To Be a Successful Songwriter Do These 5 Things

Becoming a Successful Songwriter
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.

1 Use Song Prompts

First of all, every song needs a main topic. Sometime it helps to find new inspiration when writing a song.  With this in mind know that song prompts provide basic ideas.

You can use our Song Prompt tool as a starting point for you songs.  The tool provides a random prompt with a single idea.  Use the prompt as a spring board to start writing song lyrics.  The prompt should provide fuel to feed your muse. Therefore the use of song prompts will move you one step closer in becoming a successful songwriter. Once you have a prompt the next step is brainstorming.

2 Brainstorm

Brainstorming is something most creative people have some familiarity.  Whenever you have an idea the next step is to build off the idea.   You start by taking a single idea and start writing down ideas and thoughts that are related.  It is a great way to build content for your song.

Along with word association, you can also ask questions related to the topic.  These questions will stimulate your thought process and help you with further ideas.  The key to brainstorming is to get as many ideas as possible.  These ideas will make a “Thought Bank” from which you can withdraw ideas.  With these ideas you can then start to construct a story.

3) Develop the Song’s Story

As you are working on a song it will need to describe some event and the people involved.  When you brainstormed ideas, it is now time to take those ideas and make it into an interesting story.  A great technique is to create a collage using item from the “Thought Bank”.  Every story needs an understandable plot.  The plot with include the characters, a problem, setting out to solve it and finally concluding the problem.  There are many types of plots.  Here are some to basic plots to consider.

  1. Overcoming the Monster.
  2. Rags to Riches.
  3. The Quest.
  4. Voyage and Return.
  5. Comedy
  6. Tragedy
  7. Rebirth

Once you’ve decided on a plot for your song’s basic story the next step is organizing the song form.

4 Organize Song Form.

With your basic idea, thought bank and plot chosen, the next thing to do is organize the song into different sections.  These sections make up the song form.   In songwriting, the song form has very specific sections.  This is where the song will start to take shape.  The song form acts as a framework from which to build the song into very specific sections.  Here is a list of the various sections a song can have

  • Verse
  • Chorus
  • Bridge
  • Pre Chorus
  • Intro

Each section serves a vital function in the songs development.  Verses will tell the basic story.  The Chorus provides a summary.  While the bridge show a different perspective.

5 Rewrite and Edit

Rarely does a song come out perfectly in the first draft.  There will be errors.  It has been said that great songs are not written they are rewritten.

Some rhyme schemes may sound corny or overused.  Take time to examine the rhymes.  Look for new or innovative ways to rhyme a lyric line.

The use of verb needs to be active.  Therefore avoid the use of passive verbs.  A passive voice will make the song sound stale and unemotional.

Next, check for clarity in the story line. You don’t want the song’s story to be confusing to the listener. Make sure the story move along is a logical manner.

Another thing to look for is the point of view.  It is vital that the point of view is consistent throughout each section of the song. Therefore, watch word order.

As a songwriter you will want a checklist that will help you with the rewriting process.  Here is a Songwriter’s Checklist you can use.  It has 39 points you can use to review your song to make it better.

Final Thoughts on Becoming a Successful Songwriter

In conclusion, using these 5 technique will put you on the road to become a successful songwriter.  Use these ideas to supercharge your creativity.  Become a confident songwriter.  Do not fear a blank page.  It is only a canvas for your next great song.

Picture courtesy of FirmBee

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  • Songwriter Tip:

    If you or your band is at the stage of sending demos out to labels, producers, et al, you don’t need protection, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have it. At the very least, always use the ‘poor man’s copyright’ method. Use government registration if you can afford it, as it is still the best. Even though the risk is incredibly minimal, perhaps one of the person’s you’re sending your package out to has changed jobs and has been replaced by someone who is new in the business and is not quite honest. There is also the incredibly small, yet existing, chance that your CD will get mixed up with someone else’s and that they’ll get signed on the strength of your songs and think nothing of making them their own. As I said, although the risk is extremely low, it’s still worth spending a bit on protecting your work.