Out on that limb I go...

catdaddy

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This morning as I was perusing the forum and was once again feeling disappointed to see that there had been no new posts on Writer's Block for 3 days, it finally dawned on me that my disappointment is self-inflicted. As a person who has never started a thread here before, I realize I'm more responsible for the dearth of participation on Writer's Block than most. So, in an effort to change my evil ways and atone for my unconscionable lack of nurturing of this sub-forum, I've decided to go out on a limb and expose my vulnerable inner songwriter soul to the good folks here. So, please be gentle. ;)

I'm a long time songwriter but one who has never been especially prolific. In my most productive songwriting year I probably only wrote 3 or 4 songs total, and as I've gotten older my writing has waned to about a single song per year. As such, it was a surprise that 2022 got off to a relatively (for me) turbo-charged start when I completed a song in January! I've always enjoyed experimenting and writing in different genres, and this new song is my first attempt to write a lullaby. Now, I've written children's songs in the past, and even had some commercial success with one of them, but this song is not a child's lullaby. It's a song for adults in which I hope to inspire a child-like wonder of the magical sonic embrace offered by the natural world.

With that in mind, you'll find the lyric and a recording of the song below. I'd love to know what you think of this bit of songwriting and musical arranging that I've done. Did I succeed in what I'd set out to accomplish creatively? Please feel free to share how you feel about the song. I know that most of you probably haven't listened to a lullaby in decades, and wouldn't seek one out, but consider it an opportunity to critique and discuss songwriting. For those who might be inclined to not voice a negative opinion, I urge you to be honest and participate. I'm a grownup and can take honest, thoughtful criticism about my creativity. Something you suggest or a criticism might make my next song better and deliver my first million seller!:cool:

Anyway, have at it! Looking forward to any and all comments, criticisms, suggestions, whatever your thoughts...

Discuss:




Nature’s Lullaby


Lying underneath a cloudless sky

While a gentle breeze murmurs in the trees

I hear the peaceful sigh of nature’s lullaby



When bluebirds sing out songs of love

And honey bees hum their harmonies

I hear the sweet duet of nature’s lullaby



As cicadas drone their mating calls

From summer solstice to frost in Fall

And butterflies on whispering wings

Promise me all kinds of things



That only nature can reveal

With her thousand voices in my ear

I fell under the spell of nature’s lullaby



Her music carries through the air

I feel my spirit soar

And suddenly I become aware

That life and love mean so much more

When I’m well under the spell of nature’s lullaby



And so I choose to linger here

With her song so magical, so near

And dwell under the spell of nature’s lullaby

I dwell under the spell

Fell under the spell of nature’s lullaby



Copyright, 2022, by Walt Leuzinger
 

chulaivet1966

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For those who might be inclined to not voice a negative opinion, I urge you to be honest and participate. I'm a grownup and can take honest, thoughtful criticism about my creativity. Something you suggest or a criticism might make my next song better and deliver my first million seller!:cool:

Anyway, have at it! Looking forward to any and all comments, criticisms, suggestions, whatever your thoughts...
Howdy Walt....
I'm a '4 on the floor', 'bread and butter' rock/roll old fossil but that's doesn't mean I can't recognize a well written song. :)

My thoughts....sorry, nothing negative with this effort:
Big critieria for me and whether I listen to a song or not.....it's not another dull, cliche subject (IE: another sappy love song)
It's well written, vocal phrasing had a pleasing, not rushed cadence.
You have a good smooth, emotive voice for this style and you performed it in a relaxed manner.

The only (subjective) comment I would offer is I would put a touch of reverb on your vox...not a lot.....just a little to take the vocal out of the boxy sound. Maybe a plate reverb patch.
Many to most may prefer your more personal, unaffected vox....which is fine too.

You have nothing to concern yourself with this write.
It's a good song and you shouldn't be shy with your future efforts.

I wouldn't worry about your 'limb' breaking.
Very well done.....keep up the good work.
 

catdaddy

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Howdy Walt....
I'm a '4 on the floor', 'bread and butter' rock/roll old fossil but that's doesn't mean I can't recognize a well written song. :)

My thoughts....sorry, nothing negative with this effort:
Big critieria for me and whether I listen to a song or not.....it's not another dull, cliche subject (IE: another sappy love song)
It's well written, vocal phrasing had a pleasing, not rushed cadence.
You have a good smooth, emotive voice for this style and you performed it in a relaxed manner.

The only (subjective) comment I would offer is I would put a touch of reverb on your vox...not a lot.....just a little to take the vocal out of the boxy sound. Maybe a plate reverb patch.
Many to most may prefer your more personal, unaffected vox....which is fine too.

You have nothing to concern yourself with this write.
It's a good song and you shouldn't be shy with your future efforts.

