Q: “After I write a song, how do I make sure I’m not copying someone else’s melody? Sometimes I think I’ve heard it before but I’m not sure.”
A: That’s a good question! If the melody sounds familiar to you and it’s a nagging feeling that won’t go away, try playing it for friends to see if anyone recognizes it. That’s what Paul McCartney did with the melody of “Yesterday.” Since it came to him easily, he was suspicious that he might have been re-creating a melody he had heard before. Continue reading “Whose Melody Is It?”
Most of the time, when you start writing a song, you’re thinking about what you’re feeling and what you want to say, and that’s the best way to approach your songwriting. But by keeping a little corner of your brain focused on the genre you want to write in, you can add an extra edge to your song that will help you find an audience for it down the road, and possibly a music publisher or record label.
Like ice cream, songs come in different flavors: strawberry, chocolate, peach, and rocky road. And, like ice cream flavors, there are very real differences between the four mainstream music genres — Country, Pop, Rock, and R&B/Soul. Each one appeals to a different audience.
When listeners tune into a radio station that plays Country music, they expect to hear a range of songs that share a certain sound. Jazz stations play something that sounds different from the Country music station. Listeners who tune in to a Jazz station are expecting to hear the kinds of chords, melodies, and lyrics that are characteristic of today’s Jazz genre. If they get a Country song instead, they won’t be happy! Radio stations need to keep listeners satisfied if they want them to stick around. Continue reading “Write Your Song in a Genre”