David Lingabee Songs & Songwriting

Step 7) How to Compose your Music – Part 17

 

Structure 
Up to this point you have been building a structure for your song, but now you are going to focus on structure more closely. The structure will give you something predictable to build on, much like designing and making a foundation to put a house on top of.

The following website gives you  info on the different structures of songs.

Sequence
As you make a structure for your song, you may start to get an idea of what instruments and voice you want to use, and exactly where you want to use them in the song. Write that down as part of your composing sequence, which may vary depending on how you like to compose, and what instruments you like to compose with.

As an example, if a songwriter’s main instrument is the piano, then they would probably compose their main melody on that, and then add voice, bass, drums, and other instruments to complete their song.They may figure out an arrangement as they go, or do it later on.

You can do a pretty good job now in your own home studio
With the advancements in digital technology, a songwriter can easily own and operate their own home studio and make their own high quality recordings in it.

They can easily record themselves singing and playing their own instruments using their home computer.  

If they need to add instruments and voices not available to them, they can easily use the wide variety of digitally pre-recorded instruments and voices built into their music recording software, and end up with a complete song just the way they want.

Arranging the ingredients of your song
Sorting out the sequence of where your melodies and harmonies fit into your song structure makes composing a song more organized and gives you a more objective viewpoint to create with.

Also, you should determine where you want to put the Chorus, how many times you want to repeat it throughout the song, and where you want to put your Bridge.

Sorta like an architect standing back and drawing up plans for a building, then seeing how it all looks before it’s finally built into a permanent structure. It’s actually pre-arranging as all you are trying to do in the exercise below is do a more complete layout of where everything will go taking into account what you have created in earlier parts.
Once you have done that you can then more easily compose and arrange the final voices, melodies, harmonies, bass lines, and drum pattern etc., each with their respective instrumentation.

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Practical Exercise Step 7) Part 17
For the purposes of this exercise you will also be using the completed song lyrics from all the exercises where you wrote lyrics in Step 6).

Emphasis in this exercise is on getting used to formulating and finalizing a structure for your song that you want to use for your song by using what you have crated so far, Final melodies and arrangements will be focused on in the next step and so on.

1)  Grab the lyrics you completed in Step 6) with the already noted emotions, speed, the main melody and the key and scale you already decided on that you did in the earlier Step 7) exercises.

2) Reaffirm to yourself the message of the song and write that down on your lyrics page if not already done.

3)  Decide and note on your lyric sheet the time signature so others know what you did.  If you used a drum machine to choose your rhythm, also note the pattern you chose and also where you want any drum fills to play.

4)  Finalize where you want your Chorus to be and where you want it to repeat in your song and note that on your lyrics.

5)  Determine where you want your Bridge to be now.

6)  Write on your lyrics page where you want your harmonies to play and for approximately how long.

7)  Now add where you want any other supporting melodies to go.

8) Keep repeating points 1) through 6) until you have done this exercise a minimum of 10 times. In other words you are going to go over the same song a minimum of 10 times so you get REALLY familiar with the overall structuring for your song.

End Result
After going through points 1)–7) a minimum of 10 times, you now have certainty on a correct structure (where everything goes) for your song that will best express your song’s message and emotion the way you want, and you see how you can complete each song with its final melodies, harmonies, rhythms, and their arrangements, plus your Chorus and Bridge, and, are looking forward to creating that.
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 Click here to go to Step 7) – Part 18

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