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Lyric Critique Forum Rules

>Please use the “Forum Guidelines” link at the top of the screen to read General Policies.
>Remember that these lyrics are only going to be kept up here a maximum of 30 days. Keep a backup of your work.

Rules for Posting a Lyric:
1) Please critique 2 or more lyrics for every lyric you post.
2) Please post only one lyric per day.
3) Please keep lyrics tasteful i.e. no overt sexuality or obscene, offensive language, etc.
4) Please indicate the intended genre below the title of your lyric, and also what kind of a critique you're after. Is this a lyric that you'll be promoting commercially? Is it a song you wrote simply because you wanted to and you'd like to make it better? The more info people have, the better they'll be able to give you the kind of feedback you're after. And please PLEASE note - if you're not really after critique at all, don't post here. The Artist's Cafe is happy to read the lyrics for completed songs. This is the place to post if you want honest feedback and are prepared to take what is given (what you do with it, is of course, up to you).
5) It is polite to acknowledge critiques, but please don’t overdo it by “bumping” your thread to the top too frequently.
6) If you revise the lyric, please give a date and post on the same thread, or folks will unknowingly still comment on the old one.
7) Please be sure to visit other areas of the board to both learn and spread your knowledge.

Rules for Critiquing a Lyric:
1) The purpose of this forum is to promote better lyric writing by providing encouragement and constructive feedback focused on improvement. Strive to be courteous and respectful in your critiques, keeping in mind that we all come to this forum with different perspectives, genre preferences and levels of experience.
2) Offer constructive criticism and suggestions you think may help the writer make the most of his or her vision of where they want to go with their lyric.
3) If you think something really works, say so. Make an attempt to say why you think it does. If you see areas you think could be improved, explain why you believe they need improvement and offer suggestions, if you have any.

Anonymity often helps us forget that there is a person at the other end of our critique. Imagine, if you can, that you are speaking to the writer face to face.

Thanks!
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>>>How to review lyrics Includes a handy form

#1 User is offline   Len Icon

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 06:39 PM

Reviewing other lyrics is an important part of learning about writing. When you can see what works and doesn't work in other lyrics, you can apply it to your lyrics. And we are here to learn, aren't we ? :)

We have reintroduced a rule that for each lyric you post, you must review two other lyrics. This encourages you to get involved with the Muse, but it also stops people freeloading, only taking reviews without giving. The chances are the writer of the lyrics you review will return the compliment. If you review one of my lyrics, I'll for sure review yours.

And when we say review, we don't mean a simple "I liked it". Make an effort. You don't have to be a great writer to say in your review what you like and what you don't.

You can read much more about reviewing and posting lyrics in this little guide here

And here's a great little form (thanks to Bubblingsoul) you can use to help you learn how to review a lyric. Just copy and paste it into your review. You can use your own headings, change it to how you like.

CRITIQUE:
Emotional impact:
Strength of hook/title:
Originality:
Appeal:
Focus:
Phrasing/cadence:
Form:
Wordiness:
-----------------
Other comments/questions:

These headings are explained below:
Emotional Impact: Does it move you, draw you in, pull on your heartstrings, make you laugh, cry, think, react? Does it entertain you? Is it believable?
Strength of Hook/Title: Are the title and hook the same? Is it a strong hook? Is it effectively placed for impact? If there is a chorus, does the hook repeat?
Originality: How original is the song idea? How fresh is its approach? Would it stand out among hundreds of others with similar themes?
Appeal: Does the message/emotion have universal appeal within and outside its intended genre? Does it have a timeless feel? Does it have commercial potential?
Focus: What is the setting? Is there a story, characters– are they consistent, do they progress? Is there visual imagery? Do the verses set up the chorus? Does the chorus conclude? Does the bridge offer new meaning to the chorus, and/or give a twist to the story or message with lyrical changes that differ from the verses? Are the lyrics compact and concisely written?
Phrasing/Cadence: Would it sing well? Is it conversational? Does it allow the artist’s vocals to shine? Is there a consistent meter/rhythm/# of stresses from verse to verse?
Form: Consistent structure, rhyme, verse/chorus/bridge placement.

So there you go, lots of information and help for you to review lyrics. Have fun and keep writing.
Review, and so shall you be reviewed
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Lyric of the Year 2007 (Numbers Make the Man), 2011 (The Volunteer) and 2013 (All Pals Together)

#2 User is offline   Moxey Icon

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 03:24 PM

Hey

I don't know if it's allowed on this specific board, specially as it's a pinned topic but I wrote this article last year and thought it particularly relevent:

Lyrics Critique For Songwriters

If is not ok, mods please accept my apologies and delete away. :)

Cheers

John

#3 User is offline   Len Icon

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 04:13 PM

Hey John, yes this is very welcome, an excellent article and thanks for sharing :)
Review, and so shall you be reviewed
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#4 User is offline   Billy Icon

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 04:38 PM

John,
Great post. I'm actually a high school art teacher and we use critique all the time to evaluate students work. I must admit, I'm guilty of not critiquing songs properly at times. Sometimes I'm just moved to make a comment or a suggestion and sometimes I'm either lazy or just don't have time. However, I fully appreciate the value of constructive criticism and this article has served to refresh my memory, with regards to the value of a good, thorough critique. Taking the time to do it the right way, makes all the difference in the world. Great article! Nicely written and much needed. Overall, this site is terrific with regards to recipcrocal feedback. However, there's always going to be the "pat on the back" seekers, no matter where you are. Hopefully this will serve to educate people as the importance of this valuable process.

I recall I college professor of mine, lecturing me after class, for what he deemed to be a lackluster performance during one of our classroom critiques. He felt I had more to offer and he expresed his disappointment. The following class, I stepped it up and he made it a point to let me know that he expected this all along. I was thankful for the fact that he took the time to reach out to me and the ultimate praise he bestowed upon me. As far as I was concerned, this was a great teaching moment on his part. He obviously understood what I could contribute and he forced my hand to do so.

Take care,
Billy

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 05:01 PM

Hey

Thanks for your comments, greatly appreciated. :) Glad you found it useful.

Cheers

John

#6 User is offline   oxe57 Icon

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 07:23 PM

Whenever I do a critique I look at the essential lyric framework. A lyric should contain:


A genuine idea (boy does this get overlooked by the novice)

A memorable title (one of a kind; summarizes the lyric's statement; one of a kind)

A strong start (that pulls the listener into the song)

A satisfying progression (a meaningful sequence; develops the idea; draws a conclusion)

Appropriate form (supports and enhances the lyric's purpose; delivers the desired effect)


My thinking is that if you address some or all of these elements the lyricist should get some useful information from your critique. Good topic........................................peace!
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Lyrics, poetry, screenplays etc. at: http://www.storymani...o...nsR&alpha=E

#7 User is offline   Len Icon

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 01:21 PM

View Postoxe57, on Jul 13 2008, 03:23 AM, said:

Whenever I do a critique I look at the essential lyric framework. A lyric should contain:

A genuine idea (boy does this get overlooked by the novice)

Joe, I know where you are coming from, but I reckon if you are learning the ropes there is nothing wrong with writing some standard fare. You can make all the mistakes and learn your craft on the crap stuff, and then when you have some "polish" put it to some interesting use. We all have to get our Moon in Junes and Loves from Above out of the way :) (I speak from cringing experience here).
Review, and so shall you be reviewed
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#8 User is offline   Billy Icon

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 06:35 AM

Recently, I've noticed that the constructive criticism aspect of critiquing has broken down. Some people are leaving one sentence atta boys, which in some cases is okay but it's certainly not a critique. In other cases, I've witnessed some hostile, non-constructive dialog, which defeats the purpose. And lastly, the whole reason for providing an evaluation of another person's work is to help them improve upon areas that they may need improving. Furthermore, this process is two fold. If a good, well thought-out criique is provided, it can help both parties involved in the evalutative process. In fact, it can spark discussion amongst other members and ultimately help the entire board. Comments such as "I don't like it," "This isn't my thing," This doesn't do anything for me," are really not aspects of good, thoughtful critique writing.

