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Songwriting

Posted on 10 December, 2014 by
Rhyming is one of the things that make listening to songs enjoyable. It gives the song lyrics shape and excitement, which is why songwriters use them often. Then again, you should not obligate yourself to write your songs in rhymes, as it is really not necessary. A good resource for rhyming Technics is the Pat Pattison Book Songwriting: Essential Guide to Rhyming Looking for and listening to rhymes in poems and songs have become a natural instinct for humans. It creates a sense of rhythm or “hook” that catches your attention, which piques you interest making you listen to it more.  Thus, the conception of the term “Last Song Syndrome” wherein a song gets stuck in your head even though you only heard it once or twice.The general assumption is that rhyming only involves the vowels and their multiple sounds. Truth is, there are many different rhyming styles, and you can incorporate them in your song lyrics. Masculine – stress is on the final syllables of the words (rhyme, crime, sublime) Feminine – Stress is on the second from last syllables (picky, sticky, tricky) Dactylic – stress is on the third from last syllable (‘Aristophanes’, cacophonies) Syllabic – the final syllable of the words doesn’t necessarily contain vowels but sounds the same (cleaver, silver, pitter, patter) Imperfect – rhyme made with stressed and unstressed syllable (caring, wing) Semirhyme – rhyme made with an additional syllable on a word (ending, bend) Oblique – also known as slant rhyming, is made with a match in sound although imperfect (fiend, green) Assonance – made by matching vowels (hate, shakre) Consonance – made by matching consonants (dark, her) Half rhyme – also known as sprung rhyme, is made by matching last consonants (ant, bent) Alliteration – also known as head rhyme, is made by matching starting consonants (ship, short) The rhyming styles should just be your reference and you should not get so technical about them and start worrying which one of the above you should use. Let your intuition and instinct be your guide when making rhymes. Focus instead on writing good song lyrics and telling a good story or theme.Here are a few rhyming tips: -    Create structure to the lyrics by choosing a rhyme pattern. There are quite a few rhymes to every word and a lot more combinations to create. Take a look at your favorite songs and analyze their rhyming patterns. -    Stay creative while following your rhyming structure. As a songwriter, you should keep coloring outside the lines and breaking the rules. Try to rhyme in different ways. You might be surprised with what you come up with. They may work or they may not, at least you are being unique and creative. -    Avoid using the same words – it’s not really rhyming. Overusing rhyming words will only irritate your audience and make your song boring so unless it’s absolutely necessary, never do it. Use a new rhyme pattern for each stanza or a new sound to rhyme with every stanza. -    Stop being too analytic. Thinking too much holds back that artist within you. Use your emotion and instinct, not your brain. Your main goal is to write down what you feel and think. When you write freely, it will be easier to find rhyming words and sounds. -    Don’t be a perfectionist. Just write… A lot. Never worry about cleanup. You can do that later. Worrying about neatness blocks the creative process. Just let your thoughts flow and rhyming will come naturally too. -    Take a note of everything. Songwriters are some of the most observant persons in the world because it is in their experience that they draw their emotions from when writing song lyrics. -    Take timeouts. Periodically take a break and let your brain rest for a while by doing something else. Then get back to what you have written. This will give you a fresh outlook on what you’re writing about.  
