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Songwriting Question

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Supadope, Dec 11, 2018.


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  1. Supadope

    Supadope Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    Louisville
    My goal is to leave the world a cooler place than when I arrived.
    In the past few songs that I’ve written, the verse ends on the same chord that the chorus begins on. The verse is great. And the chorus is great. They go together, but that transition feels weak. I can’t come up with a bridge/pre-chorus that fits. How would you transition in cases like this?
     
  2. If you mean the I chord, throw in a quick V as a turn around—or throw in an actual turnaround (like iii vi ii V I, for instance).

    If you mean the IV, don’t end a verse on the IV. Don’t end anything on the IV.

    If you mean the V, substitute a ii in the first bar of the chorus.

    If you mean anything other than I, IV, or V, you are a horrible songwriter.
     
  3. Supadope

    Supadope Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    Louisville
    My goal is to leave the world a cooler place than when I arrived.
    Sorry, I don’t understand your Roman Numeral notation. My verse is F C G G and my chorus is G F C C. Can you translate your V’s and I’s to that?
     
  4. Throw in a quick D7 between verse and chorus, or try Dm7 instead of the G in the Chorus.
     
    Supadope likes this.
  5. dnp41

    dnp41

    May 10, 2016
    Netherlands
    How about a pre chorus?
     
    Supadope likes this.
  6. skwee

    skwee

    Apr 2, 2010
    Minneapolis
    Consider a D chord before the chorus.
     
    Supadope likes this.
  7. mrcbass

    mrcbass

    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    In the spirit of "teach a man to fish": Your song appears to be in the key of C based on these chords. In the key of C, C is the "I" chord, F is the "IV" chord and G is the "V" chord. (D is "ii" - lower case for minor - E = "iii", A = "vi" and B is "vii"). The numbering system works in any key (if your song was in the key of D, D would be "I", G would be "IV" and A would be "V"). It's not based on which chord you play first, is based on the harmonic relationships - C F and G are the core scale tones for the key of C. I know this because of lots of theory training.

    This is called the Nashville number system and is used by a lot of musicians to communicate chord relationships. It is particularly useful for situations where a song may need to be transposed on the fly. If you under stand your "I IV V"s, it's real easy to transpose stuff quickly. You'll also find this referenced a lot in theory discussions, because in most cases, the actual key is not important, it's the relationship of the scale tones to one another.
     
  8. And when you see fingers held up on stage while playing, you know it's numbers instead trying to figure if it's a C or a G the leader wants you to play.
     
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  9. Supadope

    Supadope Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    Louisville
    My goal is to leave the world a cooler place than when I arrived.
    Thanks all for the sage advice. It’s starting to sound like Tom Petty track. I’ll post a quick demo when I get it mostly worked out.
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm trying to figure out in my mind why that matters.
     
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  11. I have had the good fortune to work with a couple of ‘real’ producers (Mudrock & Ryan Green). They taught me how important it was to either have a chord change into the hook, or to place a ‘B’ section (pre-chorus) between the verse and chorus that had a chord change. Of course there are always exceptions, and if there is no chord change, it is important to distinguish the chorus in some way (vocal melody, musical melody, dynamic change, etc) The bridge should be something that never happened before in the song. The most common structures are as follows:

    Key:
    A Section- Verse
    B Section- Pre-Chorus
    C Section- Chorus
    Bridge

    Pattern 1:

    C (Chorus as intro, often music only)
    A
    C
    A
    Bridge
    C (double chorus)

    Pattern 2:
    C (often music only)
    A
    B (prechorus)
    C
    A
    B (prechorus)
    C
    Bridge
    C ( double chorus)

    This frame work and philosophy can make writing easier in the same way that an essay provides a nice framework to express any idea.
     
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  12. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    Man, if it sounds good, you don’t need a transition. See Creep, by Radiohead, Low, by Cracker, Sit Next to Me, by Foster the People. Those songs don’t even change progressions for verse/chorus. Use crescendo. Use dynamics. But don’t change a song just because you feel it “needs” to be changed.
     
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  13. bearfoot

    bearfoot Inactive

    Jan 27, 2005
    Chittenango, NY
    If you used a bridge that contained a minor chord or two, that always stands out.

    then sometimes I like to Lounge out the chords with $hit like FMAJ7 Cm7 Eb/G G7 , a chord sequence that even 1976 might have thrown up on, but there is something godlike about pumping octaves while the chord changes -
     
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  14. juancaminos

    juancaminos Supporting Member

    ABCDEFG BCDEFGA CDEFGAB DEFGABC EFGABCD FGABCDE GABCDEF
    1234567 1234567 1234567 1234567 1234567 1234567 1234567
    A simple three chord progression is 1-4-5 or 1-4-1-5 or 1-4-1-5-4 or ... get it?
     
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  15. Kidding, Jimmy?
     
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  16. Seems like a good reason to me.
     
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  17. Supadope

    Supadope Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    Louisville
    My goal is to leave the world a cooler place than when I arrived.
    I tried, but I couldn’t find the right chords.

    This triggered what I felt it needed.

    I ultimately gave it a pre-chorus that ends on the backwards D, which I now refer to as a D7.
     
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  18. Supadope

    Supadope Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    Louisville
    My goal is to leave the world a cooler place than when I arrived.
    Thanks mrc, this was very helpful.
     
  19. Supadope

    Supadope Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    Louisville
    My goal is to leave the world a cooler place than when I arrived.
    Going out of the chorus back to the verse flowed beautifully. Verse into the chorus just felt awkward.
     
  20. Supadope

    Supadope Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    Louisville
    My goal is to leave the world a cooler place than when I arrived.
    I use these patterns quite a bit.
     
    faulknersj likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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    Jan 15, 2021

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