Questions tagged [songwriting]

For questions about writing a song from end to start and the ideas and techniques behind it.

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4 answers
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Comping over the Cmaj7 in "My Favorite Things"

I am wondering if someone can give advice on how to make comping over the Cmaj7 chord in bars 5 through 8 sound more interesting. In the first 4 bars I play E-7 to F#-7 to E-7/G back to F#-7 and that ...
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2 votes
4 answers
214 views

Songwriting and music theory questions

In a 4/4 instrumental for example: If I have to put stressed syllables on the strong beats of the instrumental, What happens to the other beats that might get stressed acedentally since it's ...
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0 votes
1 answer
124 views

If The Beatles didn't know music theory, how did they construct whole songs flawlessly? [duplicate]

It is said that the 4 beatle never learned music theory, and is proven by many interviews from them. They are known for writing rock hits that had always hit the charts and the songs they had written ...
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1 vote
1 answer
194 views

How do song credits work on Spotify?

I haven't been able to figure out whether this question is on-topic, hopefully it is. I have recently been wondering about how credits are given to the people who contributed to a song. To be more ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
214 views

Did Agnetha and Anni-Frid always sing in unison? [closed]

I was listening to some ABBA songs that I hadn't paid much attention to since my childhood, and it occurred to me that, even though they are known for being a multi-singer group, they never really ...
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2 votes
1 answer
72 views

two alternatives for one song in a bookpart

I am making a music book where each song is on its own page. The code for each song is: title = ... music = ... \bookpart { \header { title = \title } \score { \music \layout { } } ...
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  • 708
0 votes
1 answer
100 views

What exactly is the concept of returning to the one?

In riff writing, Tom Morello mentions his style with Tim Commerford was returning to the one. Is this basically just using the tonic chord as a drone? What exactly is meant by that? I believe I can ...
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4 votes
8 answers
979 views

Any tips on writing the structure of a song for a band which does not read music?

I am starting to play some pre-written songs with a band. These are written by the vocalist and we are trying to make a demo out of them. We (as a band) are having a hard time trying to remember he ...
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0 votes
2 answers
103 views

Why is (vocal) melody usually written in quarter notes? [closed]

While writing melody, I was trying to stretch short verses into 16 bars by using too many whole and half notes, and now I think it was equal to having tempo at half speed. Most melody is written with ...
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8 votes
2 answers
2k views

How "hard" to read is this rhythm? A rhythmic comparison

I've recently heard a rhythm that sounded like this It seems slightly tricky to play it perfectly, so I wonder if I could somehow improve this writing to make it more natural and "readable"....
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  • 217
0 votes
1 answer
107 views

Help! How would you write this rhythm (audio linked below)? [closed]

The audio source can be found here. I'm interested in the section highlighted in blue. There is naturally some freedom in the artist's interpretation, but I would like to transcribe it in a relatively ...
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  • 217
13 votes
8 answers
4k views

Does the starting note for a song have to be the starting note of its scale?

Does a scale always have to start off with the note it is named after? For example, the Dm scale is defgab♭cd`. If I wanted to sing a song in D minor, would I have to start with the note D? Or could ...
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  • 355
1 vote
2 answers
91 views

What is it about the 9th that gets used so much over minor triads by songwriters? [closed]

I have come across an uncanny amount of examples in song analysis where the 9th (or 2nd) is used over a minor triad in an important way. I don't just mean as a passing tone but as a, beginning notes, ...
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  • 7,871
4 votes
1 answer
72 views

Can transposing my song help me understand what's wrong with it?

When writing, recording, or making music on the computer, I write what sounds good to me. I listen to it 1000 times in the process, so I'm afraid that I end up losing my ability to judge it. To ...
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6 votes
6 answers
1k views

What are the key ideas behind a good bassline?

Hello fellow musicians, I trying to figure out how to write a good bassline to a pop-ish song (no specific genre, but think Selfless by The Strokes and Lost in Time by The Living Tombstone). I have ...
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3 votes
5 answers
327 views

Songwriting and improvisation HowTos

Are there any actual rules of how to write music? I mean there're guides everywhere in the Internet like "so you have scale, shapes of scale, chord progression over scale - let's go, do whatever ...
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3 votes
3 answers
749 views

How to write long melodic licks on Guitar?

