Questions tagged [songwriting]

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

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31 views

Song Structure Question - Bob Dylan, The Beatles [closed]

Which song form are the following songs? 'Make You Feel My Love' by Bob Dylan 'Let it Be' by The Beatles The verses in these songs are given away by the title lyrics; are the other sections choruses, ...
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3answers
74 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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2answers
91 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. ...
2
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4answers
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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2answers
477 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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2answers
43 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 ...
2
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0answers
70 views
+50

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, ...
13
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6answers
1k 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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0answers
81 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 ...
2
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3answers
77 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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6answers
316 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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4answers
83 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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1answer
81 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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2answers
55 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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1answer
48 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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2answers
266 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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1answer
90 views

Lyric meter/ Pulse

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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3answers
95 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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3answers
139 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) ...
2
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1answer
93 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 ...
3
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5answers
737 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 ...
3
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1answer
46 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 ...
3
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2answers
73 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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2answers
103 views

Hey, I wrote something and I'm not really sure what the chords are [closed]

I wrote a tune but I don't know what chords go along with it. If anyone could figure it out that'd be great.
6
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6answers
4k views

How to convert what I'm singing to notes

I've been trying for months to get the songs in my head down to piano. But whenever I try none of the notes seem to fit what I'm singing. I'm guessing this is because I'm either A: out of tune or B: ...
2
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1answer
282 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
130 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
187 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, ...
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1answer
145 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 ...
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1answer
261 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 ...
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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
121 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
79 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
143 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 ...
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0answers
81 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
253 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
101 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 ...
3
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5answers
847 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 ...
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4answers
170 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 ...
2
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3answers
228 views

What do you call a lightweight version of a chorus inside or between verses?

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
139 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 ...
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6answers
277 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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1answer
129 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
95 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
489 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
95 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
736 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
227 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
324 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 ...