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Songwriting For Dummies by Cathy Lynn Austin, Jim Peterik, Dave Austin

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Chapter 8

Feel the Rhythm, Feel the Ride

In This Chapter

Understanding the dynamics of rhythm

Creating a pulse for your music

Utilizing the beat of your song to its greatest potential

Practicing connecting to the rhythm

Have you ever noticed how, in certain songs, the words seem to dance across the music like they have “happy feet”? Or you are driving down the highway and your “peddle hits the metal” as the song you’re listening to hits the chorus? It’s practically a given that some of the biggest songs in pop history came right out of the box with a grabber-word rhythm. Think of “Hot town, summer in the city, back of my neck gettin’ dirty and gritty” (“Summer in the City,” written by John Sebastian, Steve Boone, and Mark Sebastian; performed by The Lovin’ Spoonful) or “Sir or madame won’t you read my book, it took me years to write, won’t you take a look” (“Paperback Writer,” written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney; performed by The Beatles).

In addition to the lyrical pulse, there is the musical rhythm of a song. In ancient times, messages were sent to distant villages using simple drum patterns to signal the news (the use of “talking drums”). Even today, to get the message of your song across, you may need the persistent pulse of rhythm (drums, loops, and percussion effects) to communicate the intensity more effectively. From the off-beat style of reggae music to the intricate rhythmic interplay of African music, you can add flavor and interest to your song by interweaving ...

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