How to write a song - Deepstash
How to write a song

How to write a song

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EMINEM

If I'm not passionate about it, I can't write it. I can't fake it.

EMINEM

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96 reads

Basics

Basics

To write a song, you'll have to get a hold of the typical framework. Like people, songs come in all shapes, colours and sizes but commercially it is quite certain that a good song would contain:

  • Verse 1
  • (optional: Pre-chorus) Chorus
  • Verse 2
  • (optional: Pre-chorus) Chorus
  • Bridge
  • Chorus

For creativity's sake, it isn't necessary to conform to this structure, there are a variety of structures to choose from. But being a songwriter, you'll have to organise your song in such a way that it fits well. If you're new to songwriting, this structure should be a good start.

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The Core

The Core

Before you start, you'll have to have a topic in mind.

Although I've made songs from merely having a melody stuck in my head or finding a chord progression to write around, it needed to make sense

There are plenty of nonensical lyrics in songs that end up being hits but you'll have to remember that it's always better if the song has authenticity to it's creator.

When you write a song coming from a real place, you are able to connect to the listeners much better.

Find a topic that interests/ inspires you. If you have writer's block, you can find ideas on the internet to get you started.

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Inspiration

Inspiration

How to find inspiration?

I have a practice of keeping a note of any interesting melody I hum and get hooked on to. I even record things such as, an innovative painting, a beautiful idiom, poetry or contronyms.

The note app on your phone is an easy and accessible way to keep track and note your ideas before it fades away from memory.

Inspiration can come from unexpected places, so keep searching for it. If you wait for it to just come hit you like a ton of bricks, there's a higher chance that it's not going to happen.

Take a break, but always come back and search for a new perspective to look form

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Game Plan

Game Plan

First,sit back and think about your approach.

  1. Would you want it to be sad, happy, angry or any other emotion?
  2. Would you want it to be a pop, rock, metal, hip-hop, indie, etc. song?
  3. Would you rather have it change the emotion into something completely different, or stay the same throughout?
  4. Who's perspective are you writing from?
  5. Do you want to end it abruptly or do you want to give it some closure?

You don't have to have answers for these questions right away because during the process, you're bound to make some changes. Just beware of these questions so it doesn't sound off-topic when you're done.

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Hooks

Hooks

Hooks are the addictive part of the song. The part that makes your song memorable. Usually hooks are the titles of the song.

They can either be a melody or a lyric (most probably the title)

It's always good to start the song by thinking of a great hook. Some good hooks are: aliterations, contradictory words, just one word (which is super popular right now), double meaning words, unexpected word combinations, a juicy punchline or an interesting/poetic words.

Eg: Be Brave, Live and let die, etc.

After you find a good hook, you're ready to start the process.

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Melody

Melody

Before working on the lyrics, find a good melody for your verses, pre-choruses, chorus and bridge.

If you can't play an instrument or chords, there are a few backing tracks available on YouTube or other sources to help you craft a song around it.

Melody first. Lyrics later.

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What Do YOU Want It To Be?

What Do YOU Want It To Be?

From personal experience, I've come across three groups to choose from:

  • A song from your perspective, about something you went through
  • A song from a third-person perspective about something you went through
  • A story song - includes vivid imagery and a classic story plot
  • A song from observation - write about something you observed
  • A song on social problems - eg: bullying, gender discrimination, etc

This will be helpful to write your first song, choose a category that interests you most.

Figure out what YOU want it to sound like to a listener.

Then, jot down the structure. Don't worry about rhyming yet.

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Rhyming

Rhyming

Once you've got some words to work with, start rhyming.

Some songs didn't have many rhymes but attracted the public, but until we're stinking famous to be able to do whatever we want... We need to follow atleast some rhyming schemes:

  • AABB
  • ABAB
  • ABCB
  • AAAA
  • AABCCB

You can change the structure of the song after each part like: a verse can have the ABAB scheme and the chorus could have a ABCB scheme. It's good to switch it up.

TIP #1: A good tip I've come to realise is to only use assonances

It is a type of soft rhyme where only the vowel sounds match, not the consonants.

TIP #2: Use multisyllable rhyming.

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Phrasing

Phrasing

Phrasing means timing

Make sure your words sound on time in the verses or any other places you change your words.

Always remember that your chorus is the main part of your song, so it almost never changes lyrics. This is because a chorus is the part of the song that people sing along to, repetition is key.

A good method to verify your phrasing is by counting the syllables in your verses and make sure the number is same for each corresponding line.

For eg:

Feeling good ( 3 syllables)

Just (1 syllable)

Like I should (3 syllables)

Yeah (1 syllable)

You can use throw away words to help: but, cuz, yeah

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Stack It Up

Stack It Up

Now, you're good to go.

Do some research and listen to different song structures and keep a mental note of how it works

It's time to weave and piece it together, this is where you get bring your creativity to the table make edits, make changes, make it true to YOU. Even though I've talked alot about things that appeal to listeners, at the end of the day... The song is yours.

If the song doesn't sound good to you, approach it with a new perspective another day until it does.

Your song is a personification of you. So unless you're happy with the outcome, keep working on it.

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Cadence

Cadence

Cadence is the end of the song. It is an important part of song writing because closure is what gives us fulfillment.

I do recommend ending it round circle, with something you said in the verse or a melody you used in the verse. It gives the listener a feeling of nostalgia and satisfaction.

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Songs are a great outlet of emotions. Our emotions can be expressed simply by words but when you add music to the equation, you bring a whole new dimension to emotion that is more easily understood.

Whatever I've said so far can be applied for commercial songwriting but it's always nice to write songs as therapy or as a mental well-being activity.

Even the most depressing words can sound beautiful when you give it melody.

I hope this guide was helpful. Let me know how your first time songwriting, went.

Till we meet again

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CURATOR'S NOTE

Here's a small guide to the world of songwriting from my personal experience as a passionate songwriter. Get inspired and write away!

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