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Do the Beatles make you want to give up?
23 November 2014
9.30pm
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Starr Shine?
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ahdn_paul_06 But that is subjective auto tune is just a new tool that can be used well or not. The Beatles did end up writing some songs just for the money. Now people can share songs without a contract on the internet so little acts are getting more play than they would have back in the day

https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

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23 November 2014
9.38pm
SirHuddlestonFuddleston
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Annadog40 said
ahdn_paul_06 But that is subjective auto tune is just a new tool that can be used well or not. The Beatles did end up writing some songs just for the money. Now people can share songs without a contract on the internet so little acts are getting more play than they would have back in the day

Autotune is not just a new tool. It changes the game. It means you don't have to work hard to sound good. Duke Ellington said of the Beatles: "I like them, because they're in time, and in tune." It's not easy to sing three part harmony while playing your instruments, but those guys worked until they could do it. They had integrity and honesty, and it showed in the music they made. People who use autotune are doing a number of things, but "being honest" and "having integrity" is not one of them. Yes, the Beatles gave stuff to other people to sing, for the money -- they gave away stuff that wasn't up to snuff, that they wouldn't feel right doing themselves. Again, they were perfectionists when it came to their music. They refused to put the Beatles name on anything that they didn't think was top quality. Lennon was right when he derided people who wanted the Beatles to get back together, because he knew they could never live up to the expectations they themselves created when they were at the top of their game. There was so much to admire about them.

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Bulldog
23 November 2014
9.55pm
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meanmistermustard
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You can often tell if autotune has been used as the natural vocal is computerised in some way. Most artists, well producers therefore use it sparingly to not highlight its usage.

I find it bizarre that an artist can get their vocals autotuned in the studio, then go out on tour and either be autotuned live or mime. Where is the talent there?

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of 'self' to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

23 November 2014
9.58pm
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Bulldog
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meanmistermustard said
I find it bizarre that an artist can get their vocals autotuned in the studio, then go out on tour and either be autotuned live or mime. Where is the talent there?

Nowhere.

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Mr. Kite

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23 November 2014
10.17pm
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Starr Shine?
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People add effects to other instruments auto is just an effect to the voice.

https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

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23 November 2014
11.23pm
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UnidentifiedFiendishThingy
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But effects on instruments like guitar don't change the quality of your playing. You can sound like Hendrix but you can't play like him.

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23 November 2014
11.24pm
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meanmistermustard
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An effect would be flanging or reverb not bringing some off key squalling to where it should be.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of 'self' to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

24 November 2014
2.30am
SirHuddlestonFuddleston
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Annadog40 said
People add effects to other instruments auto is just an effect to the voice.

No, it's not. You can call Beyonce a star or Wonder Woman or a goddess or whatever you want, just don't call her a singer or, worse, a musician, because until she can carry a tune in public, she's not. What would you say of a guitarist who played blistering arpeggios, but then had them go after him with the computer and clean up a million flubbed notes? I'd call him a hack, not a professional.

 

Anyway, to get back to the topic: the more I learned about John Lennon in particular, the more he seems like a lot of other overachievers. In his interviews he's said things like "I'm not interested in the past. I'm interested in what I'm doing now." That seems to me to be an attitude a lot of high performers have. They don't look back, they're always trying to do something new. Beethoven was just the same. Also, in interviews both Lennon and McCartney allude to writing as a dedicated job, not something they did only when inspired. He talks about a song coming from the frustration he was feeling "because it was time to write and I couldn't think of anything." Implying that he wrote every day, at a particular time. Somerset Maugham, when asked if he believed in inspiration, said "yes, it comes every day at nine o'clock." When Sonny Rollins first heard what John Coltrane was doing he was already *Sonny Rollins*. He could have rested on his laurels, but instead he quit performing and woodshedded on the Williamsburg Bridge, 16 hours a day, six days a week for three years, rebuilding his entire approach to the craft. It makes you wonder -- are these guys so good simply because they're so dedicated? It's said that when Charlie Parker first started out he was terrible, but that for the next several years he could be heard by his neighbor playing scales for 15 hours per day.

Another thing I learned from all my Beatles research was how incredibly overworked they were, especially the years between 1961(?) and 1966. They played for six hours per night, six days a week in Hamburg, for months at a time; they played as many as ten gigs a week back in England; after they were famous they were touring, filming A Hard Day's Night , and writing and recording the album, all at the same time. Lennon said of the Beatles "we gave our youth to it; when everybody else was hanging around getting stoned, we were working twenty-four hours per day."

Lennon also said that at the time he met McCartney he knew about three chords. That means that he was willing to go up on stage with the Quarrymen and make a fool of himself, only being able to play three banjo chords on the guitar. You never hear much about them woodshedding; it sounds like they did most of their learning up on stage in front of an audience.

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