Beginner’s Guide to Writing Songs
Writing songs needs a very personal touch that takes some time to evolve. Now if you were to ask some songwriters about how or why they write any particular songs, then most of them will tell you that they wrote it because they felt like writing it. Almost all great tunes come from the heart but there are some other things too that go into that process which eventually results in a heart warming melody.
The writing process too has evolved from simply noting down in secret diaries to now posting it on any social networking site in India. However, some core ideas behind a successful write-up still remain the name.
- Brainstorm –
Any form of writing needs to begin with the collection of ideas or mind mapping or visualizing of thoughts. It allows you to gather all your notions under one roof and then gradually keep the best ones in and chuck the rest out. Try and make a cloud of all your ideas like this –
This will help you focus on the core ideas. And remove the useless ones from it and create a new brainstorm cloud. Doing so, will help you keep your focus in tact.
Remember: The more ideas in brainstorm, the better!
- Work on the Layout –
Listen to your favorite song and notice how some parts of it are following a particular pattern. This is called a Song Form. This step begins the layer by layer construction of your song. This is the way your mp3 songs are arranged through verses (basic song idea) and chorus (repeating song idea or lyrics) and the occasional bridge (music). For example: Bollywood new songs follow a very similar structure than Pop or R&B –
Song form gives sufficient repetition to the listener to identify with the music song and stay interested in it. It also lends you a chance to play with the emotional subtleties in the song.
Remember, this is not the only structure. You can follow any structure according to your needs like the music genre (pop, rock, classical, etc.), artists, personal tastes, etc.
- Share Life Experiences –
Make use of your own life’s experiences while writing. Writing lyrics is a form of story writing. Your sentences could be based on real-life events or they could be a creation of your mind. Think of a time when you were highly emotional. Note that, by emotional many people think sentimental. No. In fact, there are these 7 types of basic emotions –
Any such event could be the starting point for a wonderful song. Moreover, your listeners will relate to those emotionally charged lyrics.
Put yourself in the listener’s shoes and think of some of these questions –
Think from listener’s perspective and answer those questions in short phrases. Explore all options and don’t get frightened by words not rhyming or not being able to use fancy vocabulary. Just write your heart out.
- Write Using New Techniques–
Many writers begin songwriting accompanied by one instrument just as the guitar. Nothing wrong with that! But writing along with a musical instrument that you don’t normally play (piano, drums, flute) can be a fresh way to think of new riffs and grooves for your songs. Even if you are not used to play piano properly, trying out different scales and chords will help you explore a new atmosphere.
In order to inspire a mood or a melody idea, you can also use a karaoke track. These tracks give a quick back up track that can help you shape your lyrics and get new inspiration.
Another new technique could be to involve a partner or partners to your project. Some of the biggest musicians and songwriters in music’s history have worked together as partners. For example: Elton John and Bernie Taupin – ‘’Rocket Man’’, ‘’Tiny Dancer’’, John Lennon and Paul McCartney – ‘’Yesterday’’, ‘’A Day in the life’’
- Push Yourself but Know When to Stop –
Doing anything creative can sometimes be counter productive if you lock yourself up in a room for 10-15 hours. So go outside, and take your work outside. Enjoy the sun, the clouds. Go and sit in a park and OBSERVE. Yes, observe the world around you. This will give you the window to view the lives of others from a new perspective and inspire you with fresh ideas.
And if that also doesn’t work out for you. Then take a break! Just beating your head on the desk won’t make you shout eureka.
So which songwriting tips help you figure out your creative process? Share it with everyone in the comments section. Till then thanks for reading.