how to write a song

If you are an emerging songwriter or an experienced writer who appeared to be in a state of stagnation and struggling to eke out a how-to-write-a-song state instead, then look below to find what you need.

Have a bite of some songwriting tips

Think of something that bothers you at the moment, probably concerning some other person, and make the latter the addressee of what you’re going to say. You may as well imagine yourself to be somebody you look up to, whether they are real humans or made up ones. Fantasy creatures will do as well. Organize your writing as follows: take a jotter and write only on the one side of a two-page opening. You don’t need to force yourself to write something worthy or extraordinary. Give yourself a total freedom of thought and put down on a paper everything that your gaze falls upon. The important nuance is that you have to do that continuously without taking a break until there will be a decent number of written out paper sheets.

As you further look through the whole piece, accentuate certain phrases, passages, expressions that catch your eye, pick out the most prominent ones (not “perfect”, but just those which are different and stand out from the rest of your stream of consciousness) and bring your attention to them. You may have then a bunch of remarks and correctives to make so that these sentences sounded better, and a bunch of associations to give way to further ideas development. Note them on the corresponding side that is left clear and focus on these ideas as you continue writing.

In case you need extra space to work on these ideas, add a few more pages to your notebook. Now, look at the pieces of text you’ve highlighted and try to find what rhymes with them in the rest of the text in a descending order or think of the new appropriate expressions. It happens often that as you come up with one rhyme, there appears more and more of them, like in a chain. Pay attention to a certain sound or a cluster of sounds to take it as a basis of rhyme-formation.

If you compose lyrics, there exist no obligatory rules for you to rhyme or not rhyme. This is the case when you are allowed to experiment with types of rhyming and create original ones. You may start humming the parts of a song in the process developing the rhythm and melodics. Snatch this moment and document it somehow - notate or use a voice recorder so that you would be able to replay it later. If you notice that some phrases sound better when modified, it’s okay. You don’t have to preserve the exact way you wrote them in the first place. Put everything to the paper anyway, enrich and add to your list so that you had a plenty of variants to choose from. Play with words, transform them, combine and separate them.

As it has already been stated, associations are a powerful means to create a mind map of your song. Consider each notion carefully, trying to picture it on the basis of what you’ve experienced doing or thinking of something this notion denotes. For example, “breeze” is a rhyme to “freeze”, and you start recollecting how you were walking along the beach one late-autumn day, and it was freezing cold. Make a full use of your memories. They are often the greatest resource and inspiration.

Having such a considerable supply of content and tips on working with it, you are now able to come over directly to creating the great lines and structure of your song. There is no longer the need to think of what to write or whether your expressions are relevant because you’ve got an elaborate selection containing every possible connection you could make on the basis of your real experience. You also don’t have to worry about sounding like someone else or that your song will be a crib because your lyrics are all about yourself. Moreover, don’t get rid of your notes as they may appear to be a source of your next songs.

How to write a good song using some external assistance

Working on the preferable types of rhyming, you will probably find yourself feeling the music your words match with. In this case, put your notes aside to write your story lyrics and not lose the idea. It’s still okay though if you can’t come up with the tune so far, there will be time for it later.

Now try to do the following actions. As you listen to one of your favorite songs, get a shot at applying your element song lyrics instead of that of this song. Make it a kind of scheme or an outline for creating your own song. While hearing the stanzas, draw a picture of where you go or what you do. Sum it up. Does a stanza have some request or a purpose that could be sought for? Notice the course of events and their timely arrangement on the whole. You may apply it to your work as well or create your own sequence depending on how you personally see it and paying attention to the logical aspect. The interrogative approach, that is posing questions to the text, in the process of writing lyrics is a helpful way to develop a clear and relevant structure. Think also of the visualization of your material. What do you personally feel and see when saying these words? Can you imagine the text in colors, reconstruct in your mind the place and people which are described? It is an important prompt to create the integral piece which is able to exist as a good song.

After the stage of driving your text to the chosen song, it is time to compose and work on all the building blocks of it yourself. There’s a chance that the words you’ve already written may appear to become different or disappear at all. See how things will go with or without certain elements. When you “get tuned” and find your own music, all the things you were going to say may take the shape and adjust to this very melody. Don’t stop this musical flow, give it a space to maneuver, let the text and the music make a whirlpool together.

Despite the fact that you have your own melody, there is a specific structure which is the most relevant and must be preserved. Again, when you think of your favorite song, you probably notice what structural elements go with it perfectly. Analyze this song concerning the number of stanzas, the length of the lines, the presence of a break or an intro etc., the use of such musical devices as modulation, repetition, progression and so on. Note what part you recollect faster and what themes are easier to replay. Think of the means that grab a listener’s attention and yours particularly. Which phrases make this song remarkable or familiar?

In case your musical knowledge lacks some professional skills or you don’t operate the appropriate terms and notions, learn to admit at least the very process. For example, you definitely may state whether a song is in major or in minor key, whether it contains higher or lower pitch, you can define a tempo of the words and the music itself, you may as well feel that you’d do some things differently when you hear a song. Try to see as many peculiarities as possible. It doesn’t mean that you have to apply them immediately, but learning to see and define them is a significant and necessary skill to obtain for you further creative work.

Don’t expect to get fast and perfect results at once. It needs time. Even for those who are into songwriting for a long time already. Although the presented tactic extends the amount of time that you need to get the whole work done, still it enriches the range of your songwriting techniques pretty much. In addition, the notes you’ve made at the beginning of the process can serve you as a resource for more works. Acquiring the knowledge of writing a song through the observation of another one is a good start as long as you’ll further fill it with a totally fresh and authentic content, music and style.

There are cases when two different world-famous objects of art which are performed by different people are similar when you look closer, but they are believed to be authentic and one-of-a-kind anyway.

Give this method a try and put down everything that comes to your mind when ideas strike you. You’ll see soon that it adds to creating a good piece of work a lot.


4 August, 2018