Do you truly want to write the best song you possibly can? If your answer is yes, you will need to emulate what successful songwriters do. How do you learn from these successful songwriters? That’s easy. Study great songs.
It is rare that anyone can write a great song right away. Songwriting is a skill and it can be learned. Make great songwriters your teacher by understanding how they write songs.
In all creative endeavors originally comes from taking existing ideas and method and applying them in unique ways. To use those existing ideas you need to study them. You need to analyze them and figure out what make them successful. The more you know the stronger your instinct will be for what is memorable, catchy and engaging.
If you look at a metal smith, who is someone who can take a piece of raw steel and forge it into some beautiful or useful, it may look as though they have a natural ability to create. The truth is there are many hours of learning, experimenting, perfecting the craft.
In addition there is usually a mentor that helps the metal smith with technique and method of working with the raw materials. The knowledge of the mentor will provide shortcuts and help the metal smith become more proficient faster.
It is no different when writing a song.
If you study the techniques and methods of hit songwriters, you will discover how they craft a song. If you’re worried that you will lose individually or special artistic touch, don’t be concerned. Look at it this way. You may live in a neighborhood where many of the homes have the same floor plan or look from the outside very similar. And yet, each home will be unique in the way that it is landscaped, the exterior color and the furnishing inside.
Learning the techniques of great songwriters will provide a foundation and framework that they use to write great songs. Your creativity and special artistic touch is in how you take the basics and make it your own.
For example, take some time to examine song form. What sections are included in the song? Figure out how the chorus and verses complement each other. Ask what does the bridge do? Eventually, as you study great songs it will become second nature.
What are some ways to study hit songs?
Start by listening to music with a critical ear. As you listen ask yourself questions like these…
- What do I like about this song?
- Why does the chorus appeal to me?
- What emotion is the song communicating?
- How is the song structured
- How do the lyric tell a story that people can relate.
- What is it about the melody that makes it memorable
This list could go on and on and I am sure your get the idea of this exercise. Continue to dig for methods hit songwriters use to create songs.
Once you learn and understand the method and technique apply them to your songwriting. Don’t be discouraged if the song you are writing does not come out the way you want; you can always rewrite and refine your song. The key is to build a foundation and framework and create you song around it. Learn this is you will write song people love.