Do you struggle to write B sections? Do you struggle to transition between sections and finish your song? Then learn about the Frankenstein method and the Song-whispering method.
Hello revolutionary music makers, we are Kate Harmony and Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony), and welcome to Hack Music Theory. We help you make great music that stands out, so you can move and grow your audience! If that sounds useful to you, then subscribe to our YouTube channel (or Podcast) and hit that bell to get notified every Friday, when we publish our new lesson. Also, if you’re new to our channel, be sure to download our free book “12 Music Theory Hacks to Learn Scales & Chords” below. Alright, it’s time to open your DAW to hack music theory.
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Okay, so you’ve written two sections, but now, how do you transition from one section to the other? Well, there’s a couple different methods you can use, and we’ll introduce you to both of them in this lesson. But first… tea!
So, over the last few weeks, we’ve been asking you what part of the writing process you struggle with. Firstly, thank you sincerely to everyone who took the time to share, we read every single comment. Secondly, we have great news for all of you! We already have resources available to help with every problem that was shared, so let’s jump in! Now, almost all of these musical problems can be grouped into a handful of categories, which we’ll address over a couple of lessons. By far the most common issues you raised, were writing new sections for existing sections, and transitioning between sections. These issues are totally related, so we’ll cover both in this lesson.
Right, so there’s two completely different approaches to writing transitions. We like to call them the Frankenstein method, and the Song-whispering method. The Frankenstein method is when you have different sections that were not written with the intention of being joined, but later you decide you wanna stitch ‘em together. Then on the other hand, the Song-whispering method is when you write one section and allow it to whisper to you where it wants to go next, then from those whispers you write the transition and the next section. Both methods work, but the Frankenstein method forces sections together, whereas the Song-whispering method allows new sections to grow out of existing sections.
I used to use the Frankenstein method a lot when I was a young songwriter, but the more I matured, the less I used it, and nowadays I don’t use it at all. I believe that for a song to reach its full potential, it has to be given the opportunity to grow organically in whatever direction it wants. And that belief is the reason why I created the Song-whispering method, because when you master this method, it feels like your music is literally writing itself!
Now, on a very practical level, you’re probably wondering what to do if you have two sections that were not written with the intention of being joined. Well, instead of forcing them together, we recommend turning each of those sections into separate songs, which will allow them both to grow into their full potential. Having said that though, if you’re determined to Frankenstein them together, then you can, and it’s at least a great way to practice modulating (i.e. changing key). And if you need help with modulating, then check out the ultimate Modulation hack in our Songwriting & Producing PDF (click & scroll down). It will empower you with the three most effective ways to change between any two keys.
And if your two sections are in the same key already, then they’ll transition into each other relatively smoothly as is. So, a drum fill and perhaps a variation in the melody should be enough for a decent transition. However, the most powerful transitions will almost always involve modulating, as that freshness you get from a new key is vital in the overall longevity of a song. So on that note, if your two sections are in the same key, maybe they shouldn’t be joined after all.
Now, when you use the Song-whispering method, your song will guide you to the new key that it wants to move into, which will make the modulation sound natural and effortless. Okay, so now the big question is: How do you do this Song-whispering thing? Well, not only does it take many hours to teach Song-whispering, but it’s also our secret sauce that we sell, so we can eat, pay the rent and keep making these free lessons for you. So if you wanna learn how to become a Song-whisperer, then do our online Apprenticeship, which is a 17-hour video course that guides you through every step of the music making process, from blank screen to finished song. If that sounds useful to you, then sign up now!
Thank you once again for sharing your struggles with us. We really hope this lesson helped, and we’ll get to the rest of your music making problems next week. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time!
Kate & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony)
Music Teachers & Producers in Vancouver BC, Canada
Take Your Music to the Next Level
LEVEL 1 – FREE BOOK
"12 Music Theory Hacks to Learn Scales & Chords" will give you a super solid music theory foundation in 30 minutes!
LEVEL 2 – SONGWRITING & PRODUCING PDF (click & scroll down)
This is our best-selling PDF, which includes MIDI file examples. Learn the essential hacks for songwriting & producing, like our Melody Checklist (the ultimate list of do's and don'ts for writing great melodies). You'll also learn how to write chord progressions, bass lines, riffs, counterpoint harmonies, and more!
LEVEL 3 – LESSON PACKS
After learning our essential hacks, it's time to put them to practical use and start writing some new songs. Lesson packs include step-by-step PDF guides to making music for different instruments and in different genres (electronic, metal, soundtrack, etc.), as well as multitrack MIDI files of the examples.
LEVEL 4 – ONLINE APPRENTICESHIP
Go from a blank screen to a finished song, in this online video course. Learn how to write new sections for an existing section, how to transition between sections in different keys, how to structure and arrange, and much more! This course has been called "life-changing" many times, so join 700+ music makers now (from all genres), who are learning Ray's secret hack: Song Whispering.
Hack Music Theory is a pioneering DAW method for making great music that stands out, so you can move and grow your audience! Taught by multi-award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony, and his protégé wife Kate Harmony, from their studio in Vancouver BC, Canada. Ray is the author of critically-acclaimed book series "Hack Music Theory", and has made music with Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad), Ihsahn (Emperor), Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MCs), Madchild (Swollen Members), and many more! Kate has the highest grade distinction in Popular Music Theory from the London College of Music, and is the only person on the planet who's been trained by Ray to teach his method. On that note, the "Hack Music Theory" YouTube channel teaches relevant and instantly-usable music theory for producers, DAW users, and all other music makers (songwriters, singers, guitarists, bassists, drummers, etc.) in all genres, from EDM to R&B, pop to hip-hop, reggae to rock, electronic to metal (and yes, we djefinitely djent!).
© 2019 Revolution Harmony
Revolution Harmony is Ray Harmony & Kate Harmony
All content (script & music) in video by Revolution Harmony