Thursday, 28 August 2014

Ticket 66: Write An 'Occasional' Song


A song to celebrate a national holiday or a commonly shared life experience (all the things you might buy a greeting card for).

Birthday
Christmas Time Is Here Again

also

Auld Lang Syne
Father's Day (Groucho Marx)
First Of May (Jonathan Coulton)
Happy Birthday (Stevie Wonder)
Happy Birthday To You (trad.)
Happy New Year (Abba)
Shrove Tuesday (Matt Blick)
We Are The Champions (Queen)

And of course too many Christmas songs to mention.

See also

Ticket 42: Have A Completely Unique Concept For The Song
Ticket 49: Employ Madrigalism
Ticket 54: Unify Your Lyrical Imagery/Extended Metaphor
Ticket 64: Try Writing For Kids

See the full list of songwriting tips here - Tickets To Write

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Ticket 65: Build Up On The V Chord


Nothing gives a sense of building to a glorious inevitable climax like hanging out on the V chord (or better yet the V7) for a few bars till you resolve to the root (I).

Back In The USSR - intro
Birthday
Day Tripper - solo
Here Comes The Sun - bridge
Twist And Shout - bridge

also

Do You Love Me? (The Contours)
Let's Dance - intro (David Bowie)

See also

Ticket 1: The Flat 6 Chord
Ticket 43: Use The Fourths Luke!
Ticket 44: Use the Minor 5 (v) Chord

See the full list of songwriting tips here - Tickets To Write

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Ticket 62: Write Two Bridges


Why have one bridge when you can have two? Tricky to pull off without looking like you don't know what you're doing.

Birthday
I'll Be Back
Martha My Dear

also

Lydia The Tattooed Lady (Groucho Marx)

See also

Ticket 5: Make Sections Contrast With The Other Musical Sections
Ticket 53: Write A 'Jazz-Style Intro' Verse

See the full list of songwriting tips here - Tickets To Write

Monday, 25 August 2014

Ticket 64: Try Writing For Kids


Use repetition, clear melodic patterns, simple vocabulary and grammar with some ridiculous concepts or or words. And don't forget to add something naughty!

All Together Now
I Am The Walrus
Octopus' Garden
Piggies
Yellow Submarine

also

Barenaked Ladies, Belle & Sebastian, St Etienne, They Might Be Giants have all produced children's albums and Chris Ballew (Presidents Of The USA) leads a child-friendly side project called Casper Babypants.

See also

Ticket 23: Write Fewer Lyrics
Ticket 42: Have A Completely Unique Concept For The Song

See the full list of songwriting tips here - Tickets To Write

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Ticket 61: Don't Bore Us, Get To The Weirdness


If your song has something really unique consider using it in the first 20 seconds. Got an unusual instrument, weird riff or complex time signature? Resist the temptation to introduce it gradually. Grab your listener with the cool stuff right out of the gate.

Honey Pie (Cm 2nd bar Eb7 3rd bar)
Martha My Dear (key and time signature)
Strawberry Fields Forever (mellotron and out of key chords)

also

Everything In It's Right Place - drumless weird time signatures (Radiohead)
Goodnight Girl – jazz chord intro (Wet Wet Wet)
Living On A Prayer - talk box (Bon Jovi)
Pyramid Song - drumless weird time signatures (Radiohead)

See also

Ticket 25: Transplant Cliches From Other Genres
Ticket 37: The Lennon Edit
Ticket 42: Have A Completely Unique Concept For The Song
Ticket 49: Employ Madrigalism
Ticket 52: The Lennon Extension
Ticket 53: Write A 'Jazz-Style Intro' Verse

See the full list of songwriting tips here - Tickets To Write

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Ticket 60: The Seven Drop


Start on the root chord but immediately drop down a semitone to the 7th chord in the scale. This will produce a disconcerting "where are we?" effect. For slightly different flavours try the VII7, vii or vii7, or even the dim7 or half dim7. This songwriting trick is covered in much more detail here.

I'm So Tired - VII
Martha My Dear - VII
Sexy Sadie - VII7
Yesterday – vii (or VIIsus4?)

also

Karma Police – VII (Radiohead)

See also

Golden Ticket: The Seven Drop
Ticket 1: Use The Flat 6 (bVI) Chord
Ticket 7: Avoid Using All Three Major Chords Early In The Song
Ticket 8: Use The Minor 4 (iv) Chord
Ticket 28: Use At Least One Out Of Key Chord
Ticket 43: Use The Fourths Luke!
Ticket 44: Use the Minor 5 (v) Chord

See the full list of songwriting tips here - Tickets To Write

Friday, 22 August 2014

Ticket 59: Turn A Technical Exercise Into A Song



Don't let your instrument practice or musical studies become isolated from your songwriting. Turn whatever you're working on into a riff, chord progression, groove or poetic form. There's no greater songwriting rutbuster than application.

Martha My Dear
While My Guitar Gently Weeps

also

Dust In The Wind (Kansas)
Sweet Child O Mine (Guns N' Roses)
Tears In The Rain (Joe Satriani)

See also

Ticket 4: Recycle Your 'O's
Ticket 9: Recycle Musical Cells
Ticket 12: Use Contrary Motion
Ticket 63: Write With The 'Other' Scale
Ticket 66: Write An 'Occasional' Song

See the full list of songwriting tips here - Tickets To Write