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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: Jack Brill

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

A versatile songwriter, Jack Brill, finds the team to take his songs from demo quality to the radio airwaves.JackBrill

Jack Brill is a blues, pop, rock song writer and a favorite staple for collaboration ,who has now used Studio Pros’ production services on seven songs. Coming away with a great completed set of productions, Brill has proven that you don’t have to be in the same city, country, even continent to collaborate on projects with the Studio Pros team.

Brill left his home of New Jersey in the United States and settled in beautiful Sicily, Italy- causing him to essentially lose his previous band. With the help of Studio Pros’ accesible services, Brill recalls, “It was like a band away from home.”

Listen to Jack’s productions produced by Studio Pros:

Brill cites Bob Dylan as a driving force for his music. We spoke to him about growing up and what it was like harnessing the genius of other songwriters into his songs.  “I think I started writing my own songs cause I couldn’t figure out what he was saying (Dylan), ” says Brill. “My mom hated Dylan’s music, which made me like him even more. Being from Philly in my teens, the folk scene was just starting to emerge. The radio was playing mostly Smokey Robinson, the Tokens and the Temptations, but me and a couple of friends were working on Bob Dylan, Eric Anderson and Dave Van Ronk songs. These guys were my inspiration.”

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The Studio Pros team thoroughly enjoyed working on Brill’s songs as he had such a dynamic variety of songs from pop, blues, rock to bluegrass.  That is the sign of a talented and versatile songwriter.  From the bluesy notes of “I Want You” to the traditional bluegrass instrumentation of “Mother Mary” to the traditional Dixieland big band feel of “New Orleans” -the team took Brill’s basic concept demos and transformed them through the step by step process sending him previews of each instrument as it was tracked all via email.  Together with the producers, Brill hand picked the instrumentation that would best fit the style and final product of the demos that he was going for. (more…)

Featured Artist: Stephen McElligott

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

How to avoid the pitfalls of your previous studio experiences—and vastly improve your chances to get your song published with major A&R representatives.

Stephen McElligott reminisces about a recording he made of one of his songs in a local studio. “I wasn’t happy with that production, really,” he recalls. “I thought, ‘Oh gosh, how am I gonna save this?’ I basically turned around and found Studio Pros and thought, ‘Brilliant, they’re my savior.’” (more…)

Featured Artist: English Earl

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Using Studio Pros to breathe new life into some old songs, English Earl successfully proved to himself that he had what it takes to make great music.

English Earl suspected he had some good songs on his hands, but he knew his productions just weren’t going to cut it against the high-quality recordings of today’s music industry. “I kind of wanted to resurrect my old pop songs and write a few new ones, I thought it would be a great opportunity to prove to myself that some of my pop music wasn’t so bad,” Earl says with a laugh. This “resurrection” refers to the fact that he has been writing pop music since he was a 15-year-old in a garage band, but formally Earl was classically trained on piano and violin. After getting degrees in music theory and composition from the Conservatory of Music in Kansas City, he had established his classical chops. But Earl wanted to see how his pop and rock writing had evolved.

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Get the “British Rock” Sound with Studio Pros

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

British RockAt Studio Pros we like to take from what’s worked in the past and apply it to what we’re doing today. We have worked with many artists that request this sort of “British Rock” sound, and we know just what they have in mind.

“British Rock n’ Roll”, as they called it, was a significant change in rock n’ roll that took place in the late 50’s/early 60’s in the UK and later spread around the world. Artists were taking from US rock n’ roll influences and giving it a British edge. This style became the characteristic sound of the Beatles , The Rolling Stones , the Who , Herman’s Hermits, the Dave Clark Five, the Animals, The Kinks , the Small Faces, the Yardbirds, and Donovan among many others. It worked. People obviously liked what was coming out of this new era and it changed the wave of music forever.

When we have an artist’s reference to the overall final sound they are going for, we are happy to help in any way we can to produce their song the way they had in mind. Of course, this is not the only sound that we can achieve with our studio musicians at the Studio Pros recording studio, but an option for those post “British Rock” enthusiasts.