Posted on 26 November, 2014 by
Songwriting is half craft and half art. It's part emotional and part technical. And like playing the piano or other musical instruments, you must learn the techniques first before you can play by heart.  Songs are made up of common elements although some may have one that another does not.  Melody - This is the song's tune. It's what you play or sing. Great melodies are catchy and easy to remember and a potential hit song should have both of these.  Rhythm and Beat - What makes the audience feel the song is its beat, also known as the song's tempo. It can either be fast or slow. The beat that the musical instruments follow is called a song’s rhythm.  Chords or Chord Progression - This is what accompanies the melody of the whole song and is also typically part of its rhythm. The order the chords are played is called the chord progression.  Style and Genre – The rhythm and the beat of a song defines its genre. It can be pop, rock, country, or R&B. When the song is constructed with the instruments and words, the style may then vary. Style branches out from the song’s genre like alternative, punk rock, blues, and others. Hook – Remember that part of that song that you can’t get out of your head? That’s called the song’s hook. Great songwriting calls for good hooks. There are even songs that are built on repeating that hook over and over. The title of the song can also be its hook. Lyrics – Simply put, the lyrics are the words that you speak out in a song. These words describe the story of the song, it’s theme and its title. Typically, lyrics will be structured in rhymes and patterns to make the song easier to listen to. Concept or Story – All great songs have stories to tell. This is also referred to as the song’s concept or theme. The title, typically, conveys the essence of the theme which is then expounded by the lyrics while the song unfolds. Sections of the Song – Most songs are divided into sections that are named intro, stanza or verse, chorus, the bridge, and others. Typically, the verses or stanzas, and chorus are the meat of the whole song and they describe the theme or concept of the whole song. The other parts like intro, lead breaks, bridge will act as supporters to these main components. The sections are also structured in measures or bars. They usually have a length of four beats but they can be long or shorter. Good songwriting calls for proper bar structuring. Arrangement – Arrangement of the sections of the song refers to the order in which they are placed, liked intro-verse-verse-chorus-verse. The arrangement of the instruments, on the other hand, refers to how the vocals, instruments, and other parts are organized in a song. Length – The length of the song varies according to the style, genre, or the preference of the song writer or arranger. The typical song length is about three and a half to four minutes long. It can be longer or it can be shorter depending on how it has been arranged during recording. In your analysis of songs written by successful songwriters, you will find that some of them contain some, all, or more of the elements mentioned in this article. But still they will follow certain rules and formulas to keep within the mainstream music. As a songwriter, feel free in breaking some rules and at times creating new ones in your songwriting. Who knows, you might come up with a great hit while doing experiments with these common song elements?  
Posted on 24 November, 2014 by
Lyrics are the best way to express your feelings. You can talk about anything like relationships, triumphs, sorrow, and many more. When feelings are your inspiration, a song becomes meaningful and full of emotions. Here are some ways on how to write meaningful lyrics. 1.    Find your object of focus.Writing words for a song needs a topic to focus on. It could be an emotion of yours, an experience, or a person. A subject will make a song stand out. 2.    Create a story.Once you have decided about your topic, construct a narrative relating to it. Make sure that you write in sequence to keep the story flow organized. A story in a song will be interesting for listeners and will keep them hooked up with it. 3.    Choose appropriate words.Careful usage of words is very important. You don’t use words just because you like them in your lyrics. You can browse a dictionary or book to help you find appropriate words and phrases that suit your composition. Choose the words wisely, without sacrificing the rhyming element. Always choose simpler words as they are better and easy to listen to. 4.    If possible, use a rhyming dictionary.If you are new to the art, there is nothing wrong with using a rhyming dictionary. Make this as your guide to keep your composition from being over-rhymed. 5.    Don’t waste words.This simply means that you should avoid using repetitive words. Cross out words that occur many times within the composition. In this way, listeners will not be bored with it since they hear different selections of words. 6.    Always check for grammar lapses.Always watch your tenses. Check if your sentences are well-structured, and see to it that every pronoun, adverb, and adjective used are connected with each other. Always give an extra effort in correcting grammar mistakes to make your lyrics sound professional. 7.    Write words that are also beyond your feelings.If you can’t relate with your emotions, you can base your words with what’s around you. You can write based on political issues, other people’s feeling, and more. 8.    Revise your words as you go along.If you feel that there is something wrong with your composition, don’t just throw it away. Instead, just start over since you can still use some of the ideas you have with your first draft. 9.    Keep your main idea in the chorus.Make sure that you write your words in a way that your audience will have that feeling that they should hear the chorus to get the story. Through this, you create an exciting feeling for your listeners. However, be mindful that you should not reveal the main idea by writing it literally. Learn to use metaphors to make your listeners imagine the scenario.Another good tip is to start writing the words for your chorus first to set the idea of the whole composition. 10.    Write your lyrics from within.Even if your composition is not based on your own feelings, it will still be meaningful if you put a piece of yourself into it. In this way, your song will be full of emotions and that will make your listeners want to hear the song over and over again. 11.    Let others interpret your composition.Look for people who can give their own interpretations of your song. Once they interpreted it the way you do, then you have done a good job.This quick guide will help you to write meaningful lyrics that everyone can relate to. So, grab your notebook and pen and start creating your own composition today.
