#1
I'm currently learning songs and studying them so I can learn some songwriting techniques.... but I really don't know how to analyze them.

What I know for the moment on analyze a song is to check if it uses a mode, the scale, the chord progression... uh maybe the relation between the melody and the chord progression...

Maybe I'm too hard with myself, but I feel like there's something missing.
#2
It depends, if you`re planning to make ****ty songs that use two up till 4 chords that`s more then enough. You just have the chords, a mode (that is used most of the time for a ****ty solo) and the melody are notes that fit in that mode.

If you`re gonnan analyse/make more advanced songs you`ll need to know to know more modes and stuff like modulation...
#3
Quote by MaXiMuse
It depends, if you`re planning to make ****ty songs that use two up till 4 chords that`s more then enough. You just have the chords, a mode (that is used most of the time for a ****ty solo) and the melody are notes that fit in that mode.

If you`re gonnan analyse/make more advanced songs you`ll need to know to know more modes and stuff like modulation...


Well I already know modulation stuff like pitch axis and dominant chord/secondary dominant stuff.

And uh... ****ty solo? o_o

Using some chords and a mode = ****ty solo? o_o
#4
Start with how the song is constructed in it's composition.

For "standard songs" check how many bars the verse and choruses are, where they are. Check if there's like a solo section or a bridge.

For instrumental music, see what the re-occuring theme is, see if there's a variation on it (melody)

Then Check out the key, which notes are used, which notes play a key role in the harmony (also check which chords).

Check out the groove, how is the rhythm, what's the rest of the band doing.

Then you have the Melody and harmony and the groove down.

That's pretty much it. After that it's become subjective; ie. why does this theme sound good, why does this work etc.

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#5
Quote by xxdarrenxx
Start with how the song is constructed in it's composition.

For "standard songs" check how many bars the verse and choruses are, where they are. Check if there's like a solo section or a bridge.

For instrumental music, see what the re-occuring theme is, see if there's a variation on it (melody)

Then Check out the key, which notes are used, which notes play a key role in the harmony (also check which chords).

Check out the groove, how is the rhythm, what's the rest of the band doing.

Then you have the Melody and harmony and the groove down.

That's pretty much it. After that it's become subjective; ie. why does this theme sound good, why does this work etc.


That's pretty much what I wanted , thanks . The stuff that I was missing was pretty much the re-occuring theme. Mmmm I have an idea of what it is but I'm not 100% sure. Is it like the song's main idea/ambiance?(chorus)
#6
Ok, you know your basic-theory. But can you analyze a song like Muse - Stockholm Syndrome? That`s the real deal.

But listen to solo`s like Smells Like Teen Spirt, or Stained - Everything Changes.
They may sound good, but be honest they aren`t as good as Sweet Child 'o Mine or Enter Sandman, technicaly and musically.

Or some solo`s from Black Stone Cherry are technically ok but aren`t the best ones in the melodical way.

If you look at Muse - Sunburn (solo) you`ll notice that it`s a strange mode wcih makes it a good solo (at least for me) it`s tremolo picking so not that difficult, but I think it`s a great solo...
#7
*fixed*lol

Well, I like analyzing complicated solos like Joe satriani, paul gilbert, buckethead stuff. Also, I analyzed the song nightrain by Gnr and the modulations in there are pretty crazy but I found out what was going on there.
Last edited by kevC4 at Feb 15, 2009,
#8
I doubt GNR songs really have that much to be analyzed.
I'm sure most of it was just what sounded good, and not much rational thought behind it.
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#9
Quote by Sleaze Disease
I doubt GNR songs really have that much to be analyzed.
I'm sure most of it was just what sounded good, and not much rational thought behind it.


You're right, they don't have that much to be analyzed. I know a bunch of songs from them, but nightrain is really different. Well more like the solo part. The whole song is based on one scale, but the solo modulates twice kinda and there's a bar after it that doesn't really make sense kinda.
#10
Quote by Sleaze Disease
I doubt GNR songs really have that much to be analyzed.
I'm sure most of it was just what sounded good, and not much rational thought behind it.



Quote by kevC4
You're right, they don't have that much to be analyzed. I know a bunch of songs from them, but nightrain is really different. Well more like the solo part. The whole song is based on one scale, but the solo modulates twice kinda and there's a bar after it that doesn't really make sense kinda.



You mean they don't have to be theorised. Analyzed means finding out WHY it "sounds good". If you use a theoretic argument or an argument like The guitar sounds good when playing that is up to you.

It's subjective from that point.

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#11
Quote by xxdarrenxx
You mean they don't have to be theorised. Analyzed means finding out WHY it "sounds good". If you use a theoretic argument or an argument like The guitar sounds good when playing that is up to you.

It's subjective from that point.


Aaaah don't worry, I know that if something sounds good to you, then it's alright. But I'm still trying to balance myself between theoric playing and playing um... By ear maybe? Can't explain precisly.

You're right about analyzing means find out why it sounds good though, I should concentrate myself on that a bit more. But still, that gnr song is structured except that last bar I was talking about lol.
#12
I use theory to look for why music sounds good.

I hear a song. It can be really simple and the writer may not have known any theory when they wrote it but that doesn't matter.

If I like it I ask certain questions to myself
"What makes this song work?"
"What makes it interesting?"
"Is there any contrast?"

There maybe one simple idea that makes the whole song work - maybe one chord in the right place that sets the whole thing off. Maybe it's a pretty catchy but cliche sounding song but the middle 8 provides contrast and makes the whole thing "work".

On top of that there might be one or two or a hundred other ideas you can find that add a bit more interest to the piece. But always keep in mind the big picture and not just all the details. Figure out how it works overall and then hone in on specifics regarding how each part works to complete that big picture.

EDIT: Darren's post is a great place to start also look specifically at how a song successfully moves between parts. Paying attention to this will help a great amount when it comes to writing your own songs and linking parts together well.

Also watch for things like voice leading, key changes, secondary dominants etc.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Feb 15, 2009,
#13
Quote by kevC4
Aaaah don't worry, I know that if something sounds good to you, then it's alright. But I'm still trying to balance myself between theoric playing and playing um... By ear maybe? Can't explain precisly.

You're right about analyzing means find out why it sounds good though, I should concentrate myself on that a bit more. But still, that gnr song is structured except that last bar I was talking about lol.


Well even if songs are made sounding good by ear, it can still be theoretically analysed too quite a big degree.

They still are build up by solo sections verse chorus bridges modulations etc.

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