disease." The line about coins on my eyes is an allusion to Ancient Greek mythos about paying Cheron before going to the underworld. I kind of like that idea.

 

You're right though, the poetic style, or lack thereof, that I have should probably be shaped up into a better storyline. The problem for me is that, when writing songs, it's usually a journalistic experience where I try to understand myself more fully. And I am a rambling man to the core. Changing that could take time and the 40 hours your said.

 

Thanks a bunch!

Aaron

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Thanks live music!

 

I understand what you're saying and I've come across this critique before regarding my lyrics: the funny thing is, I understand them all perfectly. Mainly because I wrote them I suppose. For explanation, this song is basically about being alone. My girlfriend and I are very close so those times that I'm back home and away from school, it's a little rougher, reminiscent of my last year that was filled with depression. I'm a happy kid now, don't get me wrong. And then, my girlfriend also suffers from an eating disorder, something that takes up a lot of our talking time. Hence, "negotiate with your disease." The line about coins on my eyes is an allusion to Ancient Greek mythos about paying Cheron before going to the underworld. I kind of like that idea.

 

You're right though, the poetic style, or lack thereof, that I have should probably be shaped up into a better storyline. The problem for me is that, when writing songs, it's usually a journalistic experience where I try to understand myself more fully. And I am a rambling man to the core. Changing that could take time and the 40 hours your said.

 

Thanks a bunch!

Aaron

 

Aaron, you have a lot of talent. You are better than 99% of the people who call themselves singer-songwriters... I mean vocally and guitar wise. Your writing is not there yet. That will only come with time, study and hard work. But I encourage you to do it, as your talent is rare. I love your sound.

 

When you write a lyric, maybe do what I do... write such that a 7th grader could understand it. I have been tempted to use some "big" words now and then but I always try for a rewrite. I was going to use the word "paradigm" recently (and still might) but, I went back and rewrote that phrase because a lot of people don't know what a paradigm is. Using big words is not your issue. Storyline and flow are. Along with lack of consistent structure. Read up on song structure. As for storyline and flow, that's kind of hard to teach... you just have to have a knack for it and/or develop it. And it can be developed if you get a TON of critique to see how a phrase, line, verse and song can be improved.

 

Good luck and toss the cigs, you have a great voice, don't destroy it.

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Write for pleasure and write whats in your mind or heart, Who says all songs need chorus, brifdge etc etc? why must they all have a specific formula? if we do everything the same it gets dull. yes i fully understand and appreciate that the vast proportion of music out there has followed various templates but i personally think you should write using your own style.

I agree songs with stories or poetry are easier to understand and work well but if you listen to much of todays music from many genres there is no "real" lyrical content, instead, just a bunch of random rubbish. That certainly goes for a lot of pop chart music.

If peopl dont know where the content of your lyrics come from then they are free to make their own interpretations. Let the listener have to think rather than just listen.

Anyways, I agree you have talent there. keep playing, keep singing and keep writing what pleases you. Some will like it some wont.

 

 

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I would need to hear the raw recorded vocal tracks to understand how the room they were recorded in has affected the sound. They do sound slightly boxy, but unsure what effects you have added along the way.

 

Suggest the BV do not add a lot and the way they are mixed / processed sound a bit divorced from the song. Nice idea, but needs more thought

 

Hopefully the above is not too brutal, I am only trying to help.

 

If you would like, I can do a mix for you, so you can understand different approaches etc.... I can also critically listen to the vox and give suggestions on improvement

 

If you want this, then upload the raw tracks to a download site and PM me your details etc

 

Madman Greg

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I don't believe all songs have to tell a story at all, I don't believe all songs need a hook or a chorus line either. I would agree this song could get better (not to say it is not already really impressive) but I don't think it will get better by Miming minds learning more about song writing, I think it will get better from him just putting some more time into it to ensure that it evokes exactly the string of emotions that he wants it to. If you were to add I have a question one more time or perhaps i'll try try to care for you you would have a chorus though if that is what you are going for.

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