Tag Archives | Songwriting 101

SongCrafting: Dance Music

With the increase in the number of dance songs in the four-minute range on the Pop and R&B/Hip-Hop charts, we see much more experimentation with these extended forms. Dance records are developed for pop, rock and Urban radio and singles for the dance club market. The records are usually formatted in a way that allows […]

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SongCrafting: Clichés

How often have you heard: feel the pain — by my side — set me free — lost without you –broken heart — all we’ve been through — hold me close – my foolish pride — all night long — give you my heart — want you, need you, love you — all my love […]

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SongCrafting: Clichés

How often have you heard: feel the pain — by my side — set me free — lost without you –broken heart — all we’ve been through — hold me close – my foolish pride — all night long — give you my heart — want you, need you, love you — all my love […]

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SongCrafting: Dynamics

Among the most powerful tools you can use to make your songs more commercial and to impress industry pros with your command of the craft, is the use of contrasts and variations that I call “song dynamics.” I’ve also observed that it’s the tool most commonly overlooked and underused by amateur songwriters. In this section […]

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SongCrafting: Song Form (Part 2)

ANALYZING FORM It may look complicated when you see a song described as “AABA” or something similar, but it’s not. To start, consider the first melodic segment you hear (not including the intro) as “A.” The next complete melodic section that has a melody different from “A” is designated “B,” the third “C,” etc. Repeats […]

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SongCrafting: Song Form (Part 1)

The form, also called the “format,” “structure,” or “formula,” is a song’s basic shape or organization. In the ’50s and early ’60s, there were hardly more than three different chord progressions (formulas) for any kind of rock music. If a song didn’t conform to one of them, the odds were heavily against its becoming a […]

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SongCrafting: Basic Principles

I’m not big on rules. Successful writers break them all the time. Some break them by accident and are accidentally successful. Those writers may be “one hit wonders” because they don’t understand why it worked on the first one. Some understand why the rules were made and break them consciously, knowing the principles behind them. […]

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