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How to write a bass line

Regardless of the genre, the bass is an essential part of any song. There is no music (in modern popular genres) without a bass. Many people think that writing a bassline is the role of the music arranger or the producer, but I believe that all songwriters need to have a basic understanding, and ideally, all songwriters should know how to create a bassline because a good bass can make a huge difference in how the final song will sound.

This post will be in connection with the topic of music arrangement. So let’s take a look at some of the basics you need to know to start writing basslines.

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How to write vocal melodies

No doubt that melody is the most important part of a song. Especially vocal melodies. We know that melodies are the most memorable parts of any music. But many songwriters struggle with writing good vocal melodies for their songs.

I know how hard it is when you just start to write your first songs, and you don’t know how to start. That’s why I collected a lot of useful info to help you get started with writing vocal melodies.

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How to use Melodyne

When we talk about vocal pitch correction, most people know only the famous-infamous autotune plugin. Autotune (or auto-tune) is an audio processor software introduced in 1997, but the truth is, there are many other similar or even better vocal pitch corrector plugins out there for a long time now. For example, I’m using Melodyne for 10 years now.

While these two plugins have a very similar purpose, Melody is actually a “manual-tune”, because of how we use it.

If you have never used Melodyne before, it can be intimidating to see all the functions, and it can seem complicated. But you just need to learn some of the basics and they are not complicated at all.

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How to write a hit song

I hear many times that “there is no formula for a hit song”. But I would add the word “YET” at the end of this sentence. After analyzing more than 2000 hit songs, and reading all the books and courses on songwriting, I found many answers to this question. For example, I discovered the hidden rhythmical system behind ALL hit songs, which I call the “Rhythm Code”.

So here are some of my answers to the question: “how to write a hit song”. Keep in mind that this is not a step-by-step instruction, but more like a cross-section of most of the hit songs. You can always experiment and deviate from any of these if you want to write a unique song.

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R&B chord progressions

I always say that looking at the chord progression is not the best way to determine the genre of a song. And you can use any chord progression in any genre. In fact, “stealing” musical elements (like chord progressions) from other genres can make your music more unique than other songs in our genre.

But still, there are certain chord progressions that are somewhat suited better for certain genres. That’s why I created this series here in our blog that elaborates on this topic.

Previously I wrote about chord progressions in reggae songs, and also about the doo-wop chord progression, now we will take a look at what chord progressions you can use if you write an r&b song.

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How to start a song

How many times a chorus should be repeated

There are many different ways you can start to write a song, and every songwriter has their own process. Personally, I always follow an order which works best for me, and by the way, this is exactly the same order as John Legend writes his songs.

1. Chord progression
2. Arrangement (including a drumbeat, a bass groove, other rhythms)
3. Melody
4. Lyrics

But there are many other ways you can start a song, so let’s take a look at what other ways you can start to write a song.

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Doo-wop chord progression

In the 1940s, 50s, and in the early 60s, a new genre emerged from rhythm and blues, which is called doo-wop. Doo-wop groups typically sing with little or no instrumentation (acapella), with a big emphasis on vocal harmonies. The funny name came from the fact that these vocal groups were singing meaningless syllables, for example, to imitate a bass sound.

Most doo-wop songs are written by using the very same chord progression, which is called the “doo wop chord progression”, or also known as the “50s progression”.

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Reggae chord progressions

It’s important to know that the chord progression is not the best way to identify a music style. Or in other words: you can use literally any kind of chord progression, no matter the genre or the style.

In fact, one of the best ways to make your music more unique is by using totally different chord progressions than other artists in your genre!

However, if you are a beginner songwriter, it’s still good to learn what are the most commonly used chord progressions in successful reggae songs, so you can use them as a starting point.

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Hip Hop drum beats

Hip hop music is one of the most popular genres on the planet, yet there are only a few sources where people can learn about it. This is probably because highly qualified musicians usually consider this music too simple. I’m not gonna lie, hip hop is not my favorite genre either, however, whenever a young artist contacts me to ask questions, I’m always happy to help, regardless of the genre.

In this article, we will talk about how you can create your own hip hop drum beats without using pre-made loops or samples. I think this is important because using samples will make your song mediocre because it will sound like thousands of other songs from people who are using the same samples.