Tip #139 – Checklist for a Well-Crafted Turnaround

What is a turnaround?

A turnaround is typically a part of the song that occurs in specific places in the composition (depending on the form) and uses a specific kind of progression, independent of what was already in the song, to lead into the first chord of a new section.

That being said, we can think of making one like using a checklist. Some aspects you might want to include to make a strong turnaround is having it:

  • Located where the melody is sustained or not existent
  • Use substituted progressions
  • Be independent of the “melody” (if there is one)
  • Possibly restate thematic material

With these aspects in mind, you can look over a turnaround section that you made and self-evaluate if it did the job or not. But that being said, no rules in music should be followed if you don’t want to. This is all here for you to try out with.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Author: Bryan M. Waring

Bryan Waring is a graduate of USM's School of Music with a B.M. in Performance – Composition and is now attending Belmont University for a M.M. in Commercial Media – Composition & Arranging. During his time at USM, he studied violin with Dino Liva and composition with Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, as well as has premiered several pieces during the semiannual Composer's Ensemble concert series. In 2017, Bryan was a writer for the original musical theater work of "Molded By The Flow," directed by Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. Outside of school, Bryan has been involved with writing music for videogame developers at Portland's CI2 Lab, collaborating with the King Tide Party, and studying with Larry Groupé (Straw Dogs) in San Diego. Now living in Nashville. Along with composing, Bryan teaches music to children, receiving the Master Teacher Award for his work at ESF Camps; and does audio engineering for live ensembles. Besides talents in music, Bryan is a team-player in any competitive work environment; equipped with skills in leadership, organization, mathematics, creativity, communication, and managing. On the side, Bryan has worked as a model for several skilled artists in the New England area. Among his other accomplishments include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in April 2013 with a project of building a side parking area with guide rails for Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT.

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