Marking students coursework at my school, I came to a song that I gave almost full marks to.
One reason for the high marks was the song’s fantastic, subtle playing with songwriting conventions.
– The Bridge – The bridge happens after the second chorus, right? Not according to my student. Instead she put it between the 2nd verse and 2nd chorus. Right at the point I was expecting to hear the chorus again, I instead heard a contrasting minor key and a new bridge I hadn’t heard before. This the effect of creating a pleasing, balanced feel despite it being a short song. It was also suprising in musical way, which is always a good thing.
– 4s – Everything in popular song comes in fours, right? Four bar phrases, creating four line melodies, four lin verses, four line choruses. Not according to my student. Instead, she had a really effective verse that had a three line melody.
Neither of these ideas is new, and neither is a radical departure from ’standard’ structure. However, they do show a young songwriter who is confident enough to play with conventions without abandoning them.
PS One thing we don’t mark on the GCSE is the quality of lyrics. This student could possibly use some help on her lyrics, and with my own songwriting I’m feeling the same, so here are some links on lyric writing: