Friday, June 7, 2013

How to DESIGN song lyrics: PATTERNS.... by DianaDee Osborne

        I like patterns and logical flow.  
So in many "DianaDee" songs, you'll see verses develop using similar words but deeper meaning as the song moves forward.  This blog will use as its example my 2009 song "Standing On My Knees".  To obtain the AUDIO ONLY  download (FREE),  CLICK HERE .

To obtain the written lyrics as well as a link  for the audio (still free),
         CLICK HERE   .

1)  In this song is a pattern of physical position
       Stand >  Walk > Sit > Lie.  Notice that I also used logic in the order...
       You must Stand before you can Walk.
       After you walk, you may be tired and want to Sit.
       And,  most often,  you will sit before you Lie down.

2)  This song also takes a lyric line that expands a concept  as the song develops.
      "Protect me from THOUGHTS that hurt you"    is expanded through the verses to
              "..... WORDS.....   DEEDS .......  A  HEART. "

But often I will create a cohesion among the verses.  For example, in this song,
  I  begin with a concept that is common to every verse   
            ("HOW YOU AWE ME, MY GOD") 
 and then circle them back to a common conclusion   
           ("I need YOUR help lest I hurt You"). 

STANDING ON MY KNEES,  ©2009 DianaDee Osborne,  all rights reserved.
I stand on my knees in awe of You. Though I must stand, still my heart prays.
When I think about all that You have been, though standing, my heart kneels in praise.
HOW YOU AWE ME, MY GOD!  No words can explain
the peace and great joy you bring me!
Please rest in my love, I beg on my knees.
   Protect me from THOUGHTS that hurt you.   
I need YOUR help lest I hurt You.

I walk on my knees in awe of You. Though I must walk, still my heart prays.
When I think about all that You promised, though walking, my heart kneels in praise.
HOW YOU AWE ME, MY GOD! No words can explain
the peace and great joy you bring me!
Please rest in my love, I beg on my knees.
Protect me from WORDS that hurt you.
I need YOUR help lest I hurt You.

I sit on my knees in awe of You. Though I must sit, still my heart prays.
When I think about all that You have done, though sitting, my heart kneels in praise.
HOW YOU AWE ME, MY GOD! No words can explain
the peace and great joy you bring me!
Please rest in my love, I beg on my knees.
   Protect me from DEEDS that hurt you.     
I need YOUR help lest I hurt You.

I lie on my knees in awe of You. Though in my bed, still my heart prays.
When I think about all that You shall do, though weak in bed, still my heart prays.
HOW YOU AWE ME, MY GOD! No words can explain
the peace and great joy you bring me!
Please rest in my love,  I beg on my knees.
   Protect me from a HEART that hurts you.   
I need YOUR help lest I hurt You.
Much joy to you in growing your music!
©2013 DianaDee Osborne;  all rights reserved - BUT feel free to share with copyright info.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Creating a Pattern Track ..... by DianaDee Osborne

One of the old jokes about country songs:
All you have to be able to play are the chords  G, C, and D.
Not a very humorous joke.... but sometimes this GCD skeleton is the basic type of structure for a song. 

On a short, easy song, it's easy to record a rhythm guitar track and then add lyrics on the vocal track.  But for a longer song, I myself keep "getting Lost"... losing count of how many times I played that C chord before the next chord change.

I've found this hint to be more work at the start, but tremendously easier in the project development:  
1.   Sing   a DRAFT vocal track WITH the guitar, recorded as one track.  

2.   Then go back and -- using this  (draft) PATTERN TRACK along with your CLICK track in the headphones,  record the guitar track.  You can easily hear chord changes in the Pattern Track.  No more counting measures to remember how long to play one chord before the next change.

3.  Finally,  using the new guitar track, record your vocal track  as usual.

EASY 2nd hint --  If desired, sing verse 1's words for every verse of the pattern track.  You don't care about words for this disposable track anyway.... and it's less distracting as you play the "real" guitar track.

Much joy to you in growing music easily without getting lost in the chords!
©2013 DianaDee Osborne;  all rights reserved

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Yes, I deliberately picked a blog title that "makes no sense".   But it will in just a few moments:
Have you ever been so PASSIONATE about a topic that you just wanted to write lots and lots of lyrics to draw OTHER people to be equally EXCITED about it? Which isn't pretty and "professional" wording... 
but you yearned to write a lot of song lyrics to ENCOURAGE.  To  help others.
To  INTRIGUE  others about possibilities for them.

But  ok,   back to reality:
How often do you see 12-minute songs on any CD?
Most studio producers -- including at both of the professional studios where I've recorded a total of over 300 songs (shared NOT to brag but to show I "know" something about studios) -- will tell you to try to keep your song around 3 to 3-1/2 minutes.  No technology reason.  Only because that's the norm.... because people might get tired of a song after 5 minutes!
Here's an easy,  tested solution:  a  Song  SERIES

Many audio programs like iTunes let you go into the "Get Info" section and, under the INFO tab, click a box that says "Part of a compilation."

