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How to Write a Song | 10 Songwriting Tips from the Pros

How to write a song:

❶Finally, put everything together so you're repeating the chorus in between each of your verses. Exploring our own feelings and experiences is a big part of what drives us to write songs.

‣ What is song craft and why do I need it???

1. Where to start writing your song
Find out how to write a song from the best in the biz
‣ How does a song get started? (Good question!)

This is one of the most important tools a songwriter has. After you have a list of related words, make a list of contrasting words and images, ones that suggest the opposite.

Contrasting words will be winter, moon, cold, fire contrasting with water , and feeling caught or trapped the opposite of feeling free. Write down single words or short phrases.

And try not to be critical of your ideas — just write down what comes to you. Then, make a list of contrasting words, images, and phrases. Write as many words as you can think of in each column. Let one idea suggest another and follow the trail wherever it takes you. This is a great exercise for stretching your creativity. When you have a good list of words, try plugging some of them into your verse and chorus lyrics.

Replace a statement with an image or action that helps to express the emotion in your song and makes the listener feel what you feel or see what you see. Every time you open your mouth to speak, you start singing!

Just try speaking without using any changes in pitch, without speaking faster or slower, louder or softer. You end up sounding like a robot. Although we usually think of singing as something quite different from talking, we actually use a lot of melody when we talk.

When we talk we use pitch, volume, phrasing, and rhythm — all the elements of a song melody. So if you have a few lyric lines, all you need to do is speak them to get a raw melody started.

In fact, just by changing the melody you can give the same words an entirely different emotional meaning. Notice the difference in the melody? In the question, the melody goes up at the end. In the frightened version, the pitch starts higher and then the melody moves downward. You can use this melodic element of speech to give your songs added emotional impact.

Keep the pauses that occur naturally and exaggerate the little ups and downs in your speaking voice. Remember, this is your raw material, not the finished melody. Speak the chorus lyric with as much emotion as you can put into it. Now, exaggerate the pitches, keeping the rhythm of the words and any pauses that occur naturally. This will get you started on your chorus.

Of course, there are other ways to write a song melody but this one will give you a great place to start. Work on the melody and chords using the verse and chorus lyric you have, gradually smoothing and changing until you have something you like. Then write the rest of the lyric to the final melody. Songs for musical theater are different — they usually do require perfect rhymes.

Check out a web site like Rhymedesk. Read my post To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme on my blog site. Know when to take a break Work on your lyric for short periods of time. Take a walk and let things settle for awhile. Keep the hit song melody in your head. The most important thing and the most difficult is to keep the emotional integrity of the song intact. Keep working on the lyric until you are genuinely moved and excited by it. Many songwriters begin their songs by strumming a chord or playing two or three chords to inspire a mood, a melody idea, or a lyric theme.

While song melodies and lyrics are copyrighted, in general, these familiar chord progressions are not. C-Am-F-G belongs to everyone! You can use this type of generic chord progression in your own songs. Listen to a recent hit song and learn to play along on either guitar or keyboards. There are many YouTube videos that will show you how to play recent hits. These are protected by the copyright law. Learn to play chords If you already have an idea for your melody, you can hunt for the chords that fit.

Check out my Resources page for a good one. Or you can take a few lessons from a local music teacher. Many music stores offer lessons. Your local community center or college may have classes.

Or ask friends and neighbors to refer a teacher. We know chords, we know song craft, we know how to follow our emotions — none of this has anything to do with how many dazzling riffs and licks you can play. Just strum or chord along with your voice and keep the emotional feel front and center.

Karaoke tracks offer an instant backing track that can inspire ideas and get you singing your lyrics to a contemporary beat. Go ahead and write a song for friends and family or just for songwriting practice. The track itself is copyrighted but generally the chords are not. Read on my blog: A lyric with a single, strong emotional focus is ideal for this use.

Notice how they enhance and deepen the effect of the scene. As an exercise, choose a scene and try writing a song that would work with it. Record your vocal and a simple guitar or piano part, then play it softly under the scene to see if it increases the emotional impact. Time to look for a co-writer! Back to the hunt for collaborators… Idea 1: Universities and community colleges in your area will have a music department. Also, check to see if there is a campus club or group interested in music or songwriting.

