Musical Weight Gain

Uploaded by MikeLombardoMusic on 18.12.2011

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us. So I know we've all had this experience
where you're in the car and you're listening to the radio and a song comes on and you
get to that chorus and you're singing along and it repeats
and it repeats and it repeats and you're like "How many times are they going
to do this chorus?".
well this brings up a problem in song writing because if you have to hear this
chorus three times in a song or four times in the song, or in some songs,
five times in the song,
how do you make sure it's still interesting the fifth time?
How do you keep it from turning off the radio
halfway through the song?
Well, there's a technique called 'weight gain' or 'coloring your choruses'
and it's where you use the content in the verses to make the chorus
matter more every time you hear it.
I'm going to give you a good example and a bad example, and then I'm going to
talk about some other possibilities.
Now even if you don't write songs, this is something you can still learn about and listen,
when you're listening to the radio in the car, you can pick this stuff out and you can
kinda teach yourself. It's pretty interesting, so check it out.
So here is an example of how this technique can work really well, this song is called
"Farmer's Daughter" by Rodney Atkins. You can watch the official music video by clicking
right here.
So basic summary is that there’s a dude who gets a job on a farm.
The first verse: gets a job on the farm,
he’s out working hard, he’s sweating, and the end
of that first section is, “just when I thought it couldn’t get no
hotter, I caught a
glimpse of the farmer’s daughter.”
Boom. Got our opening plot, we know what’s going on now.
We move to the second verse.
And she comes back from a trip, and she's pretty,
and they start kissing and stuff. And you know, with feelings.
So after that verse detailing their interactions, that verse ends with "Just when I thought
I couldn't get no hotter, I fell in love with a farmer's daughter."
So, first of all- now the word "hotter" means something different, it's actually gained
weight, it's been colored, it has another meaning because of what happened in the verse.
And he's made a little change to the "I fell in love with a farmer's daughter."
So the chorus section has been repeated- the melody and harmony are exactly the same.
The words are pretty similar, but all of a sudden it's more meaningful.
After a very simple bridge explaining that they got married, the last verse talks about
him living on his own farm and working really hard all day.
And that section ends with "and just when I think it can't get no hotter, I come home
to the farmer's daughter." So we have the same section that got repeated
three times, and it kind of gained a little bit of meaning
every time because of what happened in the verse.
Now that is a good example of how to make your chorus 'gain weight'
Now lets look at a not so good example.
Now this is a song by Tim McGraw called Something Like That. You can check out the video right
here. I like Tim McGraw, but I don't think this
is one of his better songs. I'm gonna walk you through it.
First verse, he's seventeen years old, he's going down to the fair he sees a cute girl
standing in line. Here's our chorus section.
I had a barbecue stain on my white t-shirt, she was killin me in that mini skirt skippin
rocks on the river by the railroad tracks. She had a suntan line and red lipstick.
I worked so hard for that first kiss a heart don't forget something like that
So, now her title makes sense, okay. Boom, we've established that. Verse two: how are
we gonna forward the narrative? How are we gonna make this gain weight? Well, he's on
a plane five years later, going down to visit some friends. She's sitting a few rows behind
him on the plane and she says, "I bet you don't remember me." And he says, "Only every
other memory." Repeat the chorus, and the reason it's more
meaningful this time is because now it's his memory,
it's his words that's he's saying to her. "I had a barbecue stain on my white tshirt,
you were looking good in a miniskirt," boom boom boom.
It's the same thing as what we just heard, but now it means more because he's saying
it to her. But the problem is, there's a pretty weak bridge, which just says,
"Remember, your first love never fades away," which is something we already knew because
he just said, "I still remember you."
And then the exact same chorus again.
So we heard that chorus a third time, by the third time we're not hearing anything new.
It's not forwarding the narrative. So that's kinda like a roller coaster that
just like is flat for the last third of the ride.
That's not very fun. So that's how you can make your chorus gain
weight, but I don't think that's quite as good of an application of that technique as
the previous example. Now you're all like uh, I know, but before
you leave that comment, I see you, don't leave that comment:
Mike I don't like country music. Delete it. Delete it now.
Delete that comment. Let's look at a pop song. Let's look at something
that's on the charts right now. I love Katy Perry. Last Friday Night, that's
an awesome song, but there's something she could've done, one tiny little change
that would have made that song a thousand times better.
The chorus is huge, and it outlines all of this crazy stuff that she did at this party,
like Hangover style party that happened, that went down. The problem with it, she does this
chorus like an insane number of times in this song. It’s like five choruses, it just repeats
and repeats and repeats. So it lists all this crazy stuff, and at the end of the chorus
she says, “and this Friday night, we’ll do it all again.”
Think of how much more meaningful that line would be if she didn’t say it at all the
entire song and then only said it after the final chorus. So the whole song was like “Oh,
my god, all this stuff went down, all my credit cards maxed out, and the deejay’s passed
out,” just massive chorus of catastrophe, and after the whole thing, the kind of kicker,
the punch line is “and this weekend we’re totally doing it again.” Now that’s almost
funny, that’s like ‘Yeah, that’s awesome,’ that kind of re-contextualizes the whole song.
To me, that little change of just taking that line out and just saying it that last time,
would have made the song amazing. And so those are some things you can think
about, um, even if you don't write music. Check it out, listen when you're listening
to the radio. Um, you can pick this stuff out, it's kind of neat. And you can impress
your friends or whatever. Say, oh, I thought of this on my own, or whatever. Hope that
you found that educational. If you liked that, please subscribe to my second channel where
you can find this type of discussion. I post videos almost every day. I promise I won't
post boring stuff like this on this channel too much.Thanks again for your support on
Project For Awesome. If you have a question for me, please leave it below or you can ask
me on and I will answer you personally. I'll talk to you all very
soon. Yo, excuse me. Yo, whatchu hadin