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How Words Change as a Song Progresses. The kinds of things that usually get set up at the beginning and resist change would be the tempo and the basic feel of the song. The kinds of things that change would be the chord progressions, the melodies, and of course the lyrics.
How do they change? A verse melody tends to be lower in pitch than a chorus melody. Song lyrics can be neatly categorized as being narrative , describing people, situations and circumstances, or emotional , expressing feelings and reactions to whatever the story has been about.
In general, the telling of the story or describing of circumstances happens in a verse. He uses the verse to sing about a situation that is, at its core, quite emotional, but he keeps that emotion controlled and minimal:. As you can see, there is emotion, but it's controlled and measured. That chorus lyric may add to the story, but its chief responsibility is to allow the listener to feel something. Or it might be a series of lines that, while adding to the story, are filled with emotion.
Read your verse lyric to yourself, and try to assess it for its story-telling qualities. Read the chorus to yourself, and try to assess it for the emotions it describes and generates. When it works well, a song lyric acts as a kind of musical seesaw, where we feel emotion rising and falling. That kind of change over time is vital to keeping audiences listening and interested. Gary Ewer is a music instructor, clinician, conductor and composer.
Tags: songwriter , song writer , song write , Song writing , Chorus , Songwriting , Verse , songwrite , Recording , lyric writing , song demo , bridge , demo recording , Gary Ewer , music writing. Tags: songwriter , song writer , song write , Song writing , Songwriting , songwrite , song demo , chord progression , collaborations , Co-Writing Songs , hooks , Re-writing , Gary Ewer. All rights reserved. Verse Lyrics Song lyrics can be neatly categorized as being narrative , describing people, situations and circumstances, or emotional , expressing feelings and reactions to whatever the story has been about.
He uses the verse to sing about a situation that is, at its core, quite emotional, but he keeps that emotion controlled and minimal: Now and then I think of when we were together Like when you said you felt so happy you could die Told myself that you were right for me But felt so lonely in your company But that was love and it's an ache I still remember. So as you write your next song, do this: Write your verse lyric on one page and your chorus lyric on another.
For every chord you might use, there is a list of chords that could serve as substitutes. The notes of your melody are going to be the main guide. After considering the notes, you then need to know a bit of chord theory. This is a vital part of good chord structure. Good pop chord progressions target the tonic chord.
The tonic chord is the one representing the key of your song. Chord progressions should usually seek out that chord.
Good pop chord progressions tend to make most of the chords change on strong beats. To find the strong beats, simply tap your foot to the music. Your musical brain will automatically sort it out. Your foot will go down on a strong beat, and up on a weak beat.
Start adding chords on strong beats. Good pop chord progressions honour the function of the chords. Chord function can be a tricky concept, but for pop music, it tends to be rather simple, and you can get away with considering three basic functions: the tonic function, the pre-dominant function and the dominant function.
The tonic function is typically represented by the tonic I and sometimes the vi-chord, the pre-dominant function by the IV or ii-chord, and the dominant function by the V-chord. Each function has a list of substitutes that can be used.
In VERSION 1 above, the final bar has a chord on beat 1 a strong beat , beat 2 a weak beat and then the final chord on beat 3 another strong beat. Discover the notes your melody uses. Look at each strong beat, and then look at the weak beat that follows. The chords you choose should use the strong beat note and most not necessarily all of the weak beat notes.
As you work out your progression, keep in mind the need for many adjacent chords to use roots that are a 5th from each other, and use the tonic as a musical target.
Find songs that you like and play or sing through the melody slowly without chords. Then play the chords and sing the melody. Notice how the progression targets the tonic, and make note of where the chords change. Visit beatingsongwritersblock. All Posts. Connect to us:. Email Subscribe. Popular Posts. USA Songwriting Competition 1 poetry 1 pro audio 1 professional 1 professional music 1 profitable projects 1 publishers 1 publishing 1 purevolume 1 radio 1 radio stations 1 record vocals 1 recording songwriter 1 refrian 1 ride 1 shedding bad Habits 1 singer 1 singing 1 song critique 1 song elements 1 song writing.
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