Basic idea is to simply SPLIT A SONG  into separate songs with SIMILAR  TITLES.  And, since this is an "Easy Songwriting Hints" blog,  I'll share the easy songwriting method I've found to work really well.  The example I will use is from my newest song series from April 2013.

CLICK HERE      for  WEBSITE examples  (no registration or cost)

Song concept:   I wanted to put all of Chapter 9 of the Bible's 
Book of Nehemiah  into new music that I would write for it.  The ENTIRE HISTORY OF ISRAEL from its beginning until around 450 B.C. is outlined in this single chapter.  However -- it's a LONG chapter.
1.     I decided that I would write 3 songs for this song concept.
2.     Alphabetically, their first word must be the same for them to be grouped together in file listings.  I choose ISRAEL HISTORY  as the first two words of each title.
3.     Then I had 2 choices:  Either put a NUMBER next in the title ("Israel History 1 Subtitle")   OR, to have the 3 files appear in order in any media program or computer file list,   contrive (or "strategize" - yep that sounds 'smart') to have subtitles in alphabetical order.
My choices:  ISRAEL HISTORY BEGINNING   (Nehemiah 9: 1-15)
                     ISRAEL HISTORY DRIFTING      (Nehemiah 9: 16-29)
                     ISRAEL HISTORY GATHERING  (Nehemiah 9: 30 - end)
4.   Next,  you need something that is in COMMON within each of the songs, to give your compilation series some cohesion.   I accomplished several cohesion points: 
      a.   I designed each song to have 5 verses, all to be sung at the same tempo.
      b.   Verse 1 of each song is identical.... the first verses of Nehemiah,  words of praise.
      c.   After creating the basic music tracks for Song #1,  I DUPLICATED the project twice. Then re-named those to match the titles of Song #2 and #3. (Be SURE you like all that music first, so you do not need to put corrections into 3 projects.  For lots of hints for great music tracks, see my free blog ).
      d.   I wrote the music sheet for Song #1 using my free-use copyrighted  Osborne TExt-Based Notation System  (OTEN) -- No fancy music programs needed for you to learn,  and any beginner can play music written with it -- no 1/8th note or rest symbols either.  THE MUSIC SHEET INCLUDED MELODY NOTES for Song #1.

      e.  After duplicating the music sheet ONCE and re-naming it for Song #3 (not 2) which would have the same melody as cohesion,  I deleted the lyrics for verses 2 thru 5 that had been in Song 1.  Then I simply wrote lyrics matching the 3rd set of Nehemiah verses.


5.    I went into the duplicated project now named for Song #2 and added more music tracks -- an oboe for the melody not yet written (see below), additional "atmosphere" tracks, and so on.
6.     Then I did the same as step 5 for Song #3.  You can add any creative touch. When  adding tracks,  we often must REDUCE something to avoid an overwhelming sound. So as I layered in new tracks, I took down the volume or shortened original tracks.

7.     For the duplicated music sheet for Song #2 (Step 4e) , I duplicated the MELODY line of every line (see example), and then re-named the lower line from "melody" to "alto". 
Then wrote a completely different melody for Song #2 that is in harmony with Songs #1 and 3 -- another cohesion point within the 3-song series.   Then I deleted the music notes on the "melody" line to be ready to write NEW MELODY for song #2.

8.    Last, for each of the three songs, my drummer and lead guitarist will add individual creative touches of their own that gives a different feel for each of the multiplied songs:)
It's truly SO  much fun using strategies to develop new songs!   I hope that some of the hints on this blog  and my other blogs and website might help bring you
©2013 DianaDee Osborne;  all rights reserved - BUT feel free to share, with copyright info.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Do NOT Hyphenate Right on Music Sheets

Remember all those classes where you had to learn the "correct" way to divide a word into syllables?  Well, forget the rules when you are typing your music sheet into counts.     (See my website for information about my OSBORNE TExt-based music sheets.)   

WHY hyphenate wrongly?   A  GREAT reason -----

You want to sing easily.... to tell at a glance what the next word is.   So sometimes you WANT to incorrectly hyphenate the word.  Put together the letters that you want to sing together.
                             EXAMPLE:      HISTORY

The English teacher would say this is divided as   "his -- tory"  .
However, you want (especially in slower songs) to put that T in the first syllable
As one of my earlier blogs hints,
we people tend to automatically assume what the next word is as we listen to song. 

If you do not put the T in syllable one,
the listener may be caught off guard because of expecting another word next.
Might miss a key point in your song's  message.

ALSO -- this helps you (or other singers) to see at a glance where you want to be sure to
enunciate specific letters in the word you are singing,
to be more clear to your listeners.

JUST A THOUGHT... a HINT to share from my experience.
I've never read hints like this elsewhere.... 
I hope they'll help you to
HAVE MUCH JOY  as you write out your new songs!
©2013 DianaDee Osborne;  all rights reserved - BUT feel free to share with copyright info.

Friday, April 19, 2013

UNplanned Song Writing For FUN

SUMMARY of this blog:  YES-- YOU can write songs!    
You do NOT need to know music theory and fancy methods  that are detailed in books.  Sure, they might help you EXPAND your ideas.... but my whole purpose for this blog is to help you have FUN with music -- and to know "YOU CAN."

