Are you interested in songwriting? Wondering where to begin?
Have no fear! Like any subject songwriting has techniques that can be learned and mastered.
Songwriting mainly involves these musical elements:
2) Melody (pitch applied to rhythm)
3) Harmony (vertical combinations of pitches)
4) Form (the sections of a song: Verse / Chorus / Bridge / other)
5) Lyrics – the words (unless it is instrumental)
You do not have to be a master of both music and lyrics to be a songwriter. Though many songwriters do both, many others do one or the other and collaborate with someone else. Some songs list several writers.
In my case, I have written instrumental songs that lyrics were added later by someone else and I have also created music to pre-existing lyrics. Elton John is a case of a composer who does not write lyrics, but writes music to someone else's pre-existing lyrics.
Today, I would like to talk about Rhythm.
Rhythm is the basic element of music and in many ways the most important element of music.
A simple example of how important rhythm is this:
If you do not read music, let me explain this with words: The example on the left is a major scale going downward. It's the "do-re-mi" scale as some say. The example on the right is the exact same pitches (tones if you will) but with a different rhythm – that is the only difference! The result is the opening melody of the Christmas carol "Joy to the World". There is a video featuring the voice of Morgan Freeman called "The Christmas Scale" that uses this same example. Here is the link to that:
In general it is rhythm that brings the most character to the music.
Rhythm can get complicated, but in most popular music, rhythm is in what we call 4/4, 3/4 or 6/8 meter (a simple explanation of meter is: beats in each measure). Rhythms may vary within the meter.
The above example is merely to point out something which is: Do not underestimate the power of rhythm to bring character to your music, especially in your melodies.