Please share your method/approach to write long melodic licks/runs/sequences/phrases on your instrument(preferably guitar). I can write short melodic short phrases like in Blues, for example, but ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
49 views

In your opinion, what song structure does Glasvegas's "Geraldine" follow?

I would argue that the song "Geraldine" by Glasvegas (embedded below) follows an AABA structure, as there is variation in the second A repeat; however, a melody from the original repeats ...
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2 votes
4 answers
322 views

What is the significance of learning ''cadences" in music composition?

What is the significance in understanding this concept if I wanted to write music? If I understood cadences, then would that mean I would be able to structure my compositions?
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1 vote
1 answer
56 views

Finding my song's registration with a Performing Rights Organization

So, many years ago, I entered a songwriting competition. As a prerequisite, I had to register my song with a PRO. I know I did it, but I don't remember which PRO --it was either ASCAP or BMI. I don't ...
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5 votes
3 answers
757 views

What is 22 equal temperament? [closed]

I gave this song a listen here. This artist used 22 tone micro tonal in the time signature of 5/4. Here are some questions that came into my mind: How did this artist use 22 tone in his song? What ...
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  • 269
1 vote
6 answers
527 views

Is this chord progression really iii-V-I?

I've found a really cool chord progression that I've been playing on guitar that goes Bm-D-G-G. I'm trying to create a chorus to go with that chord progression, and I've settled that I'm playing in ...
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2 votes
1 answer
126 views

Songwriting and Chord Progressions like Elton John

I know this might be a weird question, but bear with me. Recently I've been listening and analyzing Elton John's songs. I really loved the songwriting, chord progressions and chord voicing. In an ...
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0 votes
1 answer
66 views

A vocalist musician beginner: hearing song structure

How to tell the parts of a song when I hear a beat? I mean if I find a beat that I love, how can I tell in which seconds the chorus, verses,bridge...? For example, what distinguishes the different ...
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  • 11
1 vote
7 answers
621 views

What key does the chord progression E, D, C#, B, E, D, C#, G belong to?

I noticed while playing guitar recently that the chords E, D, C#, B, and then E, D, C#, G sound good together although to my knowledge those chords can’t be in the same key because of the E and the C#....
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  • 11
-1 votes
1 answer
84 views

Is there a name for this kind of a transition in songs?

In ALL ABOUT THAT BASE parody (Star Wars Parody - Meghan Trainor's All About That Bass), there's a certain transition / change near the linked time after "places" (the video has lyrics shown)...
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0 votes
2 answers
98 views

How to practice hearing what other people hear and techniques to detect I'm diverging

I'm not hearing sound objectively. For example when I produce music, even after the final mixdown, I think my brain is actually adding things that aren't objectively there. Not entire instruments and ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
120 views

Need help in writing Guitar Solos using story [closed]

I heard lot from online videos(Literally all) that the key thing to awesome solo is - Story. But I am kinda confused that how one implements this? Please share how you implement the "Story" ...
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0 votes
3 answers
167 views

Will a song of F-major sound higher than C-major if they are following the same harmonic progression?

When trying to write songs in F-major, I realize that by using inversions I can achieve a range that is manageable for instruments and voices to play. Yet, I notice that more often than not, my ...
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  • 105
1 vote
2 answers
261 views

I can't hear the chords in this song, are there any or am I mistaking chords for melody? [closed]

I'm trying to train my hear to listen and separate out the chords, melody, bass, and drums in music I enjoy listening to, and practice my music by re-creating these styles. ...
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  • 13
2 votes
4 answers
2k views

Can Schubert songs only be fully appreciated by German speakers? [closed]

I just listened through to the Schubert song cycle Winterreise which has some wonderful tunes in it. The program notes say it is a deeply melancholic and in parts terrifying work, but as a non-German ...
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6 votes
2 answers
558 views

How do I transpose an orchestral piece if it will push some of the instruments out of their range?

Chord inversions seem to be the obvious choice, but sometimes it changes the overall harmony or disturbs the voice leading. Am I stuck with that key of whatever the orchestral piece is originally ...
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  • 105
1 vote
2 answers
73 views

When playing piano and singing is it better to voice the chords out of the way of the vocal?