Overall, I've seen many well constructed, in-depth critiques on this site that are very helpful and informative. Peer-based feedback and interchange is an essential part of the developmental process. However, sometimes I get the sense that someone just wants to meet the 2 post requirement and as a result the evaluative process begins to break down. Therefore, as an active participant of this board I'd like to see all of us think a little bit more about the bigger picture. Ultimately, it will benefit all of us!

Take care,
Billy

#9 User is offline   zmulls Icon

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 06:38 PM

Billy,

In any open forum, there will be plenty of "attaboys" and "you suck"s -- in a group that's not closed, you cannot train (to your own satisfaction) every member of the community.

Your best course of action is just to tune out the unhelpful praise and slagging, and concentrate on the voices that are helpful -- encourage those people and build mutually respectful relationships. In other words, create your own mini-community within the larger one.

Z.
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You are an overexcited little man with a need for self-expression far beyond your natural gifts. This is not discreditable. Neither does it make you an artist. (from TRAVESTIES by Tom Stoppard)

It's a nice song. But where's the chick? (Frank Sinatra, according to Dave Frishberg)

#10 User is offline   bubblingsoul Icon

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 06:04 PM

Here's the form with the formatting included in the event anyone is interested. Just copy exactly what is inside the code box and then add your crit remarks after the [ /B ] at the end of each line. You can customize the tags as you wish.

;)
~Bubbles

<------------------------- copy this ------------------------->
[color=blue][B]CRITIQUE:[/B][/color]
				  [B]Emotional impact:[/B]  
				  [B]Strength of hook/title:[/B]  
				  [B]Originality:[/B]  
				  [B]Appeal:[/B]  
				  [B]Focus:[/B]  
				  [B]Phrasing/cadence:[/B]  
				  [B]Form:[/B]  
				  [B]Word Usage/Verbiage:[/B]  

				  -----------------
				  [B]Other comments/questions:[/B]


#11 User is online   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 05:10 PM

Yes, I hear you - and agree.

A one lyric a week rule would not be a bad idea, in my opinion.
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"In my opinion this is a bunch of filth and garbage and we need far less this type of lyrics gettin back in the ears of our children." - from a critique received

"When I was 5 years old, my mum always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wante to be when I grew up. I wrote down, "Happy". The told me I didn't understand the assignment and I told them they didn't understand life." John Lennon.

#12 User is offline   Len Icon

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 05:02 AM

Great post Jim, you've made a lot of good points.

On other sites I've seen a lot of folks with expectations of commercial success and I'm not sure they have any greater chance than here. One thing that I think sets the Muse apart (whether this is good or not) is that people are more happy to be amateurs and don’t hold delusions about making a living from it. The general feeling is that if you are good enough to be commercial, you won't be on internet songwriting sites. I may have got that all wrong, just my impression. I think that attitude is healthy and gets rid of a lot of bs. Most folks here will settle for the fun of a collab.

That does mean that we get many more beginners, treating this place as a learning site rather than a launch pad. You're right that 99% of lyrics will not see a melody, but perhaps the writers will learn from the 99 to write the 1 that is good enough?

I don’t agree with negative criticism; I honestly think too many folks use it as an excuse to be lazy in critiques. And who decides who gets to be Simon Cowell? But that's not an excuse for whitewashing reviews; you can be direct and critical without being discouraging. I sum it up as "don’t tell them they are crap, tell them how to get better".

I've also seen some pretty poor writers who do take the advice on offer. You can see their lyrics improve. It's probably true of me when I think about my early lyrics. If this is works, then why not, consenting adults and all that. It comes down to what is the purpose of this site, and I can't really answer that.

I agree that there are a lot of lyrics needing a "lot of improvement" and that can drown out the good stuff. But we also get concerns that the Muse is running down and losing members, so busy can be good. But maybe the lower quality level drives the better writers away? That's true of the monthly lyric contest... the few good writers who enter tend to hog the podium every month, and so some don’t enter, it's not a challenge.

I agree that better quality lyrics are good for the site. Your idea of one lyric a week is a good one - but Eddy and Neal run the lyrics now. Might be worth PMing them to see what they think?

Cheers, Len
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#13 User is offline   14music Icon

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 07:49 PM

I think the one-lyric-per-week idea would be (or should be) a positive for the quality department. Admittedly, I am relatively new, and have a lot to learn, so my opinion can be taken accordingly. But this “might” reduce some of the postings with disclaimers such as “I just wrote this in five minutes…….” “This is real rough, unpolished, terrible, etc……” Not to be negative, but if it ain’t done, why is it posted? Granted, people are often looking for help or ideas in specific areas, and I am not criticizing this. That is exactly where people can, and do, give a great deal of help.

#14 User is offline   Len Icon

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 02:37 AM

Jim, I think it comes down to what Jodi wants this site to be. The place evolves of course and what is was back then may not be what Jodi wants now. The one per week rule will cut down traffic on the site and as you say will put quality over quantity, but it will make the place quieter, more elite I think and that will have a knock on effect in other forums. It would make this place a lot easier to moderate :rolleyes: Definitely one for Jodi to call.

Out of interest how is it in other songwriting websites? Do they have the same level of quality with a large number of novice lyrics? Have any others got a one per week (or similar) rule and does it work?

I still hold my view on the negative critique :ph34r: I don't think you are saying we should be more caustic, just more critical?
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#15 User is offline   NigeQ Icon

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 07:14 AM

View Postrocknrolljim, on Apr 23 2009, 10:55 PM, said:

If your wondering about quality that I speak of, go to soundclick.com and type in rocknrolljim for the artist and listen to "all that I dont got" that I collabbed on with a lyric writer from here a couple years ago. This song has gotten good reviews from publishers that Ive sent it to and is currently on file with at least three publishers last count.
Hi Jim, I went to your site and there are no songs on it - Nige

#16 User is offline   zmulls Icon

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 07:25 AM

I'd venture to say that anyone coming to the Muse for the first time is harboring two competing thoughts: 1) My lyrics are likely the most awesome thing anyone has ever heard, people are going to plotz themselves and wonder where I've been hiding; and 2) gosh I hope my lyrics don't totally suck.

Usually they find out that their lyrics are not going to set the world on fire, and they're not quite as bad as all that.

There's an eagerness in the new user, and probably a backlog of stuff. A new user will probably have a large data dump -- it's not that they're necessarily writing a lyric a day, it's that they have so much they been afraid to share. And if they are writing a lyric a day? Well.....that won't last.

There's a natural flow and ebb to a single user's experience. (The later stages involve lamenting how many inexperienced folks there are on the site and how it isn't what it used to be). Any site tends to remold itself as the core group reshapes over the years. The site becomes what it needs to be to accomodate the users, with the person in charge shaping it a little. But it's not something you can strictly control.

One can put up more rules, more gates and close the community for a more controlled experience. Some sites do this, and there is a different experience to be had. One feature, or bug, of the Muse is that the doors are wide open. And the energy that new users bring more than compensates for their early overenthusiasm.

