Thursday, 27 February 2014

32 Bars. No Chorus. Write A Hit.

I know that AABA form is one of, if not thee, most successful songwriting forms, but I have never written a 32 bar song in AABA before and let me say, it was hard. If I could say what my main strength is in songwriting, I would say writing catchy choruses. So, AABA form is a chorus-less form based on two verse sections, a B, or bridge section, and another verse. That means the whole song has to be one hook after another! So I teamed up with Esther Frake for this task since she has experience writing in AABA form and already had music written. We got together on Sunday and spent about 3 hours writing the lyrics and melody from scratch together, which was really nice for me. The music was lighthearted and deserved a light, happy topic, which was another exercise for me. We came up with the title and topic: Storybook Love. It was a hit in class and I am very proud of myself and Esther for this collaboration :)


February 25th, 2014

The first to go was Maxine, who sang her AABA song A Cappella. The song was strong with a definite, strong melody that followed the criteria very well. It has been said that a good song can stand alone A Cappella, and hers did! The overall critique was her use of metaphor was slightly overbearing and some lines could use some rethinking as to stay away from anything too cliche.

This brought up a great point about songwriting. My favorite way to write is through reference. A metaphor is already a reference, but they are so solidified sometimes that they become cliche. So, I like to reword metaphors or reference the reference. Right now I am working on some lyrics, "It's not the hole you made in my heart, it's the greener grass you made it for." I am referencing the metaphor, the grass is always greener on the other side, so with that common knowledge, I am referencing the understood concept of the metaphor without actually using it, which puts the listener on the inside of my thinking through common knowledge of metaphor. I LOVE METAPHOR!

John and Kirsty sang their duet from last week's task (120 bpm song) called "Corner of the Room." The song went over well with the class. The only critique was the start of the chorus resembles the melody to "All of Me" by John Legend. It's an easy fix though.

Anna and Esther played a song (120 bpm) they collaborated on in which Esther did the backing track
and Anna wrote the lyrics and melody. Such a great split of talents. I love working with Esther :) The song was a cross between rockabilly and burlesque styles making it a treat for the classes ears! The best critique for this song was moving the verse from the second half, to the first half. I think that would make the song move well.

Farhan and Rosey played their AABA song next. Farhan contributed by playing lead acoustic and Rosey wrote the song. The overall critique was that the song lacked a strong melody line to differentiate the two sections.

Bianca and Will M. worked together this week on something in Portuguese in AABA form, which I am so proud of Bianca for! Apparently, she wrote something else to the tune he wrote and he wasn't keen on the topic and had her change it to be centered around a bonfire. She kept at it and they wrote a pretty awesome song together. The melody, which he wrote, sounds familiar to a lot of people in the class, so that might need some addressing. Because the song is in Portuguese, the title line appears in the middle of each verse section rather than the first line or the last line. It worked for me!

Owain played a song he wrote with his brother with such a strong melody, I was sooooo happy. I have been listening to some 80's ballads lately, and wondering where all the verse melodic movement has gone. I was very satisfied. The class seemed to be confused by the roles of the characters, but I liked the idea of taking the third person perspective and making it first person!

B├ęth and Alex wrote together this week and the song "Light" was half in French! We all agreed that the song could easily be all in French because it was so beautiful. Good job!

Thoughts


This class was tiring because we all went to the BASCA Geisha event the night before and were out late! Richard taught this class rather than Joe. The two of them compliment each other very nicely. I got a good amount of cards at the geisha night and I am going to start emailing people back today.


I finally made a linkedin. It's still a work in progress. I think I need an assistant already.

Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/stevierae13
Bandcamp: www.stevieraestephens.bandcamp.com
Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/stevierae13
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/stevieraestephens
Improv/Major ProSeminar Blog: www.stevierae19.blogspot.com
Recording Technology Blog: www.stevierae13.blogspot.com
Songwriting Blog: www.stevierae5.blogspot.com
Myspace: https://myspace.com/stevierae13
ReverbNation: www.reverbnation.com/stevieraestephens
ePortfolio: https://sites.google.com/site/stevieraestephens
Youtube: www.youtube.com/stevierae13
Wedding Singing Website: www.yoursongbird.com
Twitter: @stevierae91
Instagram: @stevierae5

Going to send some emails.

~SR

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