Being a songwriter is one of the most exciting careers you can embark on. Many people want to be songwriters but usually have no idea what the songwriting process is or how to write memorable songs. Creating brilliant songs out of your chaotic thoughts can be one of the most challenging things you do as a songwriter. However, this doesn’t translate to you having to give up on your dream of being a songwriter. Know that there is no blueprint of how you can write a song, and your first attempt doesn’t have to be successful. All you have to do is understand the songwriting process much better.
Many professionals share stories of how they faced problems in their songwriting process. However, there are some salient steps you can take to be able to write brilliant songs and strike an emotional connection with your listeners. This article introduces you to the secrets to writing brilliant songs; let’s take a look.
Figuring Out Where to Start
In the songwriting process, you need to figure out where you would begin writing the song. For many songwriters, this is the most challenging part of the songwriting process. Many professional songwriters say that the best place to start your song is the central chorus or the main melody. Once you have your hook written out, you would find it easier to write the rest of the song. With the key-chord progression ready, it is easier to build the rest of your music around it. However, if you find that this process isn’t working for you, don’t stress it.
There are times when this songwriting process isn’t a right fit for songwriters. Some songwriters prefer to begin with the intro. With a brilliant intro, they find it easy to write the rest of their song. The secret to writing a brilliant song is to find what works for you. Don’t start with the hook simply because everyone’s doing it. Maybe starting at the beginning is what works for you; go with that. Some songwriters write out lyrics first and then worry about tune later. If you fall into this category, it’s perfectly okay. There’s no rule about where your songwriting process should begin. However, you need to find which method is most inspiring to you and then build on that.
Your Lyrics Count
Except you’re into simply creating instrumental music, you should know that your lyrics are very significant. However, the lyrics writing part can be the most challenging aspect of the songwriting process. It is especially true for the new songwriters who lack experience in the process. To figure out brilliant lyrics that could help you create memorable songs, you must first be clear on what your song is about. If possible, jot down the message you would like to pass across in your song. When you have the idea down, you can play around with the lyrics.
You could begin to test out the structure and cadence of words to see how they fit into the melody. Your knowledge of what you want to pass across in your song will help guide you on the right words. You should ensure that your hook is solid. The verses and your bridge should also revolve around your message but ensure you leave room for spontaneity. Knowing the theme of your song should make you force the lyrics; let it come to you. You should also utilize rhyme schemes in your songwriting process. They make songs easy to memorize and quite catchy. It doesn’t mean that your lyrics must rhyme. Like we stated earlier, don’t force it. Learn to follow your idea and the road it leads you down, not the rhyme.
Record Inspiration in the Moment
The worst thing you can experience as a songwriter is to inspire a fantastic melody and forget it later. It happens, and it is pretty frustrating when it does. That’s why you shouldn’t wait till you’re ready to record. The songwriting process doesn’t have a timeline. Always make a note of any inspiration or idea that pops into your mind. Make sure you record it on your smartphone or a piece of paper you can keep safe while you’re still in the moment and it’s fresh in your mind. Once you record this down, you’ll be glad to be able to come back to it when you’re ready. It doesn’t matter if you forget about it later; you can always refer to your records at any time.
Go All In With Your Song Structure
Memorable and brilliant songs usually have a great structure; utilize that when writing your pieces. Songs combine intro, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge, outro, and even an instrumental solo. Knowing how to use these structures creatively is key to writing a brilliant song. When writing your music, don’t just stick to the norm of going back and forth between verses and chorus. You can try mixing up the verse, chorus, and bridge structure popular with pop songs. Whatever you do, don’t stick to the typical pattern if you are aiming for a memorable piece.
Your Experience Matters In Song Writing
It may sound quite obvious, but many people try to write songs unrelated to their lives. Many great songs written in history were about a personal experience. Many artists draw inspiration from actual events and traumas in their lives. They use these events to spark their creativity and create brilliant songs from them. So, if you’re going through extraordinary times or a difficult period, use your experience as inspiration in your songwriting process. If there’s a past event that affected your life significantly, you can use it to significant effect. Take the feelings evoked by these experiences and put them into a song you’ll be proud of.
