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JonJon

Happy Birthday Sugarboo - original song

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Hi all, been a while

 

Here is a nice little "one day wonder" I threw together the day before a friends birthday. Im mostly just sharing it to be sharing a song...no super heavy critiques needing because I havent been singing AT ALL since January due to personal life drama (hence the song.) So there is no technique shown at all in the song lol. Just a basic beginner voice that obviously has to work around a huge vocal break. There is zero bridging happening lol. I cant complain because, as I said, I havent had the mental focus to do any practicing since like mid January

Im not terribly disappointed with the singing but its nothing special either. I do despise the 3rd verse "you are the one"....you can hear that it was a struggle and needed another take. Unfortunately I knew I was pressed for time and ended up burning the midnight oil and got 2 hours of sleep before work the next day lol.

Other than that some of the diction isnt super clear (partially because im from Virginia and thats how we talk lol)...assuming maybe im missing some pharyngeal resonance? Sometimes it sounds to me like im singing against a low pass filter lol..or singing while holding my nose

If I were a REALLY focused and dedicated guy, id like to develop my voice into a strong old school rock type voice but also add in some of the nice soulful melismatic touches here and there. I touched on that in the bridge in this song but (obviously) I dont have it developed very much.

 

Side note for your enjoyment. For whatever reason I was having crazy upper stomach/diaphragm cramps all day long (choked down my breakfast way too fast). I know Steely Dan said "I cried when I wrote this song" but I LITERALLY was in tears right when I got into laying down the vocal tracks. I had to lay across the bed in pain a couple times and I almost just blew the whole thing off but I HAD to finish it that day. It is what it is I guess.

The drum track was programmed a few days earlier and most of the lyrics were written the day before. I say it was a "one day wonder" because when I started that morning I had no chords, no key (I was planning to do it in C but it ended up in A) and no vocal melody. So I wrote it, played guitar, bass and sang, and mixed it that same day. Unfortunately thats how I tend to work.

The thought I had at the start was to go in a sort of jangly Beatles direction but it didnt really come out that way.

 

With all that being said, here ya go. Enjoy....

 

https://clyp.it/2chj11qz

 

 

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There sure is some drama in your post above... :D I hope you are doing well now. :)

The song is cute. Problem for me is it is not romantic. "I wish I was there with you"...why aren't you? :P I can understand you in the song, which means your Virginian accent is not that strong there haha. It's cute; it has enough changes in the vocals and music as not to be boring.

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its not a happy "gee, we r together and in love!" song.

 

its pretty obvious that the girl has rejected him...

"I WANNA be the one" (but im not)

"id love to be the one by your side"  (but im not)

"id like to see you on your special day "  (but im not allowed etc)

"youre up there and im down here"  (2 hours away)

"to fall in love you gotta LET it be"  (dont kill it due to fears based on past failures or worries about making ends meet)

"I wonder if you know what im talking about" (you KNOW you feel the chemistry too! this would be great! )

 

if that songs not romantic I totally give up on life lol

 

 

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I didn't understand the part where it says "you are not allowed" or "were refused". I understood it as "Happy Birthday, I love you, I wish I was there" (2 hours away ufff that's too far for me).

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Well, I don't have any critique technique-wise and criticizing an original just gets feelings hurt. That being said, this a good song but, like Rosa, I am suffering a disconnect in perception. The words are meant to be melodramatic but the whole song is major and major diminished sounds, so it seems different than the lyrical intent.

The lyrical intent of longing, even unrequited, reminded me of this:

 

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song is sitting on the fence....situation could get WAY better...or just fade off into nothingness. Its not quite total major chord happiness...then again its not quite ready to be totally morose either

 

singer is trying to hold on to hope for the relationship, which may not work out....but also just trying to send good feelings to the person on their birthday (even if the relationship doesnt work out)

 

Seems closer to maybe, Leo Sayer than to Rick Springfield

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IMO song occupies similar space as these....major chordy but obviously not sugarplums and fairies

 

 

 

.....except those songs were crafted by multiple people with pro production.....mine was done by one dude in one day lol

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Yeah, what I hear as major diminished sounds are a result of the whole arrangement, not just you playing a diminshed chord on a guitar or synth.

