writing changes off of an original bassline?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by twist, Aug 26, 2000.

  1. twist


    Aug 26, 2000
    I have a fairly easy time writing a chorus or a verse, but have difficulty writing changes off of them. For example I can write a decent chorus, but can't come up with a good bridge or verse ( something that flows and sounds right ).

    Does anybody have any pointers?
  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    listen to the main melodic flow of the verse you have written - hum it, simplify whatever it is to the point where you can easily hum it sing-songy, almost like a nursery rhyme. then see if you can get some simple melody from it that seems compatible. from there, it's just a process of careful building.

    another thing to try is take the melodic and rhythmic structure of the verse and compare them to the lyrics. then take the lyrical concepts going on in the chorus or bridge and see how they differ from the lyrics in the verse, and try to change the music in the same way. if the lyrics get darker or more intense in the chorus than in the verse, then make the music so also.

    the best way to do this is to listen to songs you like and see how the songwriters handled changes. try to understand the concepts behind what they were doing. try to find familiar patterns in different songs by different authors.

    and most of all, experiment, make _something_ and then listen to it and see how it is lacking.
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...what lyrics? :D
  4. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks!

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    Try changing the order of the chords. Or try changing key, going to the relative minor/major or going up a step (i.e. going from Cmajor to Dmajor). Usually if you have the same chords for the chorus and the verse it all sounds to similar. If this is the case try varying things using dynamics, like laying back a bit on the verses and digging in on the chorus.

    Chris A.:rolleyes:
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree with Chris's advice; you could also look at the "cycle of fifths" to see which chords work well following each other. So if you are at a particular chord, just follow the cycle to get to the next one - this might be a bit simplistic, but might help get you out of a hole, where you can't find the next chord.