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Song Arrangement Suggestion
Old 1st May 2019
  #1
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Song Arrangement Suggestion

Hi, so I am working with someone and we are working on her song. (Singer songwriter type stuff). I need some tips on how to approach the arrangement. The song structure consists of instrumental intro, verse, chorus e.t.c. My issue is with the instr and verse transition.

The way the demo sounds, the instrumental accompaniment sort of comes in before the vocal performance. She starts strumming this chord progression and then she starts singing the lyric. So lets say its a 4 bar intro and 8 bar verse.

So do I tell her, what we have here actually is a 3.3 bar intro and 8.0 bar verse or do I tell her you have a 4 bar intro and 8 bar verse but you are singing on the 2nd beat of the 1st bar of the verse?

Which is a better approach, looking at it as the entrance of the chord progression is the beginning of the verse or the entrance on the vocal is the beginning of the verse?

My issue is technical. I am approaching it from option one and its turning out to be a PITA to sequence because I have to sequence a structure where its 3.3 bar intro, 8 bar verse, 8 bar chorus, then its 7.3 bar break because I am combining a 4 bar instrumental break with another 3.3 bar intro .e.t.c
Old 1st May 2019
  #2
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I'm not completely sure I have a full grasp of your question, but I would say the verse and the vocal don't have to start at the same time. The vocal can come in at 2 or 3 or whatever of the verse. If the intro is 4 bars and the verse is 8 bars then just call the beginning of bar 5 the verse even if she hasn't started singing yet. What is the meter of the song? Does she naturally cut off the intro and come in too early on the verse?
Old 1st May 2019
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuldLangSine View Post
Could you just conduct her-- move your arms (like strumming a guitar) to show here where to come in with that, then pantomime singing into a mic to show her when to start that?
nope. its her song. dont want to mess with it.

the song is in 4/4 time. i guess i will just say, the verse starts when you start strumming the pattern and your vocal is coming in at 2nd bar.
Old 1st May 2019
  #4
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by telecode View Post
So do I tell her, what we have here actually is a 3.3 bar intro and 8.0 bar verse or do I tell her you have a 4 bar intro and 8 bar verse but you are singing on the 2nd beat of the 1st bar of the verse?
Sounds to me like, structurally, it's a 4-bar intro into an 8-bar verse, with the vocal starting on the 4th beat of Bar 4. A quarter-note pickup into the verse, in other words. Eh?
Old 4th May 2019
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Sounds to me like, structurally, it's a 4-bar intro into an 8-bar verse, with the vocal starting on the 4th beat of Bar 4. A quarter-note pickup into the verse, in other words. Eh?
Unless I'm missing something in the description (and I might be), that's what it sounds like to me, as well.

It is, after all, fairly common traditionally for a primary melodic/vocal phrase to begin before or after the downbeat of its section.
Old 7th May 2019
  #6
yep
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by telecode View Post
Hi, so I am working with someone and we are working on her song. (Singer songwriter type stuff). I need some tips on how to approach the arrangement. The song structure consists of instrumental intro, verse, chorus e.t.c. My issue is with the instr and verse transition.

The way the demo sounds, the instrumental accompaniment sort of comes in before the vocal performance. She starts strumming this chord progression and then she starts singing the lyric. So lets say its a 4 bar intro and 8 bar verse.

So do I tell her, what we have here actually is a 3.3 bar intro and 8.0 bar verse or do I tell her you have a 4 bar intro and 8 bar verse but you are singing on the 2nd beat of the 1st bar of the verse?

Which is a better approach, looking at it as the entrance of the chord progression is the beginning of the verse or the entrance on the vocal is the beginning of the verse?

My issue is technical. I am approaching it from option one and its turning out to be a PITA to sequence because I have to sequence a structure where its 3.3 bar intro, 8 bar verse, 8 bar chorus, then its 7.3 bar break because I am combining a 4 bar instrumental break with another 3.3 bar intro .e.t.c
I’m not sure how this is even a question.

The arrangement and sequence serve the song, not the other way around. There are tons of hit songs that skip beats, change time-signature for a measure, or once after every chorus, or switch from 4/4 to 3/4 for one bar before a key-change... that stuff can be a huge part of what makes a real song sound like a song, instead of like a stock loop library.

If the song sounds wrong or broken, then coach her through writing a better song. But if her song is too sophisticated for your abilities, then tell her you’re too lazy or unskilled to produce for her.
Old 10th May 2019
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yep View Post
I’m not sure how this is even a question.

The arrangement and sequence serve the song, not the other way around. There are tons of hit songs that skip beats, change time-signature for a measure, or once after every chorus, or switch from 4/4 to 3/4 for one bar before a key-change... that stuff can be a huge part of what makes a real song sound like a song, instead of like a stock loop library.

If the song sounds wrong or broken, then coach her through writing a better song. But if her song is too sophisticated for your abilities, then tell her you’re too lazy or unskilled to produce for her.
Thanks. It's been sorted out. "too sophisticated for your abilities" <--
Old 29th May 2019
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telecode View Post
Hi, so I am working with someone and we are working on her song. (Singer songwriter type stuff). I need some tips on how to approach the arrangement. The song structure consists of instrumental intro, verse, chorus e.t.c. My issue is with the instr and verse transition.

The way the demo sounds, the instrumental accompaniment sort of comes in before the vocal performance. She starts strumming this chord progression and then she starts singing the lyric. So lets say its a 4 bar intro and 8 bar verse.

So do I tell her, what we have here actually is a 3.3 bar intro and 8.0 bar verse or do I tell her you have a 4 bar intro and 8 bar verse but you are singing on the 2nd beat of the 1st bar of the verse?

Which is a better approach, looking at it as the entrance of the chord progression is the beginning of the verse or the entrance on the vocal is the beginning of the verse?

My issue is technical. I am approaching it from option one and its turning out to be a PITA to sequence because I have to sequence a structure where its 3.3 bar intro, 8 bar verse, 8 bar chorus, then its 7.3 bar break because I am combining a 4 bar instrumental break with another 3.3 bar intro .e.t.c
You are WAAAAY over thinking this.....the verse is the verse, regardless of what beat she begins singing on, but seriously, save your mental energy for REAL problems.
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