Songwriter Exercise 3 - Set Meter for Songwriter Dynamic
Determine Your Next
Song's Emotional Target
"Step 1: Understand your song's dynamic."
What type of song are
you making? ...which music genre again?"
What type of song are you creating? Are
you making a "doo-wop", "dance", "jig" or "ballad"? The genre of
song you've chosen to make - as well as the emotion
you've chosen to express - has strong influence on your
"Songwriter Dynamic is different from
Songwriting Tempo [the "speed" of your song in a stretch of time],
Songwriter Dynamic is the "character" of your
song; the "way" your song flows in a stretch of time.
For better illustration, imagine this:
yourself going down your neighborhood street...simply heading
to end of your street and back. If you have 2 good limbs,
notice that you move with a unique dynamic: 1 step at a
> Now imagine
yourself gingerly skipping down the same street; same speed. But now your
movement has changed to "1 & 1/2 steps at
Songwriter Dynamic has the same effect in
changing the way your song moves...and we use "Time Signatures"
to show this rhythm.
We set "time signatures" to communicate our
song's Meter [the "Music Theory" term for Songwriter Dynamic]. A
“time signature” sets the number of beats a tempo has before it
songwriting tempo, I showed you a
clock’s ticks are equal to 60 Beats per Minute.
...In that example, we assumed there were four
(4) beats in the tempo before it repeats: “1…, 2…, 3…, 4…” This
is the most common songwriter dynamic use, called “4/4”,
“Common” or “Natural” Meter; just count out four (4) beats and
But you are free to change the number of beats to
influence the character of your song! For instance:
"Step 2: Once again, tap at 120 BPM..."
Remember 120 BPM is twice as fast as 60 BPM, so
tap your thigh
on, AND between each tick...only this time, count
in groups of three (3): "1…, 2…, 3…, 1…, 2…, 3…,”
...By removing one (1) beat from our count we
change our songwriter dynamic into a “Waltz”!
Songwriter Dynamic is just as important as
Tempo in express your song's emotion
"Step 3: Choose Your Songwriter Dynamic."
So do you know the best dynamic for
Since your beat pattern is responsible for
keeping your song’s timing, it’s important to use time signature
to communicate it's unique dynamic.
The following chart is a simple
overview of popular time signature usage:
I'm not going to explain all the different types
of music notes - as that would require going into Music Theory.
Just pick a time signature you feel gives the best songwriter
dynamic for your song’s genre and emotion.
Next, use your metronome [here's
- and tap make sure you still have the
best songwriting tempo.
“Setting a Songwriter Dynamic is not necessary if
you want to write a "common" song. Because most of today's songs
are written in "4/4", so it's not necessary to know all the
different Time Signatures.
Let's continue with your next songwriter
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