Questions tagged [songwriting]

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

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2
votes
1answer
58 views

Are there songs written using non-functional harmony

I have been trying to write music that does not resolve to a tonic. Would this be non-functional harmony? CMaj7 / Dbdim7 / BMaj7 / Eb7b5
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3answers
3k views

When did the anonymous “you” become popular in western pop music?

This question might sound a bit facetious but I have been wondering for a long time. Many western pop songs are addressed to an anonymous "you". Presumably the song writer wants to write a song that ...
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3answers
86 views

song writing technique

I've had songs just come to me on occasion that were pretty complete the way they were, and other times I can work on a song for over a year and although I like the idea of the song when I start on it,...
2
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1answer
139 views

What are some techniques one can use to expand on a simple musical idea? [closed]

I am trying to write a song for around 3 months. I'm constantly having great musical ideas, but can't really expand on them. For example: I came up with a very peculliarly sounding dim7 arpeggio, ...
1
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1answer
108 views

Chords of my song sound boring [closed]

I am not a musician, I have mostly self studied some music theory, and I really enjoy composing small pop pieces on the guitar. Recently I got stuck. I have all the lyrics, and the rhythm works, but ...
0
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1answer
91 views

So how can you tell if music is good or not? How can you compare between two pieces of music? [closed]

So if we talk musically in terms of harmony and melody (apart from lyrics) how can you tell if music is bad or good when all music are just different chord progressions and different melodies? If you ...
5
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4answers
1k views

Does a vocal melody have any rhythmic responsibility to the underlying arrangement in pop music?

Another way to ask the question would be: Does an arrangement built for a vocal melody adhere in some way to the rhythm of the vocal or are they independent rhythmically speaking? I have a melody and ...
5
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3answers
91 views

Using V and v chord when melody alternates between harmonic and natural minor

When using the harmonic (or melodic) minor scale for a melody, it is often combined with the natural minor, depending on whether the seventh is a leading tone going up to the tonic (in which case you'...
2
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1answer
72 views

Which song writing book should I get? [closed]

Right now I'm looking at Murphy's Laws of Songwriting and Writing Better Lyrics. I'm a total beginner, and I want to learn about all the different parts of song structure, how to write good lyrics, ...
3
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2answers
93 views

Composition by Hand: Workflow, habit, and handwriting [closed]

I have been composing using the computer for over two decades. However, I think this is not a very productive approach and I now wish to compose more often. To my understanding, very little is known ...
2
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0answers
70 views

What additional skills are necessary for a composer to transition to songwriting? [closed]

I've been studying composition and theory for a few years now. I'm interested in attempting to write pieces with text for solo/small group that are of a duration typical of a pop song. Are there any ...
2
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2answers
217 views

Are there fewer rhymes in contemporary popular music? If so, why?

Vsauce mentions a study by Joan Serra showed contemporary pop music is less complex in its musical motives than it was, which he explains by a wider diversity in form and genres. While complexity of ...
2
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0answers
57 views

What chord progressions are most common in school fight songs? [closed]

Whenever I hear a school fight song, be it at my high school or at a college football game, I can recognize a pattern in almost every fight song's chord progression, but I can't identify what the ...
2
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5answers
147 views

How to do songwriting starting from the lyrics, if I don't play any instrument?

I usually write new songs starting with a free backtrack. Then I imagine which words and melodies can go with it and in that way it's pretty easy to write a new song. Finally I can sing them at open ...
0
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4answers
158 views

How can someone mentally improvise music? [closed]

For a long time I have wondered how musicians have been able to create music internally without the use of an instrument i.e improvising physically or in some other real way. I think the idea that ...
1
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2answers
113 views

What do you call a lightwheight version of chorus inside a verse or in between them?

