How to write a good song

Last Updated on May 15, 2019 by Klaus Crow

photo by pedrosimoes7
How to write a good songSong writing is an evolving process. I learned that with every song I write there is improvement.

It is just a matter of writing and playing, writing and playing and so on. You learn while you practice doing what you love most.

Like everything else in life it is all about enjoying the path you walk on and not so about arriving at a certain destination.

The destination must not be your main goal. Don’t focus on success, focus on a beautiful song.

The success you achieve or the happiness you experience from arriving at your destination isn’t lasting, the path is. So make sure you have fun and create a passion for writing while doing it.

It is important to live life, listen and read a lot. Be aware of what you experience and take notice of the things around you. Figure out what is still lacking in your writing and where you can improve.

There is always room for improvement and that is the beauty of it. Then again don’t aim for perfection, but aim for completion. Better an imperfect song finished that a perfect song unfinished.

If you are already familiar with the basics of how to write a song then here are 12 keys to improve your skills to write better songs:

1 – Auto or Semi Autobiographical
Write authentically about your personal life or partly and in secret by telling your story via another person in the song. Write about your emotions, your experiences or your future. Write about the little things that matter most.

Write about what you want and don’t want or the change you want to see in the world. Write about what bothers you, what you love, what you preach, what you foresee, what you fear or hope. Write a solution to a problem, a state of mind or a different point of view.

2 – Use metaphors
Compare the situation in your song to a nice metaphor. Use words or phrases to say one thing to mean another.

3 – Create an image
Write the song in a way so the listener can visualize where the person is staying, what he is doing, where is he going, how does he feel, what is happening around him, what does the place look like, is it a nice or dark place, is it hot or cold, is it quiet or loud. Make the listener feel connected to the story. Make it their story.

4 – Create your own style
Be creative with the way you use words and phrases. Don’t think to much in boundaries, what you can or can’t do or how you should write a certain way. It doesn’t always have to rhyme either as long as it makes sense and feels good. Go your own way. Use your artistic freedom. Freedom of expression.

5 – Try to avoid cliches
Sometimes it is difficult because there is almost a cliche hidden in every sentence you use. But if possible keep away from things like: I’d die for you, till the end of time, always and forever, It’s gonna be alright, all night long, etc, etc. I don’t say it’s wrong to use them, it’s not, but they are cliches. If you can’t think of any other way to put something in words, be my guest.

6 – Make it understandable
Make sure people can relate to it. Don’t make the story too difficult for people to grab their attention. Don’t lose your crowd. It’s okay to assume that your listeners are smart but don’t put them in a labyrinth where they can’t get out of.

7 – Write what you like
Write music you would like to hear yourself. If you don’t like your own song don’t expect somebody else will. Write something you love. Make sure you are passionate about your melody and lyrics.

8 – Write on a regular or daily basis
Practice makes perfect. The more you write, the better you’ll get at it.
Here is a great post from copyblogger to describe how to become a better writer.

9 – Rewrite
After you finished your song, rewrite and polish it. Search for holes in the story, incomplete phrases, things that don’t match or really work out as well as you expected in the first place. Improve where necessary, but don’t aim for perfection. Be cool.

10 – Read
Read: fiction and non-fiction, songwriting books, newspapers, blogs and magazines.
Reading inspires. It gives you a place to start from or it can create ideas for you. You can build from someone else’s story and then go your own way.

11 – Check your spelling and grammar
Spelling is easy to check via a spell checker, but a grammar checker is unfortunately not flawless.
To improve your grammar, check out Dailygrammar.com

12 – Study the works of brilliant songwriters:

– Bob Dylan
– Paul Mc.Cartney and John Lennon
– Tom Waits
– Bruce Springsteen
– Paul Simon
– Sting
– Stevie Wonder
– Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
– Joni Mitchell
– Billy Joel
– James Taylor
– Leonard Cohen
– John Hiatt
– Brian Wilson
– Cat Stevens
– John Denver
– Don McClean
– Janis Ian
– Woodie Guthrie
– Hank Williams
– Ray La Montagne
– Thom Yorke
– Van Morrison
– Bono
– Don Henley & Glenn Fry
– Eddie Vedder
– Eric Clapton
– Damien Rice
– Neil Young

Leave a comment anytime. I always read them.

