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Songwriters Discussion Room--to share thoughts, projects, etc.
27 December 2017
6.23pm
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Pineapple Records
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Silly Girl said
Haha, whenever I come up with chord progressions they usually have far more maj7s than is good for them. I have an unhealthy love for maj7s. a-hard-days-night-john-6 apple01

I've also been fiddling with a thing around Cmaj7 and Fmaj7... it's just such a suggestive couple of chords. I put other chords in there as well, though. I like Fmaj7 and Am7 together...  

I like Cma7 to Fma7, I have a part of a song I wrote that repeats those at length.  The Santana song "Song of the Wind" is one long repetition of those two chords (no other chords), with Carlos weaving in and out of a long, extended guitar solo over them. 

McCartney's song "Bluebird" has a part (repeated throughout) that goes from Ebma7 to Abma7 (basically the same thing as Cma7 to Fma7, just transposed): "I'm a bluebird -- I'm a bluebird, I'm a bluebird, I'm a bluebird, yeah, yeah, yeah"

Another progression I like is Dm7 -- G7 -- Cma7 -- Fma7. 

Then there's the trick of playing, say, an Ama7 (the one that looks like a diagonal line on the fretboard where G# on the high E string is the closest note to the pegs while A on the D string is the closest to the guitar hole) where I like to reach over with my thumb to ground the chord with a G# bass, and even sometimes strum all six strings so that G# and the open A flow together with a dissonant sound.

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28 December 2017
8.39am
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QuarryMan
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Silly Girl said
Haha, whenever I come up with chord progressions they usually have far more maj7s than is good for them. I have an unhealthy love for maj7s. a-hard-days-night-john-6 apple01

I've also been fiddling with a thing around Cmaj7 and Fmaj7... it's just such a suggestive couple of chords. I put other chords in there as well, though. I like Fmaj7 and Am7 together...  

What fingering do you use for the Am7? I've never felt the open position with the open G sounds particularly good.

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28 December 2017
7.11pm
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sir walter raleigh
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Bar it. 

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"The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles!"

-Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues

"We could ride and surf together while our love would grow"

-Brian Wilson, Surfer Girl

29 December 2017
9.47am
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Beatlebug
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@QuarryMan I use that one and the open shape (D string 2nd fret, B string 1st fret) interchangeably. There are probably other fingerings...

It verges from the sublime to the ridiculote

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30 December 2017
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QuarryMan said

What fingering do you use for the Am7? I've never felt the open position with the open G sounds particularly good.  

Silly Girl said
@QuarryMan I use that one and the open shape (D string 2nd fret, B string 1st fret) interchangeably. There are probably other fingerings...  

@Silly Girl, aren't you describing the same chord QuarryMan was?

@both Silly Girl & QuarryMan, I personally like that open Am7. You can vary it by pressing on the high G note of the high E string).  Another variation that's cool is to stretch your pinkie up to press the B note on that G string -- the B note clashes with the C note in a nicely discordant way, especially if you fingerpick arpeggios.

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4 January 2018
10.43pm
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Over the past 3 years, I've been taking out time to work on just one song -- sometimes my own songs, usually some old song I could never whip into shape and I focus on it until I finish it; or sometimes a song I want to cover. It usually takes me about a month to finish a song, give or take a week. 

My latest project is "Meglio Stasera" the winsome song by Henry Mancini (melody) and Franco Migliacci (Italian lyrics).  With this song I'm having a devil of a time with figuring out the right tempo -- I don't mean that I can't match the tempo of the original (Fran Jeffries singing it in the original The Pink Panther movie); I mean I want to find the right tempo for the song, which I don't think should be as fast as it was in the movie (it works there because of the context: a sexy latin beat in a ski lodge party after hours with everyone half drunk on rum and ready to jump up and join in with a conga line).  I've never had a problem with tempo before; it's always come effortlessly to me.

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6 January 2018
12.35am
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sir walter raleigh
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Ok. It is the 2 year anniversary of my January 2016 demos. Pretty poor guitar work throughout, but I figured some of yall would enjoy the listen. 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5p9.....ThhKa?dl=0

The last track was uploaded after, with lyrics by @WeepingAtlasCedars. 

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"The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles!"

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7 January 2018
1.21am
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sir walter raleigh said
Ok. It is the 2 year anniversary of my January 2016 demos. Pretty poor guitar work throughout, but I figured some of yall would enjoy the listen. 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5p9.....ThhKa?dl=0

The last track was uploaded after, with lyrics by @WeepingAtlasCedars.   

I like "Everything is Fine" !  I'm looking forward to listening to the others. I would have one suggestion -- at the end, to have the singer stop short and sing "Everything is --" and not say "fine".

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8 January 2018
9.12pm
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Beatlebug
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sir walter raleigh said
The last track was uploaded after, with lyrics by @WeepingAtlasCedars.   

I'm listening to this one now. The lyrics positively reek of WeepyC and I can quite empathise with them; it feels very Dylan on the music end (no surprise there). It's so sweet, I love it! heart

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It verges from the sublime to the ridiculote

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8 January 2018
9.42pm
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The Hole Got Fixed
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All this talk about these tracks are making me jealous. I'm on holiday, with limited data, so I have no way of listening to them for a couple of days... man, this is making me curious!

