5 Tips to Help You Write AMAZING Songs!
Have you ever imagined that you could write a song? Have you already done so? Take your craft to the next level!
Can you learn to write songs?
Like so much in music, Songwriting is a delicate balance of art and craft. While there are no right-or-wrong answers for something so subjective, there are a few techniques that the most experienced songwriters will use to help their music connect with listeners. Check out this songwriting guide by our experts at My Sheet Music Transcriptions to learn about them.
Is this helping you? Check out our latest posts on How To Find The Perfect Music Practice Routine and The Method That Will Upgrade Your Music Understanding for further music tips! As promised, here are just a few tips to get you going with your music writing:
1. Write about what you know
For our songs to be meaningful to others, they have to mean something to us, first. When you’re looking for something to write lyrics about, a good place to start is with what matters to you. Is there a story about your life or experience that might resonate with people? Or is there a social cause or issue that you’re especially passionate about and want to tell to the world? The more you know and feel about the topic of your lyrics, the easier it’ll be to find the things you want to say, and the more your audience will be convinced by your delivery.
2. Strike the right balance
This can be the tricky one. You want your song to be relatable enough that anyone listening to it can create an emotional link to your words, but unique enough that it doesn’t feel clichéd or generic. Finding the balance takes practice, but there are some things you can try.
When you have a draft of your lyrics, ask yourself questions like “What are some details I can add to give this story its own flavor?” or “If someone were to tell me this song’s story, would I find it interesting? Why or why not?” If there are phrases that feel boring or lifeless, try finding a more unusual or creative way to say the same thing (metaphors can really help with this).
3. Show me, don’t tell me
What do the best-told stories have in common? They immerse you in their world. You can feel them on a sensory level. The best songs do the same, ESPECIALLY in verses. Don’t just tell me that you’re walking down the street. I’ve heard that so many times before.
Show me what the buildings on that street look like. Are there trees along the sides? What does the air smell like? Suddenly, with a few details, I’m right there on that street with you as you show me your world, and that makes me care about what happens on that street.
When you get to the refrain or the chorus, assuming your song has one, THAT’S the moment to tell me the point you want to make. Now that I’m already in this world you’ve created, what you have to say will really mean something to me. Try listening to some of your favorite songs and see if you can identify how the lyrics employ this strategy.
4. Match the music to the words
Whether you write the lyrics first, compose the music first, or develop them simultaneously, it really helps keep your song convincing if the words and music “agree” with each other. Is there a lyric about “flying high?” Try making the melody go up to a higher note to match. If there’s a line about feeling “low,” bring the melody down (listen to “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks for a perfect example). Do the lyrics talk about something not feeling right or not fitting in?
Try using a chord that isn’t usually in the key that the song is in, perhaps even a diminished chord for that extra discomfort. There are infinite examples, but the basic idea is to find music that makes you feel the same way that the words do. When all the elements of a song work together like this to deliver its emotional message, this is known as “prosody.”
We want our songs to be just as meaningful to others as they are to us, and the best way to make sure that’s the case is to seek out feedback. There are countless benefits to including other minds in your creative process.
Sometimes, you’ll be stuck trying to come up with one last line of lyrics, and the other person will have the exact spark of inspiration needed to find that missing piece. Sometimes, you’ll be using a metaphor that makes perfect sense to you, but you realize upon showing your lyrics to someone else that other people don’t have the necessary context for the song to make sense. Beyond such specifics, everybody has a different creative process, and everyone views life through a slightly different lens.
Others will see your songs from a different angle, and they may see something you hadn’t thought of. Or maybe they’ll have an idea based on their experience that you’d never have come up with. Try collaborating with all sorts of different people and see whose insights and processes seem to add the most to your songs!