As a songwriter you probably come up with ideas for songs quite often. These ideas float around in your head until you take the time to start writing. Going from the head to paper can sometimes be a challenge for many songwriters. Some of biggest of songwriter challenges is deciding what to do and when to do it.
Basic Ingredients of a Song
A song consists of two basic elements. These elements are lyrics and music. The music is the melody of the song and the lyrics are words. A good song will take both elements and meld them together into one cohesive unit. Continue reading
Writing a song from start to finish can be a daunting task without tools and strategies. I’d like to share with you one tool for to outline song ideas stemming from an understanding of the structure of our songs. Let’s explore various methods to outline song ideas using different songwriting tools.
When I say song structure, I’m talking about the form.
This is perhaps the most common and widely used structure there is, highly effective in getting right to the main point without much dallying around. Continue reading
One of our reader’s asked the following question regarding songwriting exercises for writing lyrics:
What exercises can I do to start writing lyrics?
I really appreciate the chance to answer readers questions. One thing I believe is helpful is, many questions are never asked. Since that never are asked there is no opportunity to answer them. That is why I like reader questions. Many times the question asked could be the one that will help you with your songwriting efforts.
If you want to start writing lyrics you will need to do certain songwriting exercises. Most of these exercises involve playing with ideas and words.
Every song starts with a central idea, from that idea comes a story. The story is structures poetically through meter and rhyme. A song will them transform into a certain song structure with sections like verse and chorus. Continue reading
The principles of songwriting include the craft of taking both words and melody to create a song.
For a song to be effective it should tell a compelling story. A story will have certain elements. These story elements include: the setup, the conflict and the resolution. The story is developed through the lyrics.
The melody needs to be strong enough to stand on its own. The melody will enhance the lyric by adding emotional emphasis. In addition to lyrics and melody a song needs a harmonic structure.
The harmonic structure consists of a chord progression. The chord progression is a series of chords that are played behind and enhance the melody.
Another important principle in song writing is song form. The song form divides the song into separate but supporting sections. The song form will include these basic elements: verse, chorus, bridge. There are other song form elements but these are the basic ones.
There is so much more to songwriting, but these are a few basic principles needed to write a song.
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The song chosen to be a “hit” will 99% comply with a radio friendly format. There are several elements of a radio friendly format. These are some of criteria you can use to discover the best hit song.
- The song length needs to be 3-4 minutes.
- The intro should only be 4 bars maximum.
- The song’s chorus should arrive before 60 seconds pass.
- A familiar song structure like: Intro-Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Chorus-Chorus
- The words need to connect with the audience
- The topic of the song needs to be relevant to the listener
- Lyrics should be universal in order to appeal to a larger audience.
- The production of the song needs to be high caliber
- The performance needs to be spot on
- Music needs to be play excellently with no mistakes
- The melody needs to be simple and memorable.
- The melody needs to “hook” itself into the listeners mind
- Make certain that the chorus stand out from the verse by using creative contrast.
- The hook in 95% of the time will be the title.
- Make sure the song has a title that will hook the listener
- The hook title needs a great melody behind it.
- Repeat the hook as much as you can get away with doing.
- Make sure the lyrics tell a story.
- Watch for grammar mistakes. i.e. verb tense, pronoun usage.
- Most people can tell when a song is great. Tap into that feeling.
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Song structure is used to frame a song’s story. That can be either melodic or lyrical. In answer to your question. Does a song need a bridge? The short answer is no. A bridge is not necessary, but it does add to a songs interest. However, at the very minimum a song must have a verse.
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Writing a song is a unique creative process, which not only requires talent, but also persistence, passion for music and deep understanding of life. Not every great song was written by a talented musician. It might happen that people practice themselves with songwriting. So, is it possible to train oneself into songwriting? Our answer is “Yes.” Here are some of the best songwriting tips…. Continue reading
Creative songwriting is the first and most crucial step to a successful songwriting and music career. However, despite around 30,000 new songwriters coming up each year, writing a song with incredible lyrics and melodies can be quite challenging. Even with years of experience, you might find yourself going through writer’s block at one point. The good news is that there are so many sources of inspiration out there that could help you back to your game. Here are a few tips on how to boost your songwriting creativity and inspiration:
There are many books on the subject of songwriting and it seems that each one has a different way of approaching it. What you might not hear often enough is anyone suggesting to “just do your own thing”. There are many “methods” and “systems”, but in actuality, they are really just that composer’s way of doing their own thing. Sure, the song has to make sense and people have to be able to access it. In that regard there are similarities among many contemporary songs, whereas they all have verses, choruses and basic song structure. This is where the craft of writing a song comes in, because writing a contemporary jazz song or any song is a craft and an art. Continue reading
Chord progressions are the structural foundations of the songs we know and love. Put simply, a chord progression is a series of repeating chords, for example, C / F / G over and over.
Some songs have one chord progression for the entire song. Others have separate progressions for the verse and chorus, while more complex songs may contain four or five different progressions throughout.
Every songwriter should have an understanding of common chord progressions, not only for understanding songwriting and song structure, but for improvising with a band as well. If a group of people get together to play, several commonly known chord progressions provide a framework for everyone to play to, be it a 12 bar blues progression, rhythm changes, or the chord progression to any popular song. In this article, we will look at five of the most common chord progression in major keys. Continue reading
Songwriting is an art that is as old as the history itself. It dates back to the ancient times and thus there is no way you can talk about human civilization without talking about it. Music writing process has continued to evolve from a simple art to a more complex process leading to the emergence of professional musicians, writers, dancers etc.
Although music is meant to entertain, it engages its audience more if it conveys a certain message. Have you ever witnessed the launching of a new song and a few weeks later it fades? Or have you ever listened to a track playing on the radio but you feel like changing the frequency even before it ends? I believe no artist would like their songs to suffer this kind of fate. Continue reading
No matter you are a newbie, or an advanced songwriter, sometimes you may lack an inspiration for songwriting. If this lasts for quite a long time, it can become a real problem for you. There are numerous reasons why this might have happened, but what you should definitely do then, is finding a new resource for your inspiration ASAP. But if you do need to write a song just now, you may use various songwriting resources available both online and offline can really lend you a helping hand. Here I will outline the most useful ones: Continue reading
A bad song is worse than silence. There are songs you’ve heard where you couldn’t wait for them to finish. Chances are they were dull and boring. That is why it is important to compose songs that are interesting and engaging. In this article you will learn 5 thing To be a successful songwriter.
Crafting a good song requires more than writing lyrics grammatically correct or correct word order. There are certain rules you need to consider when writing a song. Understand this, the primary objective with any song is to engage the listener. Fortunately, there are several tools and apps you can use to keep from sounding dull. Here are five different methods you can use to improve you songwriting skills. Continue reading
Songwriters may often ask themselves, “What makes a song great?” The answer to that question can make the difference between a mediocre song and an amazing song. Hopefully, once you finish reading this post you will be on the path the write great songs. This is not a new topic it has been written about by many experts in the industry. Trying to unravel the right formula is a lot like hitting a moving target. Taste change, technology changes making it difficult to nail down the right formula. Continue reading
Taking a look back at 2017 here are the best songwriting articles on the Learn How to Write Songs blog.
There are a variety of subjects that songwriters find useful. You will find these are the most popular for this year.
These posts are filled with an abundance of tips, ideas, insights written to help you write better songs..
In case you missed these blog posts or neglected to bookmark them for future reference and inspiration, here are the Best Learn How to Write Songs Blog Posts of 2017 and don’t forget to leave a comment to join the discussion: Continue reading