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Complications In Your Mind

My name is Nate and I'm pretty new to singing. As of May 2019, I have finished my first song and I wanted to get feedback on my singing or just the song in general.


Cheers
Nate



Comments

  • samw2019samw2019 Posts: 2592.0 PRO
    Hello, I listened to your song that was great. I really liked it, I could hear a bit of Beatles in there, awesome. Being your first song I can't imagine how good your writing would be in future. I'm a song-writer myself and my first song wasn't anything near this, all the best!
  • Raphael_HusslRaphael_Hussl Posts: 692.0 PRO
    Hi Nate,
    sorry for not answering earlier to your post. But I still wanted to say well done, that's a very beautiful song! And the singing is also great, it sounds very at ease and refreshing. Maybe sometimes you could pronounce some of the consonants at the ends of words a little more clearly but overall the pronounciation is good and the words can be understood. I mean only to pay attention to that because sometimes words in the middle of lines can easily get lost a little. But the tone of your voice sounds very pleasant especially as you say you are still new to singing. I also like a lot the chord progressions you play on the piano. For example in the choruses, I like that part where the chords change in a way that you don't hear that often. You know the part where it goes: F - G - C - Bbmaj7, I like that you use the Bb chord here because in a lot of songs you would maybe hear C7 or Am in that place but Bb is a little more unsual and adds a lot of depth to the song. I like chord changes like this a lot. I agree with Sam that there's a little of that Beatles-vibe in there but overall it reminds me more of the solo John Lennon stuff. By the way, which bands and artists do you like? I also have to say it's a good song and a magnificent first song. Keep going!
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Posts: 6432.0 PRO
  • samw2019samw2019 Posts: 2592.0 PRO
    @Raphael_Hussl , Really nice that you can pick out the chords like, awesome! Going by what you said I guess it's some kind of modulation putting the Bb in there. The Beatles were masters at that and didn't have any theory training, I can't get my head around that. It's one of the reasons their music is so natural sounding and off-the-cuff I guess.
  • Raphael_HusslRaphael_Hussl Posts: 692.0 PRO
    @samw2019
    Yeah, I don't know if this technique has a certain name but it is like when a melody line within the chord progression is going to a particular note and you take out the chord that would normally be played over that note and replace it with another chord that also has that note in it but actually doesn't belong to the same key or mode as the other chords. So maybe it could be called some kind of modal interchange, I don't know if it's the exact correct word here. So here the melody line within the chords that I mean (at the transition from C to Bbmaj7) would be c - b- bflat and usually in a lot of songs the bflat would actually be just an extension of the C chord, so C7. Or another option you would also hear quite a lot in songs would be c - b - a, so a diatonic instead of a chromatic melody line and then going to Am on the a. But the cool thing about the solution in Nate's song is that with the Bbmaj7 chord you actually have both colours in one chord and you can either hear the melody line as c - b - bflat and going to the root note or as c - b - a and going to the major seventh of the underlying chord. That adds some kind of multidimensional feeling to a chord and it's cool because a lot of people would actually hear it one way or the other but would not find the actual chord that is being played. If this is used within chord progressions it also makes the chords transition into each other very smoothly and seamlessly even to a chord outside the key and gives the whole progression a kind of round feel. I can't think of a particular example right now but some of the Beatles' songs also have a similar kind of roundness to their chord progressions.
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Posts: 6432.0 PRO
    @samw2019 , @Raphael_Hussl , if you are interested in this stuff, you might want to check out Rikki Rooksbys books on songwriting. especially the "songwriting sourcebook".

