How to analyze songs and why
A song is a bunch of elements composed in a specific way that creates what music we may love or may not. You can think of it as a cake, it has several layers, different ingredients and it has to be baked the right amount of time.
You may be haven’t noticed, but you probably already made part of analyzing for a song at some point in your life in one way or another. As a music producer, I analyze songs from time to time, and I think every songwriter or music creator should do it.
This article will show you everything about analyzing a song and why you should do it from now.
Why You Should Analyze Songs
The first important thing about analyzing a song is that it will help you write music. It’s taking your music production to the next level by understanding music concepts.
You can get to know the elements that make your song catchy and the ones you could change for improvement. You would be able to get an idea of why the song maker made the decisions he did while creating the track.
And it will show you how popular songs are created so that when you make your music, you have an idea of what people want to hear and like.
You can also use it to take elements you like from your favorite songs and make a unique style for your own. There is more than one way to express the same thing in music, and analyzing songs will make you familiar with more ways to express yourself and make the piece more exciting.
Where To Start
The first step for analyzing a song is to listen to it. You should listen to the song for a fair amount of time, even if you don’t enjoy it.
Make sure you have a good pair of headphones on because you want to hear every little detail of the music.
Listening to the song will help you understand what elements are being used and how they’re being used. An example of an element that you might have noticed is the drums. They’re an element that’s been used in almost any song. Listen closely to them and try to identify other elements as well.
Once you’ve analyzed a few songs, you’ll be able to tell what makes a song sound great or not so great.
Extra tip: Make notes about your impression of the song, do you think it a happy, sad, etc.
2) Find the key
The musical key of the song is not only for staying in tune but also to express emotions through the key. To figure out which key the song use, you can use any piano/keyboard/guitar tuner out there.
Usually, most songs are in the key of C or G. So, there are no sharps or flats.
3) Break down the structure
The next step to analyze a song is to break down its basic structure into sections. The structure of a song is its organization and how the creator put the pieces together.
Break down how the parts are ordered and use a timeline graph to show the song’s energy and dynamics through time and each section. After breaking down some songs, you would start seeing a structured pattern. Here are the main parts that a song can be structured from:
This section sets the scene and introduces the song to the listeners. The intro is like teasing the listeners on what is about to come. It usually comes with low energy.
The verse’s purpose is to tell a story and show the song’s main narrative. In this section, the lyrics usually appear.
Not every song uses it, but it is mainly used for building up energy from the verse to the chorus. The pre-chorus can also use it to bring something new to the song.
The chorus is the song’s main idea, the drop, the highest energy level relative to the sections before. If you remember a song, this part is probably the most memorable.
The bridge is like a side quest. It’s used to refresh the song and add relief.
The outro is the conclusion for the song. This section alerts the listener that the song is about to end.
Example for timeline graph
4) The song chords
A good chord progression is essential for a good song. Analyzing a song’s chord progression can help you get familiar with more progressions, rich their use in your songs, and generally understand what works together.
The chord progression is another tool to express feelings. If you are unfamiliar with this phrase, I suggest learning more about music theory.
5) The song rhythm
The rhythm is one of the foundation’s parts of the song. Analyzing the song’s rhythm can help you understand how it uses to make tense parts or more relaxed parts in the piece.
The more complex and busy the rhythm, the tenser feel it gives.
6) The song melody
A melody is created by combining pitches in different ways, either through increasing or decreasing the pitch or changing from one pitch to another. It is usually the focus of the song.
The melody is usually related to the key and the song’s chords. Analyze the change in the melodies through the song and which melodies have been repeated
7) The song lyrics
The song lyrics are the words that he is built from. In analyzing the lyrics, ask yourself what the lyrics are about.
For example, is it a love song, do the song lyrics repeat themselves, which emotions do they give? are they shallow, their rhythm. Which part of the lyrics brings more tensity and which tease.
As I wrote above, every songwriter should analyze songs. With this article, it should be a much easier process for you.
This process will help you increase your understanding of music and help you make a good song. If some phrases or words are unfamiliar for you, get more into music theory and learn about those concepts.