Ballad After Ballad After Ballad After….zzzzz. NOT THE WAY TO HAVE a Songwriters round!
I recently attended a round at a well known venue and for about two hours, 95% or so of the songs were ballads or songs that never changed the melody from verse to chorus.
It was a story song ballad after ballad made everyone in the room just sit and stare, not react to songs. Some of the songwriters told as my friend, Rob Wolf has a song, “Ten Minute Intro For A Two Minute Song” which was the case, however some of the songs went on and on(Ten minute story for a 6 minute song) and you could just see the people in the audiences trying to stay attentive but loosing interest in songs they’ve never heard yet were told a long story to begin the song as it could have been half over by time the story was told about a song that was a ballad.
Unofficial rule – NEVER follow a ballad with a ballad. Thank goodness one of the songwriters had uptempo songs from time to time and he did not bore us with long stories about the song prior to playing.
As a friend in town, Marc-Alan Barnette says after hearing a couple ballads in a row, “I want to get a butter knife and cut my wrist”.
We all write ballads and love to play them, just do not follow a ballad with a ballad when playing to an audience, talk among your other writers in the round and ask when they are going to play their ballad, so you will not follow their ballad with your ballad.
I saw people nearly falling asleep in the audience, disappointed looks on their faces and most of them had been standing in a long line, traveled from many states and countries to visit this venue and had to listen to 95% ballads and long stories about the songs they have never heard of and will not hear again. zzzzzzz
Solution – If you are putting together a night with songwriters, think about their songs and you may not want two or three people known for their many ballads and sad songs playing in the same round, especially if it is at a venue or house concert and the round is a couple hour. Have songwriters that play uptempo songs to wake the audience up and keep up the energy in the room!