Hey yo, over the weekend, I went out to an event that featured a lot of local original bands, here in San Diego, where I live. The event had four stages, with bands doing 45 minute sets throughout the night.
I stumbled upon this totally by accident. My girlfriend and I were strolling by some bars looking for something to do on a Friday night, when a stranger and his girlfriend walked up and said they had two extra tickets to a local music event. I knew right then this was going to be an interesting night. [continue reading…]
After you have written a verse and a chorus for your song, sometimes there will be a need for a transitional section between them. This could be due to the relationship between the lyric content of the two sections requiring some explanation, or it could be because the music from the verse needs to build energy into the chorus. Those are the two main purposes for adding a prechorus. The term prechorus will sometimes go by various other names such as the climb, or the transitional bridge. Not every verse-chorus song needs a prechorus, but if you feel that yours does, here are some tips on constructing a really good one. [continue reading…]
Pat Pattison on songwriting, lyric writing, and songwriters. Legendary Berklee College of Music professor is interviewed by Kevin Thomas of Songwriting Planet. From modern songwriting techniques to literary criticism and linguistic philosophy, you will get a glimpse of the deep knowledge in Pat’s amazing songwriting books.
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If you typically use a lot Major or Minor Triad chords in your songs, one way to spice up your songwriting would be to start adding in some Seventh chords.
Triads are the most common type of chord construction. They contain the Root of the chord, which is where the chord will get its letter name, such as G or D. And they also contain the 3rd and the 5th of the chord. You basically just pick a note in the scale to start with for the root of the chord, and then add every other note in the scale until you also have the 3rd and 5th. (The difference between major and minor chords is that for a minor chord the 3rd will be a half-step (one pitch) lower, or closer to the root)
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Do you ever find yourself singing along to the radio in your car, maybe even just silently following a song in your head, and then your mind starts making up new words or melodies to the rhythms and chords of the song? Many songwriters commonly have this experience. It is our creativity at work. It is your inner writer emerging from the depths of your subconscious mind to co-create with the band. [continue reading…]
Descriptiveness, story telling, and rhyming are often what most songwriters will focus on at first when developing their lyric writing abilities. Once the phrases begin flowing, a title theoretically should emerge which can then be woven into a chorus. This is an important phase to go through. You want to be capable of generating enough raw lyric material for filling in your songs with content.
Phase two: where is the hook? Once you become good at basic lyric writing you quickly realize one of two things. One, a succinct title does not always just magically pop out of your lyrics. Or two, there really is no central concept at all to what you have written. You may have fairly well written verses, but there are often no choruses, or the verses are not really describing any specific topic or situation.
What is the Solution? [continue reading…]
One of my sister’s kids started playing guitar and writing songs recently. My brother-in-law told her she should take some lessons with me while I was in town. But the response was something to the effect of “But all the really good musicians never took lessons, and that is how they were able to be so creative.” I have actually heard many variations of this concept throughout the years, such as “I don’t want to be good, ‘cause then I will sound too technical, and I won’t have enough emotion.” I’d like to address this issue here. Will music lessons stifle your creativity and strip you of emotion? [continue reading…]
When someone asks you “Do you remember the song that goes like….?” Do they sing to you the chord progression? Mouth the drumbeat? Describe the structure of song sections? Speak the lyrics to you? No, Of Course Not! [continue reading…]