Tips on writing songs
Rhymes and songwriting
When writing songs, your focus should not be on rhyme at the expense of reason. Many beginning songwriters make that mistake. You should never rhyme for rhyming sake. Your listeners will hear this and you will only irritate them. Focus on reason.
And you don’t always have to use perfect rhymes like “love” and “above”, “sad” and “mad”, or “hook” and “look”. In fact many songwriters shy away from this type of rhyme. You can use partial rhymes at times. These are rhymes in which the sounds are similar but not identical. Instead of rhyming love with above, you can use an impartial rhyme like rough. Since the “f” sound in rough is close to the “v” sound in love, they work well together.
Tips on writing songs – Tips on writing lyrics – writing for the radio
If you want to write songs that get played on the radio, focus on the hook. Radio stations are hook-driven. You see, all a radio station wants to do is keep you from switching stations. Songs that contain hooks help them do just that. Think of the number of songs you like where you have no clue what the singer is saying in the verses. In fact you couldn’t care less. You just wait for the hook (contained in the chorus) and that’s it. Also, the more hooks you have in your song, the better – as long as it doesn’t take away from the main hook.
As a songwriter, you must be in tune with what is happening today. You must be knowledgeable about the kinds of songs that gets played on the radio. You must know what the trends and the hits are. For example, hip hop is not about complicated chords and progressions. It’s based more on riffs and rhythm. Simplicity is key. You should know stuff like how long the average hit song is.
Tips on writing lyrics – Tips on writing songs – writing more songs
How many songs do you write a month? Are you writing enough? Personally I have begun approaching my writing as a number’s game. If I put enough songs out there, all will not become hits but a few will capture people’s attention. That way I’m giving myself more scope. I’m increasing my chances of coming up with hit songs simply because I have more songs. Focus on writing quality songs, but quantity is also important.
Tips on writing lyrics – Tips on writing songs – the power of contrast
The final subject I shall look at is the power of contrast. This is a good way to keep your song interesting from start to finish. Examples of contrast include using minor chords in your chorus and major chords in your verses. Or how about writing the melody of your verse in a lower range and going higher in your chorus. You can use longer notes in your verses and shorter notes in your chorus. Another way to create contrast is to feature a singer with a totally different voice or style of singing to yours. Take Beyonce and Sean Paul for example in the song “Baby Boy”. This is an essential part of hip hop music, where one singer sings and another raps.
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