In the meantime, I've got a question: my dad and I wrote a song last night, and we aren't sure how to finish it. The last section in the song is a chorus, and this is the progression (in F#m): F#m, A, C#m, Cm. We both love the weirdness of the Cm chord, and in the context too, but we are considering finishing the song on the Cm chord. Is that a good idea, or would you recommend a different chord?

Oh, by the way, this post was made by The Hole Got Fixed!

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8 January 2018
10.09pm
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sir walter raleigh
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Heres an idea: end the song with a picardy 3rd. F#Major

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The Hole Got Fixed, Beatlebug

"The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles!"

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9 January 2018
2.45am
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I just played that progression to my dad, and he absolutely loved it, thank you so much! We tosed ideas around for 20 minutes, when all I should have done was consult the BB!

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9 January 2018
4.31am
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The Hole Got Fixed said
I just played that progression to my dad, and he absolutely loved it, thank you so much! We tosed ideas around for 20 minutes, when all I should have done was consult the BB!  

john-lennon-salute_gifAlways here to bounce ideas. 

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"The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles!"

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-Brian Wilson, Surfer Girl

9 January 2018
11.04am
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Dark Overlord
Nowhere Land
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I tried out that chord progression and the Cm sounds completely out of place.

How about this one instead:

F#m A C#m/E C#/F

I tried this one out and it sounds really nice.

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9 January 2018
4.57pm
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The Hole Got Fixed
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The Cm chord is there for a very minor climax, as it is essentially a ballad (which builds throughout the song). It's also there because we try to be experimental, and use chords not in the key signature. 

I do like the C#m/E, but where you weren't sold on the Cm, I'm not sold on the C#/F - it sounds too good! I need it to sound dark and unexpected, and the C#/F is the logical place to go normally! a-hard-days-night-john-6ahdn_george_06

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9 January 2018
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Dark Overlord
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If you want it to sound off, you could try C7#9.

Anyways, i thought of this great lick.

e|3h5p3-----------------------|
B|----------3h5p5-0h1p0--|
G|------------------------------0|

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9 January 2018
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The Hole Got Fixed said
The Cm chord is there for a very minor climax, as it is essentially a ballad (which builds throughout the song). It's also there because we try to be experimental, and use chords not in the key signature. 

I do like the C#m/E, but where you weren't sold on the Cm, I'm not sold on the C#/F - it sounds too good! I need it to sound dark and unexpected, and the C#/F is the logical place to go normally! a-hard-days-night-john-6ahdn_george_06  

I agree, that's a good instinct for a songwriter, to experiment and "color outside the lines".  That said, in that sequence, I too found the Cm out of place and I couldn't find a place for it (maybe that's just me).

Dark and unexpected -- how about after C#m go to G#m -- Fm -- E aug5 (C note instead of B in the E chord) -- Am.  Sorry, I can't stop...

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26 January 2018
5.33pm
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TheOneBeatle
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Well, thanks to @The Hole Got Fixed , I am here. I must say that I usually don't ask for help in writing music as I am studying it formally (as of today, tonal music theory), but I am not close-minded to the more ''popular-music route''. In fact, lyrics, the structure and maybe the melody of my compositions lean more towards this ''popular/commercial'' route, but the way I write harmonies are constructed more like the classical compositions.

So, for this first composition/song, I have been working on it for almost two years now; it was originally a ''power ballad'' written for drums, bass, electric guitar and a 'fantasia' like instrument plus a contralto vocal in the very rarely played key of E-flat minor. I did a demo back in 2016 with all these elements, and it's only a minute long as I only wrote three verses. The first two have the same 8-chord ''progression'', then the third verse goes for a different pattern.

Now, I am writing it as a string quartet with contralto vocal, with the song structure going like this: Intro - verses 1 to 3 - instrumental section - verses 4 to 6 - instrumental section 2 - verses 7 and 8 (or 2 and 3 if I can't come up with lyrics) + repetition of last line.

The chord ''progression'' for the verses is technically the same as the demo (the first two with the same progression, the third with a different one), but I want to do different ''progressions'' for the instrumental passages of the song as well as develop each chord change differently for each verse so it doesn't sound quite the same.

I will be so thankful if any of you can help with any suggestions or opinions. john-lennon-salute_gif

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1 April 2018
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I solved my little puzzle about working out a cover version for "Meglio Stasera".  It wasn't the tempo I needed to worry about (though I did change it anyway); it was the fact that people who have sung it (including the inimitable gold standard by Fran Jeffries) tend to parcel out the syllables of the lyrics as a straight string of successive quarter beats, with only minor exceptions.  Instead, I worked out a more complicated variation of beats the syllables as they are sung out would create.

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20 April 2018
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The Hole Got Fixed
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The Hole Got Fixed said

In the meantime, I've got a question: my dad and I wrote a song last night, and we aren't sure how to finish it. The last section in the song is a chorus, and this is the progression (in F#m): F#m, A, C#m, Cm. We both love the weirdness of the Cm chord, and in the context too, but we are considering finishing the song on the Cm chord. Is that a good idea, or would you recommend a different chord?  

Well, you guys doubted the Cm chord. Tell me what you see think: 

And thanks swr for that great final chord!

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