I wouldn't worry about your 'limb' breaking.
Very well done.....keep up the good work.
Thank you chulaivet1966! So nice to hear from you! I appreciate your thoughts, and most especially your recommendation concerning using some reverb on the vocal. That's really helpful! I'm going to try your suggestion of using a bit of plate reverb. I'll post the results to this thread when I do, and perhaps you'd be good enough to let me know what you think of it with that change. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!!
 

chulaivet1966

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Thank you chulaivet1966! So nice to hear from you! I appreciate your thoughts, and most especially your recommendation concerning using some reverb on the vocal. That's really helpful! I'm going to try your suggestion of using a bit of plate reverb. I'll post the results to this thread when I do, and perhaps you'd be good enough to let me know what you think of it with that change. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!!
Absolutely....and, you're welcome.

I thought I heard a bit of FX on the acoustic?
Couldn't tell if it was just your room reflections or an added effect.
NOTE: if that is so, that you did put a reverb setting on your acoustic just have the same effect on your vox so they sound like they are in the same acoustic environment.

I'll watch for your re-post.....
 
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Si G X

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Hi, my thoughts are similar to @chulaivet1966

It's not really my usual kind of thing but I listened to it all the way through and don't have anything negative to say, guitar playing was very nice and while the very dry vocals did jump out at me a bit at first by the end I actually quite liked it... I'm listening through headphones and it gave the vocals a very cool 'live' presence, like you were actually in my room singing.

I liked the vocal 'nature’s lullaby' hooks in the lyrics and it reminded me of something that Simon and Garfunkel might write.
 

catdaddy

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Absolutely....and, you're welcome.

I thought I heard a bit of FX on the acoustic?
Couldn't tell if it was just your room reflections or an added effect.
NOTE: if that is so, that you did put a reverb setting on your acoustic just have the same effect on your vox so they sound like they are in the same acoustic environment.

I'll watch for your re-post.....
Thanks again chulaivet1966! You've got a great ear! No reverb anywhere on that track except for the acoustic, and that was a very modest 5% to 95% small chamber to dry signal mix. I'm impressed that you could pick that out, and honored that you gave it such a thorough a listen! BTW- I did consciously limit the amount of reverb on the track in an attempt to try to simulate an intimate aural experience, like a parent singing a lullaby softly, close to the ear of their child.

I still like your idea of trying a bit of plate reverb on the vox, but I'll also give a go to using the same reverb on the vox as on the acoustic for the sake of acoustic environment continuity, which you insightfully pointed out.
Thanks again for listening and commenting!!
 

chulaivet1966

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BTW- I did consciously limit the amount of reverb on the track in an attempt to try to simulate an intimate aural experience, like a parent singing a lullaby softly, close to the ear of their child.
Got it.....
If that was your aural intent for the vox then my suggestion may not be correct for this song.
Why?....because I pictured you doing this as a solo performance and a frog hair of reverb would add a bit of ambience.

(EDIT: oh yes....if you used 'chamber' on the vox then use the same setting for the acoustic....to start, anyway. :) )

Either way.....it's damn fine lullaby write.
 
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catdaddy

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Hi, my thoughts are similar to @chulaivet1966

It's not really my usual kind of thing but I listened to it all the way through and don't have anything negative to say, guitar playing was very nice and while the very dry vocals did jump out at me a bit at first by the end I actually quite liked it... I'm listening through headphones and it gave the vocals a very cool 'live' presence, like you were actually in my room singing.

I liked the vocal 'nature’s lullaby' hooks in the lyrics and it reminded me of something that Simon and Garfunkel might write.
Thank you for listening and for your comments Si G X! I especially appreciate you sharing your thoughts about the dry vocals and how you reacted to them. As I explained above in my response to chulaivet1966, I thought that without using any reverb on the vocal track, it places the vocal in virtual close proximity to the listener's ear creating an aural intimacy which I wanted. So, although I seem to have accomplished that, I think yours and chulaivet1966's comments have convinced me to try some reverb and see if it can be improved.

Thanks too, for the Simon and Garfunkel comparison! I can't imagine a much more gratifying compliment!
 

telekaster1999

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Love it! Actually this morning while drinking my coffee on the back porch, I live in the woods and enjoy nature, I was thinking about how beautiful natural sounds are, or as you have so beautifully written, Nature's Lullaby. Very nice!
 

Dukex

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I think it's Lovely!

I do not like the effects on the guitar, however. I would just let a fine guitar sound like a fine guitar.
 

chulaivet1966

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I think it's Lovely!

I do not like the effects on the guitar, however. I would just let a fine guitar sound like a fine guitar.
That's a good thought....we probably need to just hear the room reflections to be sure.
It may be once he finds that sweet spot for the mic on the acoustic the room reflections, however minimal, may be just right for this cut.

Back to it....
 

catdaddy

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I think it's Lovely!

I do not like the effects on the guitar, however. I would just let a fine guitar sound like a fine guitar.
Thank you for your comments! I very much appreciate your honesty about the sound of the guitar, and I'd like to know if you would prefer the track to have just acoustic guitar versus the blend of acoustic and electric which is how the track is now mixed. It may not be obvious when listening that the acoustic guitar track (panned centrally) is accompanied by two not quite identical electric guitar tracks, one panned right and one panned left. Those electric tracks have a tremolo effect. My primary reason for having the electric guitar tracks was to help in framing the electric guitar break and to add a bit of sonic texture. That was something that I tried with just the acoustic backing and I thought it sounded rather too sparse and empty sounding. I'll post a version of the song in this thread with just acoustic and voice to see if you prefer that to the current track. Thanks again, for your comments!