Someone who posts a lyric a day will start wondering why they don't get too many crits, and someone will explain it to them, and they'll get involved in other threads (like creativity, etc.) and get to know people, and make friends, and settle into the rhythm that's right for both them and the site. You could put up a one-a-week rule but I think it might discourage some people from walking in, and in the long run, nature will take its course.
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You are an overexcited little man with a need for self-expression far beyond your natural gifts. This is not discreditable. Neither does it make you an artist. (from TRAVESTIES by Tom Stoppard)

It's a nice song. But where's the chick? (Frank Sinatra, according to Dave Frishberg)

#17 User is offline   Len Icon

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 07:35 AM

Hi Jim, I'd like to see what happens if we do give it a go. It's a risk that we might knock the stuffing out of this place though ...
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#18 User is online   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 07:50 AM

The more I think about it, the more I think that a "one lyric per week" rule would be a good idea. The main problem would be policing it - but that doesn't have to be done religiously. It could be sufficient to correct obvious offenders.

Even when we write those occasional "inspired" lyrics that seem to flow beautifully onto the page, we should at least leave them overnight and re-read them in the morning. It's amazing how some of that "inspiration" can read much like crap the next day, and how obvious it is that lines need rewrites. Leave it another day and we can spot that the theme is unclear or that it's all "tell". And so on.

We don't learn to self-critique until we put the time into doing it. A week seems perfectly reasonable to me. 4 decent lyrics a month is surely far better than 20 or more disposable streams of consciousness?

I do go into Lyric Critiques fairly often still, but I critique far less than I used to. I sometimes lose the will after reading a few. I check the authors, pick up new ones, look for an interesting title. If I see something that I think is on the way and I that believe I can say something helpful about, I will comment. I may also go into a more in-depth explanation about what I think a new writer needs to improve on (and why) - when I'm in the mood. It then depends on whether I see people acting on the feedback they have received. It's disheartening.

Mostly, I focus on the handful of lyric writers on the site who can consistently produce something that promises a song. I also check the few more who can occasionally do that. I check newcomers to see if I should add them to the list.
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"In my opinion this is a bunch of filth and garbage and we need far less this type of lyrics gettin back in the ears of our children." - from a critique received

"When I was 5 years old, my mum always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wante to be when I grew up. I wrote down, "Happy". The told me I didn't understand the assignment and I told them they didn't understand life." John Lennon.

#19 User is offline   Billy Icon

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 07:50 AM

Z,

Beautifully said! Not only did you introduce me to this site about a year ago, but I've experienced almost every phase that you've mentioned and it was necessary for me. This has been a wonderful site, with very supportive, helpful people and it has enhanced my lyric writing experience. Although I have a long way to go, I certainly attribute much of my growth to this site and the feedback and encouragement I have receieved. Although an occasional pat on the back is nice, I like the hardball critiques that hold no punches. Those are the one's that have forced me to be more discerning and critical in my analysis of not only my own work but that of others as well. For me, I wouldn't change much. I think you nailed it in terms of how the process unfolds for most everybody. It's like the law of nature in a way. I'd hesitate to put limits on lyric posts for all of the reasons you mentioned. If someone's annoyed by the same person posting all the time and they deem their lyrics to be unsuitable, they don't have to click on or for that matter respond. Just let things take there course as people learn at there own pace. If it's being abused, find ways to subtly address it but in most cases I suspect it will police itself.

Awhile back I had a posting issue that I wanted some clarification on and I contacted Len and he handled it very tactfully and judiciously. It was handled privately and resolved without incident. He provide calm, rational thought that made a lot of sense. In my opinion, that's the way to handle most of these issues. The moderators here are great and do a fine job with such things!

Billy

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:07 AM

View Postrocknrolljim, on Apr 27 2009, 04:38 PM, said:

Hi Billy, Len and a cast of many :)

I really dont think there would be a huge drop off as far as interest in the lyric column if we went to a once a week post. Lets face the facts, not even I could write 40 good lyrics worth reading a year. If we went to the once a week format, all of the "look at me!" post hogs would evaporate. And the people who really want to be a part of the board in a meaningful way would abide by the rule of one a week. I think there would be still enough people who would visit this forum and embrace the change and attitude towards the quality aspect rather than the quantity angle.

It would be quite easy for a moderator to spot those posting more than one a week just by the posts date entries on each lyric. The moderator could then delete any mutli posts by the post hog and again remind the poster in an e-mail the forums policy on the one a week rule. And again, when a newcomer comes in, dont you think it might be refreshing for him to actually get a critique(good or bad)on his first lyric submission? And again, the header of the forum would strictly say about the once a week post rule as well as reading and critiquing other peoples lyrics.

I know the forum does mention posting critiques for other lyrics, but it hasnt really worked, has it?

As for the newbie writer who has a back log of material to be reviewed, dont you think he would choose his best works first to be reviewed If it was a once a week format?

But because of the way the forum is set up, they will multi-post and find their lyrics to the bottom of page 4 before you know it and now the gnawing problem of being seen on the page has replaced the focus of good lyric writing. So now, instead of reposting the possible good lyric, he now feels compelled to write another and yet another without no ryhme or reason other than to see his monniker on the front page. Thats where the trouble lies within this format of post-aways.

This once a week concept could even spill over into other sites bogged down with the same problem. Quite frankly if a post hog needs all of that attention, he or she is probably a member of a couple different sites and will still get his or her monniker fix by polluting them if they decide the once a week rule cramps their style here. And by limiting the post hogs here may attract or preserve a better bunch of lyric writers at this site. All I can say is that the quality of posts and critiques would improve as well as the enjoyment level...and perhaps just maybe some more collabs might come of it. Isnt that kind of the goal here? To create? Or to get better or inspired?

I mean, I enjoy music and being in a music community that enjoys the creative art of music making. And I give Jodi alot of credit for starting this site and all of the good and the friends that have been made to make this experience more positive than negative. But as they say, this problem stems beyond this site and onto others as well. We could set a great example or model to follow by other sites if we adopt the once a week post.

Anyways, Im glad that this is being discussed. If only lyrics got this many comments...lol.

just my two cents worth.

R-N-R JIM

p.s. thanks Nige for pointing out my soundclick blunder :)
yes its soundclick.com/jimcanrock

I vote yes for one lyric per week. I've just about given up trying to keep up with what is being posted everyday. It's just too time consuming to try and pick out something to critique. I kind of stick to just doing the Silver critique and my obligatory 4 reviews when I post a lyric. I have trouble writing 10 lyrics a year so 50 is beyond my imagination. I like your hard ball shoot from the hip approach. I raised similar concerns a few months back with the heading "incomplete lyrics" (Lyrical Depths). Got a tongue lashing from some for my arrogance but I, too, felt people were wasting our time posting first draft type lyrics for review. Why bother posting when it was going to get a major re-write? They would then post the re-write for more reviews and continue posting with more updated lines. To me, that's just using this site to get other people to do the writing. Just my take and I'm sure I'm gonna get some heat for this comment. I've been kind of laid back but was energized when I read your post. I'd also like to see the number of critiques increased to 4 before a post is allowed. This would further weed out the "hogs" as you describe them and leave only the serious minded.

