A song’s title is one of the most important elements. A title can make or break a song. Therefore take the time and effort to craft the best song title possible.
If you begin with a great song title, it makes the job of writing lyrics easier. In most cases the song title is the hook. The hook is what grabs the listener. The title provides a clear focus for the lyrics. The song title allows you to write and build the story around that title.
There are ways to write better titles. They can always be better. Here are some practical ideas to help you.
Use Active Voice
Where passive voice makes titles meander at a slower pace, active voice gives titles gratifying momentum. The essential difference between passive and active voice is this:
In passive voice, the subject of the sentence receives or is acted upon in a sentence.
She is a dancer.
In active voice, the subject acts or performs the action in the sentence.
Passive voice is often indicated by the phrase “by the” and the subject will often be followed by a form of the verb “be”.
- Passive voice is less direct whereas active voice is direct.
- Passive voice lacks brevity whereas active voice is concise
- Passive voice is confusing and misleading, whereas active voice is clear and transparent.
- Passive voice will occasionally leave out who or what performed the action, whereas active voice clearly designates someone or something performed the action.
Use Powerful Words in Your Title
Powerful words can instantly make your titles pop. Powerful words instantly paint a picture the instant you hear them. When heard these words demand your attention and cause you take notice. Power words will make an ordinary song more appealing. Power words paint a picture of strength and character. Use action words. They are normally nouns, but can also be adjectives or adverbs.
The use of a Thesaurus will help you find powerful words. The thesaurus provide words that are similar in meaning but can take on a different tone.
Curiosity occurs when there is a gap between what we know and what we want to know. Curiosity creates a thirst than must be quenched. To illicit curiosity the song title must leak out a bit of information without giving away too much. A song title that creates curiosity draws the listener into the lyrics. Your listener must complete the picture it literally hooks them into the song.
A word of caution, there is a balance between being too specific or vague. Being too vague may actually backfire as it will lose the listener. Therefore strive for the sweet spot when creating an element of curiosity. As a songwriter you want to satisfy the listeners expectation. They want to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
You need to strike a balance by finding that sweet spot between vague and specific. For instance, you don’t want to be so vague that you cannot connect to the listener or they don’t have a good grasp of what your song is about. Nor do you want to be so specific that you give it all away and your audience loses interest.