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Spanalier
10-23-2011, 01:14 PM
So I'm more of a writer than anything else, focusing on short stories and poetry. Last year or so, while learning about iambic pentameter my english teacher mentioned how sometimes sonnets are kind of a building block for a song.

At that time, I didn't really focus much on it, but it was something that just kind of stuck on my head.

Fast-forward to now. Last night my cousin and I decided to write a song (which may have been a tad very ambitious given that we're both novices when it comes to that kind of thing :P) She lost interest pretty quick, but decided that we ought to write some sort of creepy folk tale song. So she created a character and I was actually able to churn out a part of a poem pretty quick.

So while she drew this character, I went about churning out a poem.

It's half finished, but here it is:

The cobbler, the cobbler will mend your shoe.
But he値l also take a foot or two

He値l smile big, He値l smile wide
And all the children run and hide

His teeth are sharp, his eyes are, too.
And on top, his hair askew

The cobbler the cobbler will mend your shoe
But he値l also take a foot or two.

Careful kiddies, now to run.
This game he plays is very fun.

He値l mend you up, he値l sew you right,
All by the glow of a candle light.

Appropriately creepy, given that it's getting to be halloween time. I'd love to be able to turn it into a song maybe, but I'm really not even sure where to start. Or if it's good like it is (with some lengthening, of course) how it would be played and/or sung.

Help?

chindog
10-23-2011, 01:25 PM
I like it! Do you have a chord progression for it yet?

musicmonsterw
10-23-2011, 01:26 PM
So I'm more of a writer than anything else, focusing on short stories and poetry. Last year or so, while learning about iambic pentameter my english teacher mentioned how sometimes sonnets are kind of a building block for a song.

At that time, I didn't really focus much on it, but it was something that just kind of stuck on my head.

Fast-forward to now. Last night my cousin and I decided to write a song (which may have been a tad very ambitious given that we're both novices when it comes to that kind of thing :P) She lost interest pretty quick, but decided that we ought to write some sort of creepy folk tale song. So she created a character and I was actually able to churn out a part of a poem pretty quick.

So while she drew this character, I went about churning out a poem.

It's half finished, but here it is:

The cobbler, the cobbler will mend your shoe.
But he’ll also take a foot or two

He’ll smile big, He’ll smile wide
And all the children run and hide

His teeth are sharp, his eyes are, too.
And on top, his hair askew

The cobbler the cobbler will mend your shoe
But he’ll also take a foot or two.

Careful kiddies, now to run.
This game he plays is very fun.

He’ll mend you up, he’ll sew you right,
All by the glow of a candle light.

Appropriately creepy, given that it's getting to be halloween time. I'd love to be able to turn it into a song maybe, but I'm really not even sure where to start. Or if it's good like it is (with some lengthening, of course) how it would be played and/or sung.

Help?

Try starting it in a minor key. Am is relatively easy on a ukulele. So, you might use the chords Am, Dm, E7. Try starting each verse on Am, make up a melody that fits the chord. I know what I'm saying is just short tips. Sometimes it's that simple. Other times, songwriting can be tougher. I hope this helps. :)

Spanalier
10-23-2011, 01:46 PM
@Chindog
Nope, not yet. But thanks :)

@Musicmonsterw
Thank you, that's actually very helpful :)

musicmonsterw
10-23-2011, 06:40 PM
@Chindog
Nope, not yet. But thanks :)

@Musicmonsterw
Thank you, that's actually very helpful :)

That's awesome! Please let me know if you ever make a video of this song. I would be curious to see what you come up with.

Dougf
10-24-2011, 03:56 AM
I agree with Musicmonsterw, minor keys are good for scary songs. I recently covered an old Louis Armstrong song that has a spooky feel, and it uses a chord pattern that you might find useful. I also used a similar pattern in an original song I wrote last year for a Halloween song contest, "Zombie Blues".

If you're in Am (2000), try playing next 2333 then 1222. These work best as barre chords, using your index finger for the barre, and then either your middle or ring finger as a barre across three strings.

