Songwriting Subforum?

Discussion in 'Feedback & Suggestions' started by asher, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. MatthewLeisher

    MatthewLeisher Ghostmaker

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    I came here to post this exact suggestion! I think a songwriting subforum would be amazing. There have been so many instances where I wanted to talk about writing but there's no place to do it :(
     
  2. Kroaton

    Kroaton SS.org Regular

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    Came here to post this as well. A [Collaboration Forum] would be amazing , seeing how varied and diverse our community is and how much talent there is out there.

    I think the lack of such a forum hinders the ability of a lot of individuals from finding online collaborators and as such a lot of amazing musical potential to be squandered.

    Skyharbor is a great example of notable users from our community finding each other through the Recording Studio subforum and puting something together that we all ended up enjoying.
    Imagine how much more music of that caliber could and would be made if the process was streamlined.

    We could have topic tags such as [Musical Instruments]/[Genre]/Looking for...[Object of Interest] to make the acces to vital information as
    legible as possible.

    ex: [Drummer/Producer]/Jazz-Djentstep/Looking for clean vocalist

    Do the SS admins even read these anymore?
     
  3. Osorio

    Osorio SS.org Regular

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    +1

    I've considered, a couple of times now, trying to kickstart a "Compositions: Work In Progress" thread in the Theory forums, but the idea feels somewhat odd and disjointed. I image a lot of people would post their work and would fail to criticize others in a just manner, also that a few people could actually make substantiated suggestions as to compositional quality.

    The idea of a place where lyrics can be discussed is also pretty interesting, though I would particularly never ever use it.


    If it already existed and was canned, maybe this would be a good time to revisit? A songwirting mega thread sounds super cumbersome to navigate throw, as several posts are generally needed to get anywhere in terms of compositional advice. Imagine a lot of people asking for feedback in multiple pieces that are all probably vastly different all at once...

    EDIT: The collaboration idea is ace as well.
     
  4. tyler_faith_08

    tyler_faith_08 Strings of Chaos

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    I'm against the mega thread for the simple fact that after it gets to a certain point, everybody just skips to the end. I am for a sub-forum. I'd do everything in my power to contribute as this is where my largest interest lies. I've got at least 4-5 topics in mind now. This would be amazing. I really do think that this is the only major thing the forum is lacking.
     
  5. inaudio

    inaudio Hack Fraud

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    I've long been looking for a place where I could share songs I've been working on with other musicians who are genuinely interested in developing their song-writing. I hatched a very rough idea of how such a thing could work. There would be two types of threads:

    “{Username} Progress Thread”
    - Every user is entitled to create one
    - Post updates of your songs as they progress
    - Other users give feedback and constructive criticism on your work

    “Finished Songs {Genre}”
    - Different threads for different genres (necessity depends on amount of users)
    - Once a song is finished in a progress thread it may be posted here
    - These threads would make browsing through finished songs very convenient

    Of course there would need to be a few common rules and regulations to make this all work. Here's a few ideas:
    - Every time you post in your progress thread you must PROPERLY give feedback on the latest work of at least 2 different people
    - Any spiteful commenting would be sanctioned accordingly
    - Everyone is entitled to get at least some feedback on their work
    - ???

    It would probably be a good idea to test drive this arrangement (after some initial sketching) with a small group of people interested in actively participating in this sort of a thing. What do you guys think, could this work?
     
  6. Osorio

    Osorio SS.org Regular

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    This is going to be long. Apologies in advance for the wall of text. I feel very strongly about some of these topics:

    While the other idea is absolutely excellent and should be implemented right away, I could (and will) point out some of the issues which would arise from this one, as well as some of the rules you stated further down:

    1. People here seem to have a bit of a habit on wanting to be different and going against labelling and categorizing as if their lives depended on it. This sort of approach could VERY easily escalate to about 5 threads of different "Djent" type songs, all kind of simillar but not exactly the same. Or worse, an avalanche of things ending with "core" that for whatever reason the OP thought it didn't belong in that other thread with "core" in the title but sounds exactly like it... This would immensely clutter the forum space and end up needing some heavy moderation.

    2. If the song is finished, composition wise, it is time to go to the production forums and discuss the song there, since what is left are technicalities. Of course, the thought of having multiple production threads sorted by genre would also be pretty appealing, since some people are better at producing some stuff than other stuff; however, it opens up to all the problems above, unless you funnel stuff down to "Metal", "Rock", "Jazz"... But that almost instantly loses the appeal of the idea. At least to me.

    3. DISCLAIMER: This concerns more the rules, and I understand these are some pretty bleak looks (and mostly assumptions) on the community, but I believe them to be of importance nonetheless:

    I think it is an outright bad idea to impose people to give feedback on the work of others. It is my guess that this would generate (more often than not) either unnecessary pats on the back, or mindless nonconstructive comments.

