World building in songs is an art form that has the ability to transport listeners to other dimensions and create a unique, immersive experience. Creating an ethereal or otherworldly vibe in your songs is a great way to achieve this effect. Here are some tips for how to write songs that transport your listeners.
1. Establish the Vibe
Consider what type of musical world you want to create. Is the atmosphere a calm forest with mythical creatures? Are you trying to capture the essence of a bright galaxy and put it into a song? Depending on the world you are trying to create, this can greatly impact the choices you make melodically and harmonically in your song.
2. Chose a Scale for your Melody
Melody is an important aspect of creating songs that transport your listeners. Experiment with melodies that stray from traditional Western music, such as using modes and scales that are not typically used in popular music. This can add to the feeling of otherworldliness and create a unique sound that captures the listener’s imagination. For example, pentatonic scales tend to sound clean and have been traditionally used in music to allude to eastern musical influence. Popular modes such as the dorian mode, which is a minor scale with a raised sixth scale degree, have been used in modern music such as jazz and funk. The scale itself tends to sound mysterious and medieval.
3. Fill in Harmonies
Adding additional notes to your regular major or minor triad can create a sense of space and mystery in the music, contributing to the overall otherworldly vibe. Intervals like the minor 6th interval are often used in harmony to create a sense of tension and release, and can add depth to a chord. The major second interval, also known as a whole-tone, can create a feeling of dissonance that is both eerie and beautiful.
4. Add Dissonance
Harmony and chord progressions are also key factors in creating an ethereal or otherworldly vibe. Experimenting with unconventional chord progressions can add to the feeling of otherworldliness and create a unique, dreamlike sound. Consider using chords that have dissonant intervals. Dissonant chords create a feeling of tension that can be resolved with a more stable, consonant chord. This creates a sense of resolution that can be very powerful in creating an otherworldly vibe. It is Important to note that dissonances should be used strategically as too much can overwhelm the listener.
5. Use Suspended Chords
Suspended chords can add to an otherworldly vibe by creating a sense of tension and uncertainty in the listener. These chords are often used to create a feeling of suspension and anticipation, as they lack the third note of the scale which is what gives chords their stability. This creates a sense of mystery and intrigue in the listener, as they are left wondering what will happen next in the song. Suspended chords can be used in conjunction with other ethereal elements such as unconventional chord progressions and dissonant intervals to create a truly unique and otherworldly sound.
In conclusion, creating an ethereal or otherworldly vibe in your songs is all about experimenting with melody, harmony, and chord progressions in order to write songs that transport your listeners to another dimension. By playing with unconventional chord progressions and melodies, you can create a unique, dreamlike sound that captures the listener’s imagination. The key is to be imaginative, creative, and experimental in your approach, and to take your listeners on a journey they’ll never forget.