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> Same Tempo Throughout A Song
ElHombre
post Sep 11 2014, 08:34 PM
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Hello guys smile.gif

Ive always been told not to think about such things and to only think "muscially"
Well, often in my songs i make time signature changes, tempo changes etc.

Now im composing a kind of shreddy rock tune and I was thinking of keeping the same tempo throughout the song.
Just having the changes in the harmony and the rythm stays steady.

Just wondering, are most songs like this or is it more usual with tempo changes?

I kind of liked the idea to keep the rythm simple and steady all the way
Or might the song require some tempo changes cause of dynamics?

It will be build kind of like a "pop" song having the guitar singing.
intro-verse-pre chorus- chorus and so on

What do you make of this?


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Kristofer Dahl
post Sep 11 2014, 10:09 PM
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I would definitely advise you to try this path.

When I started writing songs and got more serious about my (former) band - I had no clue what 4/4 was and I had (and still have) a bad sense for musical periodicity (word?). What I mean by that is - I can easily get into strange time signatures when jamming on my own without even realizing it.

For a long time I was worried this was some kind of indication that I lacked musicality. However now I see it as an advantage - because I find that I often have a slightly different perspective on composing (and music in general).

So when I write music - I often try to push myself into more "standard" song structures (using 4/4 and not too many key and time changes). Because if I just follow my instincts I end up somewhere in art music territory ( read: worse than completely atonal jazz).

So I think that if you consciously try new paths - you will reach new insights. And remember that it will probably feel weird/difficult in the beginning - but that feeling is the first indication you are trying something new which eventually will give you an advantage.

QUOTE (ElHombre @ Sep 11 2014, 09:34 PM) *
Just wondering, are most songs like this or is it more usual with tempo changes?
What do you make of this?


As far as radio music goes, I think it's safe to say it often has a simpler song structures (tempo/time/tonality wise)



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Gabriel Leopardi
post Sep 11 2014, 10:57 PM
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Well, this is an interesting question. I have to say that most of the pop, rock and metal songs are composed using the same tempo in the whole song. That's how the most commercial and easier to digest music works. Tempo changes, complex meters and things like that are most used on more complex styles like jazz, fusion, progressive, experimental, etc.

However there are more conventional bands and styles that incorporate this ideas into their music and this make them very interesting. I think that it's a really cool thing to use complex stuff and making it sound simple. The best example of this are The Beatles. They were a pop rock band full of hits that seemed to be very simple, but I invite you to analyze some of their songs and you will discover how many interesting things are happening in their music. They are the kings of it. There is a guy called Alan W. Pollack who analyzed all songs by the Beatles and shared it. It's the most ambitions song analysis ever and it's a fantastic guide to understand how structure, harmony and theory are applied to create some of the most amazing songs ever. Check it out here: LINK


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klasaine
post Sep 12 2014, 03:16 AM
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+1 to what Gab and Kris said.

IMO, a little bit (of the odd time) goes a long way especially in the realm of rock music.
I would recommend experimenting with a little odd time within the larger structure of a steady 4/4 song. Maybe just add one 2/4 or 3/4 or 5/4 bar at the end of a chorus to get back into a verse or a rubato (free time) middle section.

Led Zeppelin was pretty good at the odd time thing.
The verse is in 15 (or, a bar of 8 and a bar of 7) but the chorus is in 4/4.



Even Joan Jett's pop anthem super radio mega hit, 'I love Rock and Roll' has a 3/4 bar at the end of some of the chorus sections.
Check it out right at the top before the first verse at 0:13 (and then a bunch of times at the end when the chorus repeats).



My point being - it's cool to do it but it has to have a musical purpose. When it does ... it can even help to 'make' a hit.
Besides the Beatles, bands like Rush, Yes, Black Sabbath, Hendrix, Blondie, Talking Heads, Bowie, Roxy Music, Todd Rundgren ... even some 50s and early 60s rock hits have the odd-time bar in them. Little Richard did it all the time.

Listen carefully. It's more common than you might think.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Sep 12 2014, 03:46 AM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 12 2014, 09:05 AM
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Hey Erik smile.gif

I also think that aside from what the guys said, you must have a few elements in mind:

- groove - any piece of music that needs to be radio friendly, MUST have groove

Sometimes, if it has groove and a catchy chorus that's pretty much ALL there is to it wink.gif

- no extra needless 'prog' elements laugh.gif - funny as it is, in radio music, people tend to go for less is more all the time. So, sticking to the basic structure without too many embellishments gets people faster to the 'important parts' wink.gif

- you need to have a catchy chorus - something that will stick to the listener's mind obsessively

About tempo changes - the one I like most, is 'Revolution is my name' played by Pantera smile.gif The main riff, chorus and verse have a shuffle pulse and a faster tempo while the breakdown sections are in 4/4 and have a lower tempo. Check it out - the first groove and tempo change, occurs at 0:55:



This post has been edited by Cosmin Lupu: Sep 12 2014, 09:05 AM


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Taka Perry
post Sep 12 2014, 02:00 PM
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My post will seem a little short compared to the others, but in all seriousness just do what sound right! If it sounds fine in 4/4, no need to change it to 7/8 just to be a little prog. Same thing voce versa. If a tempo increase feels right, then what's there to stop you? smile.gif whatever feels natural is the right thing mate smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 13 2014, 03:19 PM
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On the other hand, Taka is right smile.gif Some people go nuts and write things EXACTLY as they wish and regardless of the time signature, they end up having a pop single - check out this example: 5/4 with Freak Kitchen and it sounds like the most outgoing anthemic pop tune ever biggrin.gif



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