#21 User is offline   John Paragreen Icon

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 11:53 AM

Just skimmed through this,
one lyric a week would be a crazy idea,the board would sink like the Titanic, and what next, you posted last tuesday now you posted on monday, that's not fair, tuesday is your day, what a load of tosh,plus I notice some of the people shouting for it rarely post lyrics anyway,if you are half into writing lyrics you will know that they come in spurts, sometimes one or more a day and othertimes it's hard to write a satisfying line for weeks,I see nothing wrong with the way it is, let it be

getting back to the original thread, how to review lyrics
To me there is and never will be a (way) that will lend itself to everyone,god forbid, we are a community of all ages and backgrounds,and different experiences,a lyric might be the best thing since sliced bread to someone(many are) and a load of trash to me,And I'm sure my lyrics meet simmilar reactions,
human nature is such that it's easy to feel attacked when someone tells you something you dont like,whether it's a lyric or your haircut,and the nature internet is such that things can be said and blown totally out of proportion and context
Again the diversity of this board is what keeps it in my fave places list,I'll read a lyric that sounds to me like juvenile rant and wont comment on it, But I still enjoy seeing it,
ok that's the senior rant done,
all the best,john.

#22 User is offline   Billy Icon

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 12:33 PM

View PostJohn Paragreen, on Apr 28 2009, 12:53 PM, said:

plus I notice some of the people shouting for it rarely post lyrics anyway,if you are half into writing lyrics you will know that they come in spurts, sometimes one or more a day and othertimes it's hard to write a satisfying line for weeks,


I couldn't agree more! In many ways, at least in my opinion, this site is the equivalent of a virtual classroom, where some of the students are new, some are seasoned, some are ambitious, some are content, and many others are just checking in from time to time. Under those circumstances, what difference does it make! It's a bit elitist to me to somehow determine who's the hog, who's not any good, who's "stealing" ideas from someone else. I truly don't see this as a major issue. Once again, I think Z. Mulls stated it best. He really captured the essence of the process and how it often times plays itself out. If you haven't read his post, I'd take a look. Ultimately, we won't all agree on this issue and I don't think it's that bad now, where we need to mess with it! I truly think you'll lose more members if you limit posts. People will drift away and never come back. Some may like that but it probably isn't in the best interest of the site! Power in numbers baby!

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#23 User is offline   Billy Icon

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 04:35 PM

R-N-R JIM,

I certainly admire your tenacity on this issue and I do think you make many valid points. However, I know for me, as a relative beginner a year ago, it would have been devastating to sit for a week before I could've posted again. It was much more helpful and a bit of a wake up call, to get called on the mat for some of my lyrics than it would've been to not post at all. Some of my initial responses were less than flattering but it helped me to grow as a writer. I'd hate to see the post limitations stunt the growth of aspiring or inspiring lyricists. You're right, it's not for everyone, and no matter how some may try, they may never become much of a lyricist, but who am I to make that call. I'd rather provide strong, direct feedback and critique to help make them better, than to limit their opportunities. If it's nothing more than seeing their name in lights, than there's not much we can do about that. You'll always have that element and sooner or later, they'll lose interest. The dedicated, interested one's wll stick around. I suspect they probably would with a 1 week limit as well, but I'm not so sure it would enhance the process. We're all different after all! We think, learn and act differently than one another, which makes us so unique. Otherwise, all of the lyrics would be the same I suppose! In closing, let me say that you really do make some good points here and I'm sure the powers to be are taking what you and others say into consideration!

Take care,
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#24 User is offline   Len Icon

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 04:39 PM

It's not all or nothing... it could be one lyric every three days for example ... but I wouldn't like to try policing that.

There is another way of course... (nicking an idea from another site) ... have a second lyric forum. When one forum gets too busy this other site just creates a new lyric forum to spread the load. They have three lyric forums last time I checked. Just a suggestion.
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#25 User is offline   kimberlyinnc Icon

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 05:55 PM

One thing that should be considered. Many people, such as myself, have been writing for years, yet signed on the site 6 months ago.
I had songs that never saw the light of day. Then a few that had been performed live years ago. So it may seem that someone is "writing" a song a day, but you need to also consider the songs are from years ago and now we want to share them. I started here with approx. 50 songs already. I never, except the first day, by mistake, posted more than one a day, and usually more time than that passes. The ones who say, I wrote this an hour ago, usually, one can tell it didn't afford much work. And it seems that sometimes those people do not take the time to crit. others. If it is all over the place and it seems to be a common occurance that the song seems to be thrown together, I may read it, but I don't tackle it, because I only have so much time. As everyone. When I feel a person is kind enough to read my stuff, comment, be helpful and also cares enough to appear to have tried hard on the lyric, then I will spend time on it.

As long as someone follows the rules, and is friendly, commited to helping others, then let them post. Some write faster than others, and for one person to decide, well, none of them are worth my time, it seems to be a broad decision while, I doubt all the lyrics from everyone have been read by that person. Just my opinion. I feel that as long as the person is crit. at least two for each song they post, then they are doing what is asked of them. It also seems that after writing posts and posts on the subject, quite a few helpful crits could have been posted instead. jmho...sorry if this ruffles any feathers. :unsure:

have a good one, Kimberlyinnc
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#26 User is offline   Jeff Knight Icon

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 06:16 PM

View PostJohn Paragreen, on Apr 28 2009, 12:53 PM, said:

one lyric a week would be a crazy idea,the board would sink like the Titanic,

I agree totally with John.
only thing u would do with this one lyric a week idea
is slow the pace of this site way down til it bleeds to death.
I know other sites have a 1-lyric per day rule
but a 1-lyric per week rule is forum suicide.

So my vote is a re-sounding NO
for a 1-lyric per week rule :)

#27 User is offline   John Paragreen Icon

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 06:41 PM

View Postrocknrolljim, on Apr 28 2009, 10:21 PM, said:

Hi Billy and John

Im glad that you guys shared alittle insight of why you would want to leave it the way it is. Sure, I too have had moments where I had quite a streak of good writing or productive writing as it were. But I never felt that I had to just litter the board with my lyrics or songs. As Ive said before, there is too much of a "look at me" attitude going on here in the forum than having the mindset of writing original quality lyrics that might inspire a songwriter/novice artist to put their lyrics to melody.

I know that if these post hogs were to actually go to an area songwriters meeting, they would think twice of just unloading drivel after drivel lyric at those meetings because they would get ate alive on how bad those lyrics really are.

Again, I could post 100 lyrics in a year, but 90 of them would be complete crap and I have alot more pride in writing quality, not quantity. Again, there is not one person out there that could come up with even one great lyric idea or finished lyric a week. If the quality was there, there would be alot of lyrics being picked up by melody writers like myself to put to music. And if there are lyric writers who are members at other sites that are unlimited, then whats the big whoop then?

They can get their,"look at me" fix there and Im sure that they'll still post here, but they will be more involved in the process than before because they might be more inclined to critique then too at this site.

I think the once a week posting should at least have a trial run. I hardly doubt the lyric forum would dry up like that. Theres too many people addicted to it already...lol. And more than likely the critiques and comments rate would go up as well.

Again, my suggestion is to improve what is already there. Post hog fatigue and burn out can be curbed by this simple 1 a week rule. And becuase of this rule, it could very well turn out to be a better quality site.