    using Bb in in the key of C is quite common, you can see it as a flattened seventh degree (because the diminished chord which is the normal 7th degree is almost useless, the B is lowered and made into that chord). I think it is a blues thing, originally. it is a cool sound and I also really like it. as with a lot of theory, you can see it in different ways, so I am not disagreeing with the above, there are sometimes lots of different explanations that are all valid
  • samw2019samw2019 Posts: 2592.0 PRO
    @Raphael_Hussl , @Klaus_T , Nice one there I learnt quite a bit from these posts! Both are ways of looking at it that I wasn't thinking, of course with the 7th chord it's keeping some of the old chord/scale notes in there which creates that strange ("multi dimensional" is a good way of saying it) feel. And I think it could well be a blues thing where the normal rules of majors and minor scales don't apply. A lot of Small Faces songs I learnt (which "borrow" from old blues tunes) have a series of major chords that wouldn't normally be possible in the major or minor scale and it sounds awesome got a real magic sound to it. With a little bit of theory training I try to name a mode when I'm writing so as soon as I see the F C and Bb you'd think it was in normal F Major, but the G Major stops that from being possible and I can't place them all in 1 key. It might be an oversight on my part but some kind of blues thing seems likely with a modulation rather than a scale proper. Either way it sounds cool which is the point and props again to naming the chords I can't do that so easy. And that book looks interesting I'm going to look that up thanks. Peace!
  • Raphael_HusslRaphael_Hussl Posts: 692.0 PRO
    @Klaus_T , @samw2019 , It's true that there is a way in which the major chord on the flattened seventh degree is used quite commonly, it can be described as the subtonic from the mixolydian mode which is also used in blues and blues rock quite often. In every genre of rock and pop music songs are only very rarely in one mode the whole song. More often you find that some certain elements of modes, like for example the subtonic from the mixolydian mode are mixed together with normal major or minor tonality which also happens in the blues rock songs that use this chord. What I meant by saying that this chord change is not used that often in songs is more that in a chord progression with mostly normal ionian/major tonal elements you wouldn't expect a sudden switch to the mixolydian mode in that place. But it also fits together well with the key modulation between the verse and the chorus because the verse actually starts out in F major which has the same chords as C mixolydian. One surprising moment is when the F major chord changes from being the tonic to being the subdominant when it goes into the chorus and the other one is that switch to mixolydian I talked about which draws a line back to the tonality of the verse.
  • samw2019samw2019 Posts: 2592.0 PRO
    @Raphael_Hussl , Wow! It's great you are able to indentify it so well. I know it should be able to be named somehow with a mode or key, at least melodic music, (or what you're saying sounds like a local modulation for a bar or chord or two then back to the original key, I think anyway), but putting into practice with somebody elses music is not so easy. In my songwriting (sorry to divert form the original thread but it's sort of related) I'm trying to weld the jam based ideas of blues and rock with some classical based composing like adding harmony to a jammed riff I made up, and constructing chord sequences to varying degrees of success trying to find a good balance, but it's an interesting experiment I'm finding, using modes, the different minor keys and modulating to distant keys are some of the ways I get a different sound.
  • Raphael_HusslRaphael_Hussl Posts: 692.0 PRO
    @samw2019 , That sounds great! I still can't imagine how exactly the results could sound but what you're doing sounds like a very good exercise. In rock and pop music modes are everywhere, especially mixolydian and dorian (and of course ionian and aeolian which are just different names for major and minor) and if you study the modes you will get a very good understanding of how a lot of music works. I also think it can always be cool to combine classical music with harmonies that are typical for blues. On some occasions where I got to listen to some works by composers from the late romantic era by coincidence I was very surprised how jazzy or sometimes even bluesy some of the chords sounded.
  • doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Posts: 2,855Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management
    Hi @nathan_klawender,

    very nice song and you mates are having an interesting discussion.

    Doc
  • samw2019samw2019 Posts: 2592.0 PRO
    @Raphael_Hussl , Pop is more complex than first meets the eye a lot of times, especially the greats of each day. I've only started practicing modes on the guitar and the phyrgian mode straightway had a Flemenco vibe with the riff I was jammning out, it's hard to go back to clean major after using them! My system I'm working on is cool now I think (I'm enjoying it at least) and is best mostly jam based using old composing techniques for certain things (like adding a harmony to a guitar line or vocal), I tried doing the whole work in a pseudo-classical way but it sounded stilted and off and it's hard to compose rhythm for me. The Romantic era composers are off the wall good, I could see how they would sound jazzy using chromatics and strange rhythms.

    @doc_ramadani , Thanks Doc hope not to derail this guys thread but it's pretty related I hope, this guy is really good and a first song like that is amazing!
  • doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Posts: 2,855Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management
    @samw2019,

    don't worry, everything fine. This is what these forums are for. Exchange and learning from each other. I like this discussion.

    Doc
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Posts: 6432.0 PRO
    @Raphael_Hussl I agree with what you said about the flattened 7th degree chord being rarely used in progressions (as far as my knowledge goes, which is admittedly pretty limited). in the songs I know, it is used more as an effect for a prechorus or bridge (in fact, I am still delaying a co-op with @doc_ramadani where exactly that happens; I hope to finish this project soon btw, Doc). that is not to say it can't be used elsewhere, see above. you are really good at hearing this stuff, I hope with my current ear training schedule I will also be able to do that one day.
  • Raphael_HusslRaphael_Hussl Posts: 692.0 PRO
    @Klaus_T There are still plenty of rock songs that use it in their chord progressions, for example "Sweet Home Alabama", "Sympathy For The Devil" or "Don't You (Forget About Me)". These are all songs that have to some degree an affinity to the mixolydian mode as I mentioned before but you're right, this chord doesn't pop up in songs quite often if there hasn't been any mixolydian vibe somewhere before. Thank you, actually I have never been very eager to practice ear training but I somehow learned these things along the way by playing and listening to songs over the years. But good solfeggio skills will definitely help you a lot with this.

