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
5answers
989 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
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
151 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
92 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" ...
2
votes
0answers
85 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, ...
2
votes
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
76 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
108 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. ...
13
votes
9answers
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
482 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
13
votes
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
83 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
votes
3answers
241 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
132 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
325 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
96 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
94 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
83 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
58 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
140 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
323 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
103 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
5k 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
11k 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
2k 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
270 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
792 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
76 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
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2answers
104 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
309 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
41k 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
206 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
132 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
147 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
278 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
123 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
80 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
147 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
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
875 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
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
votes
0answers
105 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
199 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
603 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 ...