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3 Surefire Signs You're Overwriting That Song

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You've been hacking away at this song for weeks, and it's still not right. Or maybe it's perfect. It's hard to tell. The point is, you're just too close to it to see the big picture and you'rein danger of overwriting.

If you've been writing for any length of time, you've no doubt encountered this issue. It's something that can really sneak up on even the most seasoned of writers, though – so here are a few tips to help you recognize it.

When Less Is More: 3 Reasons Why Smaller Arrangements Can Make Your Tracks Sound Bigger

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Everyone wants their studio tracks to sound “huge.” In an effort to achieve “hugeness,” many of us follow the obvious path of adding more and more things to our arrangements. If two guitars sound big, then four guitars should sound even bigger, right?

While this makes sense in principle, the results can be paradoxical; often what we achieve by adding more elements to a track isn't a bigger sound but a smaller one.

How does this work? Here are a few examples of some situations when removing elements from your tracks can lead to a fuller sound.

How to Evaluate Song Feedback

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Criticism is vital, especially for a songwriter just starting out. But finding the right criticism – and being able to evaluate what's useful and what's not – is even more key. Since this is a business of opinions, you're going to be getting a lot of feedback. Here are three questions to ask to determine if that feedback is useful.

How to Critique Your Own Music More Objectively


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Artists often talk about being “too close” to their own work, being so immersed in the process of making music that they know longer have a strong sense of whether the work is good. Philosophically speaking, that’s a worry for another time. During a show or a recording session isn't the time to be concerned about your musical legacy or the objective quality of what you’re doing. When you’re out there onstage, or in a vocal booth tracking leads, you need to be focused on delivering your best performance, not worrying about how everybody might receive it.

But there are times in the creative process when you need to self-edit, decide what projects are worth pursuing, and change what doesn’t work. There are times when you might want to listen to the opinions of others, even others who critique music as part of their work. Here are some hints to help pull back from that closeness and be your own best critic.

How to Write Lyrics for the First Time

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Musicians' jobs keeps getting broader. You might be a guitar player, but you’ll probably end up a mastering engineer, booking agent, and chief negotiator, too. One other thing you’ll probably be called upon to do sooner or later is write some lyrics. Even cover bands usually work in a few originals, and most bands that make it big focus on writing their own material.

Lots of players bring riffs and ideas to the table but don’t feel as comfortable with the written word. How do you start writing lyrics, especially with no background in poetry or prose beyond writing research papers in school? Try these methods on for size.