    Most of my morning today was spent reading some threads on compositions and works of others... And I'll spare the lecture and say that it wasn't very pretty. A lot of people are petty about their work and don't take criticism well while some people just don't seem "qualified" to give an honest opinion. You would imagine that people who go to a composition forum would be willing to be open to learning, but after seeing many threads in the theory forums about modes go south because people seem unwilling to learn, but ready to teach, I think it is best to just let people who just want to get their work picked be. In the end, everyone will benefit from it, even if it gets off to a very slow start.
    There is also a lot of taste involved in criticizing composition, and the ability to get what the composer was going for. I've recently posted in a thread where the OP asked for some advice on his composition, and he was OBVIOUSLY going for a dissonant feel on a certain part... One of the replies he got was "you played bad notes there. They don't fit. You should play nicer notes". How useful is that comment to the intent of the composition? I don't doubt the poster was trying to be helpful, but he lacked the knowledge to understand that it was intentional.

    Can you imagine what would happen if somebody was to want criticizing on a atonal piece and people where required to give feedback?

    "I don't get it."

    "Sounds bad."

    "No soul."

    "Hey, I have no idea what this is, but cool riffs man!"

    ... I would rather leave it to people that want to say something because they can add to the discussion, rather than to sit through people that have to say something for their own sake.


    ---
    HAVING SAID ALL THAT: I'm absolutely interested in giving all of this a go. I still think it would be awesome if we, as open minded composers who want and are prepared to take feedback on our work, had our own little section to be in (I also refer back the issue with lyrics, which have no real place to be, and it would be awesome if they did). Maybe assign someone to take care JUST of that section while it develops? (Is this possible?) Maybe in a few months we can see where everything is at and either can it again or let it go for some more driving.
     
  7. muffinbutton

    muffinbutton knows the muffin man

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    I think a songwriting subforum would be a cool idea.
     
  8. inaudio

    inaudio Hack Fraud

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    These were all excellent points! Initially I thought that the commenting rule would be there to promote a "fair play"-atmosphere, but now I see that wouldn't necessarily be the case. And I agree that discarding the "Finished Songs" thread is for the best. It was more of a romantic idea of having a place where people could browse through music that members of the community had created with the aid of the sub-forum.

    Related to this comment - do you think that it would be a good idea to have a short recommended list of simple questions that would elaborate what the writer was going for with their piece? And once again, thank you for the excellent post!
     
  9. Osorio

    Osorio SS.org Regular

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    I'm not sure I get it. You mean like a "form" the OP could answer to better direct feedback?

    Let me put it like this: I don't think someone saying that they meant X will stop people from saying they should be doing Y.

    One of the threads I read earlier today was from a person that posted a track. A "neo-classical-shred" song. The first reply was in the lines of "Sounds mechanical and lifeless to me". The OP made an extensive retort featuring names of pieces by Mozart, Chopin and whoever else as justification for his intention. Now, mind you, I thought the OP was on the rude side, but he communicated his intentions quite clearly.
    Pretty much every post from then on were from people saying that his song had no soul because it was all just fast arpeggios. In turn, he was somewhat super-quick to slander people for being ignorants and not understanding the subtleties of his style...

    Personally: I listened to the song, and honestly thought it was boring. It was technically impressive but was a very stale composition. It amused me that he would compare himself to Chopin because both of them used arpeggios in their compositions... I thought about commenting on it but the thread was old and I decided to ignore it.

    I'm relaying this incident because, to me, it epitomizes how wrong something like this could go, regardless of how well thought out it may be. It is a good example because it shows lack of foresight on both sides of the fence, something I think is very likely to be repeated.


    As I see it... Compositional intent is more often than not clear as day. People that don't get it by hearing the song won't really pay attention to "attachment text" before they proceed to t(h)rash something. Sure, that's not to say that people who want to write up on their songs can't. I believe most would out of their own volition.
    I just can't see it as being an obstacle to people set on giving "bad" feedback.
     
  10. inaudio

    inaudio Hack Fraud

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    I do see your point and how easy it actually can be for this whole thing to go terribly wrong. I'm just having a hard time coming up with how these incidents could be avoided with low-to-no maintenance solutions. Do you have any ideas?
     
  11. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    The only way to avoid that, though, is to not put your music out where people can hear it to begin with. If the music is out there anywhere (YouTube, Facebook, wherever) you'll get those kinds of dumbass comments. The key is to learn who's opinion to listen to and who's to ignore and then apply that knowledge.
     
  12. Osorio

    Osorio SS.org Regular

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    Yeah. This.

