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How to Formulate a Good Middle Eight

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by studio, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's actually a question.
    How does one make up a good sounding middle eight section
    for a pop tune without it sounding like a puzzle piece being forced?

    So, I'm talking about a 3 minute song that has the familiar structures
    of popular radio music.

    I hear some strange sounding middle eights and it makes me wonder
    how relevant they have to be to the song?
    This one part starts at 2:49: (if that is even called the middle eight?)


    Am I mistaken that it should follow the constraints of the song?
    Can ya help me with this please? Thanks.
     
  2. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    Here's another video from the same guy.
    Are they using where the 2nd verse needs to be as the middle eight?
    Or is the middle eight non existent on this song? Both are huge popular hits,
    which leads me to think a middle eight is not always a necessity?
    Starts at 1:29. Thanks.

     
  3. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just to bring around to a guitar forum,
    this song is an example of what I would call
    a good, healthy, normal sounding middle eight.

    Of course it's George Benson, but the song
    was written by Steve Lukather, Jay Graydon and Bill Champlin.
    Not too shabby of a line up!

    The middle eight starts at 2:20. Thanks.
     
  4. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    One more bump then.......... I guess I have to figure it out on my own.
     
  5. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don't think there are any real rules, especially for a bridge. It can be the familiar cousin to the verse and chorus, or it can be the freaky weird uncle who no one wants to claim, as long as it adds the desired effect.
    A middle eight is certainly not always a necessity

    My own middle eights are often first written as choruses for the song, that were later discarded in favor of more powerful/succinct/whatever chorus that was developed at a later time (like, later that afternoon)
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  6. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    This may be a jazz thing but i like the B section (middle 8) to start in a new key, to make it seem like a gear change, then work its way back to the A section.

    But anything goes. Here's Rodgers & Hart with a song in F whose B section goes Bb ... Gb ... D ... Gb.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    Interesting topic, and I don't know the answer. But I really appreciate the middle eight section. It has the power to make a ho hum song into something much more interesting. The one that always sticks in my mind is The Beatles' We Can Work It Out. The middle eight is in the relative minor and even has a time signature change in it, but it seems to fit perfectly. It makes that otherwise mediocre song something great IMO. - Actually, now that I think about it, it's really a middle twelve isn't it?- So... never mind. :confused:
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
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  8. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Poster Extraordinaire

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    I also see a lot of songs start a middle eight section on the IV.

    So if the A section is: D ///| G ///| A /// | ////| the middle 8 may start G ///| D ///| A ///| ////|

    IMO mixing up the tonal center is the main function...
     
  9. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    one of the more creative mid. 8 I've heard was in Pink Floyd's Fearless, it's a two chord slide that resolves on a C chord then goes back into the G chord progression
    comes in at 2:19-2:40 before the final verse

     
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  10. Valvey

    Valvey Tele-Holic

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    In the Tin Pan Alley style of songwriting you often see an abrupt key change at the start of the bridge, then it modulates back to the V chord of the original key at the end.
     
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  11. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    I saw two different youtube vids of this song. Both of them
    have that aggressive swing on the B part that adds to the
    B being a force all it's own yet still being able to get back
    to the top when it needs to.

    I like this guy's analysis:


    This song's B section is a lot more likeable
    than the Lionel Richie Say You Say Me million dollar hit.
    How does one justify doing that to the song (Richie's) in the B section?
     
  12. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    Same as LH's example. The B section is the IV.

    So then, in a typical blues song, does going to the IV
    count as being that middle section?
     
  13. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

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    Midge Ure has a great little 15 min segment on the middle eight on youtube (search midge ure building bridges)
     
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  14. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    Can you give me an example please?

    So then, that abrupt key change would likely be the IV?

    If anything, it would have to be something that would get you back to that V chord, right?
    Then back to that I at the top.

    If that's the case, then is it safe to say all middle 8's should follow the I into the IV?

    That just seems too simplistic. Is the trick then to make it sound more complex than what it is?
     
  15. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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  16. fakeocaster

    fakeocaster Tele-Afflicted

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    You don't have to go to the IV buts its very common. Other common ones are III bIII and Vm
     
  17. Valvey

    Valvey Tele-Holic

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    "Cry Me River" is in Dm and the bridge is in Gm, moving to G7, the V chord of Dm.

    'Body and Soul' is usually written in Db. The bridge is in D and ends in Bb7, which is a V chord leading to the first chord of the verse-- Ebmin7( the ii chord of Db).

    "Daytripper' (McCartney was a great bridge writer) is in E. The bridge jumps to F# and ends in B, the V chord of E.
     
  18. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    All those are awesome examples. Thanks!
     
  19. LohnnyL

    LohnnyL Tele-Meister

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    Pop songs sometimes use very simple techniques instead of modulating or anything fancy... simple tricks:
    • Stay mostly on one chord, for example IV ending with the V (I just Want To Make Love To You).
    • Double time - if your song is all A D E A make each two bars instead of one.
    • If your song is mostly centered aroune the root chord do a IV I IV V (think Great Balls of Fire, I Feel Good).
     
  20. holdonphoton

    holdonphoton Tele-Holic

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    This is an awesome topic studio! I'd had these same questions before but didn't really know the proper lingo to post them...a lovely thread.
     
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