This site dry up? Never :)

just my two cents worth
R-N-R JIM

Jim where I disagree with you is the angle you're coming from, what's drivel to you might be someones heart spilled out in words, ok it may not have the structure etc required to fit a song, let alone one that suits you, and not every lyric will, and most every lyric will have some area that can be improved,
I know from experience sitting on a lyric and trying to get it(perfect) is painstaking and futile, because what's perfect to me can need improvement to someone else, the way we say things is different all over the world,
there is no way for a writer to change the way he or she writes other than experience,
I see the (just wrote this) I used to be like that,I soon learned to let it simmer a few days some a few weeks, but there has to be a point where it goes public,a recent one of mine had me spending hours and hours on one line, I settled for second best and posted it, got pointed out pdq, but a comment also offered an idea and it's rejuvinated my interest in it.
I don't see the board being littered by anybody, most of us regulars have around three or four, compared to the other two sites, the muse board is huge,plenty room for anybody who is prolific to post daily as per the present rules,but I've never seen it done,though me and Stew got close years ago.
there's no hiding place once you post a lyric no matter how much sweat you've put into it,chances are it will get shot at
I think some of the bullets can be gold as well as lead.
wow, it's past bedtime, I'm off to the land of nod
good luck,john

#28 User is offline   FunkDaddy Icon

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 07:04 PM

Why on Earth would you want to bottleneck a forum that barely gets traffic as it is? If you put a limit on the number of lyrics per week, the "Last post" date would stretch to the beginning of the month on the first page.

I think the critique forums police themselves just fine. If somebody posts too much without contributing anything worthwhile, their lyrics are either ignored or, as is my personal preference, critiqued with absolutely no sugarcoating at all. I don't see anybody posting just for attention in the critique forums, some people just need to realize that we catch on quick when they are doing nothing BUT posting lyrics for critique.
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Posted 29 April 2009 - 01:13 AM

Ok, I vote with Len - let's split the difference - 1 site for daily posting and another for one lyric per week and we'll have an honor system where you can't post in both sites at any time. We are, after all, all honorable right??? Someone made mention of time constraints and that is all important to me. I generally sign on after 9 and start getting the heavy eyelids around 10:30. I do like to browse the lyric site but with so much material I just don't know where to start. I'll look for a title I might enjoy and pay a visit. I'll read a few lines and either move on or hit the reply box to leave a review. I also like to see what some of the newbies offer but the last time I left a critique I got reported to the mods for daring to leave less than flattering comments for a lyric that was professionally reviewed and praised. I would prefer a slower pace where the one per week posting gave me time to read something before dropping out of sight in a couple of hours. My thinking is that this is where effort driven lyrics will appear. I'm not a prolific writer so I can see myself hanging out here. I think a 2 minimum review rule should apply here as well.

#30 User is offline   MysteryMike Icon

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 04:45 PM

Wow... I'm dizzy... I vote for everyone getting their own forum.... and nobody critiquing.... In each of their forums they would have subforums allowing for different genres and each of them further split between good, bad, and ugly... Of course each of those would have a music and lyric breakout... and maybe an instrumental only, but that is up for debate as a genre to itself.... catch me now I'm falling...

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#31 User is offline   Len Icon

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 04:56 PM

:) If I catch you Mike, would you tell us what you really think? You've been here a long old time - you must have seen a few of these cycles that z mentions.

Multiple forums work on other sites, seems like a reasonable idea when one forum gets too busy... Do you think it would work? Do you think there is a problem now?

Jim, sounds like you are grouping everyone together with that last post. There's folks here who are in songwriting circles and plenty of us who know what it takes to write a melody friendly lyric. We still like to post up experimental pieces anyway, it's a way of developing of course. Real world songwriting circles most likely review one song/lyric per month out of necessity not out of design. The internet speeds the process up, good or bad.

Regardless, a second forum is an idea with legs. I'll give Neal and Eddy a nudge, their views would be useful as well. It's all up to Jodie of course.
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#32 User is offline   Neal K Icon

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 05:35 PM

Wow, lots of stuff happening here. I prefer the self-regulation option over making more rules or another forum. There are several kinds of "Post Hogs" and new rules won't get rid of them.

Quite a few members post several lyrics per week. Most of the the lyrics aren't very good, and they are usually ignored. After a while, most of these members simply stop posting and the problem is solved. For those who keep posting, perhaps in our critiques we should suggest to these writers that they focus on quality rather than quanitity. If they get the same message from multiple members over and over again, they might get the idea.

But it's not like the forum is super busy. What harm is there in someone taking up a little bit of cyber space by posting a lyric a day?

So my suggestion is: keep things as they are in terms of rules and forums, and encourage members to self-regulate.

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#33 User is offline   Yamaki Icon

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 06:45 PM

View Postrocknrolljim, on Apr 29 2009, 05:36 PM, said:

First off, if we had an ADVANCED LYRIC FORUM...

I think this is a really good idea. :)

My thought is that there is no such thing as a bad lyric – just some that haven’t been worked on enough – and some that just don’t appeal to a particular person for whatever reason.

Currently, there are many that are being posted and obviously haven’t been worked on and developed enough to garner any interest as far as someone wanting to put them to music. Sometimes, they are actually pretty impossible to set to music unless there is a lot of work done on them, which is something some collaborators may not be into. It amounts to basically rewriting much of it in order to fit it to music. A new forum such as this might provide some real encouragement for people to see a reason to work on a lyric and develop it to the best of their ability. I write lyrics in order to develop them into a song. As poor as my playing and singing may be at this point, it’s fun, and I can’t imagine writing a lyric only to have it sit there.

I recently posted a lyric, it had been worked on quite a bit before ever posting. Then, in the lyrics forum, I welcomed critiques on it. There have been quite a few words and lines changed since then. Some of the changes were due to my rethinking certain aspects of it, but many of the changes resulted from some very good suggestions and comments I received in the forum. I have one line I am still trying to rewrite before I’ll call it done. (I think!) THAT I believe, is how most of us that post in the forum work, and we post in order to come up with something that we can use in the end, in whichever way we see fit. The forum is used as part of the process for developing the lyric. There’s some really good lyrics being written from what I see, but they need a little or sometimes a lot, of tweaking. Does that ever get done on some of them? Or maybe people just figure, why bother. If it’s a dud, it’s a dud. But if it’s good, it deserves to have some development and then find a home in a melody somewhere!

This new forum could be used for lyrics like that, ones that have been honestly worked on and developed and are ready for music. ‘Here’s my lyric, it’s the best I can get it, it’s now done. I am looking for music – anyone interested?’ That sort of thing.

All the lyrics that are in the current lyrics forum are NOT always written by people that are looking for music. Some do their own music. My reason for posting there would be to get critiques, not necessarily for someone to pick it up for collaboration, although that is a possibility since I pretty much suck at playing and singing and want nothing to do with all that production stuff!

So, if someone is specifically looking for lyrics to put music to, there is a lot of sorting through to be done. 1) First off they will have to go through many, many lyrics that are nowhere near completion and ready for collaboration. In fact, they probably never will be because it is actually not that often that I see rewrites posted. Some people do it, and it is rather nice to see the lyric unfold into something really good.. 2) After that, they are going to have to sort through the ones that are a usable lyric for them, and find out if they have actually been written by someone that would be open to a collaboration, and not written by a musician who is going to use it him/herself.

I can sense Jim’s frustration. If you don’t visit the site often you are going to have to spend a ton of time going through lyrics in order to find something that appeals to you and is ready for music. Lyrics get posted very regularly (which is good!), but if you happen to come only, say, once a week, can you imagine the amount of new ones, old revised ones, etc. that you would have to go through. I think it would work well to have some place where people’s good, finished, ready for music, lyrics could be.

Can you imagine someone who has never visited the site before, thinking they
might be able to find some good lyrics and collaborate with someone on them, and then stepping into the lyric forum? I’m not knocking the forum – it is great, it is a place to work on lyrics, learn, and develop them into something great. But for someone looking for some good lyrics and something that works for him or her – that type of purpose isn’t served well at all. There are lots of good ones, I know that, but I only know that because I am here often and am able to see them as they happen.