    Sorry, I didn't mean to sound counter productive. I'm not really advocating that something shouldn't be done because it will attract people with the wrong intentions. I'm more like saying that it should be done regardless, but some avenues are better than others.

    Your original idea of member threads is excellent, for example. The problem could be solved right there... It is just a matter of implementing it. People who want to comment, will; bad comments will likely happen but we will all move on, as these are most easily identifiable.

    I'll put this to the test once I have something worth showing.. I'm currently in the process of writing some orchestral adaptations of ambient music. I'm very eager to hear some feedback on this, but I need to shape it up more before it can go anywhere.

    You should do the same. Get material and get it out there. It may be worth linking back to this thread so that people can understand what the hell is going on and where the thread format is coming from though. I'll be sure to drop a line if I hear something that I believe I can be helpful with.

    It would be nice if we could get "mod approval" on this though, so it doesn't look like we are just cluttering the forum with self reference.
     
  13. tyler_faith_08

    tyler_faith_08 Strings of Chaos

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    If the mods see that there are more people for the idea, it has a higher chance of coming back.

    My solution:
    Songwriting
    --techniques, methodology, etc.
    --critique
    --completed
    --misc (within songwriting)
     
  14. inaudio

    inaudio Hack Fraud

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    Before any action is taken, I'd like to see two things happen:

    1. Mod approval - like venneer pointed out.

    2. Formation of a small "test" group - I personally think that it's crucial to have a small active community at the very beginning to ensure momentum. As much as I do admire leading by example, I'm sure that it would encourage more people to join in if there was a proper core community from the get-go,
     
  15. Osorio

    Osorio SS.org Regular

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    I agree, and definitely sign me up for this. But how large do you think this group should be? I think this thing is destined to a slow start... But I also think that's pretty OK.

    As I mentioned earlier, it generally takes SEVERAL posts to get anywhere on compositional advice that has any substance. A lot of time could be spent on getting the first 2 or 3 submissions "right". Of course, I'm implying we would listen to suggestion, make changes and submit changes in a timely manner here.
    I've asked for advice on some stuff before but never returned to the thread with a finished result after a certain point because the advice was so solid that it made me reevaluate the whole thing and I ended up rewriting the piece completely :lol:

    Alas... I'm in the process of getting some shit done and "soon enough" (I don't know, a month?) should have some stuff ready for scrutinizing. But overall, I'm a VERY slow writer, and likely not a real source of material for kickstarting this endeavor in a reliable manner, as I know I won't put stuff forward until I think it is at least half decent, or stuff that I am having a particular hard time getting off the ground (as I have before). I mean, I write A LOT, I'm really getting used to producing volumes of work... But in the best style of Johannes Brahms, I also thrash most of it.

    Having said all that (sorry, I write a lot): I would comment if I find something that I can be helpful with though. I generally try to (even though it bites me in the ass sometimes).
     
  16. inaudio

    inaudio Hack Fraud

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    I think that a realistic goal for now would be to find 4-5 people who would be compatible and determined to see this work. By compatible I mean that every member should ideally be capable of giving substantial and useful feedback to the majority of other members. This kind of compatibility is extremely difficult to evaluate, but I think that we should be fine as long as all members are musically open-minded and don't utterly despise the kind of music the other members are making.

    Everybody writes differently but I think that this 'platform' would adjust well to that. There would really be no limitations as to how much of a song you'd have to have fleshed out before posting it in your thread - the feedback would conform to this naturally. This kind of a platform even offers the possibility to set time limits and constraints on your writing. You could challenge yourself to have something new to add to your song by every Friday for example. The important thing at the start would be for the members to be active in giving feedback. Yes, this would be time consuming but it's a price I'd personally be willing to pay for something like this.

    Don't apologize for writing a lot. It's inspiring to see that there are other people interested in working towards making something like this happen.
     
  17. Osorio

    Osorio SS.org Regular

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    I think our best bet for now would be to post on the General Music Discussion forums and Theory forums and link people back here. See how many of them are interested in the format and gauge some interest. Maybe someone can enlighten some solution we have ignored.
    I'd be willing to post about this on the Theory section, as I post there often. I don't think the same person should post both threads, since it could be seen as cross-posting, which is against the rules, so if you want to take a stab at the General Music Discussion section, feel free. Maybe having more people here will help with the mod endorsement?

    EDIT: I went on ahead and posted on the Theory section. Link: http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/mu.../247789-songwriting-subforum-alternative.html Let's see if people there are interested.

