Thursday, April 26, 2007

Simple chords - strong melody

I wrote a song last night with a pretty strong melody. As we talked about it today with Ben Senterfit , I came to realize that the reason the melody emerged was that the chords were so simple. Since I used the same chord progression for both the verses and chorus, the only place to get variation was in the melody. What I realized was in my quest to have more interesting chord changes, I didn't leave room for melody.

As we began to work on the song, we started substituting chords or changing the time sequence (i.e. 3/4, 2/4, ...) , while keeping the melody constant. I was amazed that the melody still worked. Based on this, I'm going to try a new approach to songwriting:

1) Start with simple chords
2) Develop the lyrics and melody
3) Substitute in more interesting chords

To do this, I'm going to take advantage of my multi-track recorder. The process would look something like:

Step 1 - On track 1 I'm going to record the simple chords.
Step 2 - On track 2 sing the lyrics and melody.
Step 3 - Play only track 2 and try different chords arrangements.

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