Sunday Funnies – Songs About A Girl Family Guy

This is a funny clip with Stewie and Brian from Family Guy discussing songs with girl’s names.

   I got a good laugh out of this clip from Family Guy. Girls are one of any musician’s greatest inspiration and there have been a lot of songs written and titled after certain girls. It was actually kind of shocking to watch this clip and realize just how many songs have a girl’s name in the title.

   Sit back and have a good laugh as Stewie and Brian have a little songwriting discussion about using girl’s names in a song.

Songs About A Girl – Family Guy

Playing Cover Music Vs. Playing Original Music Part 3

The differences between playing in a cover band versus playing in an original band become very apparent when it comes to playing gigs.

Shufflin' Noah - Making Original Music Since The Mid 90's
Shufflin' Noah - Making Original Music Since The Mid 90's

   This is the 3rd and final (for now) part of my take on playing cover music versus playing original music in a live band. I’ve written two previous posts on this topic titled Playing Cover Music Vs. Playing Original Music Part1 and Part 2. I’ve played in live bands for 27 years and I’ve played original music as well as cover music the entire time. I have a unique perspective about playing both types of gigs. Today I’m going to talk about the difference between playing in an Original Music band and a Cover Band.

   The biggest differences between playing in a cover band vs. playing in an original band become glaringly apparent when it comes to gigs. I have to say that playing original music gigs can be either the highest of highs or the lowest of lows. Playing cover music gigs are much more consistent as long as your band plays the songs well. Let me explain what I mean.    Continue reading “Playing Cover Music Vs. Playing Original Music Part 3”

Playing Cover Music Vs. Playing Original Music Part 2

Which type of band takes more individual playing skill to be successful. A cover band or an original band?

George Thorogood Plays Original Music And Cover Music
George Thorogood Plays Original Music And Cover Music

The other day I wrote a post titled Playing Cover Music Vs. Playing Original Music Part 1 which covered the amount of creativity involved in playing cover music versus original music in a live band. Today I’m writing part two of that post to give you my view on another angle of the Cover Music Vs. Original Music debate. I’ve been seeing a lot of action in the online forums on this topic and I wanted to give you my view based on the fact the I play in both a cover band and an original band.

In my previous post I wrote about the amount of creativity involved in playing cover music vs. original music. I gave a slight edge to original music since it does take a bit more creativity to create a song from nothing. If you remember, I believe that playing cover music requires just about as much creativity as playing original music. Today I’m going to write about the skill level involved in playing Cover Music vs. Original Music.   Continue reading “Playing Cover Music Vs. Playing Original Music Part 2”

Having A Jam Session Songwriting Session

Having a jam session with other musicians is a great way to generate new song ideas.

Shufflin' Noah In The Jam Room
Shufflin' Noah In The Jam Room

   I am a songwriter as well as a live performing musician. I’ve been writing songs since I was about 15 years old and I have an extensive catalog of completed music. I write songs a lot of different ways. Sometimes I’ll sit down at the piano or with a guitar and write an entire song with lyrics, start to finish. Sometimes I’ll come up with a riff or chord progression and I’ll have to turn it over in my mind for a few days until I feel like I can finish a song with it. Another thing I’ll do is write with my band by getting together and actively writing a complete song. These are usually great songs because everyone adds something to them. Today I’m going to talk about one of my all-time favorite ways to write songs. That’s by having a jam session and just letting things happen while we record everything we play.

Continue reading “Having A Jam Session Songwriting Session”

Playing The Song Instead Of The Instrument

AC/DC Play As A Band

   As a musician have you ever heard the saying “Playing The Song Instead Of The Instrument”? I was having a discussion with some fellow musicians the other day and we were discussing the problem of musicians overplaying during a song. It’s something that I guarantee you’ll have to deal with at some point if you’re playing in a band.

   Let’s define what overplaying is: Overplaying is when you play too much to suit the song. Let’s use the drums as an example. A blatant example of overplaying would be changing the beat deliberately to 5/4 without the rest of the band, just for a measure or two to show you can do it. Blatant overplaying would also be putting a drum break in every bit of extra space in a song. Continue reading “Playing The Song Instead Of The Instrument”

Get A Good Music Recorder

Olympus LS-10 Linear PCM Recorder

   There are a lot of incredibly good audio recorders on the market right now. They are compact and handheld with built-in stereo microphones. Having one in your gear arsenal is very important for a number of reasons.

   I’ve written before about how important it is to record your live performances. You can learn so much from hearing your gigs back on a recording. Having a recorder like the
Olympus LS-10 Linear PCM Recorder
 can make recording your live shows as easy as setting the recorder up in the back of the room and letting it record. Since it’s all digital you can edit out dead spaces later. Making a back of the room recording is a good idea because it really lets you hear what the audience is hearing. You can also capture the audience reaction to your performance. If you get good at placing the recorder where it picks up well, you could end up with an excellent live recording that you could use as a demo in your bands marketing kit.      Continue reading “Get A Good Music Recorder”

Writing Lyrics That People Can Relate To

Billy Joel - Piano Man

   There are a lot of great songwriters out there. Some writers can write a tune that will stick in your head for days on end. Some writers will write a set of lyrics that will really touch you on a deeper level. The lyrics that I enjoy the most are lyrics that I can personally relate to and that mean something to me. I like a song that will make me say “Yeah man, I’ve been there myself.”

   So how can you as a writer write lyrics that other people can relate to? The best and easiest way is to write what you know. Write about what you have personally experienced in your life. The best things to write about that other people can relate to are the times in your life when you’ve felt really strong emotions. Continue reading “Writing Lyrics That People Can Relate To”

Inadvertent Plagiarism – Did I Steal This Song?

George Harrison - My Sweet Lord

   Have you ever written a song and worried that you stole that song from somebody else? I was reading in the Harmony Central Songwriting Forum and a user named blue2blue started a very interesting discussion on this. Here’s the link to the discussion click here. 

   I’m sure that’s a question that every songwriter has pondered. What are we other than a mix of everything we’ve ever heard. Think of George Harrison getting hit with a lawsuit for “My Sweet Lord” and losing because it sounded like “He’s So Fine” recorded by the Chiffons. It makes us all question “where did my song come from?”

Continue reading “Inadvertent Plagiarism – Did I Steal This Song?”