Songwriting and Getting Attention: Create Better Introductions For Your Songs!!

The introduction is the opener of the song, it acts as an invitation to listeners to keep on listening to your song. Weak introductions may put listeners off from  listening to your song. It is worth to make sure your song does have a strong intro which acts as a great opener. There are many ways to create introductions to your song. Some songs simpley start with the chorus, while other songs do contain specific introductions which may be repeated at particular moments during the song. These introductions could be in the shape of a particular melody,a riff or even a certain chordsequence which is repeated a few times.
Each era seem to have its own cliches of introducting the song. I will take you through some well-known songs to demonstrate what these songs use to introduce themselves to the world:

In the sixties, and in particular the world of Motown, the producers of the day had a particular way to dress up their songs, when it came to songintroductions they often used a particular bassline which acted as a riff to open the song with. Listen to the following example here of that kind of introduction:

The introduction of this song carries on even further, the whole song seem to be based on this riff, or at least the rest of the harmony does contain parts of that particular bassriff.

Another example of a similar song I have discussed here before:

As in the previous song, the bassriff is also part of the actual song. It is a very distintive sound which is particular for the Soul music of the early 60s.
Here is a modern adaptation of those kind of intros: No bassriff here but a chord. The first chord of the song is picked as an arpeggio, it is the first chord of the rest of the song. Again, the whole song is based on a short chordsequence, and the first chord is played during the introduction.

Now an example of a Riff which was to introduce this song from the early 1970s:

The Riff is used throughout the song. When you listen to what comes after the Riff, it almost sounds like it is another song, a typical 60s and 1970s approach to making music: Let  us make ’em as long as we can and use as many solos as we need to get our point across.

The 1970s would prove to be the Golden Era for the  Riff to introduce songs.
Here is a well-known song from a band which is still going today, but unfortantely people all around the world seem onlyto know this song of them:

If you like the sound of the Golden Earring, I will discuss a lot more of their songs in detail as they are a great Rock band. They made some amazing albums during the 1970s and 1980s, they do have a great Twin Guitar Sound and they are all great guys, so stayed tuned for more info about them in later blogs.

Now a song which uses a part of a chordseqence to introduce the song. I heard this one during breakfast on my radio this morning. Listen to how the intro is used several times during the song, it is a very distintive sound.

And here is another one which is about a similar subject matter!! This time a Riff, or really a short chordidea: Very distitive for the Rolling Stones to use this kind of intro. It would become the trademark of Keith Richards’s style of guitarplaying. If you like this kind of style I will create a lot more special blogs about the Rolling Stones and Keith’s way of playing the guitar

There is a whole genre of music, which used to be populair during the late 1970s where the intro was often a very mellow guitarpart before the song kicked into a higher energylevel with a more agressive sound.
Let us start this example of with this song here:

They really took their time to get things going, but still good song, great sound and very distintive for its time as lots of other Rockbands would follow suit with this kind of introducing their songs to the world.

These boys here often introduced their songs in a similar manner. In fact the whole Heavy Rock genre would produce Ballads like no other genre of music ever would. Again in this example, the intro forms part of the chordsequence for the rest of the song, the clean guitarsound is similar throughout the rest of the song.

Now over to the Masters of Metal to see how they introduce some of their songs:

The song starts of with a guitarpart which will function as the first part of the song, then the song builds up dynamically [as they should!!1  as the song progresses it changes with more parts added to the mix and different sections popping in and out. The intro is heard throughout almost the whole song.

Another Master at work here. Now how does he introduce this song here?

There seem to be a period in time where Heavy Rock introduced its songs with little bits of noise, bits of talk, sometimes even a whole conversation, before the actual instruments kick in.
Joe does start the song off straight away, first a couple of bars of the rhythm guitar before the melody kicks in. Again very distintive for Joe’s style at the time. If you like Joe’s playing, I will create more specials about him for futureblogs.

Okay one more Heavy Rock example, I could carry on as the genre is full of good, great examples of how to start your song, but I would like to look at other styles as well, which are as equally fun to play and listen to.

This song here does have a different way of introducting itself to the world:

Stand along the highway,  hitch a ride and listen to the cars passing by, be careful not to be run over by the…… Holy Crap you may wonder how on earth did they get that sound? A studotrick with a mighty delay!! Sounds good eh? I always perceived the introsound as the sound of cars passing you by on the Highway. The trick with the delay has been done by more bands but again, this is the stuff for later blogs about studiotrickery and how to dress up your songs!! Amazing player Eddie van Halen is, again in future blogs a lot more on Van Halen, their sounds and  Solos.
Now we wizz over to a different style, let us see how things are being done overthere:

The sound does contain a strong riff, but before the riff kicks in there is the synth. sound, and then just the beat, the groove. It is the groove you need to remember for now, as a way for introducing your songs. Why? Let me show you in a few seconds, but just for now a little more about Mickael’s song: Strong Riff, and again Eddie van Halen to show the rest of the world how you can dress up a dancehit with this kind of guitarplaying.
For all  of you serious guitarriffers out there I have something to tell you: Where are the guitars now in all the songs we hear from today from all those pretty ladies? There is a job for you to do, and yes I am serious about this, but again, this is the stuff for the next blog!!

Listen to this song and remember what I menitioned before how some Heavy Rock songs seem to introduce themselves.

 What do we hear here? Yes the tradition carries on, but just  in a slightly different way. How does the music introduces itself?  Synth. sounds, talk and then the music starts more or less straight away with the first chords of the song. Sounds familiar? Whatever you do,whatever the style of music you play, please do pay respect to the tradition of recorded music of the last 40 years and the world will reward you by buying your songs!

If you like Lady Gaga’s style of making music, for next blog I will suggest you how her songs can help you to become a better a guitarplayer. Sounds kind of crazy? Read about it some time this week. Enjoy listening and hope to meet you soon again!