Questions tagged [songwriting]

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

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3
votes
6answers
257 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
88 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
45 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
151 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
40 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
70 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
581 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
77 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
48 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!! ...
1
vote
3answers
126 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) ...
0
votes
2answers
109 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,...
0
votes
3answers
84 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
3k 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: ...
7
votes
3answers
10k views

How to make a song with chords and scales?

I play acoustic guitar and have been learning a bunch of chords and scales. I can play many progressions already, and I am starting to write music. I am wondering how you would bridge chord ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How can you retain the melody or tune you come up with in your head?

I was trying to create a song and figured out what the melody would be like. I played it on my guitar and jotted down the chords in a notebook. The next morning i tried playing it, but i completely ...
3
votes
4answers
262 views

How to play in time, for songwriters

How do songwriters make recordings that are in time? Here's what I've tried: 1) Recording with a metronome. OK, now my songs are in time, but are different (e.g. quantized/snapped to the beat ...
3
votes
5answers
503 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How do bands take notes of their songs?

I've never been in a band, and I'm trying to imagine how the songwriting process goes in a band. Most importantly, I wonder how does a band take notes of their songs and ideas during jams and ...
3
votes
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
votes
2answers
71 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
102 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.
2
votes
1answer
203 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
12
votes
12answers
38k views

Is it acceptable to change tempo in the middle of a song or is this a bad idea?

I wrote a song that could be classified as Pop or Country that starts out at a medium slow tempo in the first two verses and bridge. Then there is a section after the bridge that can best be ...
6
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
170 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
vote
3answers
121 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,...
1
vote
1answer
139 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
191 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
109 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
votes
1answer
77 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
votes
2answers
134 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
votes
0answers
78 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
838 views

how can I develop my top-line melody writing style?

I'll try to use definitions from writing speech, in order to explain my question. In order to write an essay, you need to know the alphabet, some vocabulary, grammar, syntax and combine the words in ...
2
votes
2answers
235 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
votes
0answers
88 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
190 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. ...
3
votes
3answers
585 views

start with lyrics or harmony?

I want to compose a song. I have composed some music harmony and lines. I need to write some lyrics but I have a question: When creating songs, generally we write the lyrics and then compose a ...
0
votes
4answers
167 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 ...
13
votes
8answers
6k views

Is writing lyrics similar to writing poetry?

I'm having trouble writing my first lyrics for a song. I think the main point I'm having difficulty with is how a lyric sentence is written? I know it's not written like a novel but similar to a poem ...
4
votes
2answers
134 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
319 views

Writer's block: how do you know when lyrics are “ready”?

After a writer's block of at least ten years, this guitarist is "ready" to move on with writing and recording the songs that lurk inside me. My initial approach is diving back into my folders of ...
1
vote
6answers
259 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
210 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
435 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

What are some effective ways to use a key change during a song?

In my own songwriting, I might change keys to reinforce a change in the direction of the lyrics. For example if the first two verses are first person but the last verse is 3rd person, I might ...
28
votes
21answers
6k views

How do I get out of my song writing rut and compose something new and fresh for a change?

I have been writing melodies for my original lyrics since 2008 and have written quite a few songs in that time. But the more songs I write, the more difficult it becomes to write melodies that don't ...
7
votes
1answer
191 views

Creating conga part in lilypond

I'd like to score a congas part in lilypond, but I can't figure out how. I've found the lilypond documentation on it here, but I can't understand it, especially this bit: There are also other ...
2
votes
1answer
126 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
votes
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 ...