Although any song could be rearranged to fit virtually any style of music, writing in a particular style from the start will ALWAYS influence the way a song is written. Therefore, it is important for songwriters to be adept at the unique components of different musical styles.
Here is quick guide from the world of Rock music.
A Rock song can be written in a number of different ways, but there are certain common features that are Guaranteed to make your song ROCK! Incorporating as many of these tactics as possible into your song will give you great ability in this style.
Minor Keys: As opposed to early 50s and 60s Rock and Roll, most Rock songs from the 70s through today are written in minor keys.
Power Chords: These chords contain the Root, 5th, and Octave only. There are no pretty thirds, and there are definitely no 7ths or upper extensions such as 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths. This creates a hollow, almost medieval sound, and one can’t tell if the power chords were meant to imply major or minor tonalities, without analyzing their roots in order to determine their placement in the scale.
Riffs: Repeated rhythmic melodies played on the lower strings of the guitar or bass (occasionally riffs are written for higher strings, and on a piano or other instrument). They are most commonly played in the verses.
Short Title: Belted out, and sometimes repeated for every line of the chorus
Straight eighth notes: There is usually little room for funky syncopated sixteenth note feels, or shuffle, swing, or hip-hop rhythms, in a strong rock tune. Keep a straight eighth note-feel for both your vocal melodies and for the rhythm section.
Guitar Solo: Playing Minor Pentatonic, Blues, or Minor Scales, with distortion of course. This is more of an arranging component than a songwriting one, but identifiable guitar sections are often the STRONGEST PART of a song in this style. How far would Ozzy Osbourne’s songs have gone if it wasn’t for his list of legendary rock guitarist, such as Randy Rhoads, constructing solos, interludes, and instrumental hooks as if they were masterful compositions in themselves, with the vocal parts being almost secondary?
So there you have it. The SIX TRICKS TO MAKE YOUR SONGS ROCK!!!
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