Day 4: Writing Voice-First
In our recent interview with singer songwriter Faline, she told us she wrote her song “Illinois” by writing the vocal melody before she wrote the music to the song.
Hall and Oates also wrote some of their greatest hits like “Rich Girl” and “She’s Gone” with this approach. When they were writing songs, they would start by picking a tempo, adding rhythmic elements and building the song before they added chordal instruments like guitar or piano. Indeed, Paul Simon recently talked about using this approach on his record Stranger to Stranger.
Writing this way creates more natural space in a song because is based around how the rhythm or melody drive the song and not how the chords drive the rhythm.
Today I’d like to challenge you to write a song by either A) writing vocal melody first, or B) writing tempo-first. If you’re writing tempo-first, I suggest using a drum machine, keep in mind, too that most popular songs are written between 90 and 130 BPM.
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