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Writing songs over old backing tracks with own lyrics

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Writing songs over old backing tracks with own lyrics

Postby adeshady13 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:38 pm

Hi all,

I've been singing now for the last 10 years, I've just done covers and never really looked any further.
However I recently started to learn to play piano, of which I'm not very good at however I need to invest a lot more time into it..

However I've also recently taken to doing a bit of writing, not music just lyrics.

without knowing how to write actual music I've taken songs and used the backings for them and style to write in my own lyrics..
I thought it would be a unique way of putting my feelings down and I think it worked.
So far I wrote my leaving speech for a previous place of work using Take That's never forget and I wrote eulogy for my best friend who recently passed away, he was a massive Tenacious D fan, and so I changed the lyrics of Kickapoo to suit some of his key points in his life that we spent together etc..

Basically what I'm asking is if I wanted to progress whats the best way to go about it?
Taking a song that I know very well and changing the lyrics I find quite a challenging but at the same time I have direction..

How do I do it without that in place, or is it acceptable as just a writer to take the backing of a different song and change it to suit my lyrics??

hope this makes sense

Thanks
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Re: Writing songs over old backing tracks with own lyrics

Postby The Elf » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:53 pm

If you're just doing this for your own fun and education at home that's one thing, but if you aspire to doing anything with your creations beyond your four walls you could be in a world of pain.

Just go and make your own music - that way you'll improve at what you do and you'll also avoid doing anything that might drop you in the legal bear pit.
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Re: Writing songs over old backing tracks with own lyrics

Postby CS70 » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:16 am

adeshady13 wrote:Basically what I'm asking is if I wanted to progress whats the best way to go about it?
Taking a song that I know very well and changing the lyrics I find quite a challenging but at the same time I have direction..

How do I do it without that in place, or is it acceptable as just a writer to take the backing of a different song and change it to suit my lyrics??

If you want to progress as a lyricist, it's a perfect thing to do. It's quite hard to write lyrics which fit the music's rhythm and timing, are grammatically correct, have words with the right sound and also make coherent sense! It's a different skillset than writing music, and I would guess quite harder to come by. Plenty of lovely music around, not so much lovely lyrics!

If you want to progress as a music writer, it does still help - creation is most often not starting with a blank page, but about learning a lot of what's happened before you and then shape something new. By going thru (good!) songs in detail while writing lyrics, you get attuned to the interval changes, harmonic solutions, resolution, progressions.. Beatles' songs are a goldmine of ideas for example! (not sure about Take That!! :D :D)
You won't have any idea of what these structures are named but your brain doesn't need names - these are only for communication :)

If you want to publish.. the Elf says it all. It sounds like awfully complicated with all the rights etc. I've seen it done by for very specific reasons (say a football club anthem which is replacing words over a well known existing song) but you're making your life unnecessarily difficult.
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Re: Writing songs over old backing tracks with own lyrics

Postby ef37a » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:22 am

Stock in trade for many comedians. Can't remember, it was either Spike Milligan or Dudley Moore that did a spoof of 'I Left my Heart in San Francisco...'

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Re: Writing songs over old backing tracks with own lyrics

Postby ef37a » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:28 am

ef37a wrote:Stock in trade for many comedians. Can't remember, it was either Spike Milligan or Dudley Moore that did a spoof of 'I Left my Heart in San Francisco...'

And of course it can get VERY scatological!

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