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Songwriting Challenge 28 - Classic Chord Progressions - The Reveal


rsadasiv

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Create a new twist on one of the classic chord progressions. Write a song using one of the classic pop chord progressions (I-IV-V/Blues, ii-V-I/Jazz, I-vi-IV-V/Doo-Wop) but make it your own.

 

 

This one got a little sideswiped by the (non) HC 2.0 cutover, but here goes:

 

Eclepto Funk: I'll Work For Water

Chicken Monkey: Wrong Right Now

rsadasiv: (The House Is) Upside Down

 

Thanks to everyone who participated, and if I missed anyone please send me a PM and I will update this post.

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Eclepto Funk: I'll Work For Water

I liked this when you first posted, and I still like it. The sprightly strumming, tambourine percussion and metrical rhythm are all very good. Nice use of the folky I-IV-V.

 

Chicken Monkey: Wrong Right Now

Changing the order of the chords gives a totally different feeling to the progression - I usually think of doo-wop as helplessly upbeat, but the usage here has a much more tragic cast. Can't really make out all the lyrics, but they seem like a relatively clever re-purposing of a bunch of drinking/crying/country tropes.

 

rsadasiv: (The House Is) Upside Down

I spent a grand total of 30 minutes writing this and 30 minutes recording it, and boy does it show. I'm not trying to be offensive with the chorus lyric, I just needed some kind of resolution to the problem of the verse (in a hurry) and grabbed at the first genre-appropriate thing that came to mind.

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Changing the order of the chords gives a totally different feeling to the progression - I usually think of doo-wop as helplessly upbeat, but the usage here has a much more tragic cast.

 

Yes, but, tragically, iv-IV-V-I is a just-slightly-less-cliched progression, so I'm not sure I really achieved the purpose of the challenge.

 

 

Can't really make out all the lyrics, but they seem like a relatively clever re-purposing of a bunch of drinking/crying/country tropes.

 

 

You're not far off, but the lyrics are posted :poke:.

 

I've been sitting on the idea for this one for a few weeks, and given the deadline I wasn't really able to do it justice. This one will go back on the scrap heap as soon as it's done here.

 

Upside Down: I'd like to hea this one finished out. The chorus is a bit too glib to be sincere, and a bit too sincere to be glib, so it leaves me a little unsettled. I'd say that first verse is a killer beginning to a song, though.

 

I'll Work for Water: Still sounds good.

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You're not far off, but the lyrics are posted :poke:.


 

Oh yeah, so that's what the little bar on the right side of the screen is for. :facepalm:

 

I think you need to decide how the protagonist feels about his lifestyle: is he a proud reprobate or an apologetic sinner? The lyric points to the former, in which case a more Toby Keith kind of joie de mauvais vivre is called for, but the music seems to point to the latter, which makes lines like "so who's to judge if I have a little fun along the way" problematic.

 

It doesn't necessarily have to be one or the other and in reality I think the situation is usually very nuanced, but the exposition overhead for nuance is high and right now this is a short song.

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Upside Down:
I'd like to hea this one finished out. The chorus is a bit too glib to be sincere, and a bit too sincere to be glib, so it leaves me a little unsettled. I'd say that first verse is a killer beginning to a song, though.

 

Yes - the first verse is absolutely true. If drinking, smoking, and watching tv in the dark counts as active songwriting time I've been writing this song for decades. :)

 

But it's hard to map reality onto fiction sometimes. The moment where the bottle is almost empty and the ashtray is almost full IS a moment at which I realize something has to change, but the only actual change that occurs is that I turn off the tv and go up to bed.

 

Which really isn't that interesting a song.

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I think you need to decide how the protagonist feels about his lifestyle: is he a proud reprobate or an apologetic sinner? The lyric points to the former, in which case a more Toby Keith kind of joie de mauvais vivre is called for, but the music seems to point to the latter, which makes lines like "so who's to judge if I have a little fun along the way" problematic.

 

 

Dead on. I realized I had painted myself into a corner when I committed to writing this lyric, and using my modified doo-wop progression. My assessment ("this song is {censored}ed") was a little less articulate. I think you're right, though--different music, clean up the lyric, and I might have a decent song.

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CM: man, you sure pack a lot of emotion on your song, but keep it reigned in ... nothing wild, just felt ... i could listen to your voice all day ... this song builds just perfectly, guitar and voice are just nailed .... the l yrics are so {censored}ing clever ... very nicely done ... i think the narrator KNOWS how he feels: he knows what he's doing is dumb, but he's not ready to give it up just yet

 

rsadasiv: ooooh ... acoustic guitar from you =) the instrumentation is awesome ... you complicate it and make it interesting even with just one guitar. nice. as to the lyrics ... they seem straightforward ... i don't detect any irony there ... if your intent was to write a country-gospel Jesus story song, you succeeded ... if the goal was irony ... then i'm not sure you got me there ... but a very enjoyable song

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rsadasiv: (The House Is) Upside Down

You're channelling some Gordon Lightfoot there - Did She Mention My Name is close to the same melody. The songs genrally has potential but I'd try a differnent melody - you never know when some Aussie Judge will come down hard on you and demand your royalties lol.....

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