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Lyric Setting: How To Match Lyrics To A Melody (Song 101)

July 2, 2019



hi guys my name is Sam Dawson I'm a guitar teacher here in hazel and today we're going to do a quick songwriting lesson on lyrics setting so Luke setting is simply the process of matching your lyrics to a melody or two specifically the rhythm of our melody now to do that properly we first want to understand something called a stress timed language now English is a stressed and language and what that means is there are certain syllables in words and in sentences that take more emphasis than other syllables in that sentence so for example short words such as is the and have very little emphasis in English whereas things that follow the such as the dog the cat the car that noun has more emphasis then the DA in that instance the will only take a lot of emphasis if it's D like the best pub whatever so a good example of how risk can make a big difference is the sentence I present to you this present so the two ways in their present and present have exactly the same syllables and same spelling but they have completely different meanings and it's due to the emphasis that happens on sound syllables so in the verb ie to present something the inflection goes up at the end so it's present there's it's higher in pitch and it's louder at the end of the wefts and is at the start and that gives it that emphasis present whereas in present it's the other way around it's louder at the start and higher in pitch present it tails off towards the end so if you if you write lyrics with certain emphasis on certain words which it happens in every every sentence has more emphasis in certain places if you write them and match them to a rhythm and it's not done properly you can get words sounding a bit weird like you might want to sit present but you say present because you've matched it in properly so we're going to look at an example um which is Jolene by Dolly Parton and she matches perfectly the word Jolene and nearly all her lyrics actually with the beats of emphasis so the beats of emphasis in music beats one and three and two and four have a little bit of emphasis but that's only more apparent when you have lots of subdivisions so if you have one E and a two E and A three E and a four E and ur the one two three four are the ones that stand out whereas if you've got one and two and three and four and it's one and three to stand out there the beats of emphases so it's usually one two three so yeah let's take a look at this example so if we just say the look first and this is what I recommend you do every time when you're trying to match lyrics just say it so Jolene Jolene Jolene Jolene we can hear that the emphasis is on lean and not endure it's not Jolene it's Jolene that's just the way you say the name so the dur the first syllable has been put here on the under four which is a beat with very little stress now lean has been placed on one which has a lot of stress so that works John the end of to lean on three again that works John down to four with little stress lean on one John – which has less stress than one three and then lean on three with this slur but the these are the notes are not worried about cuz it's just where this first syllable occurs where starts nuts on beat three so let's not listen today you and even without a click or without drum backing you can hear where that Y beat one is and beat three years so we want to match them up with the the syllables of emphasis which has been done here so and so what if we don't want to match these word these lyrics are syllables of emphasis specifically on beat one on beat three every time because there's going to be a lot of syllables of emphasis and we'll cut put one one three every time so what we do in that instance is we can actually move the stress from them beats two adjacent beats and and the most common of them is when you push it to the end of the beat before so for instance one can we've come the under four or three can become the end of two and this happens a lot I'll demonstrate this so we get when you push the one this is the effect to gets it one two three four one two three four one two three four and it happens a lot in music and the opposite of that is the opposite of that sorry is to pull the beat which is where it's dragged back to probably the end of one or whichever beat it is and that's the less common technique so this is used it's a great effect in Elton John's can you feel the love tonight and let's take a look at the example so first of all so first of all we say the lyric so can you feel the love tonight and you can hear where the emphasis naturally lies this can feel love a night but even before we match that we can see here they land on one three one three but if you were just to say it it would be can't feel love and night it's not to night it's tonight so here's a simplified version I've written out where it's matched perfectly but as you can hear it sounds a bit boring we look it's just one thing after the other oh it's still recognizable but just a bit tedious so here in the actual version we'll play this first okay so that works much better and what's happened here is all the emphasis on beat three where feel was over here it has been moved to the end of two and the same has happened on beat one it's been moved to the under four and tie it over and again on night that b3 has been moved to the end of two and all that stress is now on the end of two and it's even reinforced a bit because it's been pushed forward so that's how we can move about and how our stress can be placed in different positions to where you might really want it you can't move it radically it's only gonna be in adjacent places okay so that's great but what if you're working in different time signatures well if you're in 6/8 for instance the emphasis is going to lie in different places two four four so in six eight will get one two three four five six one two three four five and the emphasis is on one and four every time so what you want to do is match the looks of emphasis to them beats of emphasis in that time signature there's too many time signatures for me to cover here I mean it's gonna be different for five four three four whatever time signature you in so take a look about do some googling and find out and finally what I recommend you do is to write your lyric first and say it so you know where the natural emphasis occurs that way you can better match to a melody to a rhythm okay thanks for listening see you soon

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15 Comments

  • Reply Bhad 4Life_ July 2, 2019 at 10:27 am

    So basically match the lyrics to the melody?

  • Reply Tornvinga July 2, 2019 at 10:27 am

    My biggest issue is having the music but no idea how to sing to the music. . Like if you listen to an instrumental version of a song you notice that the singer puts a melody upon the music. But have no idea how i should do that XD

  • Reply Franny Dimitri July 2, 2019 at 10:27 am

    wow thanks bro, Ive been watching lyrics tutorials all night & was confused , this video sorted out my issues 😀

  • Reply Uknown Gamer101 July 2, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Exactly what I needed!!!!! Thank you.

  • Reply Harold Prasad July 2, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Nice job! Just what I've been looking for. Thanks!

  • Reply FilmMaker Pro Enthusiasm! July 2, 2019 at 10:27 am

    emphasis and intervals … let the music and song breath and live 👌🏻😇👍🏻

  • Reply FilmMaker Pro Enthusiasm! July 2, 2019 at 10:27 am

    is that a Liverpool accent ? like John, Paul, George and Ringo 🎸🎹🥁🎸👍🏻 all good brother

  • Reply OysterArcade July 2, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Great video. Very well explained. However, in your second example of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” I believe that’s a dotted quarter-note rhythm—where “can” is on beat 1 and “you” lands on the AND of beat 2. You made your point, for sure, and maybe I’m wrong but I got confused when I tried to read that, knowing the tune.

  • Reply Zacattack July 2, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Hey young fellow. I see your education and analysis. I'm a bad ass guitar player heh heh. I don't rate myself as a singer, but I can write some lyrics too. (based on my 52 years experience).

    This was very helpful. Well presented. Made lots of sense. Respect

  • Reply A Patton July 2, 2019 at 10:27 am

    👍 good stuff

  • Reply Le0Eldur 798 July 2, 2019 at 10:27 am

    At the end just be like "and my last suggestion is JUST DOOO IT!!" xD

  • Reply jack July 2, 2019 at 10:27 am

    awesome bro

  • Reply Matt Jaekel 水 July 2, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Great video!

  • Reply Henrique de Paula July 2, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Amazing video! Thank you bro

  • Reply sadqae123e dased132wq July 2, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Awesome thanks 😀

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