Beginner’s Guide to Song Arranging

Genre: Music Courses

Additional Styles:

Making loops and jamming with musical ideas, although fun, can be a trap we get stuck in all too often, sometimes finding it hard to get out of ‘loop mode’ and start putting an actual track together. On this course, you’ll be provided with the knowledge required to gain a good understanding of how music is arranged, from how and why song sections are structured, to specific techniques for improving the arrangement.

The course begins with a detailed look at 2 successful tracks in varying styles, one a vocal-based pop track and the other a Tech House banger! The arrangements are completely broken down and scrutinised, then a summary of the main similarities and differences is given, with an explanation of why each song is arranged the way it is.

The subsequent modules then show the main stages of building up an arrangement, starting with the beats and creating drum fills, then introducing melodic parts and discussing the hierarchy and placement of each. Introduction, breakdown and drop sections are then laid out, showing the main concepts behind a breakdown and different methods for achieving it. Sections are then bolstered with additional layers to support the melodies and create more engagement, including vocal textures and chords.

The latter part of the course focuses heavily on FX, starting with samples that are used to enhance definition and flow, and then moving on to devices like reverb and delay, used to add character and depth, as well as improve transitions. More advanced techniques like automation and send effects are covered that, although technically more challenging, are explained slowly and clearly so that even those with little experience should be able to follow along without issues. There is also some focus on tonality and tuning, working out the key of parts and the track, and exploring other keys to move to temporarily during the arrangement.

By the end of the course, students should have a good idea of the necessary considerations and different approaches to arranging a track, ultimately helping construct clear goals to work to when making music. Signing up grants immediate access to almost 3 hours of tutorials, plus supporting materials like written guides and software projects, providing all the teachings and support needed to start arranging quality music of your own.

Sample Module - Song Structure - How To Arrange A Breakdown

Course Breakdown

Intro

A short introduction to the course and overview of the lessons.

2.20

Module 1 - Track Analysis and Comparison

In this first module, Rob provides a detailed analysis of two electronic tracks in differing styles, one a vocal-based pop track and the other a Tech House slammer! After giving an explanation of how each arrangement is constructed, there is a summary of the main similarities and differences.

24.53

Module 2 - Arrangement Techniques 1 - Drums, Intro and Breakdown

To start the arrangement, a 16-bar drum break is made, complete with the necessary fills and high frequency percussion layers. The other sounds are then added, reviewed and positioned along the timeline to form an introduction, first breakdown and drop.

Lesson 1 - Drum Fills - 11.15

Lesson 2 - Making an Intro and First Breakdown - 11.31

Module 3 - Arrangement Techniques 2 - FX Sounds and Processing

The arrangement is embellished with FX sounds like risers and impacts, some of which are found in Loopcloud and others made using sounds in the project. Audio effects like reverbs, delays and filters are then applied to parts, with their parameters automated, to not only add extra width and depth but also create contrasts between sections and help with the flow of energy through the track.

Lesson 1 - Adding FX Sounds and Devices - 14.24

Lesson 2 - Automating Effects - 21.46

Module 4 - Arrangement Techniques 3 - Additional Song Sections & Composition

After some additional sounds are added to the first breakdown and drop, ensuring the tuning is correct first, some new breakdown ideas are implemented. Firstly, a breakdown that introduces a new synth melody and secondly, a bridge that modulates temporarily to a new key.

Lesson 1 - Extra Vocal and Melodic Layers - 15.33

Lesson 2 - More Breakdowns - 24.24

Lesson 3 - Making a Bridge - 30.31

Outro

2.30

Any references to any brands on this site/page, including reference to brands and instruments, are provided for description purposes only. For example references to instrument brands are provided to describe the sound of the instrument and/or the instrument used in the sample. Loopmasters do not have (nor do they claim) any association with or endorsement by these brands. Any goodwill attached to those brands rest with the brand owner. Loopmasters or its Suppliers do not accept any liability in relation to the content of the sample or the accuracy of the description. "RHODES" is a registered trademark of Joseph A Brandstetter.

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