Author Topic: Sing With Chords Or Percussion?  (Read 1912 times)

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Topdoginuk

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Sing With Chords Or Percussion?
« on: April 01, 2011, 09:58:27 am »
Does anyone have an opinion on whether singing to chord strumming or percussive beats (muted strings on Guitar) are best when trying to create a song? The reason I ask is, when you try create/sing to a repeated chord strum, the singing can sound like the chord or, 'chordy singing', if you get the gist!? Breaking free of the chord sound seems to require some forcing. Whereas trying to create a song to percussive strums allows the rhythm you choose and lacks tonal guidance but, frees the varying pitch flow for vocal creative singing.
Perhaps I should post this in 'Song Writing' thread?
Anyway, I hope this makes some sense and, I'd love to hear how others form the singing and whether it is to chords, individual melody soloing or, percussive beats like muted string strumming, drums, or perhaps even to a metronome.
Thanks

Thampen

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Re: Sing With Chords Or Percussion?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2011, 10:07:19 am »
To me it's always been chords. I usually find some chords that I like and then start humming (or shouting  ;)) out a tune and try to feel my way to what sounds good to my ear. It's either that or I have a melody in advance and put chords to it.

Topdoginuk

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Re: Sing With Chords Or Percussion?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 10:20:29 am »
To me it's always been chords. I usually find some chords that I like and then start humming (or shouting  ;)) out a tune and try to feel my way to what sounds good to my ear. It's either that or I have a melody in advance and put chords to it.
Thank you for your reply.
Humming or shouting?! LOL! I'll try that one. Perhaps I've been singing too quiet! I keep swapping between strumming chords, trying melody lines (but forgetting 'em) on piano, soloing on Guitar (forgetting what I just plucked again!) and percussive strums or the metronome. I haven't settled for one as the 'best' for me.
That's it, I need to try some power chords (low volume) and sing LOUD! It sounds the logical way and, the reason why my chords have dominated the sound rather than pushed into the background.
I'll let 'ya know how I get on with that Thampen.
Thanks again.  ;)
Tony

Thampen

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Re: Sing With Chords Or Percussion?
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2011, 10:47:05 am »
If you have a problem that you're forgetting what you've sung then I think you should get a small recorder so you can record on the fly while you're playing. I've found it useful many times to start a recording as soon as I'm about to go looking for a melody. Then I just play the chords over and over, sing whatever comes to mind and listen to the result afterward. Sometimes I've been surprised, and it's lead me to ideas, melodies and lyrics which I don't think I'd have found otherwise. And it's fun to play some chords and sing out words at random. Sometimes it can become almost like a puzzle. You notice one word here and one word there that you like in the context of the melody and then you try to fill out the space in between. It's almost more like I'm discovering the song then actually writing it. Don't think it matters which level you're on either, guess I'm intermediate or something but I've been using this method ever since I first picked up a guitar.
And about the singing volume, I think you should go full out. Don't hold back. Just make sure no one can hear you.  :D I sound really daft when I create a song, weird noises mixed up with made up words, sometimes a whole sentence, more weird noises, then a falsetto and so on... Well. It's a fun process.

Topdoginuk

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Re: Sing With Chords Or Percussion?
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2011, 11:51:21 am »
Thank you for your reply Thampen.
Yeah, I need to buy a good portable recorder. I'm at a loss as to which one to buy. I'd like to be able to record to SD (Secure Digital) type cards and be able to load straight onto my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) Mixcraft 5. They seem to vary in price and quality. I'll have to read some reviews. The one I've seen that looks good is this Korg:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002ZX614O/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_3
*edit* additional info added. Here's a Youtube video of this recorder in use. I'm very tempted to buy one but need to check if there's an updated model first:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vw8ykhnuimw
I'd like to be able to record sounds away from home or, get people to sing or talk so I can make a track out of 'em!

One of the main reasons I started this thread was because, I was trying to write a song for Sinitta from the XFactor UK. She wanted it called 'Let's Fall In Love Again'. I tried time and again but, just couldn't pull one together. It was always too chordy. I think I know why now. I didn't sing loud enough to push the chord into the background and free the melody creation. I abandoned it and told her I will keep trying but not to expect it any time soon. So, your advice might just get me back on track again! I'll certainly let 'ya know if I get any success with it's creation.
Thank you for help & advice.  :)
Tony
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 12:13:21 pm by Topdoginuk »

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: Sing With Chords Or Percussion?
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2011, 11:55:56 am »
Does anyone have an opinion on whether singing to chord strumming or percussive beats (muted strings on Guitar) are best when trying to create a song? The reason I ask is, when you try create/sing to a repeated chord strum, the singing can sound like the chord or, 'chordy singing', if you get the gist!? Breaking free of the chord sound seems to require some forcing. Whereas trying to create a song to percussive strums allows the rhythm you choose and lacks tonal guidance but, frees the varying pitch flow for vocal creative singing.
Perhaps I should post this in 'Song Writing' thread?
Anyway, I hope this makes some sense and, I'd love to hear how others form the singing and whether it is to chords, individual melody soloing or, percussive beats like muted string strumming, drums, or perhaps even to a metronome.
Thanks

The way I look at it would be the style of music.  If I were trying to create a rap song  :P (not my thing) then I might be more inclined to percussive beat type stuff to create a song.  On the flip side, xmas carols, pop rock etc.  I would probably use vocal harmonization with the music.  But then again, that's me.

