Some songs are a real balm to the spirit. They are perfect from all sides: the arrangement is melodious, while the lyrics are succinct and to the point. We bet that you know that feeling when a certain song gets right in your heart. It sends the goosebumps down your spine and literally melts you down. But what makes a song that amazing? How to write better songs? Is there a recipe? If you are a musician or poet that is just starting, you may want to know the knack of successful songwriting. We bet that you want to evoke feelings in your listeners and have the power to lighten their eyes when they hear your masterpiece.
Great songs play with emotions, memories, and experience. They can change our mood and even life attitude. There are numerous ingredients of a good song, but we will narrow that list down and discuss the basics today.
Hard work, practice, and grain of magic
For songwriters, inspiration is real magic. However, you cannot go far with inspiration alone. Regular training and hard work must be the key activities of your everyday life. Inspiration is a crux of the biscuit here. You cannot be inspired all the time, so waiting for this angel’s touch to come is not an option. It doesn’t come out of anything. What is more, inspiration is a blurry thing when you don’t have enough practice. The most brilliant ideas or feelings that come from the inspiration are shapeless. They are nothing if you don’t know how to formulate your thoughts and emotions in words. To learn how to do that, you need to practice all the time. Welcome inspiration like a long-expected guest, but never rely on it. Creativity is pretty chaotic without a systematic approach.
Most songwriters claim that they are bottling their feelings inside and then pour them all on paper. Don’t restrict the emotional palette. You may want to write a song when you are feeling down and depressed, which is an excellent source of inspiration as well—all in all, most of us like listening to sad songs.
Keep up with the structure
When writing songs, you need to pay special attention to the structure. In general, you can follow any structure you want, but be sure that you make it conscious and logical. The basic structure looks like this:
Intro > Verse > Chorus > Verse > Chorus > Bridge or Break Down > Chorus > Outro
This structure is used by pop, rock, electronic, and folk musicians. You can play with it if you want to, repeating the last chorus or removing outro. The structure is not fixed so that you can make any amendments, but you should stick to a specific format. The explanation of such a necessity is simple: success, reach, and popularity of your song depends on the structure a lot. Even if your listeners are not professional musicians, they feel the structure unwittingly. A smooth shape improves perception and makes songs more memorable. Listen to your favorite bands in different genres and write down the structure they usually use. Get inspired, mix, match, and don’t be afraid to experiment.
Make up a hook
A hook is the most memorable element of a song. Do you remember those earworms that don’t stop lingering in your mind for days? That’s it. Even if you don’t like it, the melody doesn’t leave your head. It is sticky, viral, funny, and even a bit annoying sometimes. However, this is the real power of music!
Before writing lyrics, listen to your favorite songs and analyze the hooks. Think about the way they work. Is it poetry? Melody? Vocals delivery? Hooks can be constructed in many different ways, and each one is unique. Listen to them and try to analyze what you hear.
Keep it clear
Abstract and deep lyrics are cool, but sometimes they leave your listeners wondering, what do you mean. In some cases, this might impress people. But mostly, they just cannot connect to something they don’t understand. If the lyrics are too deep to relate to them, then they are not actually deep, but overcomplicated and weak. Use comprehensive language and imagery, as your favorite artists do. Sometimes, the best way to express an idea is to put it in a pure and simple form. We bet that your listeners will like that.
Hang up your hammer and put your feet up
Take breaks to clear your mind. The creative process is tricky. You can dig around for hours just to realize that you are following the wrong direction. You might get tangled in details or get into the vicious circle of perfectionism. These are unproductive traps and blocks that are hard to avoid. The best way to deal with them is to let yourself have some rest.
Take breaks to reflect on your actions, change methods, and catch some fresh ideas. Without clearing your mental space, you will end up sitting and trying to solve the endless tangle. When you feel like beating your head against a wall with no result, take a break and come back to your work later.
Hopefully, these simple tips will help you understand how to write music better. You might say that they are pretty obvious. However, they work! If you start working with these five pieces of advice, you will see how your songs become brighter.
No matter what, don’t stop practicing and be honest with yourself. Become your own critic, and evaluate the results of your work regularly. Reflect on your mistakes, and don’t let them beat you down. Instead, you should learn from them and go on. Creative work is all about trial and error. This is the best way to develop your skills.