EDIT: here's the track with just vocal and acoustic guitar as promised:
 
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chulaivet1966

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Howdy Catdaddy....

This all so subjective and I hate the thought of creating more work you....don't hate me. :)

That electric lead always catches me off guard.
I tend to think if the lead were your acoustic it would sound better and more appropriately fit the instrumental context.
On this mix, I think your acoustic rhythm could come up a couple db and I don't think it would step on your very personal, up close vox.

Whatever you decide to do it's still a good song and easily stands on it's own as is.

Have a great day....
 

24 track

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Hi Walt,
from an engineering POV it is well done , clear tracks , not over produced , and i can hear alot of things that could go with this with out taking anything away from what you've done , silences are in the right spot. the vocals are consistant through out and well done!
from a musical POV well played, and a very nice style ,simple , melodic, and moving.
Kudos be proud!

hey but thats only my opnion LOL

always let your ears be your final judge , it does not matter what we think! I like it
 

Dukex

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Thank you for your comments! I very much appreciate your honesty about the sound of the guitar, and I'd like to know if you would prefer the track to have just acoustic guitar versus the blend of acoustic and electric which is how the track is now mixed. It may not be obvious when listening that the acoustic guitar track (panned centrally) is accompanied by two not quite identical electric guitar tracks, one panned right and one panned left. Those electric tracks have a tremolo effect. My primary reason for having the electric guitar tracks was to help in framing the electric guitar break and to add a bit of sonic texture. That was something that I tried with just the acoustic backing and I thought it sounded rather too sparse and empty sounding. I'll post a version of the song in this thread with just acoustic and voice to see if you prefer that to the current track. Thanks again, for your comments!

EDIT: here's the track with just vocal and acoustic guitar as promised:

That's more like it, at least for me. It is an intimate song.

Is the acoustic recorded in stereo? How far out is the mic(s)? Have you experimented with mic placement? Not that it sounds bad, just wondering. I can't tell if there's some room sound or if it's just the little amount of reverb you added.

RE the reverb. For this song I'd prefer very little or none, and I agree with others that if you are going to use it put some on both the vox and acoustic.
 

catdaddy

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Thanks for your thoughts, Dukex! The acoustic was recorded with a single mic (MXL V67) about 18 inches from the sound hole- a placement that I've come to believe works best in my studio. The room ambience is very subtle. It's a carpeted space with some quilted tapestries (courtesy of the talented mommacat!) to limit reflections. You can hear the room pretty well on the vocal which was recorded using the same mic and has no reverb on it. To my ear the acoustic and vocal sounds/ambience aren't at odds even with a bit of reverb on the acoustic and none on the vocal, and the continuity of sound delivers a live, non-artificial presence which was my intent.
 

jaxjaxon

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Right from the first 4 measures I thought you sounded and wrote like Harry Nilsson, at least in that style of song. If you dont know who Nilsson is look his body pf work up. Very good job on the song I liked it alot.
 

catdaddy

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Right from the first 4 measures I thought you sounded and wrote like Harry Nilsson, at least in that style of song. If you dont know who Nilsson is look his body pf work up. Very good job on the song I liked it alot.
Thanks for the compliment! I know Nilsson's work and it's an honor to have my work compared to his.
 

HootOwlDude

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Right on. I like it. It’s got a Cohen-esque vibe with the vocal delivery, nearly spoken word in a way. While the sparseness of the mix is a strength in many ways, I do wonder how this might come off if it were built up a little more with maybe some synthy sort of texturing, or at least some more guitar layering and maybe some “back up” vocals to add a little girth in the refrains maybe. The guitar is great, though, and the overall clarity a strong suit. The song is well-written too. I guess I’d like it to sound a bit more psychedelic in character, and some quaint use of effects with little guitar embellishments or motifs here and there might take it there. As it is it has a vignette sort of quality that has a distinct, simplistic charm, but I don’t think beefing it up a little would lose that. These are just preferences of mine, and are not negative criticisms. I think it sounds very nice and appreciate your sharing. I enjoyed it. I did listen on my phone, however, so I should’ve probably listened to it properly through headphones or something before offering feedback. Take it for what it’s worth. Nice job!
 
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catdaddy

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@HootOwlDude: Thanks for listening and sharing your thoughts! It's interesting that you mention your desire to hear the song "to sound a bit more psychedelic in character". When I started writing the song, I originally was thinking about doing some sort of psychedelic arrangement for the tune, but decided against it as I developed it into a lullaby and felt that a more simplistic approach would better suit it.

I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts about the arrangement if you get a chance to listen to the song through headphones or a set of decent speakers. Thanks again for listening!!
 




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