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Songwriting Software - Tips for Music Composition

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Article from Grow the Voice

Start using songwriting software to help compose your songs. It gives you a complete bird's eye view of your music that you don't get when you simply try and manage your music from your brain.

Whether you use Guitar Pro or a sheet of paper; each member of the band should have their instrument tabbed/written. This keeps the entire song mapped out so you know exactly what is being played at any given moment. I like Guitar Pro because I can email band members the midi file too for them to listen to and practice to.

Practice your parts for your song before you meet at the rehearsal. Band rehearsal isn't about learning each little part, it's about rehearsing something you should already know and developing tightness and fluidity with the band. Make sure your band members are confident with their parts before they enter the rehearsal room.

When I talk about songwriting software it doesn't necessarily have to be a midi editor. View it as a mindset and a work flow. It can even mean just writing the entire song down on paper (all instruments and tablatures). Tighten Up Your Songs

All those little licks/riffs/runs and embellishments that make an awesome song can easily get out of hand if you don't note them on paper!

When you jam with your band you'll all be modifying and adding new elements to each instrument. When everyone feels comfortable with these changes you should note them in your songwriting software or sheet music.

You may not even notice it, but when you start transcribing your songs into a midi editor or on paper you'll see where notes are starting to conflict (especially when two instruments hit notes that are directly next to each other ie. C# and D. Make them play the same note if they conflict). Manage Songs Holistically

Each band member is only concentrating on their instrument. Get into a mindset of managing the entire song so that every instrument gels together beautifully. Using songwriting software encourages the development of this attitude brilliantly.


If the song's getting messy with too many conflicting notes, try and re-compose the entire track again on 1 instrument (like a piano or guitar).

Get the core elements going. All the instruments should form one big chord when transcribed to one instrument. Remember to divide your ranges into bass rhythm lead.

Get back to basics and have each instrument playing their root notes/chords to the beat without any licks/riffs/runs or embellishments. Get that going smoothly and nicely first. Then go back and start adding all the little nuances and licks to each instrument. Write Exciting Songs

Using songwriting software can help you view your songs from a bird's eye perspective. Plan out your song dynamically. Every section of the song should bring a new layer to keep the listener excited.

The 2nd verse should have an extra layer that the 1st verse didn't have. The 2nd chorus should have an extra something that the 1st chorus didn't have. Get what I'm saying? You don't want to give the listener a reason to click off! Keep it fresh.

Singing softer on the verses then belting harder on the chorus. This obviously means you need some good technical skill with your mixed voice. You may have the guitars playing clean for the verses then distorted for the chorus.

If you start out on a 10 you have nowhere else to go except down. Just remember that!

Lastly; study your favourite artists. Examine their songs from a new vantage point and learn their tricks.

For more articles on growing the voice and developing yourself as an artist, check out Grow the Voice


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