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Composers vs. Songwriters vs. Producers | Making an Album in 30 Days | Day 4


Hey! What’s up everybody. Thanks for clicking on the video. If you don’t know what I’m up to, my name
is David and I’m making an album in 30 days and making a video every day about how to
do that. Pretty cool, huh? I’ll leave a thing in the corner for the
playlist for earlier days. But, if you tuned in yesterday, you’ll know
that I played a song called Marijuana Saved My Life. It was in honor of 420, but upon further reflection
I realized that it didn’t fit in with the loose narrative I was crafting for this album
as a whole. It was too jokey. Too much of a joke, whereas I wanted this
album to be more earnest. More heartfelt. And, the only reason I even considered using
the Marijuana song is that I really like the composition that I did. If I do say so myself.. No but honestly, if you don’t like the music
you’re making nobody is going to like it. When people say that you need to be your own
biggest fan and harshest critic, they’re pretty much right. But I liked the composition on Marijuana Saved
My Life. Especially the coda, which I screwed up yesterday,
but it goes like this:
And with the right production behind it, I think that could be a really powerful section
musically, but where it all starts to break down is in the songwriting. Which was not consistent with the vibe I’m
trying to craft. And that raises the question what is composition,
what is production and what is songwriting. As far as I understand it, I’ll try to explain
it. A composer writes music. They handle melody, harmony, rhythm, instrumentation,
orchestration, those types of things. If you want to know how important this distinction
is, just refer to a Beethoven or Bach piece as a song in front of a classical music lover. Say something like, “Beehoven’s 5th? Yeah man, there are some killer songs on that
album!” And I guarantee you, you will get corrected. A songwriter is often a composer, but not
always. Songs are typically lyrically driven and shorter. They’re more pop oriented compositions. A great example of this is the songwriting
duo of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. For decades, Elton John writes the music,
Bernie Taupin writes the lyrics and they have made millions as wildly successful songwriters. They have discovered a way to divide the labors
of songwriting and play to their own strengths. A producer is responsible for getting the
recording made right. Now a producer can be a little bit composer,
a little bit songwriter and something else altogether. If you’re in the studio and your producer
says, I think the backup singers should sing a major 3rd on the second line of the verse,
then he or she is being a composer/producer. If you’re in the studio and the producer
says, in the chorus where you say, I may not have the answers, but the question’s heaven
sent… I think we should change that to the questions
make more sense, then he or she is being a songwriter producer. If they say, I think we should double the
lead vocal in this section, then they’re being a producer. And if they say, I think we should rent out
the Statue of Liberty for the day and track drums on the staircase to get that awesome
natural reverb, then they’re just being an asshole. All of this has just been a roundabout way
of saying that I am not putting the marijuana song on the album. And today, I am tracking a composition for
which I have no lyrics. It may work as an instrumental, but I don’t
know. I’m going to track it now and play my song
from Day 2 on the video while I’m doing it. The song you are about to here is called “Don’t
Stay Too Long”. Oh, and what you heard under me talking was
my Day 1 song entitled “Felt Like Nothing”. These two songs comprise 6 minutes of music,
so I’m 15% of the way there. So enjoy the Day 2 track and let me know in
the comments if you want me to post these mixes on Soundcloud, or if Youtube is good
enough. Hey. Do not adjust your TV set. That was definitely me playing into the wrong
microphone for the last 20 minutes. But, what are you going to do? That’s life. So, I’m not going to be able to have a convincing
rough mix of today’s song for this video. But, I hope you enjoyed Day 2’s song. And let me know what you’re thinking. Let me know if there’s anything else I can
do that you’d like to see about the production process that would be helpful. Thanks for tuning in everybody. So, adios muchachos and muchachas. I hope to see you tomorrow and in the future. Bye-Bye!

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