If you have two different choruses, where one is a more mellow version of the "real" chorus. What do you call it? For instance on this form: Verse, X, Verse, Chorus. What do you call X? It's not a ...
4
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2answers
115 views

Musicians' jargon, on-stage communication

I’m translating a documentary about a Hungarian folk-jazz musician into English and there are a few words, which I am sure are very simple, yet which I simply cannot find a solution for anywhere on ...
0
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4answers
157 views

How can you tell the chords of a piece of music if you can only hear bass and melody? [closed]

How can you tell the chords of a piece of music if you can only hear bass and melody? There are a lot of possibility that it can be more than a single chord..Also, would be better like this.. To have ...
1
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6answers
183 views

How is making music by software different than real instruments? [closed]

Do I need a real keyboard, drum machine and other instruments to make music, or do you think software nowadays are able to generate the same sound? What would be the difference, and would the quality ...
2
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0answers
35 views

Any tips on how to promote digitally distributed music? [closed]

My daughter is a talented singer-songwriter. She has published her songs in various digital streaming sites including Spotify. I would like to ask whether anyone in this forum has any good tips on ...
2
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1answer
121 views

What is considered to be inspiration? How can I be sure my idea is original?

I'm feeling like I'm not fully understand what degree of musical creativity is considered to be creating original content or inspiration. When a musical idea "jumps in my head" it sometimes remind me ...
2
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2answers
92 views

Writing Guitar Songs

Whenever I write a song on the guitar if I start it on the fifth fret, then all parts of the song start on the fifth fret, The intro riff, the chorus and verse riffs, everything. I'm a self taught guy ...
3
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3answers
203 views

Way to lower key of song without changing sound of chord progression (like the opposite of a capo)?

Capos heighten the pitch of the guitar. Is there a thing that lowers the pitch of the guitar? I've been having problems playing a song on guitar and also singing it. For example, a song's chord ...
0
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1answer
73 views

Help with songwriting, refrain confusion

I wonder if you could offer some advice. I’m doing well with a collection of ideas for songs but am struggling to get them completed. I tend to use a lot of refrain instead of chorus so for example ...
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3answers
346 views

Songs melody range

I'm writing a vocal song and I'm worried about the range of the melody.. for example in C Major key what is the lowest and highest melody I could go ? I appreciate every answers..but..I don't want ...
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2answers
117 views

melody starting point on song parts

Hi I'm writing a song in a Bb Major key and the chords goes something like EbM7 , F7 , Gm7 and the first note of the melody starts with G note. (this is the main chorus part) And if the verse part ...
3
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3answers
192 views

How to find counter rhythms for vocal melodies over dominant rhythms?

Most of the music theory I have learnt/encountered was focusing on chords and notes of melodies, but not on interplay of melody and backbeat, hence I'm asking this question. We are working on a song ...
2
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1answer
77 views

If I just change the lyrics and flow (very slightly) of a song is it called a cover or a remix?

Is it referred as to something else? Like my version of a song or tribute.
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2answers
60 views

Finding chords that sound the same as a melody

I’ve been writing a song with the basic melody: E, F#, C#, on electric guitar, but to write the chorus I need the same chords. I tried playing and F# chord, but it was too hard to play (I can’t play ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Turning lyrics into melody

Ive currently been having great difficulty turning my lyrics and poems into a melody. i've considered aligning the accented syllables as well as the meter with accented beats but am still having ...
4
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4answers
169 views

Help me understand the chord progression I just wrote?

I'm a guitarist who tends to write by ear but is trying to understand more theory. I came up with this progression I'm using for a song while noodling around with variations of the classic I-V-IV-V. ...
2
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1answer
502 views

What makes us recognize the composer of a song?

Here is the situation: I'm at a friend's house, and he plays a song in the guitar. I never heard it before, but somehow I know it's John Mayer, even though I don't like him very much (I can't even ...
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3answers
67 views

I was wondering about theory when it comes the rhythm and contour of melody lines [closed]

Like i was wondering if theres was any kind of way of making sense on how melody lines move or their rhythm. for examples are there rules when it comes to notes being held across bars.
5
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4answers
190 views

Subconscious Plagiarization in Music Production

I have effectively no training in music theory, and have only ever produced a handful of "songs" (unpublished files on my hard drive, resulting from aimless experimentation with production software). ...
4
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1answer
191 views

How to add lead guitar part to basic vocal/rhythm guitar song?

