Music Theory—Arrangement 2 “Building the House”

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Copyright 2006




LGM Productions

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   Dynamics 101




     The first chorus comes in and the guitar switches back to the patch from the intro for all 16 measures. Then going back into the 3rd verse the guitar starts to fill in some of the holes in the chord structure. A new element comes in which is a string synthesizer part fed through a flanger. It accents the rhythm nicely and works sort of as a pad. Click here to listen to the 1st chorus and here for the 3rd verse


     The next chorus has the mellotron choir part a little more involved and then leads into the instrumental 4th verse. The electric piano drops out while the string synth stays in. This leads to the last chorus and outro which brings the electric piano back in and keeps the string synth in until the end of the song where it helps emphasize the last chord. Click here for the last verse, chorus and outro


     Ultimately there will be one, possibly two different keyboard parts, one for the verse and one for the chorus. I’m working out exactly what they will be but I anticipate some sort of chord extension-based arpeggios that will play during the verse. That will  provide some melodic tension to be resolved in the choruses with perhaps some sort sweetly played reedy type of sound that kind of is above the rest of the instrumentation. I would love to be able to use Super Spook Keys (see the plug-in review) for this. It just takes time to play around with different melodies and patches to get the right sound and time is not something any of us have in excess. I’m lucky if I can spend an hour a day with it.


Next month—the grand finale (without vocals—no lyrics yet). Maybe my once and future band-mate that is coming into town for a break from med school will be able to help me with that. 

    Last month, in installment 1 of the Arrangement series, we laid the foundation of the song with bass, drums and the electric piano part. These three elements are the rhythm section and the rest of the instrumentation rests on top of it. We also added a bit of ear candy in the way of a mellotron part that is meant to sound like a choir during the choruses and outro. Now we have to start filling in the rest of the song.


     My vision of the song is that the electric piano would drive the song while a single guitar would provide some chordal and rhythmic cues during the verse and a riff-based counter melody during the chorus. The 8 bars of the intro give us a taste of what the chorus will sound like—click here to listen. The 1st verse will remain unchanged and the guitar comes back in with a different patch for the second verse playing stabs on the offbeat—1 per measure.— Listen here for the 1st and 2nd verse