How to write a good song

How to write a good song

This one’s for all my singers in the SongFancy sphere who have been quietly reading along, wondering how the heck to get started writing their own songs.

Perhaps you love singing cover songs on YouTube, but now you want to branch out with your own music. Or maybe you’ve been keeping a “diary” of poems that you thing would make great songs, but don’t know how to add music to them. Maybe you don’t know where to start!

Hi, love. Welcome to the family! Time to get loud with your own songwriting. I’m so excited to hear what you come up with. Are you ready to dive in? Let’s go!

How to write songs: Singer edition!

First things first: Start keeping a journal

Taylor Swift did then when she first started writing with Liz Rose way back in the day. Keeping a journal is a great place to start gathering up your thoughts, which then become the raw material for new songs.

A journal is a great place to process the events of your day. What happened? How did it make you feel? Because what happens in your life has happened in someone else’s life. Use your journal to collect your life’s stories that you can later turn into songs.

How to write a good song

Start a hook book

A hook book is a great way to start turning ideas into titles. What’s a hook book? First, let’s define what a hook is: A hook is the “punchline” of a song, if you will. It’s that one line that wraps everything up in a nice little bow. It usually appears at the end or beginning of a chorus. Most of the time, it’s also the song’s title. A good example is “The Middle” – the song’s title is The Middle. We also hear the hook “why don’t you just meet me in the middle” at the top of the chorus and again at the end of the chorus. The song’s overall concept is about meeting someone halfway in a relationship to make it work. That’s why The Middle makes for such a great hook!

So a hook book is a collection of hooks. Think of it like a list of titles, that are conceptually strong. Brainstorm hooks based on the pages of your journal. If you see that you’ve told a story about something in your day that can be wrapped in with a single phrase, that’s a hook. Make note of them in your hook book.

A hook book can be a separate notebook, a list app on your phone, or just the back half of your daily journal.

How to write a good song

Learn the basics of song craft

This step is important, and you should know that it will take the longest. Luckily though, it’s the most fun.

Order books on songwriting. Pat Pattison is one of the best songwriting teachers out there. I highly recommend checking out Writing Better Lyrics. You can also grab some of my favorite books from this post.

Keep reading posts from SongFancy, too. Here are some great posts to check out as you learn the basic craft of songwriting:

How to write a good song

Pay attention to the music you love

Start paying close attention to the songs that you love. I mean really dissect them. What sections are in it? How many times does the chorus repeat? What’s the rhyme scheme? How long is each part? How does it feel moving from one verse to the next? What is it about?

As you pay attention to the music you love, you’ll learn SO much. Take all that good research and apply it to your own songs.

Be honest, but learn how to tell stories

As a songwriter, you’re most likely going to be compelled to write songs about your own life experiences, and also write completely fictional stories. These may seem like completely different artistic statements, but girl: Both are necessary.

Learn how to write both of these songs with grace and skill. Learn how to express yourself authentically and get vulnerable. Learn also how to tell a good damn story.

Above all else, I encourage you to always write. Don’t ever let anyone’s criticism or judgement keep you from writing what you want to write.

How to write a good song

Make it a habit and set goals

Want to write crazy amounts of songs? Make writing something a daily habit. Something means a song, a verse, an idea, a collection of hooks, even a page of freewriting in your journal. Just write something every single day.

Pat Pattison encourages writers to write for 10 minutes first thing in the morning; If you want to really kick your songwriting into overdrive, take up his unique exercise of daily object writing:

  1. Wake up. First thing, grab your notebook from your nightstand.
  2. Set a timer on your phone for 10 minutes.
  3. Spend 10 minutes free writing on a single word. Write from all 7 senses: Sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell, body (pulse, pains, breathing), and kinesthetic (dizzyness, warmth, motion). Write down everything that comes to mind, even if it makes little sense.
  4. When the timer sounds, put the pencil down.

Set a goal for your songwriting so that you always know where you are along the way. It’s hard to stay encouraged with ourselves in any creative endeavor unless we set goals that we can see ourselves crushing. I have a goal setting strategy you can follow (and a free download) in this post.