There are most likely a ton of lyricists around here that would love to have someone set their lyrics to music. If there was a forum, with some good guidelines, I think this would allow for that to happen more often. People might put a little more effort in the development end of it as well, knowing that there really are musicians looking for good ones. Possibly the current Collaboration forum could work for this if it were changed a little, I have no idea. I have only been there a couple of times, there doesn’t seem to be much action, and it seems to serve a different purpose than what is being suggested here, and there is probably a need for that as well.

#34 User is offline   MysteryMike Icon

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 09:02 PM

View PostLen, on Apr 29 2009, 04:56 PM, said:

:) If I catch you Mike, would you tell us what you really think? You've been here a long old time - you must have seen a few of these cycles that z mentions.


What? You didn't take me seriously.... damn, called out again..... okay, zmulls summary is fairly spot on as to the evolution of the lyrical poster... For the most part, I don't see a problem with it, especially when they share their backlog... Good, bad, advanced, beginner... terms that are defined in the eyes of the beholder... if I didn't think a lyric I wrote was at least good, I wouldn't be posting it.... Don't remember anyone ever saying, "hey, take a look at this awful lyric I wrote, any thoughts how to make it worse?".... People like their own work, and those that post often don't see it as substandard... maybe it's the best they have to offer - so therefore awesome and beyond compare... but truthfully I haven't seen many posters lately that are of the ego-trip variety...

I believe about 4 years ago there was a Professional Song Critique forum... the "pro" ended up being a scam artist and ripped off a few Musers for some serious cash.... to quote my dad, "believe nothing that you hear, and half what you see".... An Advanced Critique forum is a not a good idea in my opinion - who is the judge and jury to make that call.... and a bailiff to police it all....

Quote

Multiple forums work on other sites, seems like a reasonable idea when one forum gets too busy... Do you think it would work? Do you think there is a problem now?


No, if I scan down the first page, I see lyrics from the past 5 days - not sure how much people want to see, but it seems fine to me.... I took a sampling and not many I would consider Advanced.... they lack a hook, repetition, smooth rhyming.... chances of a musical collaboration for these become slim, because you more than likely need someone to really "get it" to want to take it on.... And if I was a musician (which I'm not) looking to collab with a lyricist (which I am), I would probably not be looking at a persons current lyric to determine compatibility... See what they've produced in the past through collaboration... I do the same when stalking a musician, do they have that certain 'feel' I'm looking for...

Quote

Regardless, a second forum is an idea with legs.


Not sure what a second forum accomplishes... instead of hitting the next page button, you click on a different forum?

You're never going to please everyone to the fullest.... so I think it best to keep things simple and inviting - otherwise you start cutting off the pipeline...

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#35 User is offline   MysteryMike Icon

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 10:24 PM

View Postrocknrolljim, on Apr 29 2009, 10:05 PM, said:

You answered my question with,"not anything here I would see as advanced." because there is too much uninspired posting going on. LESS is more my friend...and for most of us in the north when the weather gets nice, we spend less times indoors. We value our lives outside of this site alot more than one would think :)


Okay, I'll play devil's advocate.... what happens when the same people post the same (what you call) uninspiring lyrics on an Advanced forum instead of the current one? Do we cry FOUL!!!!

Quote

You see, with the advanced lyric forum, I would certainly hope that the cream would rise to the top. Heck if 20 people posted 1 song each week of high quality lyrics, I could actually look at them and see at my own pace what ones really have any promise. I think those writers that have gotten over the "look at me" phase and want to write really good awe inspiring lyrics will greatly benefit from this experience.


Maybe there isn't much cream to begin with... just curds and whey that the Muffet chick is dealing at the corner tuffet....

Quote

I think more melody or songwriters would gravitate to this site because they too are put off by the quantity posting that goes on in the lyric forum. I think there could be some good lyric writers out there, but because they might post so much(for the wrong reasons), perhaps there best stuff has been posted already and their now just treading water and out of ideas. With posting once a week of their best lyric, I could better judge them.


I don't totally agree with the Less is More philosophy.... I've been on many sites that have lyric sections.... some of them you can watch tumbleweeds blow by.... less collaboration occurs.... quantity does make for a variety of choice.... yes, there will be people that post often with little improvement, but them posting once a week doesn't make them any better.... it just makes it less...

Just my 4 cents.... now together we have 6 cents... but you knew I was gonna say that, didn't yah?

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 11:07 PM

ok, let's not call it an advanced forum. Let's just define it as a pool of completed lyrics (keeping the 1 post per week requirement) where melody writers can visit to pick and choose. No critiques will be be given unless the visitor chooses to leave a comment. No bumps unless it's by a visitor. While we're at it why not have a similar pool for melodies that the lyricists can visit and hook up for a collab. Hey, I like giving my opinion cause it only costs 2 cents. What are we up to now 8?

#37 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 11:56 PM

Ummm... how would the lyrics qualify as being "advanced"? Would we have "advanced" critics judge all lyrics to decide whether they would be allowed in the advanced forum? What about the lyricists that are not advanced in their writing, but not beginners, either? Let's institute a "Mediocre" for us "'tweeners"...

#38 User is offline   Bruce N Icon

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 12:13 AM

Quote

Hey, I like giving my opinion cause it only costs 2 cents. What are we up to now 8?
Well I'd add my 17 cents worth, but you guys would probably blow it on that two-bit hooker down the street, seriously I don't find anything wrong with the present set up, it may seem like a lot to go through if you're only dropping by every few months or so, I haven't been on here for about 6 days and I've been on here for the past hour and a half and I'm only half way through catching up on the whole site.

So yeah if you're only dropping by once in a great while, it can all seem rather ambiguous with respect to all the postings, myself I usually drop by every day or two, takes maybe an half hour to check out everything, sometimes I'll leave a comment other times not.
If I'm interested in following the progress of a particular lyric, I'll scan down the list of lyric posts and OMG, I have to click to the second page!!!!!! (sarcasm)

As for only allowing a 1 lyric per-week threshold, how in the world would that automatically make them a better quality lyric ???
And like what's already been mentioned earlier, some musers tune into a select group of musers while others follow other select groups of musers, it's never been a problem for me to follow or wade through all the postings, but then again I'm here at least every second day, in fact I sometimes wonder where is everybody??, and how come there's hardly any new postings. This site is like anything else in this world, you get out of it what you put into it.
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#39 User is offline   FunkDaddy Icon

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 01:40 AM

View PostSalley Gardens, on Apr 30 2009, 12:56 AM, said:

Ummm... how would the lyrics qualify as being "advanced"? Would we have "advanced" critics judge all lyrics to decide whether they would be allowed in the advanced forum? What about the lyricists that are not advanced in their writing, but not beginners, either? Let's institute a "Mediocre" for us "'tweeners"...


Exactly. If we had an advanced lyric forum I'd be the only one qualified to post anything in it and I'd get lonely.
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#40 User is offline   Len Icon

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 02:10 AM

If a second forum is to work, here are some suggested guidelines.

One lyric per week ("the slow lane" bit)
- Lyrics will be on the page for longer, a focus on quality rather than quantity

Post lyrics that you have taken as far as you can ("finished" as far as the writer is concerned)
- That's down to the writer and there will still be a range of quality in the lyrics. But reviewers will measure the lyric against a higher standard. That's not an excuse for rude, offensive, sarcasic or cruel reviews - "firm but fair" is the guideline.

