How To Write A Song: Simple But Useful Tips
Hello friends and welcome back to swift lessons for another weekly challenge in recent weeks have talked to you a lot about songwriting. I gave you my top tips to help you get started and also taught you how to analyze your favorite song so you could draw some inspiration. Well today the challenge continues. I’m going to encourage you to write your first set of lyrics and I’ve got five helpful tips to get you started.
Consider Common Themes
Okay getting started with tip number one consider common themes. So this is the practice of relating your real life experiences with common themes as a way to develop a more Universal sound to your music. Some common themes include Love This Could Be Love lost unrequited love true love and some song recommendations I have for you would be Paul McCartney’s Maybe; I’m amazed; True Love; Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers and also one of my personal favorites, Without You. So love lost there by Harry Nilsson. Okay, another common theme would be coming of age. So personal growth changes self-exploration consider listening to landslides by Fleetwood. Mac has some really beautiful lyrics.
Okay. Next we would have death the loss of a loved one. One fear of the unknown the afterlife some strong examples. There would be Come Back by Pearl Jam or Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton really beautiful tune and moving on. We have Rebellion teenage angst pressing against societal expectations. Think Fight For Your Right by the Beastie Boys or Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation.
Okay in the last thing that I would recommend you tap into would be disillusion. So these are songs about activism social injustice think Marvin Gaye’s Mercy Mercy Me Sam Cooke’s the change is going to come or Neil Young’s Ohio. Oh, very good. Now we’re thinking of common themes that brings us to tip number two search for stories.
So the inspiration for writing lyrics can come from a wide variety of different places. It could be your personal experiences, but it can also be the experiences of friends and family. It could be something you’ve taken from a film a newspaper virtually any other kind of media whenever I’m talking about searching for stories. One thing always comes to mind that is Paul McCartney’s description of the writing process behind. She’s leaving home. I’m going to read off my notes here because I don’t want to misquote him. He says John and I wrote she’s leaving home together. It was my inspiration.
We had seen a story in the newspaper about a young girl who had left home and not been found. There was a lot of those at the time and that was enough to give us the storyline. So always be looking for stories. You’ll find them in the interactions you have with other people in the movies. You see in the stories. You read? There’s so much material out there for you. We’re considering common themes were searching for stories and that brings us to tip number three to study rhyming use so this is the method of mapping out the different rhyming words. You have at the end of each line in a song or poem. The first rhyme is labeled at the second be the third C. So on and so forth. So I’m going to give you two examples of rhyming schemes.
The first one is the most basic just AAA and the example that I’m offering is Yesterday by Paul McCartney.
So I’m going to read this off to its yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away now, it looks as though they’re here. Here to stay. Oh, I believe in yesterday. Okay. So very very basic all those lines were a match.
Now. Let’s take a look at a more complex pattern in American Tune by Paul Simon. This is an ABA B pattern goes like this many’s the time. I’ve been mistaken and many times confused. Yes. I’ve often felt forsaken and certainly misused.
So that was a-b-a-b and he continues that Motif later in the song says and I don’t know. Soul Who’s not been battered? I don’t have a friend who feels that he’s I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered or driven to its knees. Okay. So every other line is a match and that’s a very very common pattern one that I definitely recommend that you get started with.
Studying Song Structures
So it’s very important to understand the different components that make up a song and also what the listener expects of those different sections. So we have the verse section. This makes up the majority of the song. It’s going to change throughout. Throughout the tune and it’s also where you’re going to be telling your story building up your characters set in the context. Okay. Next we have the chorus. This is where you’re going to be looking for your hook. It’s that part of the song that’s repeated over and over and over again. It should be something that is simple Universal and something that really gets stuck in the listener’s ear.
Okay, and then we have the bridge. This is an optional section that usually happens somewhere around the three-quarter Mark within the song. It should have its own unique or progression and most importantly its function is to renew interest of your listener before you launch them into a solo or another chorus.
And then finally we have your coda. This is basically an outro usually a very simple line often taken from another part of the song and then repeat it over and over again as the song Fades out. So there you have it. You have your verse telling your story your chorus setting up your hook creating that earworm for your listener the bridge renewing the interest of your listener and then the coda bringing the song to a close.
Okay now moving on to my fifth and final tip for writing great lyrics and that is to tell a story so a good Lyricist knows how to convey context and emotion without directly telling you what their characters are feeling.
So for example in Paul McCartney’s yesterday, the subject is obviously conveying a feeling of deep sadness, maybe even a little bit of Shame certainly Nostalgia for a better past the lyrics are just vague enough to be universally relatable and they’re not so explicit that they’re born. Okay, that’s probably one of the things that makes yesterday. One of the most successful songs in pop music history. It’s super relatable. And so easy to fit those lyrics into the context of them as anybody’s life.
So that’s my final tip for you tell a story try not to be too literal leave some things open for interpretation and try to make things as universally relatable as possible. All right friends. I hope you enjoyed these five tips and I hope that they’re going to be useful for you as you break into Writing Your Own lyrics and I want you to know that these are only guidelines as you write more and more you’re going to develop Philip your style you find yourself going outside of these guidelines and making things your own. I want to thank my patrons for making all these lessons possible. I hope you’re enjoying all your extra resources exclusive lessons back in tracks and PDFs.