Home: 2006 |
The Art of Writing a Good Song
Did you know that good
songwriting is often the key to establishing a
successful music career? But more than that, it can be
fun! When you write a song you are able to express
yourself in new and creative ways. Whether you're sad,
happy, angry, or in love... with words, you can fly!
Freedom of expression is one of the greatest priviledges
we have, but with it comes some responsibility. Words
are very powerful and have been used successfully by
many for better, or worse. When writing a song, consider
how your words are going to impact your listener. Do you
wish to alienate them, or draw them into your
perspective on things?
A good song will create an
emotional reaction in people, and that's exactly what
you're trying to achieve! You want to get your listener
to feel with you. You want to move them emotionally. You
want them to like your song and be willing to listen to
it again and again. If you can get your audience to
identify with you on some level, you will be on the road
to creating a good song.
As you are stirring up your creative juices you may
discover that finding just the RIGHT word is sometimes a
bit frustrating. But with the RIGHT songwriting tips and
resources it becomes a lot easier! Here are three of the
most important songwriting tools you should have:
DICTIONARY - A dictionary is essential when
writing. Besides giving you the correct meaning of a
word, it will also help you to express yourself more
clearly. You will discover new words while expanding
your vocabulary too!
THESAURUS - A thesaurus is another important
tool to help with creating your songwriting material.
You can use a thesaurus to find different words that
have similiar meaning.
3. RHYMING DICTIONARY
- As the name implies, a rhyming dictionary organizes
words that rhyme in alphabetical order using the vowel
sounds A E I O U. For example, if you were looking for a
word that rhymes with Abel you would look under A
sounds. Words rhyming with Abel would be listed in
There isn't really a secret
formula for writing a good song because determining what
is "good" is subjective and a matter of personal opinion
(some great songs have broken all the so called
"rules"). However, many successful songwriters have used
the following format to write a "Hit" song:
4-8 measures of instrumental music that contains part or
all of "the hook" (a part of the melody that is easy to
VERSE: Each verse
should be written in such a way as to "set up" the
chorus. Try to keep the meter of your song even by
matching the syllables of your words. Be consistent with
the sentences that rhyme. Verses should create an
anticipation of fulfillfment.
CHORUS: This is where you make your
statement. Stress the most important part of your song
and make it tasty. Think of your chorus or "hook" as
being like the icing on a cake. You want your words to
be worth remembering.
VERSE: Continue to
follow the idea of your song all the way through, don't
CHORUS: This is
where you have the opportunity to repeat your "hook"
which should continue to emphasize your songs main
BRIDGE: This is
where you can create some interest and tension by
changing your melody line, modulating to a different
key, or adding an instrumental guitar part, etc. Don't
make it too long, approximately 8 measures or so. It
should build or crescendo to the final chorus.
FADE CHORUS: This is
generally the same as your first chorus, but you will
end by repeating it over and over, then gradually fade
out to end your song. Use your "hook" generously, but
Be flexible and use your imagination! Don't just copy or
mimic what is currently popular. Remember that some of
the biggest names in the music business made it to the
top because they were not afraid to be ORIGINAL or have
a different sound. So, experiment, be yourself, and most
of all- have fun!
About The Author: Kathy
Unruh is a singer/songwriter and webmaster of ABC Learn Guitar.
She has been writing songs and providing guitar lessons to
students of all ages for over 20 years. For free guitar lessons,
plus tips and resources on songwriting, recording and creating a
music career, please visit:
Back to Top