Songwriting Guide

songwriting-guide

Use this quick reference guide and refer back to the home page of www.SongwriterAdvisor.com for detailed explanation of each step!

Step 1

Build a song title either on your own or by using a worksheet containing theme-related words in three columns: Verbs, Nouns, and Other Words. With a strong song title and some practice, the song will eventually write itself!

Step 2

Pick an appropriate song form. In contemporary music the verse-chorus, and verse-chorus-bridge song is really popular now but don’t rule out the verse-verse-verse or verse-verse-bridge song forms.

Step 3

Use the Rhymezone website or a good rhyming dictionary together with a thesaurus to continue building the worksheet you started in Step 1. Write down related words and rhymed words in three columns on the top half of the page; verbs, nouns, and other words. Then mix and match columns to come up with original lines and write those on the bottom half of the page. Rhymezone rules!

Step 4

Create an interesting, melodic, natural sounding hook/chorus part by using the song title in it. The title works best in the first or last line of the chorus, or in both of those areas.

Step 5

Develop the verses by using words and lines from your worksheet, keeping in mind the first and last lines of verses are the most memorable ones for your listeners. Also, the lines right before the chorus can color the chorus differently each time for added interest.

Step 6

If you use a bridge, make it stand out by varying the melody, phrasing of words, and harmonic content. Take your listener into another dimension and build tension so the final chorus explodes with excitement!

Decide if and where you will add a rap, spoken word part, or instrumental to the song.

Step 7

Rewrite and polish your song! Make sure the song makes chronological sense, that it’s focused,and figure out what line(s) and/or sections to remove, replace certain words, or add words or lines.

Done

Rewriting Song Lyrics: A Necessary Songwriter Ritual – Step 7

A pro songwriter makes it a habit to review all song lyrics and make improvements.Seldom does the first draft of a song become the final draft, even for a pro songwriter! To become the best songwriter you can be, take rewriting very seriously.

The Song Lyrics Checklist

1. Make sure the song lyrics make perfect sense from beginning to end unless you’re writing some kind of alternative, abstract-type song. By the way, songs are not poems. A poem can be read over and over until you figure it out. Song lyrics have to be understood on the first or second listening or the listener begins to get discouraged. Please Bookmark This Site

2. Make sure you maintain complete focus and clearly indicate who is doing what throughout the song, and that the song lyrics follow a chronological order so they’re clear and not confusing at all. The most effective songwriter is one whose song lyrics are clear from beginning to end.

3. Sing or play the song from beginning to end and let your impression of the song dictate if it needs another section or sections. Maybe you need to add one or two more lines in the verse or maybe your chorus needs another line to make it clearer. On the other hand, maybe if you remove that one line out of the verse or bridge the song lyrics and melody will be more focused and have more impact. You get the idea.
4. If you’re not satisfied with a certain part of the song try changing the melody or song lyrics, or both, for that part. Sometimes changing one line in a song, usually the ones which lead into each different section, can help a songwriter transform the song lyrics and bring them to life.

5. Understand that rewriting is actually a constructive process for every songwriter regardless of experience, and that even a pro songwriter religiously rewrites song lyrics to perfection. Don’t fool yourself into thinking the song you just wrote in ten minutes doesn’t need any improvement. Even if you’re that good, 99.9% of the time you can make your song masterpiece better by changing a word, or a line or two.

See and Print Out the Songwriting Checklist>>>