Plug and Play ST6: 500 Word Synopsis

Individually, write a conclusive, reflective document on the overall creative development of your song.

Lonely Girl Writing Process

The process of writing ‘Lonely Girl’ began with Rachel showing me some lyrics she’d jotted down prior to our writing session. We decided that the sheer amount she had written would be too much to cram into one song so we condensed the lyrical content and shuffled the words around until we had something that we were both happy with.

Originally the song was intended as a fast, up tempo one, but after writing it in the style of an acoustic ballad we decided that the latter approach worked a lot more in favour of the lyrical content.

The first musical ideas for ‘Lonely Girl’ came from rocking back and forth between C and Am7 chords. This seemed to work so I began to put forward some melodic ideas for the verse based around these chords. We settled on a simple melody feeling that it matched the simplicity of the guitar part. However, actually playing the piece proved difficult because Rachel’s vocal range is situated in a higher register than we’d written the parts in. The simplest solution to this problem and the one that we took was to place a capo on the third fret. The solution worked, Rachel could sing the piece comfortably and so the key changed permanently from C to Eb.

Instead of writing the chorus, which seems the logical next step, we wrote the bridge/middle 8. Based around the chords Cm, Ab, Eb and Gm7 the bridge is again not complicated melodically and is fairly sparse in texture despite the strumming of open chords. The way the music and lyrics came together for the bridge was quite interesting; both Rachel and I had ideas, mine chordal, hers melodic. So we decided to play and sing them both at the same time and by way of a happy accident they worked together. With a little tweaking we had a decent bridge.

Our final stage in writing ‘Lonely Girl’ was to tackle the chorus. I felt that due to the relatively simple nature of the song the chorus should contain a more interesting chord pattern so I set to work on a few ideas. Trial and error led both Rachel and I to decide on two sets of four bars followed by one set of two bars with these chords:

1 2 3 4
Ab Bb Cm Eb
5 6 7 8
Ab Bb G7 Cm
9 10
Ab Bb

 

The addition of a dominant seventh chord in bar 7 gave the chorus a sense of tension which was then resolved by the Cm in bar 8. We felt that these chords gave the chorus a sense of interest and set it apart from the other sections of the song. In addition to the chorus we added a two bar pre-chorus that consisted of an Fm chord and a melody based around it’s arpeggio.

After a little polishing, tweaking and trial and error Rachel and I crafted a song that we’re both immensely pleased with. It was a joy to write.

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