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Songwriter’s Challenge: Write a Standard Form Song

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Beginners Guide To Song Form Part 2

After receiving such great feedback from you guys, we’ve decided to continue the songwriting form series. Last time we touched on the AABA format using Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” as an example, and today I want to focus on the most popular song structure-ABABCB.

Understanding Song Structure Basics: ABABCB Song Form

The ABABCB Song Form:

The most common song form is the ABABCB form, which is a verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus song. The “A” section is the verse, where the story is told. The “B” section is the chorus, which is the hook and the highlight of the song. A standard verse chorus can often become tiresome, so adding a “C” section, also known as the bridge, adds variation. The bridge is a musical departure from the expected-often summing up the song-thus supplying new momentum to the final chorus. Some popular examples for ABABCB songs are “What’s Love Got To Do With it” by Tina Turner, “Girl” by The Beatles, and “Hot N Cold” by Katy Perry. (more…)

Featured Artist: Andrea Iorio

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Italian artist Andrea Iorio incorporated Studio Pros into his writing process from thousands of miles away.

Andrea Iorio’s curiosity was piqued when he read an article about Studio Pros in Sound on Sound magazine. Living in Tuscany, Italy, he thought Studio Pros’ Los Angeles-based session players might be the best option for his songs. In fact, Iorio saw living in a different country from the musicians who would be recording his tracks as an advantage for his music. As an artist, he has always preferred letting musicians come up with their own take on his work instead of giving specific direction to achieve strictly his own vision. Working from a remote location made that process even simpler for him. “I like to hear a completely different vision from what I’m doing,” Iorio explains. “I try to give as little instruction as possible for my projects so as not to influence the performer. With Studio Pros it’s fantastic, because it can be different for sure.”

Growing up in Siena, Iorio was turned on to music at the tender age of 9 when a friend showed him Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. A few years later, it was a fusion band expanded his musical horizons even more. “At 13 I was astonished by the bass part of Weather Report’s ‘Teen Town,’” he remembers. “That started my musical education.”

Iorio studied jazz bass in Siena for a decade while also dabbling in piano and guitar. He began learning about the production and recording process and put together his own small studio. “The studies I’ve done gave me a 360-degree interest in music,” he says, “from jazz to rock to metal.” As a result, his music covers wide ground stylistically, having distinct jazz roots with a straightforward rock edge. Now he lists some of his favorite artists as Miles Davis, Steely Dan and King Crimson. He recently developed a strong interest in experimental electronic music as well.

Listen to Studio Pros musicians and vocalists playing on Andrea Iorio’s songs:

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Featured Artist: Manx

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Juggling his music and a busy personal life, Manx found Studio Pros to be the perfect way to get professional recordings without having to leave his best friend’s side.

Studio Pros customer Manx calls his music “blue-eyed reggae,” although he plays much more than that. “I do a little bit of everything,” he says. “I have one country song and some pop/rock songs, I have a rock song, I even have kids’ songs.”

Manx has been playing music for most of his life. “Growing up, my father wouldn’t let me leave the dinner table unless I sang to Johnny Cash and Nat King Cole and played a little plastic guitar,” he remembers. But it wasn’t until he moved to California to treat his mentor and best friend Leigh for cancer that he finally decided to make some professional recordings of his songs. “I got a chance to follow through on my dream,” he says. “Leigh wanted to make sure I could follow through with the whole music thing.”

After not having much success in having his songs forwarded by TAXI, Manx signed up for Studio Pros after seeing a magazine advertisement. Without a band of his own, and knowing he would need to spend a lot of time with Leigh instead of spending days in the studio, he called the decision to go with Studio Pros a “no-brainer.” His choice was justified when a former bass player for Bob Marley heard his song “Give a Little Love” and wanted to work with Manx (hear the song below).

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Featured Artist: Reign Lee

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Working from halfway across the world, Reign Lee used Studio Pros to record with world-class LA studio musicians from the the comfort of her own home.

Playing across continents is hard work, but recording an album with musicians that are halfway across the globe is even harder. Unless you do what Hong Kong musician Reign Lee did: record with Studio Pros. Lee has no trouble finding musicians to back her up in the many countries where she gigs, but when it came time to record her songs, she came up short. “I’m a solo artist, so when I tour I play with different players in different parts of the world,” she explains. “I don’t have a set band that I can just head into the studio with and start working on a record.”

For her latest EP, Angels in the Dirt, Lee decided she would use Studio Pros to record with top Los Angeles session musicians while staying in Asia. “About a year and a half ago I came across an ad for Studio Pros on Reverbnation,” she says. “I’d also read an article in Sound on Sound magazine and was very intrigued by the whole process. I knew that with this record I wanted to have a different experience than what I’ve had in the past and I really wanted to kick it up a few levels. That was why Studio Pros really appealed to me.”

Lee cites two primary factors in helping her decision to record with Studio Pros: “From a practical point of view, there was no better way that I could budget my money to get anything better than what they were offering. The other factor was scheduling.” She found the convenience of Studio Pros’ 48-hour turnaround very appealing. “I’ve never, ever had anybody’s parts completed in that amount of time.”

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Featured Artist: Jeremy Bright

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Without a band of his own, Jeremy Bright turned to online musical collaborations to breathe new life into his songwriting.

“I’ll never be one of those people who lives for my job,” says Jeremy Bright. “I live for my off hours and my passions and my hobbies.” Bright’s passions, of course, include his music. A piano player since he was six, the Alabama-born songwriter’s love of music may have been set in motion generations before he was even around. “A lot of my family was into music, so it’s kind of in my genes,” he says. Now in Phoenix, AZ, Bright recalls his early musical influences being the soul music of his home state and the music of churches he grew up in.

And while he enjoys his day job as a software engineer, he doesn’t get his biggest fulfillment from his nine-to-five hours. Bright has been working on his latest album for three years, and he’s made collaborating with musicians online a regular occurrence. “I was in a band, but that kind of fell apart,” Bright says when explaining why he turned to the Internet to find musicians for his album. His search brought him to Studio Pros, where he explored the website and listened to demos to get a feel for whether the service would be a good fit for him. “What I heard was quality. So I gave it a shot, used Studio Pros on one of my songs. The tracks that I got back sounded good and I just kinda went from there.”

Bright used several Studio Pros services to supplement tracks he had recorded himself, choosing different Studio Pros musicians depending on what his songs needed. “I used the drummer to replace some of my drums, and on one song I used their guitar player to replace some bad tracks,” he says. “On ‘Angels Watch Over’ I used Studio Pros for the majority of the instrumentation on there.”

Listen to a clip of “Angels Watch Over” here:

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