Song ADE is a proprietary process created by Brian Gorman of briantryin.com that takes users through the steps of Analysis, Demonstration, and Exercise (ADE) for a particular song or piece of music.

Analysis

First, I walk you through the analysis of a song or piece of music. This can include, but is not limited to, the study of:

  • Time signature
  • Key
  • Chord progressions
  • Melody notes
  • Rhythmic ideas
  • Arrangement ideas

The analysis is meant to highlight elements of the music that contribute to making it sound so good. This data can be used in many ways, but two of the most important are:

  • Drawing out insights and ideas we can use to write our own song.
  • Aggregate the data to determine tendencies (most utilized ideas and techniques) for a given genre or style.

The goal here is to take a data-based approach to songwriting. We’ll look to overcome what is often the hardest part of writing a song – getting started – and we’ll use ideas from some of the best music ever written to get things going. We’re not simply copying what great artists have already done; we’re analyzing precisely but utilizing the information more generally, which will ensure we end up with something unique.

Demonstration

In the demonstration step, I will write an original song using the insights developed from my analysis. While simply reading the analysis will give you a series of great ideas for writing your own song, I feel this is a critical step in showing you at least one way the insights can be used. And hearing how (hopefully) unique my ideas are compared to the song analyzed is very useful in reinforcing that we’re utilizing theory and songwriting and arranging techniques to spawn our own creation, not writing a generic version of someone else’s work.

It’s also important to note that for the genre-based demonstrations, my songs will be written in that style. For example, on the How To Write A Country Song ADE, my song should, hopefully, and by the grace of God, sound like a country song (at least passably – I’m more comfortable in some styles and less comfortable in others).

For song-based ADE, I will often simply utilize the analysis insights as fuel for the songwriting fire, and will tend to write in my own style.

Exercise

The final part of the process is to challenge the user to utilize the given insights and write their own song. If you’ve carefully read through the analysis and have followed my demonstration, you should have plenty of information and inspiration to pick up your instrument and start playing around, exploring, searching, and finding something interesting to follow.

I provide a list of steps to take based on the analysis insights, but these are just suggestions. I’m writing for an audience of varying comfort and skill levels, and I try to be prescriptive enough for beginners or those who are simply in the throes of writer’s block.

For those who are more experienced or who just need the smallest push on the back to start sliding into an idea, you can feel free to follow my guidance more loosely. Write the lyrics first, start with the chorus, ignore a particular insight guideline – there are no rules.

Songwriting Blocks

SongADE is also made up of songwriting “blocks,” which are a group of concepts and techniques we can reference and use to write songs. Songwriting blocks are taken exclusively from the top musical compositions in history, from Bach to movie soundtracks to pop music. There is something to learn from every type of music, and our songwriting blocks pull the best ideas from everywhere to give us the most robust toolset possible.

That said, there is some standalone music theory included in the songwriting blocks. With that said, one of the most important goals of SongADE is to keep theory as simple as possible. While theory is very interesting, much of it gets into detail that is not necessary to know in order to create great music and have a deep understanding of it.

Final Thoughts

That should give you a good idea of what my ADE process is! Now it’s time to dive into some analysis and write your next hit. And don’t forget to send me what you came up with – I love to see how SongADE has helped people create something original and express themselves in a way nothing else but music can.

Best of luck.