Saturday, 30 August 2014

NEW! Ticket 70: Write Like A Novelist


Even if you're writing about autobiographical events or issues close to your heart, why not try on someone else's shoes and write 'as' (or about) a fictional character?

Eleanor Rigby - 3rd person
Maxwell's Silver Hammer - 3rd person
Mean Mr Mustard - 3rd person
Nowhere Man - 2nd and 3rd person
Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da - 3rd person
Paperback Writer - 1st person
Polythene Pam - 3rd person
Rocky Racoon - 3rd person
The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill - 1st and 3rd person
Yellow Submarine - 1st and 3rd person

also

Knockin' On Heavens Door - 1st person (Bob Dylan)
Lazing On A Sunny Afternoon- 1st person (The Kinks)
Money For Nothing - 1st person (Dire Straits)
Pinball Wizard - 3rd person (The Who)
Romeo And Juliet - 1st person and 3rd person (Dire Straits)
Roxanne - 2nd person(The Police)
Space Oddity - 1st person (David Bowie)
The Boxer - 1st and 3rd person(Simon And Garfunkel)

Concept albums are full of this kind of writing. See for example Operation Mindcrime (Queensryche), 2112 (Rush), The Wall (Pink Floyd) and Tommy (The Who). 

See also

Ticket 54: Unify Your Lyrical Imagery/Extended Metaphor
Ticket 64: Try Writing For Kids
Ticket 66: Write An 'Occasional' Song

See the full list of songwriting tips here - Tickets To Write


Friday, 29 August 2014

NEW! Ticket 69: Climb The Chord Ladder


Starting from the tonic chord, ascend the major scale in chords. In G major this would be

G maj, Am, Bm, C maj, D maj, Em, F#dim, G maj.

Most examples only use the first four or five chords. Also works well in reverse.

Here, There And Everywhere
I'm Only Sleeping

also

Been It - pre chorus (The Cardigans)
Boys Don't Cry - verse and chorus (The Cure)
Gloomy Sunday – bridge (Billie Holliday)
Like A Rolling Stone – verse (Bob Dylan)

See also

Ticket 43: Use The Fourths Luke!
Ticket 48: Static Melody/Changing Chords
Ticket 65: Build Up On The V Chord

See the full list of songwriting tips here - Tickets To Write

Thanks to Timothy Ray Echols on the BSA forum for examples.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Ticket 66: Write An 'Occasional' Song


A song to celebrate a national holiday or a commonly shared life experience (all the things you might buy a greeting card for).

Birthday
Christmas Time Is Here Again

also

Auld Lang Syne
Father's Day (Groucho Marx)
First Of May (Jonathan Coulton)
Happy Birthday (Stevie Wonder)
Happy Birthday To You (trad.)
Happy New Year (Abba)
Shrove Tuesday (Matt Blick)
We Are The Champions (Queen)

And of course too many Christmas songs to mention.

See also

Ticket 42: Have A Completely Unique Concept For The Song
Ticket 49: Employ Madrigalism
Ticket 54: Unify Your Lyrical Imagery/Extended Metaphor
Ticket 64: Try Writing For Kids

See the full list of songwriting tips here - Tickets To Write

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Ticket 65: Build Up On The V Chord


Nothing gives a sense of building to a glorious inevitable climax like hanging out on the V chord (or better yet the V7) for a few bars till you resolve to the root (I).

Back In The USSR - intro
Birthday
Day Tripper - solo
Here Comes The Sun - bridge
Twist And Shout - bridge

also

Do You Love Me? (The Contours)
Let's Dance - intro (David Bowie)

See also

Ticket 1: The Flat 6 Chord
Ticket 43: Use The Fourths Luke!
Ticket 44: Use the Minor 5 (v) Chord

See the full list of songwriting tips here - Tickets To Write

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Ticket 62: Write Two Bridges


Why have one bridge when you can have two? Tricky to pull off without looking like you don't know what you're doing.

Birthday
I'll Be Back
Martha My Dear

also

Lydia The Tattooed Lady (Groucho Marx)

See also

Ticket 5: Make Sections Contrast With The Other Musical Sections
Ticket 53: Write A 'Jazz-Style Intro' Verse

See the full list of songwriting tips here - Tickets To Write

Monday, 25 August 2014

Ticket 64: Try Writing For Kids


Use repetition, clear melodic patterns, simple vocabulary and grammar with some ridiculous concepts or or words. And don't forget to add something naughty!

All Together Now
I Am The Walrus
Octopus' Garden
Piggies
Yellow Submarine

also

Barenaked Ladies, Belle & Sebastian, St Etienne, They Might Be Giants have all produced children's albums and Chris Ballew (Presidents Of The USA) leads a child-friendly side project called Casper Babypants.

See also

Ticket 23: Write Fewer Lyrics
Ticket 42: Have A Completely Unique Concept For The Song

See the full list of songwriting tips here - Tickets To Write

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Ticket 61: Don't Bore Us, Get To The Weirdness


If your song has something really unique consider using it in the first 20 seconds. Got an unusual instrument, weird riff or complex time signature? Resist the temptation to introduce it gradually. Grab your listener with the cool stuff right out of the gate.

Honey Pie (Cm 2nd bar Eb7 3rd bar)
Martha My Dear (key and time signature)
Strawberry Fields Forever (mellotron and out of key chords)

also

Everything In It's Right Place - drumless weird time signatures (Radiohead)
Goodnight Girl – jazz chord intro (Wet Wet Wet)
Living On A Prayer - talk box (Bon Jovi)
Pyramid Song - drumless weird time signatures (Radiohead)

See also

Ticket 25: Transplant Cliches From Other Genres
Ticket 37: The Lennon Edit
Ticket 42: Have A Completely Unique Concept For The Song
Ticket 49: Employ Madrigalism
Ticket 52: The Lennon Extension
Ticket 53: Write A 'Jazz-Style Intro' Verse

See the full list of songwriting tips here - Tickets To Write