The purpose of the forum is to review lyrics that are looking for collaboration or the writer thinks is ready for a melody.
- This is actually crossing over to the songs in development forum that has just started up. Some of the discussions were about whether a separate Lyrics looking for Collabs was needed. This new forum might meet that need. I've stuck up a lyric there that is gathering dust. This new forum might be a better place for it. I might get a collab or I might get a quality critique about why it's not getting a collab.

- Finished Lyric forum (any other suggestions?)
Call it Completed Lyric, or something, but calling it Advanced or Pro is difficult.
You can't try to filter any lyrics out - no one gets to be Simon Cowell here. He's got the job and does it better than any of us. And he's a Brit so most of you are not qualified ;). As Salley says, who gets to decide what is advanced? That's subjective and probably only Funk will make the cut. All we can do is to set up a place with a diffferent dynamic and see if it suits a different audience.

Mike, you can stop spinning now. Interesting that there was a Pro forum back a while. I don't think we should call it Pro as probably no-one qualifies for that title here (who here IS a full time paid musician?). Call it the Slow Lane, call it Completed Lyrics but don't call it Advanced or Pro. That's subjective.

Any new forum needs a moderator. The work will be less than Lyrics but it still needs a hand.

I don't know if this would work; I suspect that it will sink like a stone after a few weeks. However, nothing wrong with trying and accepting that it might fail. If it works, then great.
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Posted 30 April 2009 - 08:15 AM

I'm a little torn on the idea, but if it's easy enough to do and there are interested parties who plan on participating in and moderating this forum, why not? It's worth the experiment. It can't hurt! It might even give some lyricists something to shoot for. Knowing when your ready for a more advanced posting is certainly subjective as well, so it could be a bit tricky. This may work better than the current collaboration forum, which is pretty much dead in the water. As it was explained to me many months ago, on this site, most musicians will seek you out for collaborations based on your lyrics and not the other way around. Unfortunately, the collaboration forum is like a ghost town and when it is visited, it's very infrequent. More serious collaborative efforts may result from this new forum. Who knows? Like I said, I'm a bit skeptical, but it doesn't hurt to give it a shot. If this is something that the powers to be decide to try, let me know and I'll share some further ideas about how it could be structured. For now, I'll just wait and see what happens. I really don't want to expend a lot of energy on such a thing if there aren't plans to make it happen. Has anyone ever read Who Stole My Cheese? It's essentially a motivational story about two groups of mice, that find themselves in a room filled with what appears to be a lifetime supply of cheese. However, one of the groups realizes that the cheese is not being replenished as it is eaten, thus they begin to make plans to move on once the cheese is gone. The other group is content to just eat what's there and they never look ahead towards the future. In the end, they find themselves alone in an emply room, cheese-less, finding out that the other mice have since moved on. Change and adaption are rarely a bad thing. We don't want to find ourselves cheese-less do we?

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 09:17 AM

Priceless story.... reminded me I need mouse traps....

Even mice need to "look before they leap"..... I would say an inventory and evaluation of the current forums and their intended usage is more in need before adding one more to the mix... "What do we have to lose?" Well, you run the risk of fragmenting the site, creating confusion and causing disention... other than that, nothing...

I see a couple issues being brought up....

1. To many lyrics for the melody writer/musician (willing to collaborate) to scan through:

I tend to think this is a very small group of people, but definately not a group we want to alienate. I think the new Songs in Development would be a useful forum for this group.... If you have a bed track ready, submit it for lyrical auditions (feed the mayonaisse to the tuna fish!!!).... Once that forum gets going, you'll see that the lyrics and vocals are a pivotal point to get musicians on board... here me now, believe me later.... I don't think having a 'slow lane' helps this group as much as they may think, unless they are looking for a lyric to compose to and not the reverse...

2. Quality of lyrics on the Lyric Critique section is substandard...

Well, I'm not sure the standard line is always clear... if someone is submitting more than 3 lyrics in a week, I would say they either have a lot of time on their hands or they're not putting the lyric through a pre-posting editing process... There is no way to fully 'police' this (nor should we try)... I'm not against increasing the posting period between lyrics, which I think is a more valid solution than creating a new forum...


3. What is the 'Songwriters Looking for Collaborators' forum for?

Beats me, mainly a dumping ground of one-off lyrical submissions and fly by night Musers...

It was an attempt a few years back to stimulate collaboration (the best parts were the contests), I think the new Songs in Development will take it's place....

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#43 User is offline   zmulls Icon

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 10:40 AM

Wow, is this discussion still going on?

Further take. At any given moment, the following classifications of writers are posting in the lyric forum:

1) People who have just found the site, and are excitedly posting a backlog of brilliant lyrics. They expect to be overwhelmed with compliments and offers to cowrite. For money.

2) People who have found the site recently and are looking at too many of their lyrics with 0 comments and/or not quite the encomniums they were hoping for. They are starting to read other lyrics, to crit them, and getting used to the breadth of the site

3) People who are starting to take more time with their lyrics, and are taking more time with them.

4) People who, sadly, are not good writers, but are pouring their hearts out and can at least be better

5) People who have improved their craft and are becoming better critiquers

6) Advanced writers who do more critiquing than writing and are giving valuable tips

There's overlap there, of course. Giving too much opportunity for the more experienced writers to play elsewhere changes the dynamic of the forum. You need that mix, from the eager entry-level to the wizened sages to get the right dynamic of learning and growing and sharing. If there is a supercool "Advanced" forum, you will separate the sheep from the goats too much.

Now, as for an "Advanced" forum, I would tend to think that would not be a great idea, for the above reasons. Also, setting up too many rules (rather than steering people to self-policing) is a recipe for internet madness. I'm not convinced an "Advanced" forum would be self-policing enough to admit only lyrics that most people felt were "Advanced."

But here's an idea. The "Silver Critiques" seem to be popular and have an energy of their own. Why not create a "Silver Critiques" thread (which is essentially "Advanced") and take them off the main Lyric Thread where they stick out too much. Have, say, 3 lyrics a week -- chosen by the moderator. For that week those lyrics would stay there, and beginners and experienced users would be encouraged to read and comment.

There could certainly be more than 3, and certainly more than 3 a week (maybe it's two batches of 3 per week) -- one does not want to overwhelm the moderator's time with reading and posting crits. The moderator would make sure that a) only "advanced" lyrics were accepted -- at least in his/her opinion -- for critique, and B) the cast of characters would rotate enough that every "advanced" writer would get their chance. This allows the moderator to control the flow, based on his/her ablility to keep up, and gives a controlled "advanced" forum.

The main downside is that the flow of lyrics to the "Silver" forum would discourage entries to the monthly comp. I might also suggest that anyone who had a "Silver" Critique in the month would be required to score the monthly comp.
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#44 User is online   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 11:06 AM

This has developed into an interesting discussion since my first posting, with good points raised on all sides of the debate.

Zmulls is spot on in his description of the process each newcomer goes through, in my view. I also agree that it would be a shame if newcomers were to dry up.

At the same time, it can be frustrating reading through a lot of lyrics that give the impression that they are not written with the intent of developing a song. I think that many of the writers in the Lyric Critiques forum are writing for an audience of fellow lyrci writers (i.e. the forum) and have little hope or expectation of getting actual songs out of each lyric.