How to write a good song

Most importantly: keep it fun

Songwriting should be enjoyable, or at the minimum, necessary! Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s difficult. You may find that writing honestly becomes cathartic. It takes a lot of energy to write songs. And if you share them, you’ll be met with criticism (because EVERYONE and their mother has an opinion on what you should be writing. Eye roll.)

Do whatever you need to keep songwriting enjoyable for you.

Join a speed-songwriting challenge

If you’ve never written a song before, I want to invite you to come participate in my 5 in 5 Song Challenge. We write 5 songs in 5 days to songwriting prompts. It’s a heckuva a lot of fun, and you’re bound to fall in love with songwriting!

So far I can say we have about 99% of people who can sing, 70% who can write songs and just less than 50% who can write good songs.

Therefore I will be drawing our attention to some tips that will aid you in creating a good song.

1. KNOW YOU AUDIENCE : Creating a song isn’t enough but what you intend to achieve at the end, remember each song has its audience and understanding your audience determines if your song will ring a bell or not. E.g As a Nigerian, your music is highly appreciated in the Western part(Yoruba) than other parts of the country.

Face this area you cant create a Tungba and expect the Hausa’s to accept your song🤷‍♀️, you cant create a full ariaria and expect the Yoruba’s to respond? Study your audience first🤔

2. CHOICE OF LYRICS : Humm, this is the main place. Most song composers find it hard to express themselves through lyrics. Therefore I will try as much as possible to use simple words for better understanding.

A. Let it flow: Don’t put pressure on yourself cause you want to write the best lyrics, NO! Calm down and let it flow. Avoid the risk of distracting the creative flow all in the name of putting all your ideas on paper or recording them you might end up doing trash.

B. Don’t say too much🤦‍♀️: Talent no dey run dry(pidgin) just use a few sensible lines

C. Write from within: write with emotions, you can’t expect people to feel your songs when you the composer felt nothing. Try your best to express yourself authentically, be rooted

3. Imagery : Me in person, when I want to write a song I do put two things in mind

1. Song pictures

I will design what my audience feel when listening to my song, I remember when we worked on my first song “Far_away” with my music partner Roland Emkay.

This song was about heartbreak and we expressed how tired we were about falling in love which came with pain and heartaches but at the end of the song we brought out the uniqueness of love the two lovers merge up after everything through the help of the word ” Am SORRY” it’s just a five-letter word but it can bring down a relationship of 30years.

4. CREATIVITY, PASSION AND COMMUNICATION: To me, these are the greatest recipe for creating a good song. Be creative, do something different, don’t repeat the same music lyrics in your songs expect is a signature, clear your own space, be unique in your music world.

Be passionate, if truly you are called to be a music writer, write like never before, give it your best, beware of mistakes that will kill your career.

Communication, let your song be accessible, make it easy for people to follow and sing along. That’s one thing I admire about Tommy Walker author of (Here I am to worship) etc and Frank Edward.

Go with your inspiration, but don’t neglect these other elements that will make your song the best it can be

How to write a good song

“Which do you write first, the music or the words?” This is the classic question that all songwriters get asked. In my experience, there’s no easy – or correct – answer to this one. Sometimes it’s the music, sometimes it’s the lyrics, and, often, it’s some mystical, organic combination of the two. More importantly, there is no one way to write a song. Some of the best – and worst – songs ever written were created using the same techniques. To that end, I’m going to cover four different ways to approach writing a song and some of the “dos” and “don’ts” you’ll want to keep in mind as you go through each one.

1. Writing based on a title idea/lyrical hook

Coming up with a really catchy title or lyrical hook is an art in and of itself. If you’ve got one, congratulations. Now that you’ve got it, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Do remember to make sure that everything in your lyric points to and supports your lyrical hook. Having a catchy hook only works if you build a foundation around it so that when the hook arrives, there’s a sense of drama and release.

Don’t forget to give the song real emotional content. It’s possible to be so focused on the hook and setting it up that you forget to be sincere. While the average listener might not be able to tell you why, the song won’t move them in the way that a song with genuine emotional content would.

2. Writing based on a general idea/lyrical concept

Sometimes you’ve been through an experience or have an idea for a song that feels important enough to write about. That’s as good a place as any to start.

