Music Player Network
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,721
Likes: 241
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,721
Likes: 241
The beginnings of songs for me always involved a chord progression, a melody line, or a lyrical hook. Lately, though, I've been trying to broaden my rhythmic repertoire, and listening to music that has different ways of looking at rhythm.

What I'm finding is that some songs are starting with the rhythm. I'll be fooling around, come up with a few measures, loop them, add some variations, and that rhythmic bed starts suggesting the rest of the song. When you have these fun, bouncy rhythms going along, it's almost impossible to write anything that's not happy smile

It seems the main word people use to describe my new album is "fun," and looking back, learning new rhythms was a huge part of that. I think I'm going to start delving into hand percussion more...

Sound, Studio, and Stage Island
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 788
Likes: 27
MPN Advisory Board
Gold Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
Gold Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 788
Likes: 27
I've read several artist interviews in magazines like Mix or Tape Op where they discuss how they go about writing songs, and many start with a rhythm loop with no chords, melody, or lyrics. This apparently takes them somewhere from where they can start writing what will get them a copyright and make the money roll in.

Seems like a funny place to start, but if it works, I won't dismiss it.

Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,946
Likes: 39
Platinum Member
Offline
Platinum Member
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,946
Likes: 39
I create some rhythms by hand and loop them. I can hear when its time to do the careful sculpting that makes it a player. At times, things develop with Logic's arpeggiator. Some seeds come from freebie WAV folders. I've found several Alchemy & Pigments patterns to be inspiring foundations. Regardless of any of that, I also call up various kits or sounds and play over them in real-time. It humanizes any mechanical aromas. Rhythm is ultimately #1; your heartbeat is your first instrument. The pitched goods come afterwards.


FM is another spice (sound) in the rack.
It is not Frank's Hot Sauce.
Don't go putting that sh8t on everything.
~ ProfD

https://soundcloud.com/david-emm-1
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,653
Likes: 327
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,653
Likes: 327
Some 50 years ago when my older brother and I were in our early to mid teens, he put a hi-fi stereo set together and started bringing home any and every record that was not popular music heard on American radio.
Music from Africa, India, the Middle East, Asia, Tibet, and contemporary jazz like Miles, Trane, Monk, Mingus, Sun Ra and others.

And I started listening to prog rock when that came out - Yes, ELP, Tull, UK, etc. We had a large Armenian population in Fresno, there was Middle Eastern music everywhere. The beats are not 4/4 time, ever.

I looked for it just now and did not find - a quote by Chuck Berry on his style of playing a repeating figure in a different but congruent time signature than the song itself and how it will always come back around to the one. Chuck kept it pretty simple but it's an interesting lesson. I noticed Neil Young doing a similar thing at the very end of Southern Man.

Happy Jack by The Who came on the canned music at some store the other day and I realized it was pretty darn weird for a pop song.

I love all that stuff. The beat is really important to me and I do like to have a "feel" or a "groove" going as an early stage of writing a song. I usually write entirely in my head, I don't need a guitar until I've got a fair chunk of ideas that needs played.

I don't have a method and I have no idea where any of it comes from. I am grateful to allow creativity to flow through me, it is a gift that I appreciate more than almost anything else.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,721
Likes: 241
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,721
Likes: 241
Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
I've read several artist interviews in magazines like Mix or Tape Op where they discuss how they go about writing songs, and many start with a rhythm loop with no chords, melody, or lyrics. This apparently takes them somewhere from where they can start writing what will get them a copyright and make the money roll in.

Seems like a funny place to start, but if it works, I won't dismiss it.

There's perhaps a subtle difference between "beats" and what I'm talking about. The beats thing is all about the rhythm, what I'm doing is the step before the "song" takes shape. Actually the song "Personal Angel" on my last album kind of happened that way. I was playing around with a drum part and bass line to provide an audio example for an article, and I thought "I have got to wrap a song around this." If you listen to the song, it's clear the rhythm is in a supporting role, not the focus. But, the song wouldn't have happened without it.

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,129
Likes: 15
Platinum Member
Offline
Platinum Member
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,129
Likes: 15
One of the Bee Gees said the start of composing their "Jive Talkin'" song was hearing rhythms from the wheels of their car going over potholes in the roads of Los Angeles. And without "Jive Talkin'", they would not have been asked to contribute music to Saturday Night Fever.

For musicians like me who are primarily horn players or singers, rhythms are an underused or underdeveloped part of our musical skill set. My 5 year struggle to play "chucka-chucka" rhythms on songs like "China Grove" and Led Zep "Rock and Roll", without sucking at it, after having played the sax for 35 years, is my personal proof of this.

Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,721
Likes: 241
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,721
Likes: 241
Originally Posted by harmonizer
One of the Bee Gees said the start of composing their "Jive Talkin'" song was hearing rhythms from the wheels of their car going over potholes in the roads of Los Angeles. And without "Jive Talkin'", they would not have been asked to contribute music to Saturday Night Fever.

Mechanical sounds are rich sources...I've written a few things on trains when I had a laptop with me. And once in the Minneapolis airport, there was a malfunctioning moving stairway that produced this incredible dance rhythm. In those cases, it was like the drummer was already laying down a groove, and all I had to do was sit in smile


Moderated by  Anderton 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5