#1
Hey all.

I want to know how I could make a song evem more dramatic besides making it a minor key.
Like I want some really sad yet heavy piece.
I know I need a slow tempo dynamics and long breaks but what else to use?
#2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHwftkkLy34&t=50

Notice the strings, distortion and epicness.
And very full sound.
Layering instruments.
As it goes on it changes and sounds pitches slowly increase.
Delay and reverb are also your friends in moderation.

Steal some of those ideas.
There's a good chance that what I've written above is useless and if you take any of the advice it's your own fault.
#4
Big dynamic changes work real well. Alter the volume and attack of instruments for different sections, accordingly. Silent Murder pointed out strings: for whatever reason, they do make music sound more dramatic.

Quote by liampje
besides making it a minor key


Stop right there! It's not "minor keys feel like this, major keys feel like that", it's how you use them!
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#5
Full sounds are mostly created out of low sounds (bass).

Tension is mostly created by certain intervals between notes. Half tones or tritones. DON'T OVERUSE IT! Never overuse anything except when it's epic!

Don't fill all spaces. Rests are important in such songs (as you said: long breaks).

Try for example a Cm7M. A really sad song I wrote started with a Em(add9) played like 024000. Mind the tension between the A# and G.
lalala
#6
Quote by liampje
Hey all.

I want to know how I could make a song evem more dramatic besides making it a minor key.
Like I want some really sad yet heavy piece.
I know I need a slow tempo dynamics and long breaks but what else to use?



Have something dramatic to express in the 1st place.
shred is gaudy music
#7
Music is all about expression, so if you want to be very dramatic, then simply don't try to be. If you keep the approach extremely grounded and don't try to come across AS epic, then you will more than likely have a better chance of achieving it.

That might sound backwards but if you try too hard to be dramatic, something very easy to resist by a lot of people, than it can come across as incredibly horrendous. If you are trying to achieve this drama through lyrics, music or both, then keep it simple and realize that the story or music is dramatic on its own. A simple, "I Love You," can sound very dramatic and moving, but if you add a crying sound effect in the background and tons of MELOdramatic music to it, the I Love You loses all its effect because it isn't allowing you feel it. It is basically going, "Hey do you know that thing called imagination? Well say goodbye to that, we are going to tell you what to feel, how to feel it and even when."

Take for instance this song and put aside your feelings of rather you like it or not. It is just a piano and a singer throughout except for one brief passage where there is a VERY dramatic guitar solo. Even if you don't like it, try to focus on the elements surrounding the topic of love. How do you describe loving someone in a song without coming across as melodramatic? See If You Can Hear What I Mean.

Either way best of luck to you and hope when you do this, you let UG hear it.
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#8
Harmonic Minor

Crescendos
Tempo changes
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#9
It almost always involves an orchestra coming in 4 bars after the punch line.
It's spelled wiener.
#12
DIMINISHED CHORDS!!!!!!!


Dynamics are a good way to go, especially from very soft and contained and whatever to ALL OF A SUDDEN RAGING!!! Perhaps moving from a slow section of a song that progresses into a fast section will make it dramatic because you're giving the music a "journey", if you will. Too, well placed tritones and clashing notes (possibly as band hits if you're in a band environment) played together (something like Underoath do) can add to the tension.
#13
A random person on a forum isn't going to give you the 'magic secret' to how to write dramatic music. The only thing you can do (and should do) is to listen to and analyse music which you find dramatic and incorporate what you find into your writing.
#15
Quote by griffRG7321
A random person on a forum isn't going to give you the 'magic secret' to how to write dramatic music. The only thing you can do (and should do) is to listen to and analyse music which you find dramatic and incorporate what you find into your writing.

this. its more than just one or 2 things, it's how you incorporate everything together.
#16
Making songs is a lot like sex... It's best when there's a lot of tension and then you build up some more... and then BAM, you reach climax.

Now, just add more tension and then BAM, hopefully everyone else reaches climax with you.
#17
Quote by Silent Murder
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHwftkkLy34&t=50

Notice the strings, distortion and epicness.
And very full sound.
Layering instruments.
As it goes on it changes and sounds pitches slowly increase.
Delay and reverb are also your friends in moderation.

Steal some of those ideas.


From this example I see that having dramatic images accompanying the music helps too. Try listening to it without watching the video.
#19
Listen to Welcome Home by Coheed & Cambria, maybe the most epic song ever created, and listen to the layering of instruments and the change in dynamics and aply the same elements to your own piece.
You'll Never Walk Alone!
#20
Quote by griffRG7321
A random person on a forum isn't going to give you the 'magic secret' to how to write dramatic music. The only thing you can do (and should do) is to listen to and analyse music which you find dramatic and incorporate what you find into your writing.