Posted on 23 November, 2014 by
There are a lot of songs that we listen to nowadays. Some are happy while some are emotional. However, a song will never be meaningful without the words, its lyrics. This is considered as the backbone of a song, and where all the sense of the song comes from. Lyrics are the words that make up a song. These are usually divided into verses and choruses. Words that are intended to be used for Opera musical compositions are called libretto. This gives the song its meaning. Yes, the music itself would make the song happy or sad, but it is the words that tell the story.Tracing its origins, it comes from a Greek word “lyrikos” which means lyre in adjective form since the Greek poetry is sung with a lyre accompaniment.The lyrics of a song are usually divided into different parts; these are the verse, chorus, and the bridge. The verse is the poetic stanza of a song. It sometimes appears in a song three to four times, most often twice at the beginning. They are written with the same tune, but with different words. They usually tell the story details of the song. It supports the chorus musically and lyrically. The second part is the chorus. It tells the main idea or the theme of the song, lyrically and musically. You will notice that this part is always repeated throughout the song and rarely changes words or music. It usually comes after the verses. The third part is the bridge. This section is considered to be the contrast of the verse. It is inserted in a song to break its repetitive pattern by putting a dominant lyrical transition. One way of seeing lyrics is by looking at it as poem written for music. By merely making a poem, you can actually turn them into song words since poems also have rhyming and descriptive elements. It can also be a narrative or could mean anything by self-interpretation. You can write your songs in a way that they tell a story, set an emotion, or convey an important message. Aside from telling a story, it can also be used for other purposes. There are songs that contain words that are considered to be social commentaries. They may come as social, political, and economical messages. They can be expressed explicitly or through symbolism. When writing a song, there are a many things that you need to consider to make your lyrics shine. Here are some of them.   It should be well structured. The words will never be interesting if they are not well organized. It should contain the basics like the verses, the chorus and the word rhyming elements. Make your words simple. As much as possible, do not use word shortcuts as this will be irritating for people who will read the words of your song. Also, avoid word misspellings. Make them powerful. One way to connect with your listeners is to make the words relatable to them. Make sure to use words that your listeners can easily understand. •Write them from the heart. Since the words will tell the story, it is important that you write each lyric with love and passion. This will give you an easier time conveying your message to the people who will read or listen to it. Writing song lyrics is easy if you know how to collect ideas and thoughts and organize them in a way that it will inspire you and others. Use your words and turn them into a song to tell a story, send a message, and make a change.
Posted on 20 September, 2014 by
Every song you write will have some commonalities. Most people believe if you can write poetry you can write songs. You couldn’t be more wrong. Lyrics can have poetry but poetry alone does not make a song. Songwriting Tips: First you need a Concept/Idea or melody for your song. If you do not have a melody it will be an idea or feeling which will drive you to write the song. The Title of your song The Title of your song is an important part of it. It should be short, a single word or phrase but illustrate what your song is about, create an impact with the listener and will hopefully stay in the listener’s mind. Structure of your Lyrics This is where writing lyrics becomes different from writing poetry. Typical structures of a song can look like this: Verse – Chorus – Verse – Chorus – Bridge - Chorus. Verse / Chorus / Verse / Chorus / Verse) / Chorus Verse / Verse / Bridge / Verse A verse should provide the story and build up to the chorus....but do not generally repeat words or phrases in the verse. Words should not be repeated more than two times (or three max.) in a verse or chorus. The chorus itself is repeated, but no repetition within. The Chorus should stay in the mind of the listener and be easy to remember and perhaps hummable. The song's theme or story should be reflected in the verse. The title of the song should be repeated in the chorus. The bridge will give the song a different dimension or turn and then return to the verse, creating the crescendo at the end with the final chorus. Rhyme Scheme You are not writing a poem, therefore don’t get hung up on looking for beautiful rhyming words. You could destroy the flow of your lyrics. Many inexperienced Lyricist end up with scattered poetic lines without an overall scheme keeping the song together. Some of the common rhyme schemes or pattern are shown below: X-Y-X-Y The first line rhymes with the third, while the second rhymes with the fourth. X-X-X-X The same rhyming sound throughout. X-X-Y-Y The first line rhymes with the second, while the third rhymes with the fourth. There are many different rhyme schemes. If you are a beginner stick with the common schemes and once you are more experienced experiment with some others. Some Essential Songwriting Tips. Country Songs are story telling songs. Pop songs are more focused on a popular scheme reflecting existing trends with focus on dance oriented beats, catchy phrases rather than a story line. The length of a pop song is about 3 minutes and a consistent rhythmic tune. The structure is typically verse – chorus and the thirty – two bar form with a focus on the melody and not the lyrics. The lyrics of pop songs are often about love and romance. You can also read the book Songwrting 101/ Plane And Simple! One of my favorite movies about song writing is 'Music and Lyrics'.
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