Topdoginuk

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Re: Sing With Chords Or Percussion?
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2011, 12:11:30 pm »
Does anyone have an opinion on whether singing to chord strumming or percussive beats (muted strings on Guitar) are best when trying to create a song? The reason I ask is, when you try create/sing to a repeated chord strum, the singing can sound like the chord or, 'chordy singing', if you get the gist!? Breaking free of the chord sound seems to require some forcing. Whereas trying to create a song to percussive strums allows the rhythm you choose and lacks tonal guidance but, frees the varying pitch flow for vocal creative singing.
Perhaps I should post this in 'Song Writing' thread?
Anyway, I hope this makes some sense and, I'd love to hear how others form the singing and whether it is to chords, individual melody soloing or, percussive beats like muted string strumming, drums, or perhaps even to a metronome.
Thanks


The way I look at it would be the style of music.  If I were trying to create a rap song  :P (not my thing) then I might be more inclined to percussive beat type stuff to create a song.  On the flip side, xmas carols, pop rock etc.  I would probably use vocal harmonization with the music.  But then again, that's me.
Thank you for your input and advice. It's interesting to hear what you would use and esp considerations to styles/genres of music. It seems I'm spoiled for choices but I have to try choose a way and stick with it for the song in mind.
I've just looked at a portable recorder on Youtube (the one I spoke of ealier to Thampen) and it seems good:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vw8ykhnuimw
Thank you again.
Tony  ;)

Thampen

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Re: Sing With Chords Or Percussion?
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2011, 12:29:17 pm »
Wish I could tell you anything about that recorder Topdog but I've only used cheaper stuff. When I started I used a simple tape recorder and nowadays I usually  use my macbook and the in-built mic. Have to buy a real recorder sometime soon, much less fuzz. But as far as I can tell from that video you posted it sounds/looks good. What's the price?

Topdoginuk

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Re: Sing With Chords Or Percussion?
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2011, 12:42:45 pm »
Hey Thampen, I just placed an order with Dolphin Music in Huddersfield for that Korg recorder! It was £149 and free (2working days) delivery, so should get it by Tue.
I read reviews on the US amazon site: http://www.amazon.com/Korg-Sound-Unlimited-Track-Recorder/dp/B002ZX614O
and details on the Korg site etc. It seems fine for what I need 'cos it's just for recording ideas rather the the final take. It has lots of additional benefits by the look of it. A mini DAW really. I look forward to using it and I might even do a Youtube review on it!
Cheers. ;)
Tony
 

Thampen

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Re: Sing With Chords Or Percussion?
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2011, 12:47:49 pm »
Do that, it's a good idea. Hope you'll have lots of fun with it.  :)

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Sing With Chords Or Percussion?
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2011, 01:33:32 pm »
Quote
Does anyone have an opinion on whether singing to chord strumming or percussive beats (muted strings on Guitar) are best when trying to create a song?
Yes, I think both are valuable

Quote
The reason I ask is, when you try create/sing to a repeated chord strum, the singing can sound like the chord or, 'chordy singing', if you get the gist!?
It's supposed to sound pitched the same but if you are singing to chord durations then you are still singing to rhythm. IOW, long chord and long word, when you really want long chord and short word.

Quote
Breaking free of the chord sound seems to require some forcing.
consider what I said above.


Quote
Whereas trying to create a song to percussive strums allows the rhythm you choose and lacks tonal guidance but, frees the varying pitch flow for vocal creative singing.

this requires that you already have the tonal guidance ( best ) or are able to see the two ingredients and understand that they combine to form one thing ( this would be starting dead cold, no pre-conception or melody or rhythm )

Quote
Perhaps I should post this in 'Song Writing' thread?
Anyway, I hope this makes some sense and, I'd love to hear how others form the singing and whether it is to chords, individual melody soloing or, percussive beats like muted string strumming, drums, or perhaps even to a metronome.
Thanks

I find it best if you have a melody pretty well formed then develop it. Just let the percussive strumming happen. It might even get reduced to no strums and a foot tap or a sway back and forth.

Once that is developed then fit the chords to the melody.

The exact opposite is true. do the rhythm first and allow it to reveal the melody. Then just keep going back and forth until things shape up.

I don't necessarily sing as I can't write lyrics, but I would sing melody notes or hum a melody. Or for that matter just play the melody on the guitar or other instrument.

IMO, rhythm and melody are like eggs and flour making dough. Once it's dough the melody is the foremost component that we recognize but the rhythm is incredibly important in bringing the melody to life.
Gone

Topdoginuk

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Re: Sing With Chords Or Percussion?
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2011, 01:52:44 pm »
TB-AV,
Thank you for your great advice. I loved the analogy of Eggs + flour = Dough!  Explains why I struggle to seperate the ingredients in songs!
I think I'm gonna adopt your '...do the rhythm first and allow it to reveal the melody. Then just keep going back and forth until things shape up''. I'm sure it may be a better option. I just don't know till I get trying.
I've ordered a Korg recorder and really looking forward to using it and seeing if I can get Sinitta's song back on track.
Thanks you again. I've derived some great advice on this thread already and it's spurring me back to try the area I've been poor at due to lack of skills and understanding.
Tony  :)

Topdoginuk

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Re: Sing With Chords Or Percussion?
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2011, 02:03:26 pm »
''..IMO, rhythm and melody are like eggs and flour making dough. Once it's dough the melody is the foremost component that we recognize but the rhythm is incredibly important in bringing the melody to life.
[/quote]

I just re-read that info/quote. Quite brilliant! Loaded with great advice. Music creation elements honed over millennia.
Much appreciated TB-AV  ;)
Tony

I think I'm gonna take a look in on the 'Song Writing' thread. Lots of info awaits me there too!  

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Sing With Chords Or Percussion?
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2011, 02:19:16 pm »
Well unfortunately the song writing threads are fairly sparse but it would be nice to get that area filled out with some good info.



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