+ 1,000,000.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#21
just put a story arch in the song. its not that hard. i get the feeling you know how to do it but you just wanted to make a thread cuz u love our company so much.

dude, soft intro, slow build up, shredful climax, resolution. like sex man, practice makes perfect.
#22
First, I suggest that you don't do anything until you listen to songs that you personally feel are dramatic. You will listen once exactly as you would before, listening for the feeling, tension, articulation, tone, dynamics of the piece. You will then listen a second time with an analytical ear open. Draw up or find a chord chart and see if you can notice melodic or harmonic patterns which you consider moving or dramatic. Once you identify some things which resonate with you, literally just play around with ideas based off of the discovered patterns. Beyond that, all that I can do is offer suggestions of dramatic pieces. Thus, I'll throw a slight curveball:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csGnvbJCQKU

This is a live rendition of Nardis, played by Bill Evans et al. Notice particularly the changes in emphasis across the piece by the players, and see if you can discern the effect on the perceived drama of the sections. The song approximates an ABA form over its course.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_ywkpVJ624

Coltrane's Naima is quite dramatic in my mind, without being orchestral. This is something that people tend to presume is necessary for drama, but Coltrane's phrases build some serious drama, especially with the precise piano contexts he plays over. Personal opinion, but the only thing that I can do is offer what worked for me and hope that it works for you. Good luck, and be sure to share!
You might could use some double modals.
Last edited by AETHERA at Jun 20, 2011,
#24
Drama is all about tension and anticipation. In other words, you have to build up to something that signals to the listener "more is coming". It's just like in story-telling, to create something dramatic, you have to have the reader eagerly wanting to hear how something plays out in the climax of the story.

I don't mean to blow my own horn here or anything, but I'm gonna go ahead and use a song of my own to give an example of what I mean linkylink, because this is the most "dramatic" thing I've ever written (in my own opinion), and I've been analysing it a lot lately and trying to figure out why I think it's powerful.

The song starts out slow, with a buildup from a single melody line, then two more, that are constantly present throughout the whole first part. This repetition is the foundation of the first movement. The changing melody on top of it serves as a textural element, to add change while keeping the basic droning underneath going.
The end of the first part is brought in by a rising of the melody in a way that is very different from what is heard before.
This immdiatly makes the listener feel "oh something is about to happen", then a break occurs where the original theme breaks away which causes even more tension in the listener because he/she has no idea what's going to come next since the old friend of the initial melody is gone. There is a measure of this, then a big crescendo comes in with a variation of the beginning theme, but in a completely different, more triumphant/happy tone and athmosphere, creating a contrast to the more somber feeling of the first part.

Then the song moves on in a normal fashion and the tension is released.

Sure, you could have a blaring orchestra and blast-beats going on for 5 minutes, I guess that'd be pretty dramatic too, but drama without tension gets boring really, really quickly.
It's like, in an action movie like Die Hard, a gunshot means absolutely nothing because everybody is firing like madmen all the time, but the single gunshot in Stand By Me is one of the most dramatic turns of the movie.

I hope some of my rambling makes any sense, I don't really venture much into these parts of the site and can only assume they are populated by music professors who will tear me apart the moment I say anything wrong >__>
Last edited by CoreysMonster at Jun 21, 2011,
#26
Quote by liampje
You shouldn't say 1,000,000 just say 1 because al those ,000 won't help you any.


you should find more productive uses for your time. go learn some theory, and pay attention this time.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#27
Quote by liampje
You shouldn't say 1,000,000 just say 1 because al those ,000 won't help you any.


Presumably he's British or somesuch. 1,000,000 means one million. The commas are thousands separators, not decimal ones.
#28
Quote by Jehannum
Presumably he's British or somesuch. 1,000,000 means one million. The commas are thousands separators, not decimal ones.


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Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#29
Quote by soviet_ska
Wolfie appears to be from NYC...


indeed - born and bred.
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#30
It's been said, but dynamics help so much. Another tip is, minimalize your texture (i.e. cut it down to just one instrument if you can do so without losing momentum), and belt out the next lyrics without using the microphone. Obviously this is best suited to a small venue where everybody can hear you, but it gives the part a passion and realism that gets people going. My band has a part like this, where just our bassist takes over after a chorus, and I belt out the lines to the audience. Not having to use the mic means you can get very close.