Create a Song That’s Still Compelling When Played Live
As a songwriter, you’re probably using music production software in your home to create your symphonies. This digital audio software allows people to set up a recording studio in their home and write their songs at ease. While this software helps to simplify the songwriting process, you should also consider what your song would sound like when played live. Create a song that would still be just as compelling when you play it live. Most record companies today are interested in artists connecting with the audience. If you can write a song that’s compelling when recorded and when played live, then you’ve won.
Be Open To Collaboration
Most people think that the songwriting process must take place alone. While that’s true sometimes, there are times when collaborating will help you create a brilliant song. It comes in handy mostly when you’re suffering from writer’s block. When you collaborate with other musicians or editors, it helps you to break new ground. It is also a great way to get a fresh perspective on your songs. By collaborating, you can enlist the help of others to piece your song together. This way, new ideas will be introduced to your songwriting process and help bring out the best in your music. The saying ‘two heads are better than one stays true in such a scenario. If you hit a roadblock in your songwriting process, contact a co-creator and collaborate with them to create something memorable.
Songwriting Process: Keep it Simple
When you’re writing your song, don’t complicate things in the songwriting process to write complex songs. Ensure you keep your song as simple as possible. It is one of the leading ways to speed up the songwriting process and quickly figure out your song structure. Many artists who write complex songs started with simple chords on their guitars. When you keep it simple, you will have an excellent foundation to build on. A piece in its simplest form is open to many possibilities. You can go about adding bass, drums, strings, and any other element you’re interested in. Don’t complicate things initially; keep it simple, and you’re on your way to a brilliant song.
Play Around With Chords and Rhythm
One secret to writing a brilliant song is not afraid to try all the chord types. Although you should start simple, take note of chords in the building-up process. Most people stick to the same few chords they’re most comfortable with, but that only limits you. In the songwriting process, try including all types of chords. Doing this will make for more exciting sounds and help you create the complex sound you’re looking for.
Also, experiment with rhythms. The most popular songs have a catchy sound, and this is achieved with a rhythmic motif. You can draw inspiration from your favorite songs. Take time out to listen to some songs that inspire you and take note of the syncopated melody it provides. You would notice that this is usually the memorable part of the song. With this information, you can get creative and produce a rhythm that’s ideal for your songs.
Take a Break
When you’re writing a song from scratch, it can be frustrating. The songwriting process is mentally tiring, and you need a break from time to time. If you notice that your ideas are no longer flowing as they usually do, then it is time to get away. You can take as little as a 15-minute break from your writing pad or your instruments and simply relax. This way, your mind won’t be too clouded. Take the time to clear your head so that your ideas won’t stop coming in or get lost in the haze. It doesn’t matter the time it takes to write the song; don’t rush the process. Whether it takes months or years, getting a memorable song at the end is what’s important.
Don’t Shy Away From Feedback.
When you spend hours writing a song and you’re finally done, it is hard to see it as anything other than good. However, it is usually easy to lose sight of whether the song is good or needs more work. After you’ve spent hours working on a piece, changing things, and creating a memorable tune, ask for opinions. Find someone you can trust to be sincere with their opinion; ensure this is someone whose opinion you also value. Ask such a person to critique your song for you, and they might provide you with some wonderful insight on ways you could improve your piece. Ensure you don’t just play it for anyone; it should be someone who understands music and can give an honest opinion without masking the truth.
Don’t Think Too Hard During the Songwriting Process.
Most times, it’s not the people that you approach for feedbacks that criticize you the most; it is yourself. Songwriters are usually their own worst critics; you should avoid this. Don’t fall into the trap of judging your song harshly or as never good enough. Doing that will keep you from accomplishing a finished work, so keep an open mind always. Although you should always try to take the time to review every new aspect of your song, you should just let the songwriting process flow without worrying. When you think too hard about whether your song is good enough, it could stilt the creative process. Once your piece is complete, take the time to go through it and check for areas that need touchups.
Many songwriters out there produce the best music we have today, and they’ll all agree it was never easy. The songwriting process is a difficult one, but it isn’t impossible. The tips provided above are the secret to creating a brilliant song. They help to smoothen the songwriting process for songwriters as they use their talent to make memorable songs. Note that there’s no formula for a successful songwriting journey. However, if you’re struggling through the songwriting process, apply these tips, and when combined with your hard work and talent, you’re sure to get something memorable.