When I study lead sheet on the piano. The left hand plays the chord and the right hand plays the melody in the next octave up. Should this be the case when singing and playing too? So if I have a ...
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3 votes
0 answers
154 views

Operatic composition techniques

In this interview, one of my favorite composers (and my favorite male vocalist)--Rufus Wainwright--explains that he has "leaned on" opera for various tricks which he has applied to his pop, ...
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  • 916
13 votes
6 answers
2k views

Lead guitar improvisation strategies for young intermediate guitarists

One of my 15 year old students is progressing quite nicely in her ability, including playing live and playing learned guitar parts including lead lines. She reads music and can play many classical and ...
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1 vote
0 answers
88 views

What is the correlation between money notes and scale used in a song when singing? [closed]

I wonder what is the correlation between the scale I chose for a song and the "money notes" I'm going to sing in the more tense moments of the song, like in the prechorus. They are usually going to be ...
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2 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can you use a midi controller without knowing how to play any instrument?

Can someone without any instrument experience create a song "by ear" using a midi controller? Or would you recommend getting a piano keyboard, learning how to play it first, and then use the midi ...
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  • 121
3 votes
6 answers
579 views

Are all triads of a key, composed of notes in that original key?

If you go through each note of a key, and create a triad with a root from each note. Are all the triads composed of notes exclusive to that original key? For example, walking through F Major: I - F ...
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  • 133
1 vote
4 answers
793 views

Playing the same melody over different chord progressions

I'm considering a structure of the following sort for a jazz/rock fusion song: Section A: 2-bar instrumental guitar line repeated a couple of times over a chord progression like C-G-C-G, followed by ...
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  • 13
1 vote
1 answer
128 views

Time signatures [closed]

Can someone explain to me how to mix time signatures as a songwriter? iv'e read several articles suggesting to switch vary the time signature of a piece to give different sections contrast and ...
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1 vote
2 answers
162 views

Music Composition - matching lyrics and musical meters

for all the songwriters and musicians out there, how can you tell what time signature a lyric is written in? Someone please explain to me the concept of writing lyrics in different time signatures!! ...
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1 vote
2 answers
158 views

Meter/ bars/ subdivisions

Can anyone explain to me how a singer/artist squeeze in more than 4 syllables between subdivisions? i know it has something to do with tempo, but how do you count the beats between subdivisions to ...
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0 votes
2 answers
3k views

Meter/ Rhythm/ Time signature

Can someone explain to me what meter is and how to change and control it? Im a beginner songwriting and im not sure if meter refers to feet per line or if it refers to duple, triple, quadruple, simple,...
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0 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to understand the meter and pulse of lyrics in songwriting?

I've been learning many different concepts as a beginning songwriter and have been working on applying them in my work. However, I can't seem to full understand how to control lyric meter and lyric ...
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0 votes
3 answers
297 views

I need to know what piano chords I am singing

I am a songwriter but I do not play piano. I can pick my melody out with one finger, but that’s it. Is there an app or some way to record myself singing a song and have it determine the piano chords ...
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1 vote
3 answers
195 views

Is there a standard way of singing over ii-V-I in jazz?

I am new to music theory especially jazz and blues. I have since learned about writing lyrics or singing over a traditional 12 bar blues progression using AAB form, thus repeating the first line (A) ...
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2 votes
1 answer
129 views

Arrangements on The Blues Brothers songs

I'm trying to write/arrange songs in the style of the Blues Brothers. It seems that some of the arrangements were very simple. In the case of "everybody needs somebody to love" for example, they just ...
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4 votes
5 answers
2k views

what are the characteristics that define a "good" melody?

When composing a song, I think it might help if I understood what some of the characteristics of a good melody might be, and do those characteristics apply generally across the board or are they ...
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3 votes
1 answer
48 views

Does this technique that deals with syllable meters have a name?

On the poem extract below I noticed the following technique and it sounded really familiar, reminding me of punk rock songs and some strong man speeches (I know this is super vague, if I remember any ...
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3 votes
2 answers
153 views

When should a phrase-final long note be tied to a shorter note?

I note a common practice in vocal lines, where a phrase ends with a long note: in many cases such a note is written not to go up to a strong beat, but to extend a short way beyond that. For example it ...
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