How to Write Better Songs

How is it that some songwriters attain the extent of Willie Nelson, Johnny Money or Joni Mitchell whereas others languish utterly unknown? It comes down to 2 issues.

First, the perfect within the enterprise perceive that their paycheck relies upon largely upon their community. However what this text is about is the second facet: pure songwriting capability. Everybody can be taught the primary, even when you’re an introvert (belief me, if I can do it, you possibly can). However turning into an knowledgeable songwriter takes devotion bordering on madness. Half 1 of this two half sequence covers three points you can begin implementing into your songwriting at the moment.

1. Melody creation

Loads of songwriters like to start out with a melody as a result of that is what comes first. Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday” began with nothing however a melodic line to which he used the lyrics, “Scrambled eggs, oh you’ve got bought such pretty legs”. Like McCartney, if what you hear first are a sequence of notes, strive merely utilizing any non-sensible syllables to determine the melody.

If that melodic line does not come, no worries. Melodies that make use of the pentatonic scale are among the many commonest all through historical past. For instance, in C, the 5 notes are:


Experiment with these 5 notes solely and write down each snippet of an concept that catches your ear. From there, accompany the melody with widespread C chords to start to flesh it out additional.

2. Methods to convey emotional that means together with your lyrics

In the event you’re higher are beginning with lyrics, take into account that each listener has totally different life experiences and can work together with a track in a different way than the subsequent. Your job is to attach with a selected individual by feeling, whether or not it’s emotional highs, lows and every thing in between.

What’s the feeling you are making an attempt to convey? Who else in your life additionally feels that method? In what methods have you ever shared in experiences with others the place this sense got here dashing by? How did you describe it to one another afterward?

Songwriting could be intensely private, nevertheless it’s vital to comprehend that if you would like others to connect with your track, the simplest method for them to take action is thru shared emotions. By portray an image of the very individual you are making an attempt to attach with earlier than writing a single line might help your lyrics movement extra naturally.

Drug dependancy is a typical theme in quite a lot of in style songs. However hear to 2 very totally different songs about the identical topic and you may additionally understand that relying on the way you shade the subject material utterly modifications the sensation your listener could have:

Staind, “It is Been Awhile”

Aimee Mann, “Clever Up”

three. Create a construction

Most, however not all songs use a variation of the next: intro, a verse (typically two) main as much as a refrain, a bridge, adopted by one other verse and refrain, after which an outro.

Intro – often catchy instrumental part that grabs the listener’s consideration

Verse – story-telling a part of the track that builds an emotional reference to the listener

Refrain – the refrain is the half everybody acknowledges; even when they cannot keep in mind the phrases, individuals can often hum the melody

Bridge – that is the place every thing will get shifted and causes the listener to sit down up; many occasions related to a temper change created by a chordal shift

Outro – fast tag on the finish of the track that offers it a way of decision

Examples of this construction are: “California Women” by The Seashore Boys (1965), “Penny Lane” & “All You Want Is Love” by The Beatles (1967) and “Cunning Girl” by Jimi Hendrix (1967).

Source by Harrison Welshimer