Is that frustration enough to change that forum? Probably not. It serves a number of purposes. People do develop skills there (some more so than others) and there is a community and friendships that are built. A lot of people have learned a great deal from posting on that forum and it shows in the lyrics that they now post when compared to the lyrics that they posted when they started. The traffic on that forum is high. It is clearly serving a need. Maybe not the needs of everyone, but the needs of a significant number of people who enjoy this site (and hopefully contribute for its upkeep!).

That aside, would there be benefit in a new forum? I think that there could be.

I don't like the idea of naming it an "advanced" forum - even though that's what it might be. I quite like "The Slow Lane" (Song-ready lyrics seeking robust criticism).

I do like the idea of it being a forum in which people are restricted in how often thay can post a new lyric. This is largely because (hopefully) people will be more selective about what they post and because it is more likely that they will have worked on the lyric, reflected on it and developed it as far as they can before posting.

I also like the idea of this being a forum in which critiques are more robust. I'd like to see no "attaboy" posts - in fact, I'd like to see no posts that don't include either suggestions for improvement or offers to collaborate. No sugar-coating. No obvious "bumping" by posting "responses" to each critique separately .. possibly even banning any responses that don't include rewrites.

I'd also like this forum to be about lyrics being developed into songs (isn't that the real purpose of writing them?).

Maybe it should be in the new "Songs in Development" forum (or a sub-forum of that forum)?

One possible issue that might be of concern is whether some people would stop posting critiques in the current "Lyric Critiques" forum, seeing this new one as more fertile ground (and thus depriving some writers of useful feedback and learning opportunities).

I don't think this will necessarily happen. However, if it does to some extent, I think that the new forum could provide an excellent learning resource in itself. This is because there will be clearer examples of what works and what doesn't, and the ruthless(?) nature of the critiques will help show where the bar is set. It could also provide some nice examples of songs being developed from soup to nuts (I see Dena posted something showing the process that she and Will went through on one of her songs - which is interesting to read).

As to the perceived "problem" of people posting stuff that isn't ready into a new forum, I say "so what?". They will only be able to do it once a week, and will see their critiques, which could be brutal. I suspect that their next submission would be better. I don't think that a new forum should be elitist. Anyone can post there, but must accept the restrictions that apply and live with the kind of feedback they will receive.

My bigger concern is around who is going to provide the feedback. Some people are very good at providing feedback that helps a song to develop and others are less so. Sometimes (but not always) this is linked to the critiquers own skill and experience at writing. I know that I have posted lyrics and had very little useful feedback beyondthe postings of a handful of the same people (I could name them, but won't!). I do hope these people would participate in a new forum, too!

It will require some heavy moderation I suspect. Feelings could be hurt (which is fine), and people don't always react well to that! :)

I'd be interested in seeing it piloted at least.
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#45 User is offline   Billy Icon

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 11:53 AM

As far as adding additional ideas and feedback to suggest how this potentially new forum should be setup and operated, I defer to Alistair and his most recent post. It couldn't have been said better. In fact, between him and Z. Mulls, I think they've summed this up quite nicely, essentially incorporating everything that everyone else has said. I agree, that this could be an exciting new addition to the site with a lot of upside potential. I also agree that the site will in essence, police itself. Although it will need a good, strong moderator to oversee it, like Alistair said, anything that is not ready or is unsuitable for this forum will quickly be exposed as such. That's not such a bad thing. I've gotten my share of criticism for underdeveloped, misdirected and vague lyric writing, which continues to help me grow. In fact, it just happened yesteday. I don't view that as a bad thing but rather another step in the right direction. I also don't think that should exclude me from posting on this forum. It will make me a bit more hesitant to throw up a first draft, which in some cases is important to me. THe draft and the feedback that follows is an important piece of the puzzle for me. That's why I don't enter too many contests on this site because most of my material needs to go through the editing process first. It's the ideas and suggestions I receive that help me to fine tune my material. I'm not seasoned or skilled enough yet to do all of that on my own, although I'm making progressive strides in that area. Therefore, for me personally, most of my material will still be posted on the lyric forum first. Then, with additional rewrites and crafting, I might venture into the new site. I see it as a multi-faceted process. If I find that something I've written starts to develop and strengthen in the lyric forum, I might look to get additional feedback or suggestions in the new forum as well. Unless, I feel as though the same people would be viewing the lyric which wouldn't make all that much sense. For me personally, the new area might not be a place that I post my own lyrics very often but rather a place I visit to see what others are doing, how they're posting, what they're posting and how the overall process is working. I'm sure I'll contribute to that process as much as I can as well. For me, and I suspect for others as well, I'll only post there when I think it's appropriate to do so. Some common sense and self awareness is going to be essential to ensure that this new forum gets off the ground and works in the way that others have envisioned it to work. I also expect that we'll all look at it a bit differently and have various expectations of how it should operate. Personally, the more I think about it, the more I think it's a good idea. I like the idea of it being a part of the new song development forum. I think they'll work hand in hand. I'd also consider scrapping the collaboration forum all together. It's really not that relevant in it's current form! It'll be interesting to me to see how this all plays out.

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#46 User is offline   MysteryMike Icon

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 12:29 PM

'atta boy!!!
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#47 User is offline   Yamaki Icon

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 12:35 PM

View PostMysteryMike, on Apr 30 2009, 01:29 PM, said:

'atta boy!!!


That's the extent of what you have to offer?? :lol: A pat on the back?? :lol:

#48 User is offline   MysteryMike Icon

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 12:57 PM

View PostYamaki, on Apr 30 2009, 12:35 PM, said:

View PostMysteryMike, on Apr 30 2009, 01:29 PM, said:

'atta boy!!!


That's the extent of what you have to offer?? :lol: A pat on the back?? :lol:



Pretty much I'm here for the free snacks and to be Jodi's boy toy.... I've had little luck accessing either.... ;)

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#49 User is offline   eddy Icon

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 01:26 PM

ok, first off, the Blackhawks start thier semi final round against the Vancuver Canucks tonight.
the Bulls are playing the Celtics in game 6
the Cubs suck.
don't care about the Sox.

also..... i don't mind the idea of another forum for more "finished lyrics".

i like the present forum the way it is. i'm not to keen on "90% of the lyrics are crap and not worth reading" hey, who voted you king lyric.
that's all i got
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Posted 30 April 2009 - 02:20 PM

View PostBio Sample, on Apr 30 2009, 12:13 AM, said:

Quote

Hey, I like giving my opinion cause it only costs 2 cents. What are we up to now 8?
Well I'd add my 17 cents worth, but you guys would probably blow it on that two-bit hooker down the street, seriously I don't find anything wrong with the present set up, it may seem like a lot to go through if you're only dropping by every few months or so, I haven't been on here for about 6 days and I've been on here for the past hour and a half and I'm only half way through catching up on the whole site.

... it's never been a problem for me to follow or wade through all the postings, but then again I'm here at least every second day, in fact I sometimes wonder where is everybody??, and how come there's hardly any new postings. This site is like anything else in this world, you get out of it what you put into it.


I've been following this thread. I think Z and Alistair have summarised things well, but I'm on the same page with BioSample. As a "melody writer" looking for potential lyrics to "melodize" it really doesn't take long to scan through even several pages of the forum. It's usually obvious within seconds when something is not really a candidate. The one lyric per week (average?) thing makes conceptual sense, but I think this aspect gets de facto self-policed anyway, as has been pointed out. When I post a lyric, since I am invariably the composer, it's to get feedback whether the whole lyric idea is working. It's usually at the second or third draft stage (with things usually ultimately going at least 10 drafts) so I guess they are never posted as "finished" or "advanced."
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