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Songwriting - The Art of Writing a Good Song
Did you know that good songwriting is often the key to establishing a successful music career? But more than that, it can be fun! When you write a song you are able to express yourself in new and creative ways. Whether you're sad, happy, angry, or in love... with words, you can fly!
Freedom of expression is one of the greatest priviledges we have, but with it comes some responsibility. Words are very powerful and have been used successfully by many for better, or worse. When writing a song, consider how your words are going to impact your listener. Do you wish to alienate them, or draw them into your perspective on things?
A good song will create an emotional reaction in people, and that's exactly what you're trying to achieve! You want to get your listener to feel with you. You want to move them emotionally. You want them to like your song and be willing to listen to it again and again. If you can get your audience to identify with you on some level, you will be on the road to creating a good song.
As you are stirring up your creative juices you may discover that finding just the RIGHT word is sometimes a bit frustrating. But with the RIGHT songwriting tips and resources it becomes a lot easier! Here are three of the most important songwriting tools you should have:
1. DICTIONARY - A dictionary is essential when writing. Besides giving you the correct meaning of a word, it will also help you to express yourself more clearly. You will discover new words while expanding your vocabulary too!
2. THESAURUS - A thesaurus is another important tool to help with creating your songwriting material. You can use a thesaurus to find different words that have similiar meaning.
3. RHYMING DICTIONARY - As the name implies, a rhyming dictionary organizes words that rhyme in alphabetical order using the vowel sounds A E I O U. For example, if you were looking for a word that rhymes with Abel you would look under A sounds. Words rhyming with Abel would be listed in alphabetical order.
There isn't really a secret formula for writing a good song because determining what is "good" is subjective and a matter of personal opinion (some great songs have broken all the so called "rules"). However, many successful songwriters have used the following format to write a "Hit" song:
INTRO: Approximately 4-8 measures of instrumental music that contains part or all of "the hook" (a part of the melody that is easy to remember).
VERSE: Each verse should be written in such a way as to "set up" the chorus. Try to keep the meter of your song even by matching the syllables of your words. Be consistent with the sentences that rhyme. Verses should create an anticipation of fulfillfment.
CHORUS: This is where you make your statement. Stress the most important part of your song and make it tasty. Think of your chorus or "hook" as being like the icing on a cake. You want your words to be worth remembering.
VERSE: Continue to follow the idea of your song all the way through, don't get side-tracked!
CHORUS: This is where you have the opportunity to repeat your "hook" which should continue to emphasize your songs main theme.
BRIDGE: This is where you can create some interest and tension by changing your melody line, modulating to a different key, or adding an instrumental guitar part, etc. Don't make it too long, approximately 8 measures or so. It should build or crescendo to the final chorus.
FADE CHORUS: This is generally the same as your first chorus, but you will end by repeating it over and over, then gradually fade out to end your song. Use your "hook" generously, but don't over-kill!
Be flexible and use your imagination! Don't just copy or mimic what is currently popular. Remember that some of the biggest names in the music business made it to the top because they were not afraid to be ORIGINAL or have a different sound. So, experiment, be yourself, and most of all- have fun!
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Kathy Unruh is a singer/songwriter and webmaster of ABC Learn Guitar. She has been writing songs and providing guitar lessons to students of all ages for over 20 years. For free guitar lessons, plus tips and resources on songwriting, recording and creating a music career, please visit: http://www.abclearnguitar.com
Health and Beauty Tips for Your Brass: Keep It Shiny!
Did you know that the health and beauty of your brass instruments require extra special attention? It's true-their wellbeing and happiness depend upon it. While we're not talking about putting your tuba on a weight-loss program or taking your trumpet to the spa for a makeover, you do need to treat your brass instruments with care or they'll refuse to come out and play. So, grab that brass and get ready for a workout-it's time to clean!
Five Steps to Protecting Your Music and Your Money
There are a lot of independent labels out there waiting to use a talented musician to make quick money. The offers may seem hard to refuse, especially if you are a struggling artist or band that has struggled to get a record deal. A little money and exposure may seem great for the moment, but you run a high risk of getting contractually bound to that record label for the rest of your life. If a better deal comes along later, you may not be able to accept it, or you may get robbed of your rightful percentages.
New M3 with Competition Package
The new competition package available for the BMW M3 is almost sad as it is wonderful. With everyone knowing of the strong rumors of the M3's power plant changing to a V8, it's almost heart breaking to think about the legendary straight 6 cylinder being laid to rest. The competition package has many pretty neat extras that give the beamer something to beam about.
Beginners Guide to Music File Formats
Are you confused by the various types of music file formats out there? Most of you would have heard of the popular MP3 format, but are you aware there are other alternative digital music formats like WAV, WMA, RA and MIDI? Some of these give better sound quality than MP3 (e.g. the WAV format) but also need more disk storage space. Others like WMA give file sizes smaller than the MP3 format and are more suited for portable music players.
