When it comes to writing songs there are certain elements that make songs better. Using these elements will supercharge your creativity. Some of these elements may seem obvious but other will be new or you didn’t think about them. As you go though these twelve item examine your current song to see if you can apply these ideas to them. Never be afraid to re-write songs. As you re-write you get better and help polish your song.
One of the key element a song must include is emotional impact. Emotional impact will draw the listener into the song. Especially if they can relate to the emotion being conveyed in the song. When writing keep in mind the ultimate emotion that you want your audience to have. One way to kill emotion is to write songs with facts. Fact will explain things in a dry technical manner. Facts tell but emotions show feelings. When writing songs it is important that they draw out some kind of emotion.
Be Familiar With the Subject Matter
Write songs about what you know. It will make your songs more honest. Writing from this perspective will make it easier to write. Because you will be familiar with the subject or situation. Use your personal experiences as a springboard for creativity. For example, if you are a male it would be very difficult to write about child birth. On the other hand a mother could do a better job because they actually went thought the process of child birth,
Repetition is so important in songwriting. Repetition helps drive into the listener mind the song. The hook is a part of the song that will draw the listener into the song. The hook is a part of the song that should be repeated. Hook is something to hang the song on. That is why one of the primary places to put a hook is in the chorus or refrain of a song. Repetition will hammer down the point of the song. Use repetition in your lyrics, melody, song form.
Prosody is the art of uniting melody and lyric. Words convey ideas and emotions. Melody is a special language that also conveys emotions. When writing a song make the melody and lyrics complement each other. Lyric and melody each have meter and beat prosody is making sure that the meter and beat match. When speaking a lyric there is a natural underlying melody. Prosody is making sure that the spoken word matches the melody.
Manageable Melodic Range
Every song has a melodic range. That range is determined by the steps between the lowest note to the highest note in the song’s melody. As a general rule it is advised to keep a melody line within an octave range. One of the pleasures many people enjoy is singing along with their favorite song. Staying within a manageable melodic range will make it easier for them to sing along.
Unity and Consistency
The worst thing any song can have is too many ideas. Having too many ideas can bring confusion and indifference to your listener. With that said write your songs with the intent of having only one main idea. If you find that your song has more than one idea you need to decide which idea is the best. Take the secondary idea and make it its own song. To help bolster your song’s main idea create a word bank of associative words related to that one idea.
Consistent Point of View
When writing a song approach that song with a clear understanding of the point of view. The point of view is the perspective from which the story is told. Choose a perspective and stick to it. Decide if the the story is first person, second person. If the song is about you then make sure to keep the story first person. Deciding on the perspective and depend on the audience you target for the song. What is more important is to pick a story perspective and stick to it. Otherwise you will create confusion to your listener.
Imagery is so important in writing song lyrics. Imagery is the art of creating word pictures. By using the power of language you can create vivid landscapes in the mind of the listener. Using imagery allows you to show rather than tell the song’s story. A word picture will not tell you that a rock is a rock. It will instead describe the attributes and features of a rock. Word pictures will stimulate all of the senses of touch, smell, sight, sound and even taste. Powerful songs will use imagery to immerse the listener into the song.
Songs Need Structure
Song form is the framework upon which a song is built. Song form take various sections a puts them in logical and understandable order. There are three primary parts a song can have. These three elements are Verse, Chorus and Bridge. Each of these serve a specific purpose in a song. I great song will be built on a strong structural form.
Being original does not mean violating every rule to good songwriting. Being original is taking existing concepts and extending them to create new ways of doing thing or new ways of approaching an idea. Each human on the planet is unique and special. There is only one of you. Although you may belong to the human race there is only one of you. That in itself makes you original. Your life experiences makes you different from anyone else in the history of the world. With that in mind, you have something unique and original to share through your songwriting. When learning we often imitate others. That is fine as you develop as an artist. We all have different teachers in life. However ultimately you will need to express your personal voice through your body of works. Once you know and understand who you are, what you believe and know your deepest value, that is when you can be truly original.