Lyrics Quiz

November 14, 2003

I only scored 37.5 points on this 80s lyrics quiz that Greyduck posted. I guess I did not listen to enough radio back then. And, although I thought I watched too much MTV, I must have been wrong.

Good lyrics can be hard to write. I know I wrote some real loser lyrics when I played in the comedy-heavy metal college band - we were not good but we were very entertaining. The highlight of the show was the juggling vocalist, that and Dock of the Bay with a punk break halfway through. The other guys came up with those - I penned the lyrics for the generic acid song and the generic war song.

Feh, now I can't remember the only good part of the generic drug song - I had a modulation in a four chord four bar bridge that, I think, walked the circle of fifths to go from G major to A minor.

I played bass, and I can half hear the walk of descending triplets (7,5,3?) as we walked through those chords: long short short, long short short, long short short, long short short. My bass was stolen years ago, the guitar is untuned and sitting in a closet, and the notebooks are long buried in boxes. I guess I won't try to re-create that run - but it was the only thing I wrote that got the crowd to yell. It was brilliantly unstable, and it worked at that point in the song.

The rest of the song was a little boring and repetitive. I found it fascinating because I played a little with the rhythm every few bars, and that made each few bars sound new and exciting to me. Whether from synthesisia or from being mildly weird, to me notes of varying lenghts have a distinct and varying quality. And this quality gets confused with the quality of pitch. So if I play the same note twice in a row, but as a whole and then as a quarter note, it will sound distinct and different.

My confusion between duration and pitch drives J crazy when I try to sing something I do not know very well, for I will get the rhythm of the notes about right and assume that this means that I also have the pitch right - it feels right to me so it must sound good to everyone around me ... right?

Music is one of those things that sounds so easy when talented people do it that we tell ourselves we could do better. Mediocre music is pretty easy; good stuff is most amazingly difficult.

Posted by Red Ted at November 14, 2003 10:59 AM | TrackBack