Song writing tip

Arrangement, instrumentation, lyric writing, music theory, inspiration… it’s all here.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply

Re: Song writing tip

Post by merlyn »

RobinDorset wrote: Tue Jun 28, 2022 6:33 pm ... it's something I've noticed in many great songs.

I've noticed those chords in songs.

E major in C -- Space Oddity It's the first chord change of the verse

F minor in C -- also Space Oddity There is a change | F / / / | Fm / / /| This is also in Nowhere Man and Creep in G.

Anyone got examples of the other chords?
merlyn
Frequent Poster
Posts: 641 Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:15 am
It ain't what you don't know. It's what you know that ain't so.

Re: Song writing tip

Post by shufflebeat »

Lots of this in Gershwin songs.
shufflebeat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7895 Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:00 am Location: Manchester, UK
Hot tip:
I find keeping the good coffee in an old marmalade jar in the fridge makes it last much longer - the kids don't like marmalade.

Re: Song writing tip

Post by Uncovered Pitch »

According to my research at least 90% of pop songs do NOT contain a non-scale chord. Therefore when you do include one, it instantly dates the song. Now of course if you want to evoke a nostalgic feeling, this may be just the ticket!
Uncovered Pitch
Poster
Posts: 23 Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2004 12:00 am Location: London, UK

Re: Song writing tip

Post by merlyn »

I notice you left out the word 'great'. If the implication is that 90% of pop songs are not great, I would agree with that :D

How many songs did you find were based on 'The Axis Of Awesome'? In C : C G Am F or I V vi IV.
merlyn
Frequent Poster
Posts: 641 Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:15 am
It ain't what you don't know. It's what you know that ain't so.

Re: Song writing tip

Post by shufflebeat »

Uncovered Pitch wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 2:49 pm According to my research...

There's actual research on this?

References?

(or a smiley emoji to denote ironic use of scientific terms).

:)
shufflebeat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7895 Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:00 am Location: Manchester, UK
Hot tip:
I find keeping the good coffee in an old marmalade jar in the fridge makes it last much longer - the kids don't like marmalade.

Re: Song writing tip

Post by OneWorld »

So much modern 'pop' music is formulaic these days, ok always was, but these days it's the software that drives the chord changes as opposed to a more organic method - a human. There is no end of videos on YouTube - How To Write the Perfect Pop Song, or The Top 10 Best Chord Changes in the World etc it's little wonder a lot of stuff sounds identical except for the words, and a lot of the time even they are predictable and mundane, about the only difference between Singer A and Singer B is they are wearing different frocks.

I thin Simon Cowell made the point quite succinctly - "Imagine walking down the aisle in a supermarket, where for example all the boxes of washing powder are, all the boxes look different, but the contents are identical, so we have to make our box look better than all the others"

That being said, there are novel many examples of novel and creative uses of harmony in pop, if there weren't we would have ended up with 1001 different versions of the 3 chord trick
OneWorld
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3518 Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:00 am

Re: Song writing tip

Post by Uncovered Pitch »

shufflebeat wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 3:27 pm
Uncovered Pitch wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 2:49 pm According to my research...

There's actual research on this?

References?

(or a smiley emoji to denote ironic use of scientific terms).

:)

My research is not scientific enough to be published in The Lancet but probably more thorough than your research into which airlines fly to New York before your last trip. I've actually/sadly spent hundreds of hours analysing pop chord progressions—pick your emoji... :headbang:
Uncovered Pitch
Poster
Posts: 23 Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2004 12:00 am Location: London, UK

Re: Song writing tip

Post by GilesAnt »

I randomly selected I Wish It Could Be A Wombling Xmas Every Day....and found a nice selection of non-scale chords.

It sounds pretty 'poppy' to me.
GilesAnt
Regular
Posts: 189 Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 12:00 am
 

Re: Song writing tip

Post by RichardT »

Uncovered Pitch wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 2:49 pm According to my research at least 90% of pop songs do NOT contain a non-scale chord. Therefore when you do include one, it instantly dates the song. Now of course if you want to evoke a nostalgic feeling, this may be just the ticket!

That sounds completely credible to me! I assume you’re talking about modern pop, though.
RichardT
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2342 Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:00 am Location: London UK

Re: Song writing tip

Post by RichardT »

shufflebeat wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 1:58 pm Lots of this in Gershwin songs.

Yes. I Got Rhythm has inspired ‘rhythm changes’ in jazz - where the B section has a major chord on the third degree of the scale, then the sixth, then the second, all of which have non-scale notes in. Lots of jazz songs are based on that sequence. You probably knew that…
RichardT
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2342 Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:00 am Location: London UK

Re: Song writing tip

Post by blinddrew »

RichardT wrote: Thu Jun 30, 2022 9:04 pm
shufflebeat wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 1:58 pm Lots of this in Gershwin songs.

Yes. I Got Rhythm has inspired ‘rhythm changes’ in jazz - where the B section has a major chord on the third degree of the scale, then the sixth, then the second, all of which have non-scale notes in. Lots of jazz songs are based on that sequence. You probably knew that…

He might have done, but i didn't. :thumbup:
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 19739 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Song writing tip

Post by Albatross »

I wish I knew more about the theory... I have no clue. People seem to enjoy my stuff but I'm oblivious to the science and mathematics of it.
User avatar
Albatross
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1984 Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:00 am Location: Airstrip 1, Eurasia
Post Reply