Here's a link to my cover of "Old Man Mose" that uses this pattern. It's in Bb minor, but the idea is the same.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?54646-Old-Man-Mose

musicmonsterw
10-24-2011, 04:06 AM
I agree with Musicmonsterw, minor keys are good for scary songs. I recently covered an old Louis Armstrong song that has a spooky feel, and it uses a chord pattern that you might find useful. I also used a similar pattern in an original song I wrote last year for a Halloween song contest, "Zombie Blues".

If you're in Am (2000), try playing next 2333 then 1222. These work best as barre chords, using your index finger for the barre, and then either your middle or ring finger as a barre across three strings.

Here's a link to my cover of "Old Man Mose" that uses this pattern. It's in Bb minor, but the idea is the same.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?54646-Old-Man-Mose


Great video. I've seen that one. So, I guess the pattern you're recommeding is Am, Am7b5, G#m7b5 or I suppose it could be Am, Cm6, Bm6.

Dougf
10-24-2011, 05:03 AM
Great video. I've seen that one. So, I guess the pattern you're recommeding is Am, Am7b5, G#m7b5 or I suppose it could be Am, Cm6, Bm6.

To make matters even more confusing, it could be considered Am, F9, E9, where the F9 and E9 are rootless. :)

This is also the basis for the opening riff of 'Friend Like Me' from the Disney move 'Aladdin'.

musicmonsterw
10-24-2011, 05:13 AM
To make matters even more confusing, it could be considered Am, F9, E9, where the F9 and E9 are rootless. :)

This is also the basis for the opening riff of 'Friend Like Me' from the Disney move 'Aladdin'.

Thanks for the info! I have recently acquired a solid-body UBass. I think bass with rootless voicings on a ukulele might create an interesting sound.

Dougf
10-24-2011, 11:11 AM
Thanks for the info! I have recently acquired a solid-body UBass. I think bass with rootless voicings on a ukulele might create an interesting sound.

Yes, I think you'll find that bass lines built around A, F, and E will work quite well with these chords (Am, 2333, 1222).

Spanalier
10-26-2011, 10:12 AM
Thanks guys (:

All of this is very helpful. I'm sure all this advice will be put to good use this weekend when I sit back down to work on it again. Thanks!

Fliss
10-27-2011, 08:36 AM
I love your lyrics, I think that's a brilliant starting point for a song, and you've been given some great advice above.

The one thing I'd add is to think about the rhythm - your poetry has its own metre anyway, so try just reciting the poem out loud, maybe clapping along or tapping to keep it rhythmic, and getting a feel for how you might sing the words. Once you have the rhythm, the melody will probably flow pretty naturally from that.

I look forward to hearing your result :)

Spanalier
10-27-2011, 01:36 PM
I love your lyrics, I think that's a brilliant starting point for a song, and you've been given some great advice above.

The one thing I'd add is to think about the rhythm - your poetry has its own metre anyway, so try just reciting the poem out loud, maybe clapping along or tapping to keep it rhythmic, and getting a feel for how you might sing the words. Once you have the rhythm, the melody will probably flow pretty naturally from that.

I look forward to hearing your result :)

I didn't even think about the rhythm. Thanks (:

Haha, and I'll be sure to post whatever I'm able to finish at the end of the weekend.

austin1
10-29-2011, 10:58 PM
for inspiration and ideas, you might want to take a look at Loreena McKennit. She's really new-agey, but she does a ton of taking Shakespeare sonnets and other poems, and turning them into music. You might be able to get ideas for how to work a poem into music. Here are some examples, they're all poems other people wrote, and she just threw music on:

lyrics by St Thomas of the Cross

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MclLF473XtA

lyrics by Shakespeare

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvmhnpLoTR0

lyrics by William Butler Yeats

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBvuRdG1awo

In addition, Down by the Salley Gardens is a Yeats poem that someone put to an old Irish tune, and it's jaw-droppingly lovely.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1ELp7hLJew

Maybe that might help, even though the style of music isn't quite what you're going for.