Do capture the feeling and emotion of your concept. You obviously felt strongly enough to want to write about this idea, so immerse yourself in it and really tell the story.

Don’t be too vague. Because you haven’t started with an actual lyrical hook, you’ll need to remember to bring your overall concept to a very sharp point by summarizing it with a phrase or hook line. This hook is something you’ll hopefully come to as you’re developing your lyric around your idea. A story without a summarizing point or hook risks being too unfocused to keep your listeners’ attention.

3. Writing from a melodic idea

If you’re a melodic writer, then you’ve got a different set of challenges. Beautiful, catchy melodies are a rare commodity and should be treated with the appropriate respect.

Do honor your melody and build your song around it. Remember, people will learn your melody long before they learn your lyric, so having a good one is not to be taken lightly.

Don’t let the melody box you into awkward words or watered-down phrases. While a beautiful melody is one part of a song, it’s not the only part. Cramming in words or compromising on your lyrical integrity isn’t an acceptable approach when writing from a melody. Remember, it’s the give and take of a catchy melody and a natural, conversational lyric that makes for a great song.

4. Writing from a chord progression/groove

When you pick up your guitar or sit down at the piano, often it’s a chord progression or groove that comes first. Great!

Do dig in and develop the groove and feel. This can really set the mood of a song and inspire all kinds of interesting melodic and lyrical ideas. Also, a good groove is the very first thing the average listener will notice when they hear your song.

Don’t rely on a chord progression or groove at the expense of your melody and lyric. This is no time to get lazy. A chord progression and groove in and of itself is only – in most genres – an arrangement idea, which doesn’t really constitute a song. Without a strong melody and lyric, it’s entirely possible to have a great sounding track, and, unfortunately, a mediocre song.

As I stated at the top of this article, there isn’t one “right” way to write a song. I’d highly recommend trying every possible songwriting approach you can. Often, as songwriters, we find ourselves in a rut where we go back to the same approach over and over. While this may be comforting and even result in increased productivity, in the long run, it might not provide you with the most inspired or unique songs you’re capable of writing. Why not leave your comfort zone and try a couple of different ways of writing? You never know what you’ll get.

How to write a good song

Great song hooks break boundaries surrounding genre, generational listening preferences, and longevity. I wasn’t even alive during the “Summer of ’69,” and was too young to question why “Dude Looks Like a Lady,” but those song hooks wrote the film score to my childhood movie. As a songwriter, I know that a hook is a powerful tool that can make my song unforgettable, but what exactly is a hook? And how do songwriters harness this musical and lyrical power?

What is a hook in a song?

A hook is the capstone of a well-crafted song. It’s part melody, part lyric, and most likely it’s both. It’s usually the title of the song, repeating throughout the chorus and sitting in the most prominent positions of the first or last line. Hooks often gain influence with repetition, becoming more familiar to the ear and carrying greater depth of meaning as the lyric develops. They help distinguish our song from other songs, give it a distinct fingerprint that listeners can recognize within the first few bars. When a hook comes from the harmonic element of the song—the chord progression and feel—we might refer to it instead as the “groove.” Songwriters who write with a groove in mind (think Stevie Wonder), will have a melodic and lyric hook as well (think “Superstition”).

By these definitions we can understand what a hook is. But writing one, and knowing one when we write it, can be a whole ‘nother thing. Instead of relying on my feelings alone, I like to hold up my hooks against a short list of characteristics killer hooks tend to carry. That way, I can have more confidence in my hooks as I consider them as song ideas. Here are five characteristics of great hooks.

1. The melody, harmony, and lyric speak the same message.

This means that the emotion in the lyric is supported by the inherent emotion in the melody. How does a melody speak emotion? Think of it like body language. Melody is made up of rhythm and pitch. Different rhythmic elements like rest space, long notes, short notes, on-the-beat or off-the-beat settings combine with pitch elements like wide or clustered intervals, descending or ascending or static shapes to suggest emotion.

Short punchy notes on a single pitch might insinuate persistence, or a frantic or anxious feeling. Long soaring notes might cast a triumphant glow, or on the other side, intense sorrow. Add to that a lyric that says with words what the melody says with movement and pitch, and we get believability: a genuine feeling that what the song is saying is significant and true. Sometimes the feeling caused by the lyric and melodic connection is subtle, but sometimes it’s blatant. I believe that our more special songs have greater effect because of these moments of intense agreement between melody and lyric and chords.

