Guest post: Because I thought you might enjoy, this article has been hand-picked by Yours Truly and is being re-publishing with permission. The author is Richie Gilbert from www.inspired-songwriting-tips.com. Bon appatite!
If you want to learn how to write a song, do what all successful songwriters should do: Study songwriting. If you want to learn how to write great songs, study great songs!
If you want to be a master songwriter, learn from the masters.
If you’ve been writing songs for a while, you most likely are doing something right. When you write regularly you get a feel for it. You develop an instinct for what is catchy, memorable and engaging.
But you can take it further than that.
Think of a craftsman, say, someone who is good with wood. He may have a natural ability to carve or construct things from wood. If he does it all the time he’s going to get really good at it.
Now, if that same person studied woodworking as an apprentice, imagine how much faster he will learn his craft. By studying with the masters, he will learn shortcuts and techniques that might take him years longer on his own.
Same with songwriting.
By studying the techniques of hit songwriters, you learn what works and what doesn’t. You learn how to write songs. That doesn’t mean you have to give up your natural style, or change who you are.
It simply means you learn better ways to present your unique ideas.
By studying song form you can learn to better express those ideas which are unique to you. You learn to build a better vehicle to take your song ideas where you want them to go.
So how do we study hit songs?
Listen to the radio! Listen to the radio with a critical ear. Listen closely and ask yourself a series of questions:
1. Why does this song appeal to me?
2. What is it about the chorus that I find so irresistible?
3. What emotion/s does the melody evoke?
4. Why do the lyrics speak to me?
Keep on asking yourself these questions. Keep digging deeper for more answers. There can be many reasons why a song is so appealing. Find and analyse the reasons why it appeals to you.
And when writing your songs, don’t underestimate the importance of rewriting. Never settle for the first draft. You can do better.
That’s what all great songwriters have done and continue to do.
Songwriting is an ongoing process. There is always something new to learn. You never stop learning. So please don’t ever think you’re done!
About the Author:
Richie Gilbert has been passionate about writing songs for many years. He spends too much time in his home recording studio, and is active in pitching his songs to music publishers.