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Entries in song writing (6)
Here’s a fun way to come up with cool new chord progressions you wouldn’t normally write:
Put a bunch of chord names in a hat and randomly pick out 3 or 4. Then commit yourself to writing a song section based on those chords.
I am about to propose that lyrics are perhaps less important than one may first think. I’ll admit, I am playing devils advocate a little because we all know that lyrics are very important, but stick with me, I may have a point and it may throw up a nice debate!
The overwhelming majority of people will say that the lyrics are the most important part of a song. They’ll claim that the lyrics are the thing they like most about a given song, especially a ballad.
This afternoon I played devils advocate with my girlfriend who told me how she loves Stevie Wonders’ “Over Joyed”. I agree with her that the song is awesome, but I wanted to know why she likes the song so much. She told me that the lyrics are beautiful and explained that the lyrics are the primary reason she loves listening to the song.
I proposed that the lyrics play a tiny role in why she likes the song. I explained that if we took the lyrics and sung them in a grungy, upbeat punk way (which I know she dislikes) then the lyrics would carry no meaning and she would avoid listening to the song!
I am not sure if any song writing teacher would recommend this but I wonder, can a poorly written, lazy and uninspiring verse make a well written chorus sound twice as good as it otherwise would have?
And, more controversially, could this be a song writing technique that is worth using?
…no matter how much we wish it wasn’t the case, computers are completely useless at generating content. Where is the ‘compose Platinum selling LP’ key command in Logic? Where’s the ‘improve my bassline’ command in Cubase? Where’s the ‘choose correct tempo’ option in Ableton? They don’t exist. These are creative decisions that only a human can make.So how should we work? Here’s a different kind of compositional process a lot of DAW users have forgot…
This list is an excerpt from a collection of songwriting tips you can find on my blog. I’ve accumulated these tips over my 10+ years of writing, listening, discussing & reading. Where I can remember I will try to reference where I learnt each tip. Every songwriter wants to write more killer & less filler. Hopefully these tips will help you drill some fill from your grill & chill with some dill…