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Old 05-22-2014, 05:47 AM   #1
BassTendency013
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What sets the different 'pop' styles apart?

I'm starting a pop rock band with my friend, but the problem is, I don't know how to tell pop rock apart form normal pop, or normal rock. We mainly want to do originals. What are some elements that set apart Pop rock from Pop & Rock so I can use it for my writing?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by BassTendency013 : 05-22-2014 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 05-22-2014, 06:39 AM   #2
Jehannum
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You want to start a pop rock band but you don't know what pop rock is?

Just write in your own style. Let others apply labels to it.
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Old 05-22-2014, 06:55 AM   #3
GaryBillington
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Originally Posted by Jehannum
Just write in your own style. Let others apply labels to it.

This.

Labels are unimportant and will change over time.
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:14 AM   #4
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You could always look at what's happening on the Billboard 100 chart (or the Aria charts here in Australia) to see how songs are built and stuff. Then learn those songs and write similar music.

It's sort of cheating but at least you know that what your mimicking is 'pop' and sells.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:03 AM   #5
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The definition of pop rock has changed over the years. Currently, I would say the faux-indie and acoustic rock guys are where pop rock is nowadays. Also, the 'whooa oooh oooh' type guys (if you listen to the radio or watch television, you'll know exactly what I'm referencing) are there too.

Back in the 60s-70s it was Beatles, Zep, Hendrix, etc

In the 80s it was hair metal like Van Halen, Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot, etc

In the 90s it was Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, RHCP, etc

In the 00's it was male singer-songwriters. Think John Mayer.

Today it's Imagine Dragons, and Ed Sheeran types.

I would say there's always been splinters in other directions, but I just wanted to point out that it's changed. Like flaaash mentioned, check out the Billboard charts. That'll give you a good idea of where you need to go.

I watched a seminar at Berkeley where John Mayer talks about pop and he says that you pretty much go wherever the current music is headed or is at. You can have your own music that you like but if you want to sell millions of records, you make at least a few generic pop songs based off of what's popular at the time.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:10 AM   #6
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Your first mistake is trying to mimic what is popular right now. There are label big wigs in some office somewhere that have already decided what's going to be 'cool' in the next year or so. By the time you hear something on the radio, it's too late to try and get in on that sound.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mjones1992
I watched a seminar at Berkeley where John Mayer talks about pop and he says that you pretty much go wherever the current music is headed or is at. You can have your own music that you like but if you want to sell millions of records, you make at least a few generic pop songs based off of what's popular at the time.


Mayer is the man. He did just that. When he was growing up, he played in some SRV-type bands. He had the chops, even back then. When he moved to Atlanta, he was actually doing some stuff with Clay Cook (now of Zac Brown Band) but decided to put out some 'pop' music on his own and he blew up. Sure, he is known by some people for 'Your Body Is A Wonderland,' but once he had 'made it,' he can do whatever he wants.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:38 AM   #8
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the difference between pop and rock is that rock is mostly originals, whereas pop more heavily employs songwriters and market trend research, pop rock is rock that's made for a mainstream audience, so you tone down the guitars and vocal grit, and make lyrics about whatever a junior high kid would think is edgy/forbidden (watch some MTV if you aren't sure), mildly follow the current trend, then throw it into proper song form, practice, practice, practice as a group until you are really tight and you've got yourself a decent pop rock band
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Old 05-22-2014, 04:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p_a_morgan
Your first mistake is trying to mimic what is popular right now. There are label big wigs in some office somewhere that have already decided what's going to be 'cool' in the next year or so. By the time you hear something on the radio, it's too late to try and get in on that sound.


If you and I were to write a song and record it successfully today, approximately how long would it take to get to mainstream, morning drive time radio?

I know with book and stuff that the distance between writing the first draft and seeing it in the shops is a long time. The school science text books that came out this year are likely to be slightly outdated.
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:48 PM   #10
Of_Wolves
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flaaash
If you and I were to write a song and record it successfully today, approximately how long would it take to get to mainstream, morning drive time radio?

I know with book and stuff that the distance between writing the first draft and seeing it in the shops is a long time. The school science text books that came out this year are likely to be slightly outdated.


Books are a year at an absolute minimum. From first draft anything from two to thirty years. From signing the deal to the shelf? A year, yeah. I would say records are less of a lengthy process than that, but not by much at all.

Pretty much anything you're taught in high school is wrong in some way. Self-learning or getting it direct from the mouths of industry leaders is where it's at.

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Old 05-28-2014, 06:48 PM   #11
Victorgeiger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassTendency013
I'm starting a pop rock band with my friend, but the problem is, I don't know how to tell pop rock apart form normal pop, or normal rock. We mainly want to do originals. What are some elements that set apart Pop rock from Pop & Rock so I can use it for my writing?

Thanks in advance!


Hi BT, Ok so you are going to start a pop rock band, play live shows around town, get recognised by a label and beceme famous right? wrong!

Firstly do you guys know of Max Martin, wiki him. Basically he wrote all the songs, ALL OF THEM! lol ^^ But seriously check him out this guys knows how to write catchy pop music.

Next, remember that pop music is usually technically simple, there is actually a 4 chord progression that many pop songs use. There is a link in my signature where you can check it out.

And lastly, This chick will show you how to become successful in the NEW music industry. Seriously listen to what she has to say.

Really hope this helps. Good luck to you and your band
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:41 PM   #12
Jagmaster33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassTendency013
I'm starting a pop rock band with my friend, but the problem is, I don't know how to tell pop rock apart form normal pop, or normal rock. We mainly want to do originals. What are some elements that set apart Pop rock from Pop & Rock so I can use it for my writing?

Thanks in advance!


Honestly, there isn't much difference musically between most pop music. Most everything is in the same damn scale, with very simple chords and whatnot. "Pop rock" usually just means guitar rock of some kind, but the underlying structure is pretty much the same as most pop.

Back in the 60's, however, even the lesser bands would do more creative things like change keys in the middle of a song, and use more complex chords/harmonies/etc. Nowadays that stuff is really rare. Music has been dumbed down over the decades.
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