2. The lyric of the hook is the only “answer” to the verse’s “questions.”

Every line of lyric we sing points the listener towards a conclusion. If it isn’t clear what I’m getting at in the verse, I have not poised the listener to be curious about my chorus message. Without the tension of the verse setting up the hook, it won’t provide the relief I want listeners to feel as I reveal it as the crux of the idea. Making sure most lines and the overall idea of the verses and prechoruses point indisputably towards the hook makes the hook feel like it’s summarizing the entire point of this song and only this song.

3. The lyric of the hook is concise and sparks curiosity in the listener.

Long hooks, short hooks, partial phrases in parentheses (we’ve seen it all), killer hooks deliver no more and no less than necessary. Hooks like “Unbreak My Heart,” or “Make Every Word Hurt” are commanding, with an impossibility that makes me want to hear more. “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” expresses a simple, conversational and also visual message. It tells it like it is. Interesting words like “Falter” or “Unconditional” spark my curiosity because of their uniqueness or a character that is larger-than-life. Whatever our lyrical phrase, a hook has the ability to interest the listener without giving it all away.

4. The hook is spotlighted through contrast.

A musical hook stands out from the section that came directly before it. If our melody of the verse was made up of short punchy notes, our hook melody at the beginning of the chorus will stand out if we use longer notes instead. If we use rest space right before we sing our hook at the end of a chorus, we’re giving the listener a signal to pay attention, because contrast suggests a new and important idea. The contrast doesn’t have to be extreme to shine the spotlight where we want it, but it sure does help. Listen to some of your favorite highly commercial songs and you’ll notice lots of contrast helping to make the hook stand out.

5. The hook benefits from position and repetition.

“Lean On Me” is a beautifully simple song that repeats melodic hooks over and over again. The position of the simple idea, “Lean On Me” in the first and last lines of the chorus frame the section with the main point. The cadence in the melody from neighbor tones to the root, alongside the cadence of dominant to tonic make sure our ears hear that lyric as the main message. For many hooks, we might say all roads do indeed lead to Rome.

As with most facets of songwriting, I tend to believe the best way to write killer hooks is to be open to writing some not-so-killer ones, too. Inspiration will find you working! Ride that wave of creativity for long, and we’re bound to catch a few good runs.

I feel it’s important to remind ourselves as songwriters that a song’s quality – like any art – is subjective. Ultimately, time and the long view will provide a clearer perspective on whether your work is solid. Even the most successful songwriters face a lot of rejection and an almost endless supply of others’ opinions. The reality is that if you’re going to sustain a career as a songwriter, you can’t rely on anyone else’s point of view as to the level of your songs. Here are a few ways to help you to decide if your song is “good” or not.

1. You like your song no matter what anyone else says

This one is much easier said than done when you’re starting out as a songwriter. We’re so easily discouraged if our songs aren’t met with unqualified praise that even the slightest comment or criticism can convince us we’ve written a sub par song. Part of developing a thick skin is knowing when to tune out all other opinions in favor of your own positive one. How to write a good song

2. Your song gets a strong reaction – positive OR negative

Songs, at their best, are written to make people feel something. The very worst response to one of our songs is a non-response. It’s infinitely better to have someone actively dislike something you’ve written because at the very least it means your song has a strong enough statement to elicit a reaction. That being said, it always feels better when your song is loved instead of hated but either response means you’re on the right track.

How to write a good song

3. You’ve achieved the goal you set out when you sat down to write

If, in reviewing your finished song, you’re confident it communicates the message – both musically and lyrically – that you hoped to communicate, then you’ve written a good song. It doesn’t hurt to remind yourself once your song is finished why you sat down to write it in the first place. If the end result stays true to your original vision for what you’d hoped to do, then, by definition what you’ve written is good.

Conclusion

While it feels wonderful to have others tell you your songs are great, relying on outside opinions is, at best, risky and, at worst, dangerously discouraging. In order to find the motivation to get up every day and write songs, you’ll need to know in your own heart and mind that the work you are doing is quality and deserves to be heard.

