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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: James Robinson

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

With the help of Studio Pros, James Robinson made recordings on the road and expanded his production company’s clientele.

James Robinson is one of the lead writers and producers of APT6 Entertainment, a music production team (also including Dwayne and Dwight Madison and Greg Edwards) based out of Los Angeles, CA.  As self proclaimed “R&B heads,” the team is heavily influenced by such classic R&B greats as Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder and The Underdogs, as well as modern acts like Neyo, The Dream and Trey Songz.

“R&B is just our thing,” Robinson says.  “APT6 was birthed in the church/gospel music scene, so it’s only natural.”

Robinson joined APT6 in 2007, two years after it was formed.  Though originally brought on as a hip-hop artist, he was eventually made a co-owner.  Between Robinson, Edwards and the Madison Brothers, APT6 covered the composing/songwriting and keyboard playing side of things.  Studio Pros helped them have everything they need to be a full-service production team.

“Studio Pros is amazingly simple,” says Robinson.  “I can’t stress that enough.  We uploaded our WAV files, then we were prompted to leave notes and examples of what we were looking for. Within 48 hours we had our first sample! The engineer was almost dead on AND open to making adjustments.”

He soon learned to love the rapid turnaround time that Studio Pros offered.  “When we asked for adjustments on bass levels and reverb, we were shocked at how fast the turn around time was–I believe it was within a few hours,” he remembers.  “That was when I became a huge believer in the quality and customer service of Studio Pros.”

But the real kicker for Robinson was that he and APT6 did everything while they were on the road.  “We were going back and forth between in-home setups and handling a lot of business,” he explains.  Being in one place was close to impossible.”  And what did he think of what Studio Pros did with his simple recordings?  “The results were amazing.” (more…)

Featured Artist: Barb Bechler

Friday, June 19th, 2009

20 years ago she thought making music might be fun. Now with the help of Studio Pros, Barb Bechler has accomplished what she never thought possible.

UPDATE: Barb has created dance/hip hop tracks from a capella demo versions to professional final products with the help of Studio Pros.  Three of these tracks have been added below.  She has also won two more songwriting awards in the Song of the Year competition for her tracks “Come on Out and Dance” and “Wishers” since this feature was written.

Barb Bechler’s path to becoming a musician is not your typical story. In fact, her creative use of Studio Pros’ services makes for one of the most unique musical journeys you’re bound to hear. While she’s been a fan and admirer of music for most of her life, Bechler never was a musician herself–until she began learning, experimenting, and expanding her musical boundaries with the help of the world-class studio musicians that Studio Pros provided. Utilizing Studio Pros’ services, Bechler found herself going from complete novice to award-winning songwriter in an astoundingly short period of time.

Not too long ago, Bechler was retired from real estate sales and writing children’s stories. Now, she is submitting her music to TAXI for publishing in film and television. “I’m probably coming from a different direction from a lot of people,” she says. “I’ve always admired musicians and listened to a great variety of music. The big thing for me was that I always wanted to be able to write songs.” Wondering how she could translate her story writing abilities to songwriting, Bechler had a breakthrough when her niece, Deanna, showed her how to use GarageBand music software.

Before:

After:

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Featured Artist: David Alter

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Exploring the connection between health and music, David Alter teams up with Studio Pros to make professional recordings that will benefit health charities through his unique new company.

David Alter is an artist who knows what he wants, and he uses the resources that Studio Pros provides to get exactly that.  Though he’s been writing music for quite a while, performing was something of a new concept for the health professional-turned-musician when he decided to record an album of his own.  “The process of recording has been relatively new,” Alter says.  “I’ve been writing for many years, but it’s only been lately that I’ve done more of the recording process myself.”

So after he saw an advertisement for Studio Pros in Recording magazine, Alter decided he had nothing to lose by putting his songwriting in the hands of professional studio musicians who could ensure a top quality result for his songs.  “I thought I’d try it out and i just loved it,” he says.  “I love the process of creating the idea, then arranging it by having a vehicle that gets what I hear in my mind out quickly.”

The decision to try Studio Pros ended up being worth his while, as it turned out.  Studio Pros helped him bring the music bouncing around in his head into fruition and helped satisfy Alter’s inner musical control freak, all in a manner so efficient he believes it couldn’t have happened had he not used the service.  “I always have a demo,” he explains.  “I have a home setup, and I do the demo and get it set arrangement-wise.  Then I upload that when I’m ready, along with lyrics and instructions.”  Alter then takes the results of Studio Pro’s studio musicians and uses them as part of his creative process, adding new instruments and parts himself as he is struck by new inspiration.

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Featured Artist: Andy Kostek

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Andy Kostek doesn’t let a job that keeps him away from home stand in the way of recording the professional album he always wanted; with Studio Pros, he can record while on the road.

Over a Pink Floyd-esque bed of electric and acoustic guitars, Andy Kostek’s voice adds a distinct quality to his music that goes far in defining his signature sound. “I never really considered myself a vocalist, just a guitarist,” Andy says. “With the help of Studio Pros, I’ve become more confident with the vocals.” Living in Ireland at the time, Andy came to Studio Pros to help him craft his songs when the travel demands of his job made it nearly impossible to put together a band of his own. “Using Studio Pros was born out of frustration,” he explains. Having a “virtual band” allowed him to write lyrics while he was on the road, while professional studio musicians were laying down tracks for him thousands of miles away.

Andy came from a musical family, and by age 15 he got his hands on a discarded guitar with only three strings on it. Despite only being halfway to a complete instrument, Andy “never looked back.” By the time he was 18, he bought his first electric guitar; three months later he was making more money playing music in a band than he was from working for an aircraft manufacturing company as his day job.

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