Songwriting Made Simple – What’s in a Song?

There are many myths about songs and songwriting that we have either heard from someone in our life, or even conjured up in our imaginations. To most people, and even many musicians alike, songs can be as vast as the ocean we gaze out upon from the shore, with all its great mysteries and depths of unknown. In my own studies, I have found that songs are not that complicated at all.

In fact, songs are merely sections of music pieced together to create one cohesive composition reels download. No matter the genre or style of music you study or plan to compose, you will find that songs are actually broken down into sections and the sections have names. But o be clear here at this point,for times sake we are only discussing Modern Contemporary Music (the last fifty years or so) and are covering most top genres (Pop, Rock, R&B, Country etc.).

Another point worth mentioning here is that there are typical scenarios that take place when constructing songs. Although most writers will use successful and proven formulas when composing music, their are no “have to be’s” just “probablies” . If there were ever a place for the saying “rules are made to be broken”, it is definitely in the songwriting format. So remember this anytime you see the word “typically”mentioned in the article.

1. Song sections have names: Even if your exposure to music has been minimal,you’ve probably heard some of the musical terms like chorus, verse or bridge. These are just some of the names given to sections to describe their function in a song. Others might be the introduction (intro), lead break, middle eight or mid section.

2. The function of sections: The chorus of a song is typically where you find the song title. This is also where you will find the main “hook” of the song. The hook of the song is the part of the song that gets “stuck in your head” and want let go. A singable hook is a key component of a successful song. The verse is the section that “talks” about the hook or song title. The intro is typically a smaller part of a section (verse or chorus) that introduces the song. Strong songs typically have strong intros. A mid section (mid eight) will be the section of the song that will sound noticeably different from the other sections of music. And of course, the lead break is the section where a lead instrument, such as the guitar or saxophone, takes over the melody.

3. Section lengths: Sections are created by measures of music also called bars. The bars are where the beats and chords dwell. A typical bar has four beats. Typically, sections of music are eight bars (measures) long. Modern Contemporary Music songs are typically three and a half to four minutes in length.

4. Melodies and Chord Progressions: Inside the sections are melodies, lyrics and chords. The melody is the tune of the song that you sing or play. The chords accompany the melody. The order in which you play the chords are referred to as the chord progression. Each section has a chord progression. The lyrics are the words to the song that you sing.

5. Connecting the Sections: The order in which you connect the sections of music is called the arrangement of the song. Although there are typical orders of arrangement, again, there are no “have to be’s” just “probablies.” The typical order of a song arrangement will vary from style to style and has changed with the trends in music over the past fifty years. A great barometer for a budding songwriter would be to check out the genre and style that they are currently composing. This will help to identify what order typical arrangements can be.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *