How To Write A Country Song
Our topic of the week is How To Write A Country Song.
Knowledgeable songwriters, let’s hear what you have to say on how to write country songs. Please share tips, ideas and techniques below. This is the first question in our series of questions on how to write various kinds of songs.
Here’s an opportunity to help an aspiring songwriter, all in the spirit of love.
Thanks for participating in our friendly forum.
Dec 06, 2009 i say…
Country is very EZ!! heart Break and then moving on is what they r mostly about (mostly deep feelings) some country songs rhyme but not all but they always have a chorus that repeats about 3 times!!
Dec 15, 2009 hi
I like all kinds of music and i hope to be a songwrighter when i grow up. I like all kinds of music and i think that more people should really try songwriting just for fun. Music is my life and i really like this website to give me some ideas.
Dec 17, 2009 OMG
This is amazing!! I used a few tips and applied them to my songwriting techniques already in use and after some practice, I already have 4 hit songs! I’m rising to the top of Billboards and I didn’t even have to *%&* to get there this time. This is an amazing product, one that will keep me from being a total industry *%$% in the future. Thanks Ultimate Songwriting.com!!
Comment edited. Please use clean language. – by moderator.
Dec 18, 2009 SONGS
by: song rocker1920
Thanx for the info!!! 🙂
Dec 29, 2009 Advise + ETC
ok, my advise… try listening to some contry songs and try to control your voice to a levle that sounds like its country. and as for writing the songs try going for a slow rythem or a really fast one. or usualy thats what i listen to. and try to repeat the chorus 3 times and use the third one as the part thats in the middle of the song (i dont know what its called!)
anyway thanks all you guys for the amazing advise!
Jan 07, 2010 three chords, a story and a beer
I think my title says it all. You may need a fourth or fifth chord for the bridge, but underneath all the pedal steels, fiddles, harmonies and twangy lead guitar lies three chords and a story (and probably a beer). I like this site, just being here has me thinking in hooks (That title isn’t a bad one) huh?
By the way, reading the previously posted comments to this question, I’m wondering ‘can anyone read?’
Call me crazy, but I think being literate is a good place to start if you’re writing a song, or answering questions or…
Feb 02, 2010 lazy days
well, i write acoustic rock, but my freind who has more of a country style, says that its just 3 chords and the truth. he also said that its the “common people’s music”. so write something simple, like you’re talking to a friend
Feb 12, 2010 Do any of you actually listen to country radio?
From most of the comments I’ve read, you guys stopped listening to country in the 1970’s. Today’s country music is SO much more than heartache and a beer. Listen to Tim McGraw “Live Like You Were Dying” or Phil Vassar “Another Day In Paradise” or “Real Love”. There are so many examples of creative, well written country music that don’t involve beer, breakup, a truck, or a dog. You get the idea.
Get on iTunes and take the time to actually listen to the songs and how they’re written… the melodies, ryhme schemes, song form, etc.
I’ve gotten a LOT of GOOD info from Selby Music Group. Go to www.selbymusicgroup.com and sign up for this guys course. It’s REALLY good.
Apr 07, 2010 country
I love country its my all time favorite because i can relate deeply to the songs.I write songs similar but ive yet to be noticed for my talent in writing these songs.
May 06, 2010 question from the weak
by: dirty fingers
I apologise for leaving this question here, I couldn’t figure out were I ‘m supposed to place it. And apologies for probably asking a boring and stupid question… I do really wonder about it sometimes, so here itr is…:
When writing down a song in words, chords and additional information ; I feel my method for writing it down isn’t what I want. I have never learned a standard way to write down the song info,
though I try out different ways, I haven’t yet really been fully satisfied. I’m sure I want to use some self made rules like: always write chorus in same color, verses in another color and intro and bridge also in their own colors. Just so I don’t have to write the words ‘chorus’ and … rediculous maybe… that’s why I now ask someone else for a method they always use in the same way. I do need a method, because otherwise I keep starting over and over and over
I would be interested in every little detail that make up the method you use… only if you are satisfied by it of course…
I’ll give another example just so you know what I mean: I can almost never decide if I want to leave open one line above each lyric-line , so I have enough room to write chordnames, Or if I want everything to fit on one page. I recently solved this issue by using bigger pages :-), and now I don’t know if it’s better to try and fit more words on one line, or to try let the rythmic and chordal structure decide for this (ok, last one is the most logical answer),
But there’s also the grammatical structure of your lyrics… Like times you start singing on the last beat of the previous measure… I guess it’s kinda stupid to write that one word on the previous_line: like this:
I was wondering: wich standards do those songwriting- software programs you hear about use.
Please excuse my long, boring way of asking unimportant stupid questions. I will work on that, as soon as I’ve solved my songwriting issues…
May 18, 2010 I’m bound to figure it out anyway…
by: dirty fingers
Some time in the past, around when Mozes was still running up hills and carving in stones the written down rules on how to live and love sucesfully. There are no better ways than to carve it into rock. By carving it in rock you asure readers it is truthfull, the content won’t change after discussing it,… And the best quality to it is: there are no other versions or opposite opinions to those 10 commandments, even after all this time.
If I would only read the titles and short descriptions of all the books and info I can access instantly, my eyes hurt from reading before my brain learns anything. People may find this a positif evolution and maybe call it the era of unlimited information.
But I have my own opinion about it. You can already guess it being opposite to positif… I would definetly choose the stone version. The
more different books you check out… of course the more similarities you notice… but also, the more they lack. It is all truth in songwriting-
theorie-books, and if you read, you will learn. But you cannot explain feelings,describe tensions or show moods with words or even drawings.
So what can we do about it?
of course write everything down on a big stone near big mountains. But seriously… listen to music, maybe spend even more time listening and finding ways for your mind to understand what you hear. In other words: make your own journey through music,feel mood and tension. The music you listen to is probably made because people wanted to share that feeling, that mood. The tension is created so you wouldn’t lose interest. While the massproduction of (many)musictheory-
books probably has other reasons, less to do with share this wonderfull thing, and more of a make money thing. Which makes those books artists wrote themselves even better (BB king’s songbook is like a bible if you believe in music)
Cherish people that share the same interest in music, and find someone to talk about these things on your mind… or find a way to accept that your deepest interests are deepest boredoms to people around you…
I wrote this for myself, it might be somekind of joke. To me it does contain some -try to express
a feeling- I do feel slightly better after I shared this.
May 24, 2010 Modern Country Music
by: Prava Recordings
Modern country music has absorbed what used to be referred to as “easy listening” or “soft rock”. Those genres barely exist any more and it’s because the country genre has expanded, focusing more on basic pop-style songwriting and vocals.
For the more youthful, energetic modern country, is very pop oriented. It only fits the country genre because of the singer’s accent or the accompanying instruments.
A great pop song is a great pop song, period end of story. They all have the same things in common.
Jun 27, 2010 Keep Writing
by: T. D.
I write primarily accoustic blues and record for Great Music Studio. The thing that I have found is that blues and country, although different in sound, has the same feel in the lyrics. The song forms can be similiar in the simpler country songs also. I tend to write from a title most of the time. This seems to give a direction for the story to follow. Most of my songs have a musical hook that everything else hangs on. The lyrics are always the hardest part of the song for me. I just keep chipping away at them until I get something that I like and seems to have some meaning. Songwriting is one of the hardest things that I do to myself, but also the most rewarding. Just keep at it and don’t get frustrated. We get better at craft the more of it that we do. Good luck and keep writing.
Jun 30, 2010 Nobody has a Wrong Answer (How to write a country song)
by: Keith Alan Richards
If you are reading these comments take the time to appreciate that each of the people took the time to add to this discussion. It doesn’t matter if they are writng their first or fifty-first song. They want to share, thats all. No more – no less.
That being said, I personally like to write songs that have 1) a strong hook 2) a subject that I believe in and/or feel strongly about 3) a message that lets others who hear it KNOW, they aren’t alone! nor are they the first person who has been where they are, so somehow they understand it will be OK.
As far as composition…… Man thats up to you. I can recite songs that have two verse/three chorus (with or without a bridge), songs that are nothing more than one chorus or verse repeated, three verses(with or without bridge),,,, Well you get the point. The truth is there is no right way. I have seen top ten hits in all of the above styles in the last five years on country radio, so you tell me.
The bottom line is just let whats in you out, first of all. After enough times you’ll see what works and what don’t. But the best advice I can give is: be your own worst critic and be COMPLETELY HONEST with yourself. Don’t tell yourself (or anyone else)it’s good enough for radio if all you have there is a do-it-yourself/my-ex-is-a-b*tch therapy session. You were a fan first. You know what you and most everyone around responded to, use that as your yard stick..
Good luck all. God bless
Jul 17, 2010 A Piece of Advice (How to write a country song)
I’ve been reading all of your comments and I’ve already learned some new things! Thank you all for sharing.
I’m fifteen and I’ve been writing songs for over 2 years. My biggest goal and dream is to move to Nashville and work as a songwriter.
I write mostly pop and country music and if I were to give any advice about it, it would be to LISTEN. Listen to the structure and all the little pieces of the song. Listen to the melody, the chords, the instruments.
I also find that most country songs have very good and witty titles. Take Jordyn Shellharts “I Kinda Like You Liking Me”, Tim McGraws “I Didn’t Ask & She Didn’t Say” and Darius Rucker’s “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It”. I love these titles and I’m immediately intrested in listening to the song. So that would be my advice: try to come up with a good title.
Aug 08, 2010 Just a Gol’ Durn Minute!’
The writer suggesting that somehow listening to
classic (traditional) country was behind the times, has a way to go. It is very much alive
and remains a vibrant part of the business.
It is an alternative, not a poor relative.
There has alway been some terrble country music, as there is with rock,pop and other genres: ( i.e. stuff like Roy Acuff, Hank Williams Sr., Bill Monroe, Flat & Scruggs).
The Tim McGraws (and others mentioned) are not really country singers but, rather hybrids. Their winkle uses country music pretige and facilities to sell a bastard form of country. It is falling away from its height and Lord willing, it will disappear to the outhouse of whatever record company was responsible for it.
Big hats and Justin boots do not a country singer make!
Aug 12, 2010 Writing country songs
I always start with a good title,write and rewrite.Play with the words,don`t use the same old phrases(I love you)(I miss you)(moon-June).After you write your”hit song”put it away somewhere and don`t look at it for a few weeks.Most of the time you`ll want to make changes or start all over.Repeat process.
Aug 12, 2010 Bring back real country music
I`m with you Anonymous.I can`t stand this bubblegum-high school stuff. Most of the new singers have never listened to Hank Thompson or the great Marty Robbins.What a shame!
Aug 27, 2010 new country vs old country
I agree with alot of yall. this new generation of country is chopped up into bits and pieces of what used to be country. yes you can still write a great song with three or four basic courses like billy currington. even George Strait has tons of songs that are simple songs with simple chords. what im saying is to all the people that say things like i read about stuck in the 70’s well how do you think we got to where we are now. i think singers and songwriters should stick more to their roots and quit trying to keep up with this pop era cause its not lasting from what i have read country music is slowly going back to older country. so take time and think about that.
thanks for your time.
Dec 30, 2010 Some Advice
I’m 15 years old and I’ve been writing for about two years. One of the things I’ve found that helps me is to look at song lyrics and study them. Don’t copy, just study! It’ll give you some ideas but make sure you don’t copy anything. If that doesn’t help try writing with someone. A friend or someone you know that is good at songwriting. The first few months after I started writing I had one of my friends with me most of the time and we help eachother. It makes it easy to think with two heads, trust me.
Well that’s all I can tell you to do. I hope it helps you as much as it does me. Good luck!
May 12, 2011 Titles
alright, i have a couple good song titles, but as far as the songs go, i cant quite get the rythme the way i want it… any suggestions?