Songwriting - Dynamics
The other night, we got into the discussion on songwriting dynamics. When listening to a friend's song, he started out strumming and singing loud and kept the same pace and volume throughout the song. While the song itself it was good, it was missing dynamics that would make it interesting. In 2007, I posted techniques for changing the dynamics, in songwriters, take your listener on a journey.
A good place to study dynamics is American Idol. Last year's winner, David Cook, was the master at what I call the "American Idol build." He would start quiet, build to full out rock, and then drop to almost a whisper on the last line. His recent CD went platnium in three weeks, so he must be doing something right.
I saw another good example of a different kind of build watching the Blue Canyon Boys, bluegrass band. In bluegrass they change the tempo, speeding it up with each verse. By the last verse, they've got your pulse racing!
A comment I heard the other night was I'm just playing the song the way I wrote it. It's true that every song I write starts out with almost no dynamics. The dynamics come in the polishing phase, between writing the song and getting ready to play it for someone. I'm constantly tweaking my dynamics for the room I'm playing in, the audience, or my mood.