If my friend wrote a basic (rock/country ish) song over some guitar chords, any advice on how to add a lead guitar part? I.e. more than playing a pentatonic scale in same key as rhythm? Sorry it's a ...
0
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2answers
79 views

Putting original song in Movie? [closed]

If you want an original song to be in a movie, how would you put that in the movie script? Do you just write the lyrics in? Can you show an example?
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6answers
164 views

Is it good idea to start theory and song writing at the beginning?

I'm a beginner guitarist. I wanted to know if I'm able, if I can, to start with song writing and music theory. I was thinking if I got 2 years of guitar, why not 2 years of guitar, song writing, and ...
28
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4answers
6k views

What is the difference between 'chorus' and 'refrain'?

I'm trying to learn something about song structure. Reading the Wikipedia article about the subject I came across two terms that looked somewhat similar: chorus and refrain. There seemed to be a ...
5
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2answers
246 views

What do we call it when everything—pitch, chords progression, etc.—changes in a song?

There is a technique that I don't understand in some songs where everything changes—the pitch drop, the chord progression, the melody, etc. The only thing that stays the same is the vibe. Here are ...
3
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1answer
252 views

Writing interesting accompaniment rhythms

I've noticed a lot of music by New York composers use very interesting and varied, unpredictable accompaniment patterns (syncopation, rests, variation, counter-melodies etc) for their songs (like in ...
6
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2answers
977 views

What is the difference between harmony and consonance in music?

I am new to music theory and I was wondering what the difference is between harmony and consonance/dissonance. What are the reasons behind these terms and how can you apply it in practice if, for ...
0
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1answer
93 views

Can vocal runs or a vocal melody rythm clash with the guitar rythm?

In an acoustic singer-songwriter type song is it possible that the rhythm of a vocal run or vocal melody rhythm needs to be adjusted to fit the rhythm of the guitar better? I wrote some songs a while ...
2
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3answers
145 views

Approach notes on bass guitar clashing with vocal

When I write bass lines, I find that they sound better with approach notes but I also find that sometimes the approach notes clash with or clutter certain run-in vocal phrases that start with a few ...
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3answers
669 views

How to choose a bassline for a vocal melody

I have a melody for a 90bpm pop song that I wrote but am struggling with the bass line pattern a little bit. It is not what notes to play but what pattern I should use that I am stuck with. I don't ...
0
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3answers
2k views

Is C > Am > Em in the key of E minor or in the Key of E phrygian?

I am writing a song with the verse going from C > Am > Em > Em. . I can't think of any other pop/rock songs that use this progression and if anyone can think of any please share as this would be very ...
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2answers
75 views

is there a name in music when the melody changes the chord name or function?

I notice in some chords the melody actually starts on a note that is not in the chord itself. For example, a song in C major, the song might start on the C chord but the melody on the D (9th). Is ...
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4answers
109 views

Writing a Strange Ukulele Tune - Need Chord Help :) [closed]

I'm writing a strange little ukulele tune that goes G-G7-C-Cm and then repeats, basically. But I'd like it to repeat to a different last chord/last two chords but I'm having an issue finding a chord ...
0
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0answers
222 views

Wicked Game by Chris Isaak: does the vocal melody sing triplets over a straight sounding groove?

I am studying the concept of using triplet vocal melodies over a groove that sounds straight. I can think of a few examples but the most common one that comes to mind is the famous song "Wicked Game ...
1
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1answer
222 views

Harmonization of bebop scale

When you harmonize a bebop scale, you get a succession of X6 and X° chords with tight voicings, which can be thought of as tiny I and V chord progressions. I've read that musicians with polyphonic ...
2
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2answers
207 views

Why do certain vocal melodies work in context when those same melodies would sound dissonant on instruments?

I've been transcribing more vocal lines lately in songs I like, to go along with the usual instrument transcription I do, and I've noticed something interesting - a lot of my favorite vocal parts ...