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Thread: Song Structuring..

  1. #21
    dintymoore Guest
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    I have a samba version of Rhapsody in Blue that I'm recording. Normally on a jazz tune like this you play the song through, then everybody takes turns soloing, then you return back to the head and that's it. A B A form.

    But on this tune I'm doing a few minutes of solos, then the head, and then back to a few minutes of solos. You could call that B A B form.

    There's been some great 1 chord tunes (Low Rider, Shotgun and Lime in the Coconut come to mind) and what makes the tune work is that the arrangement, the order of what happens isn't boring, it changes color enough without more chords. I really admire when someone can make a lot out of very little.

  2. #22
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    lyrics are usually the last part i write for a song.

    I sit down with my guitarist and we hammer out the riffs, talk about progression from each part to the next and if we need to create drum fills or guitar licks to accommodate time changes or sharp changes in sound/dynamics.

    the once the lyrics are written we really, really, really, focus on dynamics.

    would coming out of the chorus straight into a breakdown be better than chorus to verse? and how we can only probably do that in one song before it becomes boring.

    Verse chorus verse chorus Solo/breakdown/bridge chorus

    is widely used because it works. it's simple progression that is easy to listen to.

    If you can keep the structure different on every song, you've done pretty well for yourself... but it's pretty hard to do. the unique changes stand out so much that if you do it again anywhere else then people will call you formulaic.

    as a band you want to be unique and avoid being shackled in, like "oh they sound like Red Hot Chili Peppers"

    I like to have my guitarist write around 6-8 different riffs for a song.

    from there we can still use a verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus structure but instead the verse riffs change so it keeps the sound fresh.

    it becomes verse1/chorus/verse2/pre-chorus/chorus/verse3/breakdown/pre-chorus/chorus/alternate-chorus

    where we would take the chorus at the end and play it slightly differently, 1/8 notes instead of 1/16's triplets instead of 1/8's or 1/4's etc. strumming instead of palm muting.

    and drum changes can always make all the difference in the world as well. there's really a plethora of options available to song writers in terms of structuring their songs. Verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus is a sure bet to make a simple song sound good... it's tried and true.

    but I find some of the best music ever written follows a structure dictated by what the song needs, not something forced upon for it to be "finished" or meet a certain length. 3:30 comes to mind....

  3. #23
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    I guess I don't really have a normal structure I go to. Except I have noticed that a lot of my songs at least start with the chorus. I actually tend to hold back on making a lot of choruses because I like them so much, so it makes me want to listen to the song again. Like a drug. When there's too much chorus it's not as special.

    I've had a couple times where I've only had the chorus twice. I've been thinking lately about seeing what would happen if I got the chorus down to only being heard once, if it's even possible to do that and keep it catchy. Would that even be called a chorus then? Dunno. I do enjoy putting things in different places and messing around, however it's easier for me because I'm doing electronica and I don't have to do things like rerecord a guitar or anything... :-/

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    Multitracking in my opinion was the single most important event in songwriting, though it wasn’t apparent at the time. The likes of ordinary folk like John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ray Davies and Pete Townshend and others writing songs certainly went a long way towards breaking the mystique that surrounded songwriting. But multitracking meant that people didn’t have to sit at a piano and come up with complete songs like they once did. And as time has passed, being able to write songs has become indivisible from recording them. Songs of many genres are written, not necessarily to be sung around the piano or campfire but to be recorded. Church is probably one of the few arenas left where the writing of songs for people to sing outweighs the need to have them recorded.

    Technology has even allowed people to go one stage further and write in sections, before putting the whole lot together or even to collaborate with people in different parts of the country or even different countries. It almost goes without saying – there are many ways to write songs.

    It’s difficult to say exactly how one’s songs are structured because different songs are structured in different ways. It might be useful to focus on particular songs for those that are looking at this thread and wondering......

    Who would’ve thought so much mileage could be made of verses, choruses, bridges, codas, intros, outros etc ? But it can.

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    While I think it's important to find the type of structure that works for your songs and songwriting, sticking to that one type of structure is an easy road to getting stuck in a rut. You should force yourself every now and then to explore different structures, scales, time signatures, chord changes, etc that don't come naturally to you. Even if the result isn't something you'll put in your portfolio persay, you should every so often just jump out of your comfort zone and see where you land.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeshevldMusic View Post
    Just jam on the idea and whatever progression comes natural is probably going to be the best natural choice for the song.



    9 times out of 10, if it sounds good the first time you are playing it...it will probably be best portrayed that way in its final rendition.
    I've found this many a time. While I've become a little more deliberate in my songwriting as the years have gone by, most of my initial efforts came from jam sessions. I'd always tape my jams and as I'd be listening back to them, there would often emerge huge sections of a 90 minute jam that I'd think, 'this would make a great song'. and so I'd learn the section, be it 5 minutes or 20 and then that would be the song. As they were often on bass, I'd then have to think them through and figure out what else was going to be happening in there. But unless I added the odd intro or outro or extra bit, they would often remain intact literally as they had come out.
    When I come to record the songs, if they're long pieces {and many, possibly most, of mine are} I'll record them in sections. I don't play in a band or anything like that so there isn't time to spend rehearsing a 15/20 minute piece {I used to try that alot}. But when taken in sections, you can actually play a piece through until it's retained and ready to be recorded.
    Although many people say that you should have some idea of what it will sound like, I rarely do. The magnificence of what's in my head is rarely replicated in real life ! Besides which, other players can often bring something to one's song that the writer completely overlooked or just never conceived of.

  7. #27
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    When I used to write alot, I found myself getting stuck in a rut with V C V C solo C...with that formula, I could put out a large number of merely mediocre songs. I now find myself writing significantly less, but more inclined to experimenting with song structure-moving solos and bridges around changing around, pushing back the chorus, writing another verse/different chorus as an outro, etc...the result being, in my opinion, much stronger songs.

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    Very first post

    My writing is very subconscious, as in I'll hear something
    I like when playing my guitar then words just flow, it kind of
    Writes itself, it always seems to make sense to me in the end.
    I joined this site by the way as I'm about to start up my own
    Recording, I love the advice and tips you people give, I'll
    Definitely be back asking and annoying ha ha , great site,
    Love being among musicians. Rock n roll

  9. #29
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    I have to say I don't follow any pattern either when it comes to songwriting.
    I tend to get a melody, an idea and then I just follow where it seems to take me.
    I have to say I go with the 'feel'.
    I know this isn't a very scientific way of explaining it but Songwriting means so many different things to so many different people.

    http://www.somojo.net/Steven_Jackson/

  10. #30
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    Free style

    The way I write my songs is I usually freestyle with the beat of my choice and that is how I come up with the words to a song. The only promble I have is I sometimes repeat myself in the second verse. So it take it takes me from an hour to a day to get the second verse to sound not so repetitive. If any1 have a better way then this let me know.

    Thanks the 1 and only RE.

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