Week 12: Smash Two Songs Together

The smashing-songs-together method is fantastic for climbing out of your melodic or lyric rut.

In this exercise, we are stealing elements from two different songs and combining them to make something new—the more outrageous the contrast between songs, the better. Smashing songs together can be as simple or complex as you want. I am going to start with more straightforward examples, and then move to more advanced.

I tagged the video with Beginner (green), Intermediate (orange), and Advanced (red).

Start your voice recorder so you don't miss a single thing!

Beginner (voice only):

  1. Song A: Choose a nursery rhyme, hymn, or patriotic song as your melody.
  2. Song B: Go to AZlyrics.com and pick a song you don't know well. 
  3. Sing the lyrics of Song B using the melody of Song A.

Intermediate (voice and instrument):

Reverse the above song:

  1. Find a melodic motif from song B (look it up on Youtube). It can be a chorus, guitar solo, or bassline—whatever catches your ear.
  2. Sing the lyrics of Song A using the melody of Song B.

If you have original lyrics, try using them.

Advanced (voice and instrumental):

Find two songs from completely different genres or tempos and combine them. There are several combinations of components you can use. 

Song components: Rhythm, chord movement, bassline shape, melody shape, and lyrics.

Mix and match different components with each other:

Example: Combine Song A melody shape, with Song B rhythm.

A couple of things to remember:

  • Don't worry about being accurate. Inaccuracy leads to happy accidents. 
  • If the two songs are in different keys, you will need to transpose them into a key that you can easily play or sing.

In the video example, I combined the melody of Chopin Prelude in E, with the bassline rhythm of "Only," by Nine Inch Nails. 

Questions and Feedback

Is there any part of the lesson that could be more clear? What would make your experience better? Are there any benefits to this exercise that I am missing? Please leave feedback in the comments below. For more immediate assistance shoot me an email at rigel@100daysofsongwriting.com