14/06/2024

Best Beat

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Singing Techniques, Songwriting Techniques – Are Good Songs a Thing of the Past?

Singing Techniques, Songwriting Techniques – Are Good Songs a Thing of the Past?

What do Billy Joel, Green Day, Kenny Chesney, Alicia Keys, Elton John, Journey, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Willie Nelson, Linkin Park, John Mayer, and Rascal Flatts have in common?

1. They’re all musicians who are making major album sales and downloads right now.

2. They’re all terrific performers.

3. They all write (wrote) and sing GOOD SONGS with musically sound melodies and chords, solid lyrics and memorable hooks (choruses). If hey aren’t writing all their own songs they are paying good songwriters to provide them.

Good songwriting is an craft and an art which takes special skills and knowledge learned through study, experience, failure and success. Top songwriters have usually spent years perfecting their ability, although a few seem to just have a special knack for it.

The problem (as I see it) is that far to many people are writing songs for their bands or themselves which simply aren’t any good. Writing uninteresting melodies and dumb lyrics is in vogue right now, and has been for several years. I believe the reason for this is that teens (the record buyers) today, in general have become just as satisfied, if not more satisfied, with poor music as they are with good. I’m not saying that today’s teens are dumb, but rather that they are easily satisfied with mediocre music.

Of course good songs are being written and recorded, but far too many bands and recording artists are getting by with a lot of smoke and whistles and very little substance. I credit Disney with keeping good songs in front of the kids. Too many of those young singers who come out of the Disney Channel are sub-standard, but the songs they sing are usually written by Disney’s great staff of songwriters. (And modern recording techniques can usually make even a terrible singer sound like a star)

But, things are changing. Check the CD stacks and the music downloads and you’ll find that bands like Journey, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith and the Stones are back on top. Boy bands like N’Sync and Backstreet Boyz are regaining popularity. Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, John Mayer, Elton John, the Beetles, Tony Bennett and Barbara Streisand are all enjoying continuous fan support.

Why is this happening? I believe young people miss hearing really good songs. Their need for this has not been met for too long, and they are beginning to show their discontent with their purchases.

Think about this. Agree or disagree, but think about it.