You’ve been listening to some of the music today and you think, I could do better than that. l think you can. Well to suit your preferences anyway. Writing a song isn’t so hard, and like poetry it can come from deep within your soul or be inspired by just a few simple words. So what is it that makes a song? If you’re an avid music lover, a previous student of music, or just someone who looked it up on the internet, you’ll notice that there is pretty much a basic pattern for a song. There’s your verse, chorus, maybe a bridge with a bit of climax, and then once again some more verse and repeated chorus. Music can come in any shape or form, as it is an art you can interpret what is ‘good’ to you in anyway, there are so many choices of instruments and moods that you could use in your song. But for now, let’s concentrate on writing some lyrics to your song.
The following are some pointers & exercises you can use to get your creative juices flowing:
Tell me what’s on your mind and I’ll tell you what’s on mine…
Some of the most inspired songs were written out of emotion. That song you couldn’t get out of your head was written because of a painful break up, and that other song on the radio that topped the hit list for weeks was written because for some reason that guy decided to watch people on the subway and thought ‘Heck! I could write a song about this’. Whatever thought processes that went through these inspired writers, there’s one thing that’s obvious, they wrote about something they could relate to. You don’t need to write a song about heartbreak because that’s what everyone else is singing about, when you yourself haven’t experienced it. Nor can you write about Sweden if you haven’t even stepped foot in the country. Here’s a great little exercise that I use and is simple to do, make a song diary. Wherever you go, you can pull out your little notebook and just write thoughts, feelings, words, or images that will inspire you later when you plan to sit down and do a little song writing.
What’s your favorite song?
Everyone has their own style, so to help you find your own, it’s totally fine to play around with existing music. Try picking one of your favorite songs and rewriting the lyrics, it might help you to know what kind of songs you like and thus would like to write. With these songs, try dissecting them, what makes them so great? What do you like about them? What could you improve?
Write for yourself and no one else
What I always tell my friends when we jam is to just write what you love or hate, or whatever, just write how you see things. Don’t write a song because someone else might like it. Do you even like it? And if you don’t, do you really want some listening to your song thinking that it’s a reflection of you?
Take a page from that poetry book
Not all songs have to rhyme or have some poetry going on, but to give people an idea of how to express themselves with unique words, try reading a collection of poems or researching words that click with each other is a great way to start writing your song. I’ve stumbled across some great websites that have applications where you can write a word and it will spit out words that rhyme with it.
If you’re like me, you need space and time to just get lost in the music with no interruptions when you write a song. But I have friends who tell me that song writing can be easy too when you collaborate. Sit down with a friend or a close family member with a notebook and just write down catchy verses. You might find working with someone else will take the pressure off and thus let your creativity & imagination take over.
Do you play an instrument? A guitar or a piano perhaps? Get on them, and just play around. Moments of great inspiration sometimes just happen by accident. Making a so called mistake in a song while you are writing it, could be the moment when your song actually starts to take a shape of its own. Once you have a feel for your on lyrics, you can put it to music. Or even the other way around. I find that I write the music first before I write the words. Everyone is different and that is why I believe there thousands of songs just waiting to be discovered. I’ve written so many songs, but I’ll save them for another time to share with you guys. Good luck and I look forward to hearing some new songs from you 😉