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thepopeofpop last won the day on November 8 2010

thepopeofpop had the most liked content!

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    Paul Inglis
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    Lyricist, composer, arranger/orchestrator, recording/production, live performance
  • Musical Influences
    Lennon/McCartney, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Kate Bush, St Vincent, Warren Zevon, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Neil Finn

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  1. Yes, I recorded two albums! I was working on one album late 2019 into 2020 - and then, even before lockdown, I went into overdrive in February when I realised the world was going to change, and very quickly finished that album (by March 2020) and then started work on another album which I finished in late 2020. Now I'm four songs into my next album (which will be my fourth album overall). So yes, for me the current situation is just a reminder that time is short and I need to focus.
  2. Yeah, G#. I Mistyped that. But, It doesn't alter the point that a C#m chord and an A chord share two tones: C# and E.
  3. If you were really in A minor then your first chord would not be A major! But your first chord is A major. But ... as far as chord sequences go you don't have to stick just to chords from the key you think you're in. That's a pathway to predictability. Go with whatever sounds good to your ears! Also the way chords fit together has a lot to do with the melody you're singing or playing over them and the "voice leading" between chords. Sometimes a supposedly "wrong" tone, in this case the "C" (instead) of the "C#", can be much more interesting. Here's one reason why: Your first chord is A ... composed of A, C# and E Your second chord is C ... composed of C E and G# The chords have one tone in common: E. That makes the chord change already smoother than you think. C is the "bIII" chord in A major. You are thinking that you want to use the III chord, which would be C#m. But C#m is composed of C# E and G#. Now that chord contains two tones in common with the A chord. Now, there's nothing wrong with that, but when you shift between chords that are almost the same the changes aren't always as interesting. Try playing the chords as: A C#m D7 E7 does that work as well as A C D7 E7 for you? Also your D7 chord has a "C" in it as well ... so, no reason why you can't have another chord with "C" in it. You can have a lot of fun playing around with the 3rd tone in a scale ... is it minor, is it major? Keep the listener on their toes, it's a classic songwriting trick.
  4. yes, I've written verses after the chorus.
  5. Ah, but technically if a song has never been performed then the songwriter can refuse to allow cover versions until he (or she) has performed it.
  6. Well ... one thing you could try is not following the chords so much! As an exercise, take the first bit of melody in the song (1 bar or so) and try to repeat it a few times - just making minimal changes to fit the subsequent chords. That should at least give you some ideas as to the possibilities. Another thing to consider is: are you determined to keep the exact chord progression you are using? I often find that once I start to "flesh out" a melody a little that I end up making changes to some of the chords. This can certainly make things sound more interesting.
  7. There are certainly no hard and fast rules. Songwriters as commercial as The Beatles often ''broke the rules''. You don't want to do it with every chord - but occasionally defying expectation about the next chord will certainly make for the odd memorable moment. As for the original poster's first example - if the first two chords in a sequence are C and F I don't see any reason why the third chord has to be G. For a start, you're assuming the song is in C major, but if the song was in F major then the third chord could be a Bb. Even if you're in C major the third chord could be Dm or Am. But really, the possibilities are endless. Rather than using a G, why not try Gm? (Or Gm7?) In fact the same goes with Dm - you could substitute a regular D major chord instead. A 2 - 5 - 1 turnaround might sound more interesting if you use D - G - C instead of Dm - G - C. Of course, a lot of this also depends on the melody.
  8. I think it's fairly commercial - so that's a good start.
  9. "Leave them wanting more" - this is why a lot of pop songs wear out their welcome pretty quickly, because they have one good idea that they pound into the ground and so don't leave you wanting more. If the hook is repeated over and over, especially through a long fade out at the end, you may please the listener the first few times but your song will have little long-term replay value. Anthony is exactly correct - the most powerful thing you can do in a song (like "We Are The Champions") is make the listener immediately want to hear it again to capture that special moment. Setting up that classic hook one last time and then denying the "payoff", or changing it radically, is one very effective technique. Gary has a good idea ... changing the duration of chords. Definitely a good thing in a song - not just for dramatic effect but also to add variation.
  10. I'm very into structure - but of course it varies from song to song. That being said, when one talks about the "hook" - you certainly don't have to limit yourself to just one! Many successful pop songs really have a number of good hooks scattered throughout. Take something like the Beatles' "She Loves You" - the obvious hook is the "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah", but it's hardly the only one. Certainly the various "Ooohs" and "With a love like that" also qualify - as well as how the last syllable of every line of the verse is stretched out over three notes. This song is also a very interesting example of structure - the song starts with the chorus, and yet every time the chorus is repeated it is subtly different. The chorus even is transformed into a striking full ending.
  11. Start off enough songs and eventually you might find that the 50th song you start will complete the 1st one that you started - or something like that. If I'm stuck finishing a song that I'm half or 3/4 of the way through then I might go back through my notebooks and look for fragments that never got finished. Most songwriters have lots of half finished ideas. Keep everything. Some songs take 10 minutes to write, some take 10 years. I'm usually surprised, and delighted, when an old fragment fits perfectly into my latest opus. It happens more often than you'd think! To me it's like an unexpected bonus and also sort of like collaborating with a slightly younger version of myself...
  12. Sometimes I get inspired by listening to a song that I think is promising but unsatisfying. I think "boy, if only they'd done 'C' after doing 'A' and 'B'." Then I think, "Well if they're not going to do it, then I will." This sort of inspiration could be melodic, harmonic or lyrical. So I might hear a chord sequence and think it's going to go somewhere really interesting (but then it doesn't). Or the song might have an interesting lyrical theme that doesn't really get developed properly (to my mind). I tend to be less directly inspired by music that truly impresses me, because I usually feel that it sets a standard that's hard to equal (without blatant imitation). So, often it's the (to me) "interesting failures" that do it. On the other hand, sometimes inspiration comes from completely non-musical sources. You have to keep your eyes open at all times, I think. Stay in a "songwriting frame of mind" and all sorts of possibilities might start jumping out at you.
  13. It can go any way. Lyrics first, melody first, chords first, or perhaps a riff first. That being said lately I've been doing 'lyrics first' a lot. When that happens I usually start thinking "Where are these words going in the song? Does this seem to be a verse or a chorus?" I usually like to try to establish some kind of structure as soon as possible - even though it might change and evolve as new elements are added. I probably prefer having the melody first, because it's generally easier for me to write lyrics to a melody - but I take my songs anyway I can get them! I tend to be rather wordy, so if I start with the lyric first then I have to watch out that I don't end up with a dull or difficult melody because the lyrics are too "crowded". I usually end up spending time with sections of song - trying out the melody without accompaniment to see whether it "works". Sometimes a clever lyric and pretty chords can blind me to a dud melody - so I will take the melody all by itself and see whether it's viable. I don't generally have a problem starting with just chords - because I don't tend to overuse standard chord progressions. I like to discover a new possibility in every song.
  14. Still only 59 views. It deserves more than that! I'll see what I can do.
  15. Well, that's a start. Imagine you were working with someone who wrote music. Let's say that they've written a great little melody and they need some words for it. They'd expect that you would be able to fit the words over the melody exactly. They don't want to have to change the melody or the rhythm so that your words fit. However, there's good scansion and bad scansion. Your lyric might have the right number of syllables but the words still might not fit correctly. When we speak we only emphasise (or "stress") certain syllables in words. Your lyrics need to take this into account, otherwise your words will sound forced and unnatural. So, scansion is not only about syllables but also about getting the stressed and unstressed syllables in the right places. For example, in the word "syllable" the stress is on the first syllable. So like this: SILLLL-ah-bul. If you used the word "syllable" and you were stressing the middle syllable, then it would be like this: sil-AHHHHH-bul, which would be awkward. Also, if the scansion is bad then it makes it harder for a listener to understand the words. Imagine reading your lyric like a poem. That's a good way to start. Can it be easily read? Does it flow well? Imagine some kind of music behind it - does it fit?
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