In this video, we're going to talk about how to use the number of lines in your section, to create either stability or instability. Now, of course, it is absolutely true that every section of a song that you write, every verse you write, every chorus that you write, every bridge that you write, every pre-chorus that you write, that, any time you write a section of a song, you will have some number of lines or other. Now, that doesn't seem like it's profound, but it is. Well, maybe it's not profound, but it's certainly true that every section you write will end up having some number of lines or other. Now, let's get a little bit more specific than that. Every section that you write will have either an even number of lines or an odd number of lines. An even number of lines tends to feel stable. An odd number of lines tends to feel unstable, tends to feel odd, tends to feel unbalanced, tends to feel unresolved, just as an even number of lines tends to feel balanced, tends to feel resolved. So that the number of lines that you use will create a feeling all by itself. And what's nice about the fact that how many lines you use will create some kind of feeling, is that the feeling that they create can join and support like a film score, join and support the ideas that you're talking about. So, I want to start talking about the, the number of lines. But just to keep everything as sort of pure as possible we're going to talk about even length lines. And I'm actually going to, at least for a little while, just use the same line and repeat it over and over again just so that nothing else interferes. So that we don't have things like rhyme scheme or line length coming into play here to to muddy the waters. I want to just keep your attention focused purely on the effect that you have when you create an even or an odd number of lines. So, let's take this simple line. I love the way you look at me. So, let's try that. Let's try an even number of lines. Two. I love the way you look at me. I love the way you look at me. It feels like I really mean it. How about, I love the way you look at me. I love the way you look at me. I love the way you look at me. Now, it feels like it needs to move forward. Now, I actually recommend that when you do this sort of thing when you try to create a feeling there, that you do it by more than simply just talking the lines. I would say that at least in the beginning, that you start talking them. If you're going to talk them, you can sing them, too. But talk them in some kind of rhythm. [MUSIC] Just a simple drum loop. 1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3. I love the way you look at me. I love the way you look at me. [MUSIC] Or 1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3. I love the way you look at me. I love the way you look at me. I love the way you look at me. [MUSIC] You can even, if you prefer, try this. [MUSIC] Again, just a simple loop. I love the way you look at me. I love the way you look at me. [MUSIC] Or this. I love the way you look at me. I love the way you look at me. I love the way you look at me. And so, you can feel how in this pure case of simply repeating the same line, by the way, as John Mayer does in his chorus in the Grammy winning song, Your Body Is a Wonderland he says that in the first two choruses three times, and then in the final chorus, he says it four times. So that it would actually end up. [MUSIC] I love the way you look at me. I love the way you look at me. I love the way look at me. I love the way you look at me. And that stops motion. That creates balance. that creates the feeling of a section. the interesting thing about doing it three times, is that it feels like it needs to move forward. It gives this sense of kind of longing. So that if you do the three, the odd numbers, the unbalanced thing. [MUSIC] I love the way you look at me. I love the way you look at me. I love the way you look at me. I love the way you look at me. Then, in that case, it adds that is the odd number of lines by itself. Adds this whole extra element of me loving the way that you look at me, but, kind of feeling, this longing because there's one missing. The sense of everything is not balanced, so that it kind of colors the idea of I love the way you look at me and perhaps the context in the song may be something something unstable. Maybe it's I love the way you look at me and I wish that we could get together. Maybe it's I love the way you look at me and it just breaks my heart that I, that, that you're going to leave or that I'm going to leave. That is to say, there would be a reason in terms of your intent in the song as to why you would use an odd number or an even number of lines. Now maybe you work together and we intend to stay together. and so, consequently, we would be doing something that's stable. [MUSIC] I love the way you look at me. I love the way you look at me. [MUSIC] So that it feels like I mean it or may be even do it. [MUSIC] I love the way you look at me. I love the way you look at me. I love the way you look at me. I love the way you look at me. Now obviously, I'm not concerned here about melody. I'm just concerned about the effect of saying it twice or three times or four times. three times tends to make it move forward. Now, it doesn't mean that like John Mayer did in Your Body is a Wonderland that the that this needs to be a section like like that was where you hit the chorus, that's the chorus of the song and that's the home base of the song. And that's the part of the song that everything leans up to. But it is possible, actually, to use the odd number of lines to create a section. a section in which you want to try to move forward. the Cars do it in in their song, Why Can't I Have You. They have a lovely precourse there that's a three-line precourse and actually, we'll talk about that also in when we start talking about line length. But if you want to take a listen to that, just go ahead and download it on iTunes or follow a link to it and listen and see what that three-line pre-chorus does, as the song moves forward. Some time ago I have a, couple of students who are doing sort of pop dance music in in Los Angeles, Jonelle Vette and Mark Byers, otherwise known as Markoholic. And they sent me a track that that I wanted some comments on and so I am going to play you that track and I just want you to listen to it. don't make any judgements about it rather than, ooh, how does that feel? Do I like it? am I bored? Am I excited? and then so, then, then will talk about it. So, go ahead and just listen to the track here here we go. [MUSIC] So, when we talked on the phone I talked to Jonelle and she said, so what do you think? And, I said, hm, you know, it, its feels like it's kind of sagging. It feels like actually, it felt kind of boring to me. And she said, yeah, it kind of feels that way to me. What do you think, what do you think we should do? And I said well let's go back to the beginning and you know, how, how you, how you feeling? What's the feeling of this song? Are you feeling stable or unstable? And she said, well, unstable, of course, because we've talked about swept away and all of that stuff and and so, it, it feels like it, it should move. And I said, well, let's take a look at the precourse of that song. you said your love's going to take me away, your love's going to take me away, your love's going to take me away, your love's going to take me away, your love's going to take me, take me away. And so you said it four times, and that make it feel like it balances. And so, why don't we simply try to you did it in Pro Tools, right? And she said, yeah. I said, well then, why don't you just do an edit and take out just one of those four lines and make that precourse, a three-line precourse, and then let's see what happens. And so, they did the edit, and here's what they sent me. [MUSIC] Same track obviously. Everything is going to be the same except, watch the precourse. [MUSIC] And to me, that feels like it moves, like it creates forward motion and, you know, the three plus the two lines in the chorus still adds up to five, and it keeps us moving forward. And what happens is that the entire song now has forward momentum that keeps us moving which, of course, is important in a in a, particularly in a dance tune. to go back and listen to it before lunch just to make sure that you hear the difference. [MUSIC] So, here's the old version. [MUSIC] Now, here's the new version. [MUSIC] And that's the difference that an even or an odd number of lines can make. And here, of course, it's quite clear, because the melody is the same each time, the line length is the same each time, and it's just the same repeated line, it's just a matter of deleting one of those lines to create forward motion. Now, on the other hand, if the intent there had been, yep, you know what, your love's going to take me away. I can feel it. If it had been a stable sense there, rather than an unstable sense, then the even number of lines would have been perfect. This is simply a compositional tool that you use. In the next video, we're going to talk about the basic effects that number of lines can have and there are four of those. and we'll take a look at those. And then, we'll move on from there into into the other aspects the other compositional elements that we have at our disposal.