How to Write a Song: 6 Step by Step Guide
Songwriting is an art. Just like any other form of art, it takes passion, creativity and desire. A song is the deepest way of communication known to humanity. A song can be written by one individual today, just for it to speak out to millions of people a century ahead. What makes the song so powerful is not just the words but rather, the theme, the emotions and the artistic display.
When writing a song, you need to piece together scattered words into information that speaks to peoples personal lives. There is a way in which the top songwriters work around the process. The time investment into the art of songwriting varies from one individual to another depending on their level of creativity.
However, the bottom line remains that every written song has the basics. This step by step guide, will not only help you write your first song, but also communicate your deepest thoughts.
Step 1: Choose The Theme Of Your Song
This is the wider scope of your topic. What are the main issues you want to talk about in your song? Most songwriters are known to choose themes that draw from their childhood. People choose to talk about things that surround them, a situation they are passing through, or things that they have already passed through. The importance of choosing a topic that you can relate to is that it adds the required passion into the song. The expression of a experience is much more intense than that of a fictional story.
When choosing your theme, you should try and relate it to the song genre. There are various topics that go hand in hand with given song genres. For example, a song that is anchored on love would be better expressed in blues than as a rock music. Not to say that rock music cannot talk about love, but they are not the best platform to express that feeling. Some of the themes you could choose include, politics, parenting, racism, social classes, religion, and the most common, love.
Step 2: Narrow Down Your Theme to a topic
Now that you have decided you want to sing about love, you need to decide what specifically are you going to talk about. Finding the lyrics for your song is not easy unless you are specific. You can choose to write a song about the love of your life, the love of your dreams, the love that you lost, someone that loved you, someone that lost a loved one and so one.
You can even start creating characters at this stage. You can give the love of your life a name, for example, Jane, or James. This will make a starting point for your lyrics. Although, it is not necessary to have character names in a song. Most people prefer referring to the other parties in the first, second and third pronouns. For example, I, she, he, they or we. A good line can be something like “I remember when we were together”
Step 3: Write Down What You Feel About The Topic Displaying The Theme
At the end of the day, a song is about expressing emotions. for you to get your lyrics, just start writing down everything you feel about the topic. If it is a love that deserted your life, you can start writing about the good things you had together first. Get your listeners intrigued. Once you start by praising your lover’s beauty and character, most people will be interested in listening to the song until the end.
After writing everything down, the good and the bad, you need to start analyzing them. From the notes, you will choose what to use in your song based on what message you want to pass out “theme”. Select the words that best express what you want to say and set them as your lyrics.
Step 4: Write Down The Lyrics
What you have are words. Out of these words, we need to first get the chorus. Your song chorus should carry the weight of your message. You can choose four sentences that best represent your best thoughts on the topic. for example:
“- Love comes and goes before we know it,
-when we are so blind in love we never see it coming,
-Enjoying every moment, never thinking about betrayal,
-when it finally happens then we are left crying.”
It is also important to note that it is at this stage that you start formulating the rhymes for your song. Although it is not a must, you can start creating similarly ending words within your lyrics and chorus. You then arrange your song into the main sections, the verse, the chorus and the bridge.
Most songs start with the verse, then the chorus, another verse, the bridge then the chorus. This is not a strict pattern, you can write a song even without a bridge. What you must have are a chorus and a verse.
Step 5: Translate your Lyrics Into A Song By Creating A Rhythm
Creating the rhythm to your lyrics gives them life. You can come up with a rhythm in many ways. Some of the most common include listening to several songs in your preferred genre. If you want your song to be in a Jazz format, listen to jazz songs and try creating rhythm ideas from several songs.
Another way is just picking your guitar or piano and playing some random rhythms in your preferred genre. When you are thinking of the rhythm, it is better to try and fit your song chorus in most of the rhythms that come to your mind. Once you settle on the one you want to use, you can then fit in the verses.
When singing your lyrics in a rhythm, you have the chance to change words and edit sentences to incorporate aspects of poetry. You can use synonyms, allusions, juxtapositions and rhymes just to add flavor to your lyrics.
Step 6: Sing and Record a Temporary File Of Your Song
Once you are done with streamlining the lyrics to fit into your song rhythm, it is time to record everything. Write the final copy of your lyrics and sing the song from the beginning to the end. Record your voice on a phone or a tape. You can now start making small changes to your song until you are sure it is the perfect piece you want before you go to the studio.
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