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Thread: Can anyone help with a song I'm trying to write?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Can anyone help with a song I'm trying to write?

    Hey guys, I recently came up with a chord progression I really like!

    Em Am Em D C Em Am Em

    In Eminor

    Anyway, I established this as an intro, How should I make a transition from this to let's say a verse or melody? And help appreciated! THANKS!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    When I play that chord progression, a Nick Cave song pops into my head.

    Just for starters, why not come up with a lead guitar line that states the melody verse then go into the vocals. The intro could be heavy with drums, then back off as you go into the vocals/verse...kind of like Cracker's "Low". Just an idea...it's your song! Have fun!

  3. #3
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Deep East Texas Piney Woods
    You've got the chords now you need the melody and the lyrics. The melody can come from the chord tones (notes) and the lyrics of the story you are singing should flow with the chord progression and the melody notes, i.e. one lyric word per melody note. Lit-tle and Ma-ry normally take two melody notes.

    For your verses you may want to simplify that chord progression and get the dominant chord (B or Bm) closer to the end of the progression. Your dominant chord is now the D VII and happens in the middle of the progression. I think of the dominant chord as the climax chord - you've reached climax - resolve and end the progression - anything else is anti-climatic. For example a four line verse using a complete progression in the first two lines then repeat the same progression in the last two lines will lend itself to a simpler progression. Your choice. Each verse starts a thought, discusses it and reaches a conclusion. Next verse takes up a new thought and does the same. Chorus can have that same structure - or not, up to you. You want them to go home singing the chorus. Go look at some progressions used in songs you like. See how the lyrics flow with the chord progressions they used. What worked for them will probably work for your song.

    It need not be more complicated than that. It of course can be if you want.

    Since you've got the chords going I'd get the lyrics and the verse structure next. Classic four line verse, rhyme or not, your choice. Three verses and a chorus is enough. The chorus is the hook and can be repeated. Throw in a lead break after the first chorus. The lead break can be an instrumental rendition of the melody used in a verse or a verse and chorus. OK that's the verse structure. Let's work on the melody ...

    Then using the chord's notes, fit the chord notes to the lyrics, i.e. in this measure you will be using the chord notes from one of your chords, let's say Am or A, C, E and that measure will contain the words; "in the morning" - A, C, E, E works for me as does A, E, C, A. Perhaps C, A, E, E, which one flows with what will happen in the next measure..... You only need the chord and the melody to share one note between them to acheive harmony.

    Hook words to notes, or notes to words, working one measure at a time, and you end up with a bare bone first draft. After you get the melody for the first verse why not use it for the other verses? Same goes for the chorus - or not. From this bare bone first draft you flesh it out and end up with a song.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 09-25-2009 at 03:00 PM.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    that's a good question, which unfortuantely i don't think has an actual straight answer.

    different musicians have different ways to go about things.

    one way is to just play it and listen to where you think it would like to go.

    another way is to write your melody and see where that wants to go.

    another way is to study a bunch of songs and see where they like to go with a similar kind of progression. i'm sure you could find a bunch with that Em Am progression in it.

    the rhythm you use for that progression will affect this also imo.

    really it's all up to you.

    you can maybe even continue this but embellish it a little, and go up an octave or something.

    usually you want to build from your intro to something more powerful in your verses to something more powerful in your chorus, to something calmer or at least quite different, for your bridge.

    your chorus is the main part of the song so this should be the part people remember, the bread and butter of the tune.

    alot of musicians like to write this part first. or come up with the hook first.

    generally also songs are like sotries, you slowly build your story up and then right near the end you have your climax, and then your anti climax right after that and then you end it. but also during your build you want to have down time in your verses and step it up for your chorus. but again, things like this kind of depend on the style of music you're writing also.

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