To get that “British sound” we tend to use a lot of compression on our piano tracks, space out the drums (big drum sounds are big in this style) and give the overall mix a dark overall sound with compression.

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Get Your Song Produced Right With The Pros

Monday, April 28th, 2008

kati-in-the-studio.jpgMr. Dylan said it best, “The times are a changing”. So are the ways of getting your music recorded. Back in the day you could only go into a recording studio to get your songs recorded. Now, there’s the option of Studio Pros.

Some people may be turned off by this. Sending their music off into cyberspace seems unrealistic and threatening to the songwriter. The truth is each “studio musician and producer” you are collaborating with across the web has a face and a name. Not only are they living, breathing, and laughing people but they want to collaborate with YOU as a songwriter. Recording online is just a way to make recording more convenient for the songwriter.

Studio Pros is the perfect example of this. You can send your song off to Los Angeles to get it produced. Of course all of this is done via the internet, and the next thing you know… BAM, your song is produced and ready for the radio.

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Featured Artist: Stefan Johanson

Monday, April 28th, 2008

stefan-johanson.jpgSo he lives all the way in Sweden? No big deal. Studio Pros spoke with our favorite Scandinavian songwriter about getting his song produced online.

Tell us about yourself:

I’m 34 years old with a huge interest for writing music and performing my songs live. I started playing guitar when I was 13 years old and I wrote my first song when I was 23. I play at some local pubs with a friend of mine and sometimes we play with our two acoustic guitars and harmonica at company parties. I live 20 miles from Gothenburg in Sweden and a couple of my songs have been played on the Swedish radio stations here.

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Featured Artist: Mark Ibberson

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

mark-ibberson.jpgEver feel like your stuff isn’t good enough for other people to hear? Many musicians feel that way, and as a result, their songs just pile up and collect dust.

Mark Ibberson is a perfect example of someone who decided to push through those feelings of self doubt and uncertainty, and get his songs out there to share with the world by using Studio Pros music production service.

He’s from a small village near Lake Geneva in Switzerland and has been songwriting for ten years now, but it wasn’t until 2003 that he decided to release anything. Songwriting is his passion he says, “I can do it whenever I want: Late in the evening, on the train to work… or in one of those boring meetings!” It’s usually in the most unexpected moment that inspiration hits you and you just have to write!

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Featured Artist:Mark Sadek Ricotta

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

mark_ricotta.jpgMark Sadek Ricotta is a man of few words, but when it comes to songwriting he doesn’t hold anything back. Studio Pros just recently did a music production for Ricotta and got in touch with him to get to know the man behind the song.

How long have you been writing songs?

“I’ve been writing since I was in junior high. I started playing guitar when I was 6 or so. I wanted a toy guitar when I was little out of curiosity and got a few lessons and that’s was about it really. I’ve been playing ever since.

Do you have any major influences in your music and songwriting style?

“My major influences would probably be early 90’s rock, a lot of classic rock, as well as cheesy pop music (it’s the truth). I take a lot from listening to the hooks in pop and applying them to my songwriting.

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Featured Artist: Emily Russo

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Emily Russo is a Boston based diva on the rise who just recently finished a Studio Pros Music Production Service.

Listen to the production of her song “The Price of Letting Go” step-by-step with the Studio Pros process:

emily-russo.jpg

Step 1: Song sketch

Step 2: Recording the drum track

Step 3: Laying down a bass groove

Step 4: Adding guitars

Step 5: Recording keyboards

Step 6: Final mix and master

She has been playing piano since she was five years old, and started songwriting when she was fifteen. She is currently attending The Berklee College of Music in Boston where she is studying songwriting.  Emily draws her inspiration for songwriting from many different walks of life – both her own and other people’s. She worked with us on her song “The Price of Letting Go” and kindly answered some of my questions about her experiences with Studio Pros

Who would you say are some of your main influences?

The Beatles for sure, but also oldies, motown, and old school metal. I’m not really influenced that much by today’s modern music.

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