Sunday, July 24, 2011

Songwriting Tip - Tempo Based Phrasing

Had a go at a song and it seemed to be dragging a bit in the verses. The problem turned out to be a slow tempo combined with lengthy vocal phrases. Once the single phrase was chopped up into 2 smaller more rhythmic phrases, suddenly the song became much more powerful. It's not always the case, but often u will find that slow tempos benefit more from shorter phrases and faster tempos from longer phrases. This way they can counterbalance each other and play yin to the others yang. So, if a song is not completely clicking for u check to see if this is where the problem stems because it may be an easy fix.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Logic 9 MIDI Editing Tip

This is something 4 the other Logic users that can help speed up ur flow when editing MIDI with the piano roll editor. If what u want is a techy robotic feel giving the notes identical velocities and lengths may be desirable. U can accomplish this quickly by selecting the appropriate notes and then while holding both the option and shift keys change the length of one of the notes. All of the other selected notes will now conform to this precise length, as well. Next, use the velocity tool and change the velocity of one of the notes using the same option/shift keys and all the notes will strike at the same velocity. It's sort of the opposite of humanizing, but it could be just the effect u r looking 4.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Songwriting Tip - Harmonic Structures

Writing a few songs right now and this form occurs in the verse of one of them. It is an 8 bar harmonic structure that could be labeled as such: a,b,c,c a,b,d,c. What this means is whatever chord u play for the 1st bar you should also play for the 5th bar. Similarly, whatever chord occurs in the second bar gets played again in the 6th bar. For the 3rd and 4th bars u want a single chord to last for both bars. During the 7th bar u should play a chord that has not yet been heard within the progression. And finally, in the 8th bar the chord that filled bars 3 and 4 should return. Here are a few examples of what this structure looks like in practice:

| I | V | IV | IV | I | V | bIII | IV

| V | IV | I | I | V | IV | ii | I |

| I | bVII | IV | IV | I | bVII | bIII | IV |

This structure is very effective for verse sections, but u can try it in other song sections if u prefer. So, give it a go and see where it leads u.