You may think you have the components of the song, ask yourself these final questions to see if you can improve your song in any way?
You need to finish off your song.
You will need to either perform your song or record it.
Some apps or programs you can use.
• Songwriter Pad Multitrack
• Multitrack DAW
• Four Track (Android)
• Roadwriter (Android)
You could also use
To develop the verse of your song
To link your verse to the chorus
Developing the Verse
This needs to complement and lead into your chorus.
Are your verses setting the scene? Are they developing a story?
Use the same rhyme scheme and structure as before. How could you develop the music through the verses
Use repetition to get the ideas of the song across.
Linking to your chorus
Can you lead the verse into the chorus section of the song?
Do you need to use a bridge to assist you in this process?
To develop the main melody/tune/vocal line for your song.
To develop the main hook or riff for your song.
Developing the vocal line
Improvise lines of a tune, or to rap verbal phrases in a rhythm which fits your chord progression.
Try putting words or phrases to it.
Repeat this sequence, try new ideas which work with the chord progression.
Developing your Chorus
Your chorus is your hook you need to make it so you can sing along to it and make it interesting.
Repeat one or two lines in the chorus, or repeat a line with a very slight change (perhaps in the harmony). Include a line from the verse in the chorus.
Check what you have is a chorus. Could it be a different section?
To learn how to come up with ideas for melodies and chords to use for your song.
To understand what a chord progression is and how it is the basis for all songs.
To learn how to improvise and “jam” in order to produce initial musical ideas.
To learn to use technology to help you with initial song ideas
Improvisation, scale, chord, progression, melody.
Questions I will ask at the end of the lesson
MR H will test using Kahoot at the end of the lesson.
From Musical Futures Australia,
Creating and playing with others
Playing music with others is as much about teamwork as it is about the music you play.
It is always easier to start with a very simple melody, chord progression, bass line, or drum pattern, and then add more complexity and depth to it as the song progresses.
Most songs are based on a simple chord structure. The four chord hit wonder.
If we take the scale of C major.
I - ii - iii -IV-V-vi-VII-I
We can use the scale to explain the common and different chord progressions. There are common patterns that are used.
The most popular I-V-vi-IV
Pachelbel's sequence I - V - vi - iii
A different point in the key
vi → V → IV → V http://www.hooktheory.com/theorytab/common-chord-progressions/4
A variation on the most popular
I → vi → IV → V http://www.hooktheory.com/theorytab/common-chord-progressions/5
I → IV → vi → V http://www.hooktheory.com/theorytab/common-chord-progressions/6
A video explanation from me. Please be nice.
Hooktheory -->Link is a good starting point for building chords and melody ideas
For Piano chord charts - http://www.8notes.com/piano_chord_chart/
or here https://www.pinterest.com/pin/302937512412207265/
For Guitar chord charts - http://www.8notes.com/guitar_chord_chart/
Most musicians, when jamming, spend the first part of the song “figuring it out” and then spend the later part of the song actually expressing themselves and creating their own variations. Until you get comfortable with a song’s basics, it won’t help playing complex solo lines or fills.
If you’re the “leader” or if you feel that your fellow songwriters are with you, you might be tempted to start out with more complexity. Avoid this, because it helps to get everyone understanding and playing the first verse or two with something really simple, and you can spend that time coming up with a really amazing part that you can play later on.
Most songs use only four chords look at the "Axis of Awesome" that illustrates this.
Pay attention to what others are saying and to the music that is being played around you. Add to it only when it is necessary. You should begin to hear the lines that you want to play before you play them.
Allowing space for others (don’t over play)
It is important for everyone to contribute. It doesn’t matter how good you are (or think you are), you should never play so much that it drowns everyone else out.
Seek and give feedback that is considered and helpful. Warm feedback is always nice to receive. For example, “I like that chord progression for the chorus. It will sound great with the vocal line over it”. This tells the performer/songwriting partner that you are listening carefully to their suggestions and encourages further input. Positive suggestions are great and are not discouraging if there is a reason given for your preferences, for example, “I think that chord progression would be better used as the pre-chorus section. I feel something stronger or more bold, is required for the chorus.”
Take time (and stop playing...yes , that means you too!) and let everyone have a say about the part of the song you are working on.
Take a break
Sometimes you can spend a whole lot of time working on a section and just get nowhere. It happens to everyone. Maybe you are over thinking it or trying to play something that won’t fit or is just too hard for everyone to play. Drop it for a while and go on with something else. You will come back and find something that works later.
Use your Voices or instruments jam around a sequence that is familiar. If you like a tune or a melody, repeat it, loop it around to help the flow.
If you already have an idea for a melody (with or without words), find the chords of the backing that should fit with it.
Choose one of these five songs
Adele - Someone like you
Green Day - Basketcase
Adele - Hello
Play the song through and use the information to answer the questions.
if you have any questions email email@example.com
Continue to work on your lyrics in groups.
At the end of the lesson, you will be expected to share some of your ideas to the class.
For homework write down your initial ideas for song lyrics
To understand the basics of writing a song and what it involves
Whether a song involves writing lyrics first or the music or both at the same time.
Divide yourself into groups, a maximum of 3 in a group.
In your groups choose a topic on which to write a song and discuss it. Use the prompt cards to assist you. Assign one person in your group to write down or recording any interesting ideas that could be used to inspire the song and its lyrics. Some of the words and phrases chosen may later be used in the song. Think purely about the topic.
Sheila Davis from the songwriters idea book says a good topic should be
"A Genuine idea,
Start coming up with some ideas maybe even some sections in the music.
Put your topic ideas on the padlet.
A narrative - Telling a story
A song that tells a story
Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles
Feelings - Emotions
A describing the thoughts and emotions that someone is feeling
Everybody Hurts - REM
A song that describes a situation or a moment in time.
I bet that you look good on the dancefloor - The Arctic Monkeys
Apps to help you
Online websites to help
In your groups take your selected material write down a bank of words and phrases
Start to pick out the strong words and phrases
Start to use a rhyme scheme with them. Use scansion to help with your rhythm
Spend some time saying aloud, in rhythm, the words you have written. Work on these, adding and taking away words until they have two lines that work well together as lyrics for a song.
Next, using exactly the same rhyme scheme and rhythm, write another two lines.
Continue the pattern (or choose another pattern) to grow the four lines into a longer section.
Start to think about how their lyrics might fit the music. If there is no music with the words yet, start trying to work out a melody to your words
The Second of the two-line groups will usually have new words, but could have the same music as the first two lines. However, you could change the music at the end to make a slightly different second half of the fourth line.
Come up with topic ideas or themes for your song. Fill out the google form with your ideas for subject topics for your song.
Like I said, the top music producers in the world are using technology to help them write songs.
So why not you?
Some apps I have listed here. Please feel free to comment and leave your own ideas of good apps on the market.
LOOPY HD - Is one of my favourites. It is good for get ideas down and you can beatbox your own beats as well
Jimmy Fallon and Billy Fallon using the Loopy HD
Plus - A good you tube video on Beatboxing if you don't know how to.
I hope that is a good starting point. Add a comment for any that you know of to be added in part 2
Keep it simple with your song, most songs are based on four chords, and often the same four chords. The video at the end demonstrates that.
The difference between the songs is mainly the melody and the rhythm
Once you have your chord structure and a rhythm you like, you can start on you melody. You can either hum over the top a tune that may fit well or have a friend try to improvise along with the chords. You can even use apps such as Loopy HD http://loopyapp.com/