Think about your answers to the following questions:
1. Have you ever ordered a menu item from your favorite fast food restaurant only to find that the food you were actually served looks nothing like the picture?
2. Have you ever walked up on a person of the opposite gender that you were interested in only to be IMMEDIATELY uninterested once (1) you got a good look at them or (2) they started talking?
3. Have you ever purchased a car because it looked “baller”, but once you started to drive the car you found out that it was a “not-at-all-er”?
Musical concepts apply in our everyday life more often than we think. The three questions that you just read are the everyday life examples that I apply to songs that have elaborate introductions yet those introductions are NOT an indicator of what the song will actually be. You’ve all heard those songs. In fact, the conversation in mind might go a little something like this:
“Wow… I LOVE the intro to this song…”
“…sounds like the singer is about to start…”
“…wait, did the music just switch up?…”
“…this is not where I thought this song was going…”
“…I’m changing the station/turning on the CD player/turning on the iSomething…”
Does that stream of consciousness sound familiar to you? When I took jazz composition in college, one of the things that my professor said about the introductions to a piece of music is that it has to be related to what’s actually happening in the song. Otherwise, it’s not really an introduction.
That’s like if I shake your hand… say to you “Hello. My name is Thomas”… and my name tag says “Bill”.
You see. Not a real introduction. Therefore, to all of my songwriters out there in Blogland, I encourage you to make sure your intro’s match your actual song giving you musical consistency throughout your entire piece. Think of it like this: an introduction is nothing more than you musically letting the listener KNOW what they’re about to get into for the next 5-6 minutes. As a result, that 30 second intro is crucial. How crucial?…
A solid intro indicates a solid song.
A weak intro indicates a weak song.
A weak intro to a solid song indicates an incomplete song.
A solid intro to a weak song indicates a LIE!
(please don’t lie… it’s so unbecoming)