Songwriter Challenges – Putting Thoughts Into Words Into Music
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.
A Starting Point
There are two schools of thought when it comes to writing a song. There are those songwriters who like to write words first. On the other hand there are some songwriters who like to begin with a melody. In some cases both may come at the same time. But in general the beginnings of a song will start with words or music.
An idea can come from anywhere at anytime. Because this is true, you should have a procedure to capture your thoughts and ideas. There are a few simple ways to do this. First you can carry a recording device with you whereever you go. The best is a digital recorder that will allow you to transfer audio files to your computer. If you don’t have a digital recorder with you the next best alternative is good old pen and paper. Make sure you carry these two items with you.
Once you capture your initial thought and recorded it, you will want to catalog the idea. Take your ideas and create a way to archive these ideas. You can transcribe your ideas captured by your digital recorder. Then you organize these ideas on your computer.
Start With a Great Title
As you go through your catalog of ideas, look for any that would make a great song title. A great song title is one that not only identifies the song, it also creates interest. It is best to keep a song title short and simple. The title is the main topic of the song. Keep that in mind as you write lyrics.
Build a Story
Everyone loves a story. The key is to write one that relates to your audience. A story will have a beginning, middle and end. This is its timeline. A story will have characters. You song need to include a conflict that gets resolved. Each of these elements will build a plot.
Start Building a Structure
With you storyline established the next step is to build a song structure. Song structure consists of different parts. These parts include Verse, Chorus and Bridge. Each part serves a specific function in a song. The verse is where the details of the story are presented. The Chorus becomes a summary of the verse and usually where the song title is found. The bridge is where the story takes on a different perspective.
Make it Rhyme
Lyrics are made up of series of sentences called lines. Each of these lines will have a certain meter. The meter is the number of syllables and where the word accents fall. Each line will have some sort of rhyming scheme.
Compose a Melody
Some songwriters like to start with a melody. This can be useful when writing lyrics because the number of syllables and accents are already established. All that is needed is to add words to the melody.
If on the other hand you started with words first, you need a slightly different approach. Take each line of the lyric and speak it out loud. When you listen to your voice you will hear different inflections. When we speak the tone will go up or down depending on what we want to emphasis or the emotion. The melody is simple an exaggeration of this speech pattern.
Using Chord Progressions
Another technique for creating a melody for your lyric is using chord progressions. Here is what you can do. Find or write a simple three or four chord progression. Go to the instrument of choice. It could be guitar or piano. Begin to play the chord progression. As you play the chord progression start to pick out notes for each individual chord. This will create a melodic outline. From there just connect these key notes with the accents of your lyric.
Songwriter Challenges Conclusion
So there you have it. A look at the songwriter challenges encountered when putting thoughts into words into music. The key to turning your ideas into songs in not a new one, I hope you learned some techniques to help you along the way