More so than any other music since the blues, hip-hop is all about stories. And its stories are both criminal minded and grand, making them enthralling and unbelievable, but also making them only as interesting and convincing as the teller. That's why, despite being blackballed by the industry, without a major-label recording contract, heads still gravitated to Jamaica, Queens' realest son, 50 Cent, like the planets to the sun. 50 Cent, born Curtis Jackson 26 years ago, is the real deal, the genuine article. He's a man of the streets, intimately familiar with its codes and its violence, but still, 50, an incredibly intelligent and deliberate man, holds himself with a regal air as if above the pettiness which surrounds him. Born into a notorious Queens drug dynasty during the late '70s, 50 Cent lost those closest to him at an early age. Raised without a father, 50's mother, whose name carried weight in the street (hint, hint, dummies), was found dead under mysterious circumstances before he could hit his teens. The orphaned youth was taken in by his grandparents, who provided for 50. But his desire for things would drive him to the block.
Learn to Read Music Online
If you or anyone you know wants to learn to read music, it's a lot easier to do than it used to be. The Internet gives us all access to almost unlimited information, and can deliver an incredible array of products and tools right to our desktops. Not surprisingly, there are some really clever products out there that can help you learn to read notes.
The Revolution of Electric Guitars
Sometime during the 1930's electric guitars were introduced onto the music scene, which began a revolution in sound and technology that continues to this day. After Rock and Roll was born in the 1950's, it didn't take very long for electric guitars to grow in popularity and become one of the most coveted instruments of all time. Things really began to take off when the Beatles turned the world on its ear in 1964 by "invading America". Soon to follow were groups like the Rolling Stones, Cream, and the The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Music was forever changed and today electric guitars dominate the scene.
Learn to Play the Piano
Rocket Piano is a very professionally done piano lesson package. It includes a number of ebooks, audio tracks, and video tracks to support the instructional material. In addition, there's a ton of extras, all extremely well-done, and described below. The product is simple to download, and is perfectly paced for the introductory piano student. It runs on Windows and Macs, so it doesn't matter what kind of computer you have. In a word, if you want to learn to play, you'd be nuts to pass on this. I highly recommend it. Read on for the details.
If Seals Can Sing, Why Cant You?
It sounds like a side show, doesn't it? It does to me. But it's true; researchers have discovered that some varieties of seals really do sing. Indeed, male leopard seals have been heard singing complex melodies in their lonely search for a mate. Likewise, male Weddell seals, which are a very social creature, lure their mate by improvising original melodies the way a master musician would in front of an audience.
Music & Emotions: Can Music Really Make You a Happier Person?
How many times have you turned to music to uplift you even further in happy times, or sought the comfort of music when melancholy strikes?
How to Construct Chords and Improvise
How To Construct Basic Chords on the Piano
Dont Go Tubthumping
I have always had a big problem with my addiction to music. I tend to hear I song I like, then rush out to the local record store to buy the CD, without consideration for whether or not I would actually like the rest of the songs on the set. After years of this habit, I have amassed a huge CD collection, but I have been left with many one-hit-wonder discs that I no longer listen to and just gather dust while taking up space in my small apartment (anyone else fall for the infectiousness of Chumbawumba's "Tubthumping" back in the '90s only to find the rest of the CD less than appealing?). I know I am not the only one with this infliction I like to call " Itchy Trigger Finger Music Purchasing," and we all could use some help in weeding out the now-undesirables to make room for hopefully wiser purchases in the future.
Review: Coheed and Cambria - Second Stage Turbine Blade
Ever wonder what would happen if you mixed the progressive showmanship of Rush with Dashboard Confessional's emotional escapism? Me neither, but Coheed and Cambria has been described as that exact mix-up more times that I'd like to recall. While it's easy to understand the Rush comparison, with lead singer Claudio Sanchez's high-pitched vocal delivery. The emo label is a little less obvious, the band's sound may fit into the 'emo' genre, but the lyrical content certainly does not.
The Downfall Of The #1 Southern Gospel Station
Back in the 90's we had a local Southern Gospel station (I can't remember the name. You'll see why if you keep reading). They were known for their motto, "If it doesn't say it, we won't play it." They were determined not to play watered-down Gospel music-even if it was Southern Gospel. And they did a good job.
CD Mastering using Har-Bal
Feel free to download the entire manual detailing the mastering process from Har-Bal complete with pictures of all the tools needed to create a great sounding mastered cd .
Growing and Keeping Loyal Fan Support
Fan support for musicians is a two way street. You make the music, release the CDs, and play the shows. You need fans to show up at the gigs, buy the CDs, or spread the buzz about you or you don't have an audience. When these two elements are out of balance, your musical endeavors can get sidelined.
Defining The True Artist - Do You Have What It Takes?
"The real communicating artists seek unique expression. They are not interested anymore in sounding like their heroes, they are searching constantly, developing and refining their own unique voice."
How to Compose Using ABA Form
ABA form is like a musical sandwich. You have the 2 slices of bread with the contrasting meat and cheese on the inside. Instead of bread and meat, you use musical materials. Perhaps an 8-bar phrase for the A section followed by a 4 or 8-bar phrase for the B section. A nice little musical sandwich.
10 Ways for Unknown Musicians to Get the Word Out
When Clear Channel controls the radio and the monopoly newspaper doesn't like you, how do you win over new audiences?
How to Compose Your Own Music Using 8-bar Phrases
Some people think composing is this miraculous thing that only genius's do. What a myth! It's a skill that can be learned. What can't be learned is the intuition that guides the creative force. What can be learned is the technique. And the most important part of composing technique has to do with THINKING IN PHRASES.
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