Adding a B Section III”
- Making a Choice
- Putting the A and B section together
- C major to C minor versus C major to A minor
- Further development of the melody
- Rhythmic development in the bass/left hand
- Final draw of the A and B sections
- Tips how to compose your song
In this post I will show you how to put the A and B sections together and how to choose between the parallel and relative minor as my B section.
Making A Choice
“Putting the A and B Sections Together”
We are going to have to choose which parts will work best. Remember that we have two options:
- C major to C minor
- C major to A minor.
Lets look at option no.1 first. In order to smoothly connect we need to take 2 bars out of the A section of example 5 in my post “How to Arrange a Song from Scratch – The Basics“.
We have to label the A section “A” and the B section “B”, so it is easy to separate the two parts. When we put the two parts together it will look and sound like this:
In option no.2 we will go from the C major to A minor. This time when we put the two parts together it will look and sound different:
“C major to C minor Versus C major to A minor”
We have to make a choice now. Which example do you think works best? Examples 5 or 6?
What do you think about the transitions between the two sections. Does it sound logical, is it smooth enough, do the mood changes fit together or is there enough contrast between the two sections?
My own choice will be option no.1, from C major to C minor. I think the transition sounds stronger, both melodically and harmonically. You may not agree with me, never mind we all have our own tastes.
“Further Development of the Melody”
After listening to example 5, I think the melody can be improved a little bit more. Bars 1 to 4 are alright, but the last four bars do need more melodic and rhythmic variety. Look and listen to the next example:
When comparing examples 2 and 7, you will notice that:
- In bar 5 I added an extra eighth note to prevent similarity with bar 1.
- In bar 6 I took out the Bb on the second half of beat two to avoid rhythmic similarity with bar 2.
- In bar 7 I changed the eighth note figure in example 2 to four quarter notes building up to the final statement in bar 8.
“Rhythmic Development in the Bass/Left Hand”
So now that we have completed, or as we call it in internet terms optimized, the melody there is one more thing we can do to apply contrast in the B section: “Rhythm”. We already took care of rhythmic patterns in the melody, now it is time to look at the left hand or bass.
Until now we have used only one rhythmic pattern, 4 quarter notes throughout both sections and 2 quarters and 1 half note in the last bar.
Frankly, I think this becomes a bit boring after a while, so it is time to make an adjustment. Instead of 4 quarter notes, apply one pattern per two bars as indicated by circles in example 8 below.
Use 1 dotted quarter, 1 eighth note, 1 dotted quarter and 1 eighth note in the first bar and 1 dotted quarter, 1 eighth note and 1 half note in the second bar of the pattern. The bass pattern itself is one of the most used in popular music.
The final B section will look like this:
“Final Draw of the A and B Sections”
Here is the youtube video of “How to Arrange a Song from Scratch #4“, where I play the final A and B sections together:
”Tips how to Compose your Song”
Before I start giving you homework, here are some points to consider while composing your song:
- Some aspects to consider while composing the melody:
- Keep your melody as simple as possible. Less is better than more
- Try to avoid to much repetition in your melody
- Try to avoid big leaps or skips in your melody
- Always check if you can sing your own melody
- Some aspects to consider while composing your chord progression:
- Do not use too many chords. Two, three or four chords per section.
- Start with three note chords
- Depending on your own choice you could leave the middle note out
- With two notes left you could transpose down an octave (8 notes)
- Some rhythmical aspects to consider in the left hand:
- Use different rhythms in your left hand per section
- Do not use complicated rhythms. It only creates confusion
- As an option you can use two bar rhythmic patterns instead of repeating every single bar (see example 8)
Compose an A and B section, each eight bars long. Take into consideration the melody, harmony and rhythm. Use an easy key to start off with your A section, something like C, G or F major, depending on your own taste and feelings. Then continue adding your B section, choosing between the parallel or relative minor.
A recap of today’s post:
- I’ve shown you how to put the A and B sections together
- I’ve discussed how to choose between the parallel or relative minor
- I’ve shown you further development of the melody
- I’ve shown you how to use different rhythms in the left hand
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Before we go to the next post in this series, I will first give you some examples of “Intros in Popular Songs“. That way, you will be better prepared composing and arranging “Intros” yourself. Good luck with your song.
About the Author:
Hans Hansen is the author and founder of “The Music Arrangers Page” and is always happy to share his passion for music arranging. In addition, he is a well experienced piano & bass guitar teacher, specializing in classical, rock and jazz. Any questions you have about music arranging; he is the person to ask. He also likes to invite you to download his Special Free Gift and connect with him on Facebook & Twitter or leave a comment on his blog.