For example, on "Dead or Alive." while the bland plays a modal D, Jon makes it a D major by singing on F#4, thereby creating a major chord with the entire group.

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yeah, most of my stuff is going to have a modal sound for several reasons.

 

Im sure the first music book I ever got probably showed like A,D,E7 chord progression....so I sure I thought "well, thats just the boring basics" so I automatically tried to go further and I learned sus2 and sus4 chords and learned about modes right away.

Its interesting now when I write because I almost have to force myself to use something like a basic 3 chord chorus. Yet some of my fave stuff like Cheap Trick is lots of basic 3 chord stuff.

 

Also, I tend to use a lot of odd chord voicings and open strings AND throw in chords from other keys whenever possible. Like the into to this particular song....all these weird chord voicings with open strings and sort of static vocal....hard to say what tonality the song will be in until I finally stop on the E chord indicating ill go to the key of A major

But then the verse is a variation of A,G,D....major but obviously a flat 7th and again the voicings are almost never going to be just a basic A,G,D...always gonna be like A G/A, D/F# or D/A etc etc

Chorus is basically A,E,D but its a Dsus chord etc. So even my stuff that one might say is "just 1,4,5" is really more like Asus2, D/A, Esus2 etc. giving a quasi modal sound anyway to a basic progression

Then of course the whole bridge is minor sounding cuz I go from the A major sound to A minor. I think the chord was C/A which is just another way of saying Amin7. The second chord might have been B/A,,,cant remember

 

Almost all of my bridges will introduce a new chord or tonality that the song didnt have. I love going from the major to the minor in the same key or vice versa

 

one of my fave bands/singers/songs. Love it. Nice pretty 3 chord major chorus but then for the verse just harshly change to the minor lol

 

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Yeah, when I get stuck I remember the circle of 5ths and use it, literally. Pick a chord. play the V from that. And then the V from that second chord. And, at any point, any of the chords other than the tonic I, can be sus2 or 4, dim or aug 7, 9, 13 and it doesn't have to be a strummed chord, it can be arpeggiated, like Garth Brooks intro to "Friends in Low Places."

"Blame it all on my roots.I showed up in boots.

And ruined your black-tie affair.

The last one to know, the last one to show.

The last one you thought you'd see there.

I could see the surprise, and the fear in his eyes

As I took his glass of champagne

Toasted you, said "Honey we may be through,

You'll never hear me complain "

 

Basically the lyrics are a bit more arpeggiated, then the chorus is strummed to give it an even keel that even a drunk audience can follow

 

"I've got friends in low places where the whiskey drowns

and the beer chases my blues away, I'll be okay.

And I'm not big on social graces, think I'll slip on down the Oasis

'Cause I've got friends in low places."

Other ways to experiment. In "Message in a Bottle" by the Police, Sting sings the verses high and the chorus low. Not only is it a nifty change, it also puts the chorus within the range of untrained singer who now feels like he could sing for the Police, so he goes and buys the album because he feels good about himself.

For whatever reason, when the audience latches on to what you are singing, you can do no wrong.

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yeah...dunno how comfortable id be in trying to follow "formulas" to make something audience friendly. If im going to go that route id just stop playing altogether and let a computer algorithm do it all.

This song was really nothing more than a personal greeting card to one girl. As long as I got in the words "Sugarboo" and "booboo" (it's hidden in there too lol) then im ok

 

If I ever write anything resembling that Garth Brooks song, or any modern "country" song...it will be with a gun at my head and even then id probably just tell 'em to shoot

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6 hours ago, JonJon said:

 

If I ever write anything resembling that Garth Brooks song, or any modern "country" song...it will be with a gun at my head and even then id probably just tell 'em to shoot

All I have right now is a bb gun. But I know someone who has a .380 I could borrow ...

Just kidding. My ideas about songwriting are always centered on the message I want and a dead-simple chorus with a hook that will make you curse my name because you cannot ever forget it once you have heard it. But I am likely to go afield in arrangement, especially on instruments that I don't have a lot of experience with, such as drums.

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