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Old 16th September 2015
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Owen L T's Avatar

A second vote for shortening the intro. Personally, I'd start it around the 32 second mark - 4 bars of filtered guitar, drum fill, and BAM, you're in! For the most part, unless there is an actual hook that lasts 8 bars (ie not a 4 bar phrase that repeats) you get a lot more mileage by paring the intro right down - to the point where it's worth seeing just how SHORT you can make it, and still make your point.

From an attention holding standpoint, since the backing for the intro usually reappears again under the chorus (depending on the intro), it'll already be familiar - which is good - but won't be overly familiar. (If the intro is the verse chords, then you really do want to just rip though them once and start the song, or risk the listener getting bored before the chorus ever comes.)

Also, repetition is expected (and delivered) throughout the song, so by not conforming to that expectation with the intro, the entrance of the vocals is much more of an attention grabber.

It's not hard and fast, but it's usually a really easy win: already have a good 8 bar intro? Want to make it twice as effective? Simple: make it half as long!

(This is a very hard-nosed, brutally commercial approach to the art of song writing, and of course some genres, or for live shows, the audience would love a 64 bar intro!)

Originally Posted by Lenzo View Post
This sounds really good on my system. I'm not much for criticism. But I will share a thought or two that are not really my thoughts, but stuff I've heard tossed around over the years. In a internet listening environment you have only a few seconds to get and keep the listeners attention. Make intros as short as possible. In this piece if you cut it from :17-:27 you would have the same effect but would get to your vocal 10 seconds sooner. There is also general consensus that listeners relate to being a human thing I guess. So if you're not doing electronic music, I figure it's a opinion worth considering. If a writer agrees with the assumption, then there is value in getting to the vocal as soon as possible. Also I have a hard time finding the hook that I can latch onto. Most songs have a repetitive phrase or phrases...I think you can build in all kinds of subtle hooks both instrumentally and vocally that help the listener stay with your song. But I also think rules are meant to be broken and if you realized your vision in finishing this, then you have been successful. There were some nice dynamic changes...another technique that I'm fond of. Bottom line is I listened all the way through. And I really liked it. So as far as I go, maintaining interest for the listener, you were successful. And at the risk of making a long winded post, which I hate, I just wanted to throw up one other thing about hooks. I was listening the the Eagles live album a couple of nights ago. And whether someone likes them or not, one can't argue with their success. If you listen closely to songs like I Can't Tell You Why, Life In The Fast Lane or Hotel California, they weave so many different kinds of hooks into their songs. Often starting right out of the gate with some catchy guitar hook. But the drums are hooking, the bass is hooking, backround vocals are hooking. They certainly aren't the only band in the world doing it, but just from a songwriting/production standpoint, it's impressive to me. And I think an argument can be made that it is one reason why they have maintained a huge audience for decades.