Has anyone ever told you that your songs “sound a little dated,” or “need to be more cutting edge,” or “have a kinda ’80s vibe” when you weren’t really going for an ’80s vibe? If so, then maybe it’s time to make your songs sound contemporary.

There are times when it’s cool to write in a vintage genre, but if you want to pitch your songs to music publishers you’ll need to be writing in a contemporary style. And film & TV music supervisors are looking for current sounding songs most of the time.

What does “contemporary” mean?

“Contemporary” is just music industry shorthand for what today’s listeners are buying, downloading, streaming, or watching on YouTube. In other words: Contemporary is what listeners like right now.

Why write in a contemporary style?

THERE ARE MORE OPPORTUNITIES: Today’s recording artists are looking for current-sounding songs. They will rarely cut something with a dated feel because they know it will be harder to get radio airplay. Even if it’s a good song that could have been a hit twenty years ago, it will be hard to market now. Radio needs to keep today’s listeners tuned in by playing the kinds of songs they like.

Today’s lyrics are filled with vivid images and powerful action words. Today’s listeners like melodies with plenty of momentum and rhythmic interest. In the video examples below and song analysis that follows, I’ll tell you more about how to do that.

TASTES CHANGE: Just like fashions in clothes, musical tastes change over time. Are you still wearing the big hair, wide ties, and paisley prints of the 1970s? No? Then why would you still write songs that sound like the ’70s?

Sure, some fashion styles do make a comeback—a retro ’70s look can be very cool. But there’s always a new twist; those cool vintage platform shoes are paired with current jeans and jacket. You can do the same with older song styles. Pair them up with some of today’s melodic twists, rhythm loops, and maybe add a pre-chorus to give them a bigger dynamic build.

SONG USES CHANGE: A decade ago no one thought to use songs as underscore in a TV show. Now there are over 60 prime time TV series using songs. The songs you wrote ten years ago might not work for these uses. Many shows take place in the present and need songs that sound like what you would hear on the radio today.

“But I hate everything on the radio!”

Truth is, you may not hate what’s on the radio, you may just hate radio itself. The chattering DJs, endless ads, inane contests, and having to listen to songs you hate to get to the ones you like is enough to turn anyone off.

Then don’t listen to the radio!

Instead, look through the music charts for current songs. You can find charts at BDSradio.com. (Click on Select Format and choose from the drop-down menu.)

Look for the genre you’re writing in or explore freely until you find something that looks interesting. Make a list of songs and artists, then listen wherever you buy or stream music. You’ll probably find a lot of songs you don’t like before you find a few that you love, ones that are current and inspiring. It takes times and patience but it’s worth it.

But how different can it be?

Is there really a big difference between a song that was a hit twenty years ago and a current hit song? Well, listen for yourself. To make it a fair comparison, I chose two hits by the same artist, Tim McGraw. “Not a Moment Too Soon” was his breakthrough single from 1994. “Highway Don’t Care” was a hit for him in 2013.

See if you can hear differences in the style of the lyrics, melody, and song structure – not to mention production – as you listen to these two songs.

Tim McGraw then and now…


How have the lyrics and melodies changed over time?
LYRICS: Notice how the lyrics in “Not a Moment Too Soon” are leaning on some over-used images (“rainbow” “pot of gold”) and there are lines that make statements about how the singer feels rather than making us feel the emotion ourselves.

“Highway Don’t Care” features vivid details and pictures. Using the cold, impersonal highway to suggest feelings of loneliness and isolation—the opposite of love—gets listeners more involved in the song. They can feel what the singer is feeling.

MELODY: Melodies have also changed since Tim McGraw had his first hit. Today’s melodies, especially the chorus melodies create more urgency, energy, and momentum by eliminating pauses at the ends of lines, using rhythmic phrasing to grab attention (“But I do, I do”), and using a greater variety of line lengths. You can hear this by comparing the choruses of these two songs.

Studying recent hit songs is the best way to learn contemporary songwriting techniques, tools, and ideas. Join me and read along as I take a look inside today’s top hits in all genres.

But my songs are already recorded!

