Beginning Songwriting: Writing Your Own Lyrics, Melodies, and Chords

Beginning Songwriting: Writing Your Own Lyrics, Melodies, and Chords

by Andrea Stolpe, Jan Stolpe

Other Format

$13.40 $17.99 Save 26% Current price is $13.4, Original price is $17.99. You Save 26%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, March 28

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781495003127
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
Publication date: 05/30/2015
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

Introduction ix

How to Use This Book ix

Beginning Your Journey x

Songwriting in a Community xi

Chapter 1 What Inspires You? 1

Activity 1.1 Feeling Inspiration 1

Activity 1.2 The Idea Notebook 2

Get Yourself a Songwriter's State of Mind 2

Bulking Up Your Muscles 3

Chapter 2 How Songwriters Write 5

Let the Music Flow 5

Activity 2.1 Musical Awareness 6

On Your Mark, Get Set, Write Lyric 7

Activity 2.2 Lyrical Awareness 8

Come Together, Right Now 9

It Takes Two… or Three, or Four 9

Tips and Activities to Try 10

Activity 2.3 Inside Out, Outside In 10

Activity 2.4 Collaboration 10

Activity 2.5 Photos and Words 10

Activity 2.6 Message in a Crumple 10

Activity 2.7 Get Specific 11

Activity 2.8 Music-Inspired Lyric 11

Activity 2.9 Timed Writing 11

Chapter 3 Song Form and Contrast 13

Verse/Chorus Form 13

Activity 3.1 Song Forms 14

Verse/Refrain and Other Forms 14

Activity 3.2 Name That Form 15

Activity 3.3 Form and Function 16

Don't Be a Bore 16

She's Driving Me Crazy 16

Melodic Contrast 18

Harmonic Contrast 18

Contrast Using Arrangement 19

Activity 3.4 What's Driving? 20

Chapter 4 Basic Theory for Songwriters 21

It Starts with a Chord 22

Note Lengths 22

Key, Time Signature, Tempo, and Scale 23

Establishing the Key 25

Activity 4.1 Major or Minor 27

Count with Me, 1,2,3 27

Intervals 27

Time Signature 28

Activity 4.2 Time Signature 29

Tempo 30

Activity 4.3 Tempo 30

Activity 4.4 Setting a Phrase at a Tempo 31

Chords and Scales 31

The Diminished Chord, or "The Weird Uncle" 35

Minor Key Chords 35

Writing Chords Down 37

Moving Outside the Key 37

Borrowed Chords: Use Them, Then Give Them Back 40

Relative Keys 41

Theory and Melody 42

Activity 4.5 Key and Starting Pitch 43

Single Chord Tone 43

Activity 4.6 Melodyand Chord Tones 43

Neighborly Notes 44

Activity 4.7 Neighbor Notes 44

Activity 4.8 Writing with Neighbor Notes 44

Two Chord Tones 45

Activity 4.9 Two Chord Tones 45

Activity 4.10 Writing with Two Chord Tones 45

Passing Notes 46

Activity 4.11 Passing Notes 46

Activity 4.12 Writing with Passing Notes 46

Arpeggios 47

Activity 4.13 Arpeggios 47

Activity 4.14 Writing with Arpeggios 47

A Final Word on Melody and Theory 48

Chapter 5 Melody 49

Note Name Bad, Melody Good 50

Activity 5.1 The Melodic Motif 51

Repetition, Repeat 51

Activity 5.2 Repetition of the Motif 53

Activity 5.3 Repetition in the Chorus 54

The Secret Ingredients of Melody 54

Pitch 54

Note Length 55

Activity 5.4 Contrast Using Note Length 56

Activity 5.5 Melody Writing Using Contrasting Note Lengths 56

Placement: Before, On, or After 56

Activity 5.6 Placement of the Phrases 58

Phrase Length: Short or Long 58

Activity 5.7 Phrase Length 59

Activity 5.8 Changing the Phrase Length 59

Clustered or Intervallic 60

Ascending or Descending 60

Full or Empty 61

Activity 5.9 Full and Empty 61

Combining the Tools 62

Chapter 6 Harmony and Groove 63

The Color of Chords 63

Activity 6.1 Key and Chord Awareness 64

Keep It Simple 64

Harmonic Contrast 64

That New Chord Feeling 65

Activity 6.2 Simplicity with Harmony 66

Slow Change, Fast Change 66

Groove, Baby, Groove 68

Straight vs. Swing 68

Rests and Rhythmic Changes 70

Activity 6.3 One- and Two-Chord Grooves 72

Activity 6.4 Groove Awareness 72

Activity 6.5 Recreating a Groove 72

Activity 6.6 Old Groove, New Tempo 73

Thinking Outside the Box 73

Chapter 7 Lyric Writing 75

The Good, the Bad, and the Indifferent 75

Point, Point, Point to Your Point 76

Activity 7.1 Lyric Repetition 77

Activity 7.2 Using Lyric Repetition 77

What Do You Want to Say? 78

Journaling and Sensory Writing 78

Capture the Moment 81

Don't Just Walk: Saunter, Hobble, or Glide 82

Activity 7.3 Using Specific Verbs 83

Adjectives and Nouns, Metaphorically Speaking 83

Activity 7.4 Using Images to Get Specific 84

Activity 7.5 Metaphorical Collisions 84

Activity 7.6.10 Minutes a Day 85

Flaunt What You've Got 85

Lifting Lines and Making Rhymes 85

Rhyme Schemes 85

Rhyme Groupies 86

The Rhyming Dictionary 88

Get Your Lyric Groove On 89

Activity 7.7 Lifting Lines 93

Activity 7.8 Looking for Sensory Language 94

Awesome Choruses 94

Being the Center of Attention 97

Activity 7.9 Mapping the Rhyme Scheme 99

Activity 7.10 Lifting and Stacking Choruses 99

Beam Me Up, Scotty: Bridges and Prechoruses 99

Verse/Refrain Songs with Sensory Writing 103

Cleaning Up Your Act 106

Write Like You Talk 107

Write What You Know 108

Chapter 8 Activities for Songwriting Groups and Classes 109

Activity 8.1 Physical Sensory Writing 109

Activity 8.2 Reflective Listening with Sensory Writing 109

Activity 8.3 Reflective Listening for Verses and Choruses 110

Activity 8.4 Photos and Words 110

Activity 8.5 Crumpled Paper 110

Activity 8.6 Metaphor 110

Activity 8.7 Guided Meditation 111

Activity 8.8 Being the Expert 111

Activity 8.9 Spoken Word 111

Activity 8.10 Melodic Motifs 112

Activity 8.11 Guided Feedback 112

Activity 8.12 Write Happy 112

Activity 8.13.40 Minutes 113

Chapter 9 Next Steps 115

Guitar 115

Piano 116

Voice 116

Teach Me Your Ways, Oh Wise One 117

How Much Should I Practice? 118

Listening Is Practicing 118

Rocking the Band 119

Sharing Your Music with Others 120

Forming a Songwriting Group 122

Songwriting as a Career 123

Writing for Film and Television 123

Writing for a Publisher 124

Writing for Visual Media 125

Recording Artist 125

Touring Artist 126

Broadway and Musicals 126

Taking the First Step 127

Who Are You? 128

Appendices 131

A Glossary 131

B Song Listening Examples 134

C Songwriter Resources 136

About the Author 138

Index 139

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews