Listening for Songwriting Techniques

For the next series of posts I thought I might focus on listening to music for certain songwriting techniques and concepts. I feel this is a good way to look for inspiration to use in my own songwriting whether by consciously implementing the techniques or down the line eventually letting them unconsciously become part of my songwriting arsenal.

To give a few brief examples that I’ll go into detail later: the “descending bassline”, the “counter melody to vocals”,  “dynamic change of soft to loud between verse and chorus” and the “circle of fifths”. These techniques can incorporate melody, harmony, rhythm, structure, arrangement or any other aspect of songwriting and if you have a song that feels incomplete or average, perhaps finding inspiration such as a counter melody can make all the difference.

I will say, this is a learning experience for me, and for most of it I’ll use my own descriptive language though there’s probably proper musical terminology out there.


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