If you have master recordings from the ’60s, ’70s, or ’80s you can pitch them to period TV shows and films like Boardwalk Empire or Mad Men. Check out a music library like Wild Whirled which specializes in vintage masters. TAXI.com, the pitch service, frequently runs listings for music supervisors and music libraries looking for vintage masters. Just be sure your recording is good quality. Don’t use a poor cassette copy as your master.

Here’s another idea: Songs that work well for the Film & TV market are often those with a barebones, stripped-down approach to production. An acoustic guitar or piano and vocal track, with a little bass and percussion to add dynamic build, can work just fine for this use. Consider recording “unplugged” versions of your songs. Update the melody a little. Add more emotion and edge to the lyric. Next thing you know, you’re sounding contemporary yet timeless.

How to write a good song

What is the key to writing a good song?

There is one thing in particular that will make or break a song… That thing is NOT your level of talent. It’s got nothing to do with how your voice sounds… It’s also got nothing to do with how long you’ve been writing songs.

I’ll tell you what this “key” is in a moment, but first there’s something that needs to be addressed.

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How to write a good song

What I want to talk about is your songwriting process. Getting your “process” right will allow you to “get” the key that I’m going to tell you later.

First of all… Are you aware of your songwriting process?

Or does it seem like a random mess?

Many songwriters struggle, because they mix up different stages of the writing process.

More specifically, they mix the “creative” part of songwriting, with the “critiquing” part.

When this happens, it’s like putting a large “lid” over your best ideas.

Let me explain…

Creating and critiquing are two very important
phases of the songwriting process.

To write a good song, you need to create ideas for it. And you also need to sit back, hear these ideas, and judge whether or not they are good enough to belong in the song.

The problems is when you “mix” these ideas together, by trying to JUDGE ideas as you CREATE them, it effectively blocks you from discovering your best ideas.

So right now, think about your songwriting process.

Are you trying to CREATE and CRITIQUE at the same time?

If so, here’s what you need to do. (And you’ll see how this leads into “the key” to writing a good song I spoke of earlier).

You need to keep this CREATING and CRITIQUING completely separate.

This means, when you are having a creative session… generating ideas for a song… you need to create without judgment.

This means allowing ideas to flow without deciding
whether they are good or bad.

Yes, you need to follow your intuition towards what you feel is the direction you should be going in. But block out the inner conversation in your mind. When you hear that chatter going on about whether an idea is good or not, take your focus OFF of this.

You see, the language center in your brain can be quite detrimental to your creativity. It prevents you from accessing the rich, creative potential of your mind.

So by removing this ongoing judgment as you create, you’ll suddenly be accessing your more powerful creative resources. You’ll feel this too, as after a while of creating you’ll feel like you’re in a very relaxed “trance like” state where ideas seem to flow easier.

I’ve created a course that’s designed specifically so musicians can discover their rich inner potential, by tapping into these amazing creative resources.

There have been many hundreds of musicians who have already taken the course, and the results have been astounding. The reports of sheer joy as these musicians discover this “inner talent” that they’d been searching for flow in each day.

It’s in this “highly creative state” where the “key”
to writing a good song is located.

You see, when you create “non- judgmentally” for a certain amount of time, you sink into this “trace like state” where ideas flow richly and easily.

One idea leads on to another, which leads on to another. And the quality of these ideas get better and better the longer you participate.

The key to writing a good song is to get into this state. Because the song ideas you will create from this state will be FAR more INSPIRATIONAL than anything you could come up with outside of it.

Get into this state often… this “inspired state”, where rich ideas come to you over and over again… and you will discover enough magical ideas to write many GREAT (not just good) songs.

Let me finish with a process for you to follow.

1. Set a simple recording device running to capture all your ideas (this way there’s no need to judge as you create – your recording a copy of the whole creative session)

2. Begin creating on your instrument. Don’t judge any idea that comes up. Just follow what hit’s you, and allow your instincts to guide you. One idea will lead onto the next that will lead onto the next. Follow this path with curiosity and enjoyment.

3. After you’ve done this for around 30 minutes, stop the recording. Take a break for an hour or so.

4. Come back to the recording and listen to it. Take note of all the ideas that you like. You’ll be surprised at the high quality of many of these ideas! Use them to construct full pieces.

Writing a good song isn’t so hard after all, is it?!