    I get this, and I don't generally mind spending the time giving feedback either. The thing is that a lot of the feedback doesn't really get a return, for so to speak. Again, I don't think that is a problem. I just think we should conform to the idea that a lot of these threads won't probably VISIBLY go anywhere. While I imagine that a lot of feedback is ignored a lot of the time, I also imagine some people, like me, take it to heart, study, and just don't update because they have understood their problems and are working to fix them.
    Again, I don't think this is a problem. I just think we should all be prepared to have some discussions that appear to be going nowhere. A thread should be understood as having succeeded for all intents and purposes when any person gives any substantial feedback, not when the OP "reports back".

    EDIT: I just remembered we are talking about user-centric threads. Disregard most of my thoughts, as the same user would update the thread probably a gazillion times with different works, instead of the usual "one thread per song" things we sometimes have around here. This just might work really well. It would also be a nice chronological development of the user for those who can get it going and stick with the program long enough. Cool stuff. I'm excited about it. Sounds ace the more I think about it.

    ---
    Having said all that: I just realized that this takes care of the "user demand" for feedback, but doesn't create a space for people to openly talk about songwriting and composition. Maybe, coupled with the implementation of user-centric threads, separate Lyrics and Composition mega-threads could be implemented. THAT would make a lot of sense to me. Cover it from all the angles.

    Thanks. And thanks for the previous complements as well. I didn't address them sooner because we were sort of on a roll and I didn't want to derail the conversation, but I appreciate it.
     
  18. tyler_faith_08

    tyler_faith_08 Strings of Chaos

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    I'd like to sign up for the test group as well. I was thinking about it last night. What are the criteria for a functional, easy to use, successful sub-forum?

    These are my thoughts:
    -Topic separation and classification that is both effective and easy.
    -A list or format, by type of thread and content, of basic content that should be covered in each thread to ensure effective communication and required information
    -A "read this first" of do's and don'ts
    -establishing the line between what is a songwriting topic and what is a theory or technique topic
    -an effective method of reducing clutter

    We should backwards plan this... I really think this could take off. Maybe make one of the more well known theory guys a mod? One guy gets a thread for his music, not one for this song and that song and a song he wrote a long time ago, but ONE PER PERSON. Also, allow old thread revival or eliminate closing of threads in this area.
     
  19. Osorio

    Osorio SS.org Regular

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    Subforum is NOT going to happen. At least not for a real while, so preparing for it is kinda pointless. Go back to the main page and see that they state quite clearly that the chances of it being implemented are pretty much none, since it is not up to the moderation team. Even though I have joined the site officially in 2011, I've lurked this place since the 08s, give or take a year, and I have never seen a new moderator appointed in that time. Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but I really don't think it happened.

    What seems to be the ideal is to follow the format Biison has outline for user threads and creating respective Composition and Lyrics mega threads, as I outlined earlier.
    Maybe the best approach to this would be to have the Composition Megathread in the Theory forums and the Lyrics Megathread in the General Music Discussion forums. As much as I love a good poem, poems are not really music and I don't see how they could be counted as Theory. Or Technique.

    As far as user-centric threads go, people have very different approaches to their writing, and as such, try to pigeon-hole them into a format of how to post would be more counter productive than I believe it to be worth...

    The ONLY thing I definitely think needs to be standard is the thread creation process. The user would need to format their title:

    [user] compositions / songwriting (whichever is appropriate) thread.

    So, in my case: "venneer's composition thread". Since I don't write lyrics.

    Anything beyond this would just make the creation process more complicated than it needs to be. It is up to the user to decide how much information they want to give, for any particular song, what is enough and what is too much... Different styles and approaches would also probably require more or less information. So, yeah... I don't see the point of putting this much thought into it, specially at this stage.

    What we need is more people here, showing interest, and giving feedback on what they think it would work and what wouldn't (and why, obviously).
     
  20. AugmentedFourth

    AugmentedFourth X:1 K:C [c^f]|

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    I do like the "[user]'s composition thread" idea, and I noticed that you guys were talking before about trying to make it 'fair play' and make a rule that you have to critique 2+ other people before you post for your own compositions, how this probably would lead to non-constructive feedback, etc.

    It may be possible to do a similar system to the way they do it over at UG...
    Basically, when you crit(ique) someone, you may (or may not) ask for them to return the favor, and crit one of your compositions. (A link to your personal thread is helpful here.) Then that user is expected to do so as soon as they can.

    This allows for a direct 1-to-1 tradeoff, and somewhat of a choice as to who you want to crit your compositions, (e.g. you want someone who has a similar style to you, has a mature vocabulary, etc.) although anybody can still drop by your personal thread and crit you at any time.

    Potentially, yes, this could end up swamping one person with many a composition to crit, but I doubt that would be a problem here, and it also just comes as an implied part of creating your personal thread.

    Just an idea. :yesway:
     

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