As I sit here today working in GarageBand,  "composing" -- sorta -- a new song,  I am having so much fun that I realize -- I really must share this joy with others!

We get so organized sometimes... so wrapped up in the "right way" to write a song.
So we plan a melody in our head,
write it out and plan the chords that will fit it,
and plan the music notes to fill in the spaces,
and plan which instruments will play the melody and counter-melody and fills....

**  Recently I heard a famous composer share on radio how he writes songs...  and wrongly thought,   "That's so complicated, I couldn't do that."
**  At a book store, I glanced through a book on how to write songs.
**  I remember from childhood my piano teacher trying to teach me how to calculate the "right" IV and vii chords to fit a melody.  And I must confess:

    I do NOT know "HOW" to write songs the 
           "RIGHT" way ....     whatever "right"  means.
Yet I have over 300 songs  which I composed and developed on my main website
and some people tell me they're not bad.
                Not just family and friends, by the way.
 I know  to not depend on trusting such kind but  non-objective opinions!

I do not share this to brag.
I share it as an "Easy Songwriting Hint" (see how I work in my blog title !! :)
SOMETIMES ... maybe even often...   it's more fun to  just sit  at your instrument and play  "ANYTHING",  and record it. 
You can always go back and fix notes if this is
a MIDI instrument played on a controller keyboard,
as often done in programs like GarageBand.
(See my other blog, for more ideas.)

After you have recorded a basic track,  create a new track and play "anything" with another instrument sound -- I especially like flute and cello (violins played low).
Later, you can again fix -- or delete or ADD -- notes that fit better.

When it comes time to write out your music, you can either print a SCORE out of the recording program, or you can use a method like my TEXT-based OTEN music notation method   that uses NO music symbols on plain paper or regular doc files.
I myself in GarageBand select the main track (usually piano) and do a PRINT PREVIEW of the score... and from that I easily calculate what the actual chord is and record it
LONG after I had fun recording my new UN-planned out song.

May you have MUCH joy in the  freedom of not fencing your creativity in   with all planned music!
©2013 DianaDee Osborne;  all rights reserved - BUT feel free to share with copyright info.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Select a Catchy Title.... by DianaDee Osborne

is more important that it would seem.... 
and here are 4 TESTED hints to help.  Actual examples of these songs are available on my daily blog (currently with 153 published songs, with over 100 left to post at one per day).
For  free downloads of lyrics and audio files, go to

The FULL SET  of songs is already on my index website
1.  Try to select a unique title.
Unless you're already 'someone famous',  people may be less likely to find songs with titles that are the same title as someone famous's songs.  Of course they can't ALL be unique titles -- but it takes only a few unique (weird) song titles to start building memories of your work.
Example:  One of my songs has the title "Logical Way to You".  Not another song found with that exact phrase when you put it in quote marks in an internet search box.  The same for  "One Single Cell on Mars"     (probably I could add "not surprisingly").
    Free download, no registration required:  LOGICAL WAY     

1a.    Check a website that lists songs in your genre. That helps you find out just how unique your working title is.
ExampleBecause all my music is about God in some way, I check  -- a major  Christian music source for churches -- looking for my working title.  Recently I changed the title of the draft song "Lord I Praise You"  because about a dozen songs were already published with that name.  Then I checked the song's 2nd line as a possible title:  "Lord I Love You" and got a similar result.
            So I checked the 3rd line -- which happened to be the same for every verse anyway, and it was perfect.... and unique:  "I Bless Your Holy Name."   No other songs  by that title in,   it was the 4th listing that the  search engine  brought up.

1b.  Consider using an ODD WORD in your title.
When people do an internet search -- even if specifically looking for your song by title -- an ordinary title will blend into all the other internet search "hits."  Even if they include your name, the title may be way down the Found list.
Example:     One of my songs has the title "Pertinacious".   LINK (free to hear)
Unfortunately -- odd words get mixed into the list of DICTIONARY web sites.  But if people remember your last name... maybe even just your first name if it isn't a common noun... and include it in the search box (in quotes), your song title will probably pop up near the top of the Found list.

1c.  OR,  use an odd SET of words.
Example:    I gave the title "Psalm 102 Troubled Praising" to one song.  No where else on the internet does the word "Praising" get matched up with "Troubled"!  And -- of course -- the phrase fit the song!

2.  Use a  MEMORABLE TITLE PATTERN   if you have several songs that fit with each other.
Example:    For all of my songs that quote Bible Psalms,    CLICK HERE FOR LIST
have a consistent title format that begins with the Word "Psalm", 
gives the number, 
and then gives a phrase describing that psalm that has an -ING suffix in one of the words.  

   People seem to think that a series indicates a consistent line of quality... and 
   it shows that you DID design your song titles with much thought!                    
Much joy to you in growing your music and "designing" titles!
©2012 DianaDee Osborne;  all rights reserved - BUT feel free to share with copyright info.