Christmas Holiday workshops now open for bookings!

Write a Christmas smash hit with our professional songwriters!

Where?  West London & Winchester

WEST LONDON at The Holy Trinity Church, Brook Green, Hammersmith, W6 7BL

Monday 19 (2-6pm) & Tuesday 20 December (2-5pm)

WINCHESTER at The Railway Inn, 3 St Pauls Hill, Winchester, SO22 5AE

Tuesday 13 (1-4pm) for 8-11 year olds

Wednesday 14 December (1-4pm) for 12-16 year olds

Who?  Two groups: 8-11 year olds and 12-16 year olds

Join our dynamic & spontaneous songwriting & singing workshops over the Christmas holidays.  Our vibrant groups of young songwriters collaborate on writing & producing an original song with our hit songwriters across two afternoons with a performance at the end.

We develop participants creative lyric writing skills, improvisation of melodies, harmonies and rhythm skills, and composition of instrumental parts/riffs and solos. Participants choose the style of music – rock, country, jazz, pop, rhythm & blues, hip hop, urban, latin, electronic, folk or a new mixture! Those that play an instrument can bring it along and those that don’t can focus on creating the vocal harmonies.

£95 for two afternoons (7 hours) with a performance at 4:45pm on the second afternoon for friends & family

£35 for the one afternoon (3 hour) workshops in Winchester, with a performance at 3.45pm.

To enquire/book – click here for the online booking form.

or email contact@songacademy.co.uk or text/call 07710 023743.

“Lets their musical and creative side run free” – Jo, Mother

“It’s awesome creating a song from scratch with professional songwriters!” – Amy, 14 years old

“Inspirational” Charlotte, Mother

 

Rhythm… Why so important?

By definition, rhythm is the pattern of regular or irregular pulses caused in music by the occurrence of strong and weak melodic and harmonic beats.

Sounds complex? No worries, we’ll explain what it is through practical examples. However, if you’d like to know more about how rhythm works, you can watch this brilliant documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_jEkNiYFNc

Simply put, rhythm is that music component that makes us move, or even just tap the foot, when we listen to a song. As the presenter says in the video, “with rhythm music becomes hypnotic and sensuous”.

Listen to a metronome at 60bpm:

It’s static, boring, aseptic.

Now, listen to some African drumming:

It’s exciting, it moves us and even makes us want to dance!
This should make you understand (and feel) the importance of rhythm!

To continue with the same analogy, sound itself is not music. A simple single note doesn’t move us, it’s boring just as the metronome was. We need several notes to be put together in order to make up a song which we can enjoy.
Rhythm is the manifestation of time just as a melody is sound put into practice.

Here’s a selection of songs with great rhythms we can get inspired by:

Joss Stone – You Got The Love   

Even just the drums intro gives me energy and makes me tap my foot and move my head on time! Why is it though? It’s the mix of strong and weak accents on different beats, in particular what we call “pushes” (that is, accents on the off-beat). See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beat_(music)#On-beat_and_off-beat

Taylor Swift – Shake It Off

Taylor even talks about that “sick beat” at 2:26 minutes into the song!

Green Day – Wake Me Up When September Ends

It shows how a simple guitar playing a simple rhythmic figure can still catch our attention, but also that drums are the real “champions” in terms of rhythm: listen to the sudden change at min 1:28 when drums start playing!

Jack Johnson – Bubble Toes

The evidence that rhythm does bring songs to life! Check out the difference between the beginning of the song and the more rhythmic part starting at min 0:48 and then at min 1:24 when drums kick in. It’s a massive change! How does it make you feel?

Goat- Swedish psychedelic world rock band

I first came across the band Goat on a compilation cd made for me and was totally in love with their song ‘Run to your Mama’, which is a heavily rhythmical and driving song that makes you move, shake and head bang and has a raw, passionate, aggressive punk vocal style from the two female singers….wailing chants almost… Goat are a Swedish band that wear masks and costumes during performances which make for a spectacular live show!

Their performative style is tribal and the smoke machine, costumes and dancing are theatrical. I saw them at Glastonbury this year and was blown away by their energy and originality- Like finding oneself in an anarchic tribal rock fire dance! They combine rhythms from world music (like Bhangra) and 70’s style rock guitar riffs exploding into experimental and exciting electric guitar solos. The rock guitarists are really the stars of this band… The repetitive and driving rhythm provides a solid foundation for the guitars to totally let rip! …And they do!! Nobody really knows who the band members are ( aside from Christian Johansson) and they remain masked in every performance. This not only brings mystery but disguises the musicians, reinforcing the collaborative spirit of this band rather than focussing on individuals!

A little more information…

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goat_(band)

If you would love to see them in action…

For reviews! …

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2012/sep/28/new-band-goat

Rhythm

Alongside lyrics and melody, rhythm an essential part of a good song. Perhaps you don’t feel you have rhythm – if so, then take an egg shaker out with you when walking to the tube or even walking round the house to train your body and mind to shake in time with your steps and your movement. Try counting 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + and shaking the egg accordingly, either on the numbers (also known as ‘on the beat’) or on the plus signs (also known as the ‘off beat’) or on both!

Listen to your favourite song, and figure out what the main drum beat is doing. Is it doing a ‘four on the floor’ beat? [listen to hear what a four on the floor beat is] Or is the rhythm more like a waltz, an old fashioned dance which uses triplets as its pulse?

Another thing to bear in mind when writing your songs is the rhythm of your lyrics – take Ed Sheeran; his lyrics create their very own rhythm in his use of singing/rapping style, making the song more interesting and very catchy in certain places. The same goes for Bastille’s track Pompeii – these lyrics have a rhythm of their own, emphasized or created by the syllables of the words he uses, for example, ‘and the walls, kept tum-b-ling down’. Rhythmic lyrics can help to find melodies, or indeed can be dictated by them.

Tweet your rhythmical lyrics to @songacademyUK!