It’s easy to write songs like Boom Clap if you have been reading through our Songwriting Blog and practicing your new knowledge! Boom Clap is another hit song that is found on today’s Billboard Charts and is rising weekly. This song is a simplistic Pop tune when you break it down to the pieces that make it up such as chord progression and the notes found in the melody. Rhythm also plays an integral part of what makes this song a top hit.
Write Songs Like Boom Clap: The Progression
To write songs like Boom Clap you need to understand how to write out a chord progression. To read up on how to write a chord progression, see my blog here: Writing Chord Progressions.
At the end of that blog you should understand that we have a Tonic, Predominant, and a Dominant category that chords fall under. The key of the song is E major but what this song does differently then most is that it doesn’t start on the I chord. It starts on “A” our IV chord. This makes the songs somewhat different from most creating interest. Though the song didn’t start on the I chord, it went from a IV chord (A) to the V chord (B). This made it so that it was still a progression rather then a regression (when chords go from V to IV). Below is the chord progression to Boom Clap:
IV – V – I – vi in the key of E it’s A – B – E – C#m respectively. The chord progression follows the Tonic – Predominant – Dominant – Tonic motion because IV is Predominant, V is dominant, and I and vi both fall under the Tonic category.
Write Songs Like Boom Clap: The Melody
For this analysis of Boom Clap we are going to look at the melody of the chorus. This melody is made up of four measures that gets repeated for a complete chorus. It is typical in popular songs to have a hook that is no more then four measures that gets repeated multiple times so that it is easily sung and remembered by listeners!
We are first going to look at the notes that are colored in red. Each of these notes are known as chord tones. Chord tones are where we start first when writing catchy melodies we know will fit well with the chords that are played with them. In the first measure, the G# that is in the melody is the 7th of the chord. It’s in parentheses because it means that the other instruments don’t need to play the 7th because the melody does it. As you can see, all of the measures are mostly made up of chord tones.
Another aspect of this melody we will analyze are the structural tones. To make this analysis easy we will only look at beats 1 and 3 of each measure as part of the structure. The structural tones are all chord tones except for in the second measure where you see F# on beat one. This could be explained by one or two definitions in music. The first one would be at it is an add 9 chord. All that means is that when you analyze it, no only do you have the 1, 3, and 5 of the chord, but you also have the 9th (similar to having a 7th in a chord like in the first measure). The other explanation is that it is an accented (meaning on the strong beat) suspended note. A suspended note is a non-chord tone that resolves down by step. Here you don’t see it get resolved right away and it is delayed until the 4th note of the measure on E.
This melody utilizes passing tones which are extremely common non-chord tones that appear between chord tones. These passing tones are highlighted in orange. They are essential to understand when you want to write songs like Boom Clap.
Neighbor tones are also necessary to use when you write songs like Boom Clap. These neighbor tones (that are non-chord tones) are highlighted in yellow and are used when you go up or down from a chord tone by step. They then return to whichever chord tone that had left from like if you go to your neighbor’s house and return home.
It is easy to write songs like Boom Clap if you understand music theory and learn techniques discussed in this blog and many other blogs we post. If you are interested in learning how to write songs you can set up an online lesson with me or one of our other instructors by calling 603-425-7575.