    @samw2019 Yes, I have also at some point experienced how difficult it can be to try to compose songs in ways that are different to the way you are used to do it. Just keep going, it sounds like you have some cool methods to play around and experiment, I think the most important ability you need to be able to find new interesting song ideas is an openness to try out new ways of thinking and having fun with experimenting. I think in long term it will always be beneficial in some way to occupy your mind with all these things even if there doesn't seem to be any goal to it at first. If you're having trouble with composing rhythm I can give you a method that maybe could be helpful.

    @doc_ramadani Thank you. I'm also glad that our long discussion is not perceived as being out of place.
  • samw2019samw2019 Posts: 2592.0 PRO
    @Raphael_Hussl , Thanks man I'm super game for experimenting and thnk I'm getting somewhere melodically but rhythm is not so easy, I can jam it out OK I think but I try to score a lot of music too and doing complex rhythms in that is of course possible but time consuming! What's this method may I ask I'm intrigued?
  • Raphael_HusslRaphael_Hussl Posts: 692.0 PRO
    @samw2019 It is actually not that unusual, I can send you two PDFs with some kinds of "rhythmic cornerstones" that you can practice and combine in different ways to compose rhythm.
  • nathan_klawendernathan_klawender Posts: 5Member
    edited September 7
    @Raphael_Hussl

    Funny you say that, my guitar instructor says that I kind of sound like Sean Lennon
  • nathan_klawendernathan_klawender Posts: 5Member
    edited September 7
    @Raphael_Hussl

    I would say my top 5 artists would be the Beatles, Queen, Billy Joel, Elvis, and the Beach Boys

    I have a few more songs that I’m working on
  • nathan_klawendernathan_klawender Posts: 5Member
    @samw2019 @Raphael_Hussl @Klaus_T @doc_ramadani

    Thanks for your feedback, it means a lot. I can't read music or know anything about music theory but your conversation is very interesting.

    -Nate
  • samw2019samw2019 Posts: 2592.0 PRO
    @nathan_klawender , No problem man, my favourite rock music is almost all written without music theory or writing notation so it's not important. I like the theory and notation because it gives me a birds eye view of my music but that doesn't make the music any better I say. Be glad to hear more of your compositions peace out
  • Raphael_HusslRaphael_Hussl Posts: 692.0 PRO
    @nathan_klawender That's very cool that you say you can't read music and don't know anything about music theory. I had expected you would at least have had some classical training on the piano. Did you also have an instructor for piano or did you learn it on your own?

    I didn't know much of how Sean Lennon sings but after listening to a song there is some similarity and I can see your instructor's point. He probably meant the smooth tone that also Sean sings a lot in and the overall colour of his voice. What I meant reminded me of John Lennon's solo stuff was how the piano sounds on the recording, the kind of acoustic sound and reverb it has but also some of the chords you play, like in the songs "Love" or "Imagine" for example.

    Cool to read your favourite artists.There is definitely a lot of good music by these ones and they're also great artists for songwriters. I think we all will look forward to hear some more songs of you as soon as you have finished some of them!
  • bentkbentk Posts: 1,218Pro, 2.0 PRO
    edited September 9
    Cool to see some people discussing music theory here! Just wanted to say that :)

    And thanks for sharing! @nathan_klawender I think you already got some great feedback etc.

  • @Raphael_Hussl
    I have had a guitar instructor but not piano. I do enjoy the piano more.
  • Raphael_HusslRaphael_Hussl Posts: 692.0 PRO
    @nathan_klawender I know this feeling from back when I first started with singing. At that time I already had been learning the guitar for seven years and had been called very talented by my guitar instructor but then after some time I more and more started to lose my excitement for playing guitar and over time felt that actually singing was what I wanted to do. So I believe it is important to listen to yourself and do what you enjoy most. At some points, especially in the beginning, it can feel as if things are a lot harder this way but I think doing what you enjoy most will always lead you on the right way. I never regretted that I didn't continue to work on my guitar skills to the extent of achieving virtuosity in favour of singing.
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