Week One Evaluation (2nd Jan-8th Jan)

I, Tia and Lucy were put in a group together to start working on our song; me on guitar, Tia on keys and Lucy on vocals. Initially, we were asked to keep to the key of C major but we wanted to produce a chord progression in E major instead, in which we were allowed to do, as I already had a strong idea for the chord progression. The chords we were allowed to use were chords I, IV, V and vi. These chords always work well together no matter how you place them in a sequence so they are great and safe chords to start writing with. These chords in an E major key would be I (E), IV (A), V (B) and vi (C#m) and from these, we decided to use chords I, IV, V. This meant our song would have no minor chords in the verses, making the verse sound quite peaceful and happy. We had a discussion about tempo; whether it should be fast and very upbeat, or quite slow and leisurely. I played the chords as quavers at around 190bpm, taking inspiration from a band called Surf Curse. In the end, we decided on a much slower tempo at around 7obpm as we thought this work the best for an acoustic song.

Progressions And Strengths

This is the initial idea of the chord progression that Tia played on Keys. It shows a bar of V, a bar of IV, and two bars of I and the rhythm is straightly played. The tempo is around 70bpm which can be described as adagio. There is a simple bass pattern on the left hand which keeps the progression moving swiftly:

This is my interpretation of this same chord progression that I played on guitar. It is around a very similar tempo as the piano one because I think this slower bpm adds a leisurely and almost lazy feel to the song which I think fits really well with the acoustic vibe we want and also strumming pattern I came up with. However, my interpretation uses a swung feel for the song as I think it makes it sound much more relaxing and easy-going in a way, adding to that slow tempo: https://youtu.be/NuxssDojrCg

After coming up with a brief feel for a chord progression, I began working on a melody idea for the lyrics, whilst Tia wrote down some lyrics as Lucy wasn’t there then so she couldn’t write or sing them. The song doesn’t have any minor chords, so we thought that some happier and calming lyrics would work really well with the song. This is what Tia came up with:

Hear the birds
Feel the breeze.
Mother Nature is holding me.
Every prayer,
Every dream.
They flourish and beam.
Rain and snow,
Allowing you to glow.
Stand in her moonlight,
And allow everything to be alright.

After figuring out a melody on guitar for the lyrics, I made this little draft quickly on reaper to visualise how the verse would sound with the guitar chords and melody together (unfortunately we could not sync up any keys to this demo but we plan to do that later). The melody syncs well with the lyrics for the most part but there could be some tweaks here and there so it works even better. I added chorus, reverb and EQ effects to the guitar chords and the first part of the melody to give it this airy and light atmosphere (however I forgot to add it to the second part of the repeating melody). The first part of the melody uses the notes E flat, E, C# and B (the E flat makes the melody chromatic rather than diatonic as it is not in the E major scale) in a triplet rhythm and the second part of the melody is simply an E major scale going up. in the fifth going into the sixth bar, there is a slight melody change (which stays chromatic) in which the pitch goes up instead of down, and ends on a sustained G#. This is what all of that sounds like together:

Even though we are working online, I think our communication this week has been really good. We have set up our own group chat on Instagram in which we send voice messages of our parts and ideas, so the others can play along to it and see if it works well. Even though this chat is informal, we still get our work done through it and are always helping each other regarding our song and songwriting in general! We also have our own room on teams where we go to work during lessons which is much more formal and this works well as there are no distractions from the work here. The tutors are in these rooms as well occasionally to help us and see how we are getting on.


To improve on this concept, we need to add more structure. This means deciding whether this part will be a verse or chorus and then creating a chord progression for the one we decided it wouldn’t suit. As the song progresses, we would need to determine when we want the verse and choruses in the structure and also create a bridge/break to split the song up and take the listener to somewhere completely new. We can do this by brainstorming ideas for multiple chord progressions and trying them out for different parts in the song, thinking about transitions between chords and making sure the chords we use are always in the E major scale. It would also be great if we figured out how we would introduce and end the song as these two things reinforce the composition, making it sound stronger and refined.

As well as chords and the overall structure, we need to have Lucy try and sing the melody I came up with for the vocals to accompany with the lyrics Tia tried out. If the melody doesn’t work, we could either try new lyrics or a new melody and we always need to be ready for that circumstance, and even if things don’t work out right for the rest of the song. As Lucy wasn’t in the first call we had to come up with our own, but it would be great if Lucy made her own for other parts in the song as it adds a much more personal touch if the singer is singing their own lyrics. I also think that singing something she is passionate about or might be important or personal would improve how confident the vocals will sound.

Targets For Next Week

-Work on the song structure to create a full piece with different parts to it.

-Make new chord progressions to expand on the idea of making the song’s structure.

-See if the melody we made for the vocals work for Lucy.