Check out clubs in your area that feature local artists. Check out local music stores. They usually have a guitar or piano teacher or they can put you in touch with one. The teacher might be interested in writing with you or may know a student who is looking for a collaborator. Advances in recording technology have revolutionized home recording. Although a course in home recording is beyond the scope of this article, here are a couple of ways to get started….

There are many inexpensive software programs that include both MIDI sequencers for use with MIDI keyboards and audio recording capability to record vocals and guitar. Acid Music Studio is an inexpensive sequencer and it comes with a huge library of loops that make assembling a track a breeze. Yamaha makes a good inexpensive keyboard. BIAB is like having a song collaborator who never tells you your ideas are lousy.

It will create a chord progression or you can type one in or play one on a MIDI keyboard. It will create a drum, bass, piano, guitar, and string arrangement based on your chords. BIAB will even create a melody and a title! To find out more, visit my Resources page. There are many good recording studios and demo services that can produce all or part of your demo. They can record the instrumental tracks so you can do your vocal at home, or they can give provide just the guitar or drums.

I suggest giving the service an idea of what you want by playing existing songs with a similar style, sound, or feel. Of course, all I have given you here is a doorway into songwriting.

Everything you need to know is right there on the radio, in your CD collection or on your iPod. Stand on the shoulders of giants; use what others have discovered and build on it. Make it your own! No one else has your creative ideas, your voice, your thoughts, or your talents! Request permission to reprint What comes first, melody or lyrics? Back to Contents list.

Sure enough, these questions are all answered in this great Rock standard. A place to go when your baby leaves you. Down at the end of Lonely Street.

What does your title mean? How do you feel about that? Why do you think that happened? What do you hope or fear will happen next? MasterWriter has not only streamlined my writing process, but with all the built-in tools to inspire creativity, it has helped take my writing to the next level. I highly recommend this product to anyone that writes songs. If you are a professional songwriter or aspiring to become one, this is an absolute must have product.

I have had MasterWriter since it first came out! Thank you guys so much!!! MasterWriter is an essential tool for me. The goodies that come along with it — the rhyming dictionary, cultural references, thesaurus, word families, etc.

I love being able to jot down an idea on my phone and have it show up on my computer when I get back home. I have used MasterWriter now for the last two years. During that time, the application has continued to grow and add features that I have found very helpful. Even though some of those features are available as third party programs, MasterWriter has made them all available in one place.

When my hard drive crashed and I had to get another computer, retrieving my files was a simple as logging in again! I highly recommend MasterWriter to all my songwriting friends. The perfect tools right at your fingertips! For rhyming, references, almost-rhymes, synonyms…whatever you are seeking to make your lyrics better, you will find in MasterWriter. Write better songs and become a better songwriter in the process.

Unlock all the possibilities the English language has to offer in an instant. Compatible on all devices, capture inspiration whenever and wherever you are. Try it now for free. A Rhyming dictionary with over , entries and 36, Rhymed Phrases. You can also search by syllable and on phrases that rhyme. A Phrases dictionary with over 33, phrases, sayings and word combinations. Your own personal idea factory that allows you to search by any word contained in the phrase.

Word Families is a unique and revolutionary reference dictionary that opens up a new world of possibilities for descriptive words, far beyond that which you will find in a thesaurus.

They can also be used to intensify the search word. Speech Types gives you all the different Figures of Speech including Intensifiers. The only electronic version of The Synonym Finder, which in our opinion, is the best thesaurus on the market.

Filters allow you to be more specific in your searches. In Rhymes, you can search on perfect, close and wide rhymes, as well as Phrases and rhymes from our World dictionary. You can also search by syllable. Other dictionaries allow you to search by usage, part of speech, positive, negative, intensity and more… a.

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Help writing a song that you'll be proud of is on the way. In this article I will show you how to get past this frustration, and actually write something you really, really like. Not only this, but once you’ve done this you’ll know the path to songwriting greatness.

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Read on my blog: How to Write a Song if Your Don’t Play an Instrument. ‣ Songs for Film & TV. Many of today’s top TV dramas and films use songs to add mood, energy, and atmosphere to scenes. A lyric with a single, strong emotional focus is ideal for this use. The Song Lyrics Generator is here to help you through your song writing writers' block. Pick a genre, answer a few questions, and the generator goes to work automatically writing your song!

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