8 song writing tips that will help you create the most wonderful songs
Songwriting is an poetic skill that takes some searching to discover. However, if you are really passionate about writing a song, even if you don’t have the innate skills, you can surely do it. There are so many tips on writing a song that you can follow online but it’s important to grasp the basics first. If you’re still a beginner and trying to learn the fundamentals of songwriting, things will not be easy at first, but as you practice There are so many things that you have to do; there’s the lyrics, creating the melodies and the harmonies and finishing up the entire song.
- Listen to different tracks and analyze the lyrics.
Critically listening to as many songs as possible will help you a great deal. From all kinds of genres, you have to be keenly versed on how all different styles are written… that way you forge a foundation for a more all rounded and creative writer. You can choose and adopt a style of songwriting, from an artist you admire but always keep in mind not to copy the theme and lyrics of songs. Instead, try to draw inspiration from a range of different artists collectively.
- Decide whether you want to create the song title or the lyrics first.
There are people who work better when they have a basic concept in mind such as a title. However, there are also those that work best when they immediately start with the main task such as the body of the song, the lyrics. Whichever you choose, make sure that everything coincides. For instance, if you start with the title, make sure that while writing the lyrics, you don’t go out of the topic. If you happen to play an instrument, then maybe starting with a catchy riff might get your creative juices flowing. If you do happen to come across a great tune however not suitable for the song you are writing, be sure to record it somewhere as it will probably come in handy next time you are writing.
- Choose the theme of your track.
Without a theme, you will not be able to write a good song. Think of it like building a house… you need to start with the foundation. One of the most common themes among many songs is about love. Love is a universal concept, the reason why it’s highly relatable. However as a song topic, it can be a little cliché these days so try to be a little more imaginative. Different themes are endless such as friendship, sorrow, family, loss, happiness, success… But as mentioned before, if you study the lyrics of the most successful, you will realize that lyrics can get pretty surreal. You can write about anything depending on your mood. Just jot things down without thinking about it too deeply. This will relieve your writers block. 90% of the text will be average at best, but keep going as this will shift your creative mechanisms and will let the artistic side of your brain take over. Once you have finished your session, sift though the dirt to find the diamonds.
- Learn the basic parts of a song.
This is the most basic concept that you have to understand. For beginners, you only have to focus on two song parts. The verse and the chorus. You can create as many as 3 to 4 verses while adding a chorus in between or you can make as few as 2 verses (but it will be a short song). Line verses have to be concise, they should not be too long nor too short. There are songwriters that are fond of rhyming, and while this is a good thing, don’t force it. Songs don’t have to rhyme. A perfect example of this is “Hotel California” – its sounds great rhyming in English, but also great in Spanish even though it doesn’t rhyme.
- Make sure to maintain a sense of mystery.
While it is true that the purpose of a song is to tell a story, it doesn’t mean that you have to tell the story as it is. When writing a song, you have to remember that maintaining some mystery is important. If your theme is about your bad break-up, don’t write the lyrics as if you’re enumerating the whole story. Use words and construct sentences that can tell the story but will not reveal what happened as is. You can generalize the concept and write it in a way where others can also relate to what you’re writing. Innuendo’s and double entendres are popular ways of cleverly telling a story without spelling it out. A big point to take home is not to spell out the meaning of the song… A successful song leaves a listener with a subjective view on what it may be about. Rules are meant to be broken, and there are plenty of songs out there that spell out the story, but they likely have a damn catchy hook and melody.
- Write the track when you’re inspired or in the mood.
The famous writer Mark Twain once quoted: ” If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter” meaning it is easier to write a long winded essay than it is to write a short eloquent note. Writing a simple essay can be challenging, how much more when you write a song, right? – It is best to start writing when you’re in the best of moods, when you’re happy and inspired. If you don’t feel like writing at the moment, don’t force yourself because it will not have positive results. As a newbie, the kind of mood you’re in is very important; you’re dependent on it and that’s okay. Find a quiet space, relax, eat your listen to some classics and start jotting down some possible words to fill-in. Remember, you cant think too hard on lines. Just jot them down and come back to them later. When you feel tired, go back on what you have written and you will find some nuggets of gold that can be pieced together for a possible project. Keep what you don’t use… This is crucial!
- Think of the melody while writing the track.
Songwriting is not all about writing the lyrics of a song in itself. You also have to create a melody in your head and try to incorporate it while writing a song. If you just focus on the words, tendency is, you will find it difficult later on to match is with a tune. Or better yet, create a melody first, and perhaps, you can try to assemble it and have it done in a professional music studio. Once the music is done, you can listen to the melody while writing the lyrics.
- Review and improve.
After completing the entire song, you have to review and take note of things that you want to change. Reviewing is not only done once or twice, it should be a continuous process. If there are lines that you want to improve, fix it. There is nothing wrong with having two different versions of a song. Let your peers be the judge of which is best.
These are just some simple tips for writing songs. A very important tip not included in this list is your attitude towards songwriting. To be able to finish a song, you have to possess the right kind of attitude. Songwriting is not easy, you need a lot of patience and hardwork. No amount of tips for songwriting can supplement your will to be able to write a song. But remember, a successful song can be passed throughout the ages like a sculpture or a painting. It’s an art to be enjoyed as you create it.