Monthly - September 2019
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Academy of Piano & Guitar.
You are the reason we strive every day to be the best piano and guitar teachers in the Cherry Hill area. Thank you!
human beings are tuned such that we crave great melody and great
lyrics. And if somebody writes a great song, it's timeless.”
- Art Garfunkel
Writing songs can be fun and challenging! Musicians have used many different ways to write a song. But what is the right way to write a song? Just like the age old question, "What came first the Chicken or the Egg?"…
What comes first, the
Music or the Lyrics?
The most popular way is starting with a tune in your head and adding the lyrics later. Paul McCartney’s now famous song “Yesterday” is about a relationship break up.
“Yesterday” also did not start out with any lyrics. While he was dreaming one night, the entire melody swirled in his head. He woke up and went straight to his piano to play it and wrote it down so he wouldn’t forget it.
When it came time to write the lyrics, he wrote “substitute lyrics”. This sometimes helps the songs along with the melody and flow of the song in general.
His song was temporarily titled "Scrambled
So instead of…
All my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they're here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday
He wrote these funny lyrics...
Oh my baby how I love your legs
Not as much as I love scrambled eggs
Oh we should eat some scrambled eggs
The second most popular way to write a song is music and lyrics at the same time. This comes from a true feeling that you’re experiencing at the time.
Taylor Swift’s hit song, “You Belong With Me” is about a boy she likes, but she knows he’s dating a girl that has nothing in common with him.
She knows she’s more his type, she’s not flashy or popular, more down to earth. She hopes he realizes that that other girl is wrong for him and turns her way someday.
This verse sums up the song nicely…
Can't you see
That I'm the one
Who understands you?
Been here all along.
So, why can't you see
You belong with me.
Songs about love and heartbreak may be the most popular, but there are so many other songs people write about. Happy songs, sad songs, songs about astronauts, animals, restaurants…or just every day stuff - the list is endless!
Songs can define a certain time in a person’s life as well as a time period, like how in the Summer of 1969, a young man bought a guitar in a thrift store and played it until it hurt his fingers, then got some friends together to start a band and how everyone in the band quit for different reasons.
Summer of ’69 by Bryan Adams
Lyrics can also be influenced by how the melody is going. If you’re humming an upbeat fun melody, chances are that you’re going to write about something fun or perhaps a dance song!
The third way to write a song is to start with the lyrics. This is the most challenging because you are creating a melody for basically, a poem.
To show you how remote this syle of songwriting is, the only song I could find that is popular from this writing this way is "Old Long Syne".
That’s right, the song you sing at midnight on New Years Eve!
"Old Long Syne" is a Scottish poem written by Robert
Burns in 1788 and was set to the tune of a traditional folk song.
The lyrics go back as far as 1711! It went through different changes over the years to a more modern English version that we know today.
Basically, it’s about saying farewell to the year that has just past and having a fresh start for the year ahead.
To sum it up, Songs tell a story! Songs help you celebrate! Songs are the best way to get out your feelings, and share them with others. You’ll be surprised about how many people feel the same way you do, so get your pencil and sheet music out and start writing those songs!
Billy Joel - Scenes From An Italian Restaurant (Live at Yankee Stadium)
Speaking of songwriting, there is a new show that starting this year called, “Songland”!
Similar to shows like American Idol and The Voice, this show gives new undiscovered songwriters to present their original songs to top recording artists and music producers.
This panel picks the best song that is best suited for the already established recording artist. Both the artist and the producers work in collaboration with the songwriter to make the song better for recording and marketing.
This is a win-win situation giving the artist a new hit single, while at the same time giving the songwriter an opportunity to break into the music business. The songwriter can either record their own songs or establish themselves as songwriters giving other artist new material to record.
Popular guest for the panel have included the Jonas Brothers, John Legend, will.i.am, One Republic, Kelsea Ballerini, and more! We encourage you to check it out and hope this inspires your songwriting!
Write down the main subject. Say you wanted to
write about your vacation. Get out a piece of paper and write the word
“Vacation” in large letters in the middle.
Then write small words all around it that came to mind, like beach, ice cream, sea gulls, flat tire, and sunburn. You can even draw pictures instead.
Decide whether or not it will be a fun song or serious song, and then use your chart as a visual guide.
Use substitute lyrics. If you have a melody, but no lyrics, make some fun lyrics about something silly, like scrambled eggs! (see article)
Take your time, it doesn’t have to be done all at once. Taking a break when you’re stuck for ideas always clears your head for new fresh ideas!
When Will My Life Begin, with Lyrics
sung by Mandy Moore
Here is a fun interactive puzzle featuring our Monthly artwork! Click this link: Endless Songs, then click on the picture like this one, fill in a nickname and have fun putting it together!
Q. What did the tree say to Autumn?
A. Leaf me alone!
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Cherry Hill Academy of Piano & Guitar
Pennsuaken, NJ 08109
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