Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video The elements of song form, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: The Fundamentals.
- Before we can discuss the forms of songs,…we need to have an understanding…of the parts of songs.…A lot of the confusion that arises when discussing…song form comes from the terminology.…I've been writing songs for 20 years…and I still get disoriented at times…during writing sessions.…Terms like breaks and drops are becoming…just as prevalent as verses and choruses.…The words we use to discuss songs…are evolving right alongside popular music.…That said, there is a core terminology used…when talking about the parts of a song,…and that's what I'm going to describe right now,…the proper use of the terms.…
Let's take a look at some of the most common…components or parts of songs.…I'll also discuss some of the history of each component…in addition to their function.…I won't be playing you any examples right now…so that we can focus on the lexicon.…But do check out the songs I reference throughout,…as they'll help you better identify…these common parts of song form.…
Professional musician Julian Velard starts the course with the building blocks of harmony: notes, scales, intervals, chords, inversions, and basic chord progressions. He then goes into voice leading—showing how to move from one chord to another by changing just one or two notes—and reviews common song forms, from the familiar verse/chorus/verse of pop to the simple verse of the blues. At the end of each chapter, Julian explains the songwriting techniques shown in the chapter within the context of his own original commercially released songs.
- Understanding scales, intervals, and keys
- Triads or three-note chords
- Triad inversions
- Common major-scale chord progressions and cadences
- Voice leading
- Song form elements such as verse, chorus, bridge, hook, and more
- Using common song forms in songwriting
Skill Level Beginner
1. The Building Blocks of Harmony
2. Triads and Chord Progressions
3. Chord Progressions and Voice Leading
4. Song Forms
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