By: Steve Bishop
Most songs that have ever written can be broadly grouped into
one of several categories; songs written around a chord
progression, songs written around a melody, or songs written
around a riff:
. Chord Progressions - In songs written around a chord
progression, the writer creates an interesting series of chords,
then organizes a vocal melody and an arrangement around that
. Melody - This is probably the most common method of
songwriting. The composer starts with a vocal melody, and around
that melody creates a chord progression and song arrangement.
. Riff - These songs are born out of a guitar (or other type of
instrumental) riff, after which a vocal melody (which often
mimics the guitar riff) and chord progression are added.
If you choose to develop the song in a minor key this will give
the whole piece a sad or moody feel. While writing in a major
key will give you an upbeat happy tune.
Many songwriters will use both major and minor keys within their
songs, perhaps choosing a minor key for the verse, and a major
key for the chorus, or vice versa. This has a nice effect as is
good for the listener as it helps break up the monotony that
sometimes results when a song lingers in one key.
Of all the aspects involved with creating new songs, writing a
strong melody is undoubtedly the most commonly overlooked and
possibly the hardest component of music, particularly with
modern pop/rock music. This wasn't always the case because the
pop songwriters of the 1930's and 1940's focused only on writing
melodies and in many cases it was the basis for a song, with
lyrics and chords only added in later to give the song more
Generally, the process of writing a song is much different
nowadays because usually songs will be created from a guitar,
bass or keyboard riff, or a groove. This is built upon, along
with the writing of a chorus is written and the adding of bass
lines so that the entire instrumental part of the song has been
assembled even before the melody has been taken into
Most people will focus most of their effort of writing lyrics.
While lyrical content is obviously of great importance, a strong
melody is absolutely necessary, for without this component; the
vast majority of people won't listen to the song long enough to
even bother listening to the lyrics.
The vocal melody of the song is what is remembered most people;
and in many cases is what makes them like or dislike a song. If
melodies are well-written and catchy, people will remember and
enjoy the music but if the melodies are carelessly or poorly
written and bland, people won't - it really is that simple.
About the author:
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