#1
I'm still new at the guitar and songwriting and have a few questions. When rummaging through the song chords on this site and seeing where chords are placed throughout the song, I was wondering how to do songwriters know where to place the chords or when to create new chords in a song.

I see that the same chord, lets say "E", used through an entire verse, but yet the next line has 3-4 chords. Is it to emphasize the words or just time to change chords for the song?

Sorry if this doesn't make sense, but when do songwriters know to change the chords in a song their creating?
#2
It's really by ear. If you want to get into the theoretical stuff, you can look into common progressions and phrasing.

There's standard stuff like AABA ABAC(each letter standing for a phrase)

It's also nice to see it verse, chorus, bridge, as separate movements. But, your ear is your best friend
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#3
Quote by KryptNet
It's really by ear. If you want to get into the theoretical stuff, you can look into common progressions and phrasing.

There's standard stuff like AABA ABAC(each letter standing for a phrase)

It's also nice to see it verse, chorus, bridge, as separate movements. But, your ear is your best friend



+ 1
shred is gaudy music
#4
Would you be so kind as to explain what you mean by ear? Thank you!
#5
Quote by DominoK
Would you be so kind as to explain what you mean by ear? Thank you!
Oh, simply what sounds good!! That simple. It's music!
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination
#6
some people sing the lyrics and figure out the chords, some other people write a chord progression first, and sing accordingly.

if you are in the key of E Major, you got:

E Major, F Minor, G Minor, A Major, B Major, C Minor, D Diminished, and E Major

and a typical chord progression with an authentic cadence would be:

E Major --> A Major --> B Major --> E Major

Play that chord progression on your guitar over and over and figure out the vocal.
peanuts and beers
#7
Oh, so you only have a certain set of chords you can use if you are in writing a song in a certain key?
#8
Domino,

There are no rules about where to make chord changes -- and what rules there are in songwriting are made to be broken

You can have as many or few chord changes as you want in a song, but the main thing is for the chords & melody to sound good together. Experiment!

I've been writing songs and playing covers for a number of years, and one thing I can tell you is that in the vast majority of songs any chord change will occur at the beginning of a measure. For example, today I was learning "Every Breath You Take", and the verse chord structure looks like this:
| Ab9 | | F9 | | Db9 | Eb9 | F9 | |

Notice some chords take up 2 measures each and some only 1 measure, but the change is always at the beginning of a measure. Of course there's plenty of exceptions but most songs work this way if you look how they're put together.

To answer your question -- yes, chord changes could be used either for emphasizing a lyric or just because the song needs a change. If you are starting with lyrics and a melody and trying to fit chords to it, a minimalist approach would be to figure out the key of the melody and play one or more chords from that key as harmony to the melody. You'll generally always want to include a root chord, so if your melody is in E try starting with an E major chord or variation that sounds good to you, and just strum that chord as you sing your melody. You may come to a point where it "feels" like the chord needs to change to support the direction of the melody -- trust your gut, it's your song!

Of course the next question is, "well what chord to I change to?" I'll save that for another post if you're interested.

Have fun!
#9
Thank you for that detailed explanation.

Yes I am interested in hearing more about what chords I should change to if you don't mind.

I appreciate any information you can give. Thank you!
#10
Quote by DominoK
Thank you for that detailed explanation.

Yes I am interested in hearing more about what chords I should change to if you don't mind.

I appreciate any information you can give. Thank you!


http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/chords/what_chords_are_in_what_key_and_why.html
Ask questions if that's confusing. And don't forget about what I said about using your ear to figure things out.
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination