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It's the Same Old Song

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by JoZac21, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm currently playing in a funk/soul/rock group, and it's tons of fun...

    The problem I've run into, is that the band leader has been introducing new songs, and I came to the startling realization that every single song, sans none, is based around the exact same progression:

    I-, bVII and, if there is a bridge, it's almost certain it will be I-, bIII, V...

    What do I do? Do i get the singer to rewrite the songs? Do I shut up and play? How do I maintain diplomacy?

    Any advice?
  2. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    That's pretty standard for newer writers, They find a pattern or two that they like and basically "stick to it", occasionally changing keys.

    As writers get more experience, they often branch out.

    Have a band "practice" that doesn't involve playing any instruments. you guys just all get together...bring videos of your favorite bands and watch them, paying attention to the arrangements, but still making it just a fun. "let's hang out" experience. If you all just jot a few notes on arrangements of songs you like...you know...intro, verse, riff, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, etc, etc.... those arrangements will bleed into everyones songwriting.

    The key is to make it a causal, fun, band bonding experience. It's good for morale, and good for writing. You can't learn if you don't study. :)

    When I started writing, a friend of mine (great writer, BTW) suggested that I take my "Top 100 songs" and just sit down and jot arrangements and basic keys.... that was some of the best advice I've ever gotten. A Top 30 song, songs in American Pie 2, Van Wilder, other movies, tons of TV shows, etc later...I still thank him for that great advice.
  3. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I will say, our band leader is a frontman, and a good one at that... but his knowledge of instruments and song writing is limited at best...

    I'm in the group because of his charisma...

    But seriously... EVERY song... I-, bVII... EVERY song!!!

    There's variation in rhythm, tempo, (occasionally) key... but it's all the same!!!

    I wouldn't stay w. the group if there wasn't potential, but how do I fix this? We have a gig in a week, and all we have is I-, bVII...
  4. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    Well, I play in a rockabilly'n'roll band and a LOT of our songs are I-IV-V progressions in A or in E. I see it as a challenge to come up with different types of lines and different approaches to make the songs distinguishable.

    That said, there is a limit to how long it remains fun to do so ...
  5. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    The late great rockabilly band “The Dempseys” did a part of their show where they would rapid fire string together snip-its of about twenty songs all with the same chords.

    Maybe you could get him to watch the comedy routine done by the Aussie group “Axis of Awesome” to illustrate the point … worse that could happen is he writes a “Four chord song” and you guys get rich and famous!

  6. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Yeah, I've seen that... pretty damned funny...

    And, true, the blues is centered around a set 3 chord sequence...

    I'm just worried that we'll wind up being one of those bands that keeps writing the same song over and over again (see Nickleback)... not that that's always bad (see the Ramones).
  7. Beginner Bass

    Beginner Bass

    Jul 8, 2009
    Round Rock, TX
    A&R, Soulless Corporation Records


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