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tips for composing a sad song?

Discussion in 'Composing' started by Anonymous, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    i do some hiphop production, you can check out my stuff at www.myspace.com/lilringtone if you want. i'm working on a beat for a pop singer and i want to make it 100% piano maybe with some strings and brass in the hook but i'm thinking about not even including any drums. i know not a lot of pop songs do that but it's a really sad song and i think keeping them out will really add to that and make it more dramatic

    i've played piano more than half my life but i'm having trouble with this. it has to be at least somewhat consistent and not too "empty" so she can sing over it. anyone have any tips, where to start, etc?
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I think you have come to the wrong place. This is a site about classical piano playing, not about producing hiphop beats (whatever those are).
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    well i'm trying to compose a piano beat for a pop singer, piano is the only instrument in the song. im sure someone here can help with that?
     
  4. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Most of the people here are only players; there are composers but they rarely post and when they do, it is only to exhibit their compositions.

    I may be rude but for the most part the members of the forum, including me, can't compose if their lives depended on it :?

    Hip-Hop and Classical music are on opposite ends of the musical spectrum. I don't know how much help you can get from here.

    Have you tried searching for Hip-Hop and related forums? I am sure there has to be a handful.
     
  5. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Maybe a Jazz piano forum would have what you're looking for.

    PF
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Hi a111111,

    I'm a "composer" and for the record, you will find no download of my music on this post ;)



    I have some advice.... listen.

    Get some super-holywood dramas and watch them... listen to the scores. Perhaps from composers like James Horner, Thomas Newman, Howard Shore, and one of my favorites as of late (and if some of you classical pianists have heard this guy, you might agree" Marcelo Zarvos and Peter Vronsky. Watch the movie "Door in the Floor."

    Or "Adagio for Strings" its a classic from the movie "Full Metal Jacket"

    The BBC Orchestra performs: www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRMz8fKkG2g

    Okay, so those are examples of "sad" songs with pianos and strings and all that good stuff.

    Listen to some of Moby's music. I don't like him personally, but there are a couple of really good "sad" songs that give you a match with the electronic music genre.


    As far as direction for coming up with your own stuff? Keep it simple and minimal. Maybe have two or three argegiations, loop them together, throw some strings over it.... but remember that the singer is carrying the melody...
     
  7. bclever

    bclever New Member

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    Make sure it's in D minor. It's the saddest of all keys, really.
     
  8. TonyHunter

    TonyHunter New Member

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    The one thing that I can think of is the song "Without You", most famously performed by Harry Nilsson but also sung by Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, and others. It's probably the most popular sad song to ever be recorded and for good reason. Check it out and see what they do. In the Harry Nilsson version, the arrangement consists of softly reverberating piano, a simple but pulsating bass line, quiet drums, and well placed strings. Play close attention to how the chords are mostly minor ones and will break into some majors and major 7s when there is a bridge into the chorus. Melodically, its tough to give direction. Maybe try fooling around first in the minor scale and maybe even in the blues scale for a while. Here is one definite suggestion I can make: give the singer a big jump during the opening of the chorus. At least a fifth, maybe an octave or a ninth if they are capable.

    I hope that any of that makes sense. I'll keep thinking about it and see if I can come up with anything.

    -Tony
     
  9. Syeles

    Syeles New Member

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    Good move seeking input here. Welcome.

    Here are a couple of fundamental devices that can apply to any kind of music:

    Set up for a major chord resolution and substitute a minor chord for surprise.

    Diminished chords always set up interesting resolutions and can also be strung together for dramatic effect.

    Augmented chords can set up a lush progression.

    Build a crescendo but throw in a soft suspension on a key phrase.

    Regards,
    Albert
     

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