Music has been a part of humans for a very long time. The process of making music has changed over the years because more words have been developed, and melodies have gotten fine tuned. However, the need to express oneself through music has never abated. Do you want to write a song? Regardless of the purpose and audience, I shall guide you on how to do it.
Craft out a title
Come up with a phrase of not more than five words. That says what the song is all about. You may also use an action word or image in your title. That gives it energy and makes it captivating.
Some of these might be:
- What is the meaning of my title?
- What emotions does it invoke in me?
- Why have I chosen it?
Three to four questions are enough for this purpose.
Choose how your song should flow (structure)
One of the most common structures is verse – chorus – verse – chorus – bridge – chorus. However, there are some songs hitting the charts lately that have added a small section to this structure called a ‘lift’ or ‘pre-chorus’. This section is usually between the chorus and the verse and it gets added with an aim of building anticipation among the listeners.
You can check the Internet for structure guidelines, or come up with something totally new.
Answer a question in the chorus and each verse
Pick a question that you want to give a reply. You should do that in a way that one question gets answered in the verse and another in the chorus. You could also get images that give your answers more meaning. What emotion do you want the listener to pick? How does that emotion affect you? Is it a joyous moment or a sad one? Do you feel at your wits end or does life seem to have taken an astonishing turn? Do not get too poetic that you lose your audience. However, if you do, incorporate a clear statement that helps them to stay on track.
Find a melody for your song
Which lines in this song do you love the most? These are the words that shall make up your chorus. Now speak them to yourself over and over again. Speak them in a louder voice. Say them with all the emotion in you. Take the emotion to another level as you say them. As you do this, you shall start to speak them with a melody and rhythm that come so naturally. That is the beginning of getting a tune. Now go on and on with it until it feels right.
Start adding chords to that chorus melody
Get a repeated chord pattern. Please start with something simple, no need to complicate anything now. Play around with the chords and melody until you get to a point where you are happy with what you have. Go ahead and record a sketchy vocal, your smartphone is good enough. Just make sure that you do it in the heat of the moment lest you lose it.
Pick the question for your first verse
It must be one that captures the listener’s attention immediately. Then follow steps 4 through to 6.
Connect the chorus to the verse
Now that you have a verse and a chorus, you need to connect them that you flow seamlessly from the verse to the chorus. You may have to alter the last line in your verse or you may lower or raise the melody of your verse so that you can join to the chorus smoothly.
Melodies in the chorus usually have a higher note than those in the verse. That is because the chorus captures most of the emotion and when we are emotional; our voices tend to go up. The verse is there to give the listeners more information about the circumstances.
- Compose the next verse and the bridge
Pick your next question and answer it in your subsequent verse. After that, go through with step 4 to 6. This verse should have a melody and lyric as those in the first chorus. Then add a bridge. That is the section that adds the cherry to the emotional part of the song. It is the ‘aha’ moment. You could get a line or two that you feel have the most insight for your bridge. The melody here is very different. Try using an entirely new chord or alter the length of the phrase or the melody motion. Although a bridge is not a must-have, it gives the song much more strength.
- Record the song
Something as simple as a guitar or a piano is good enough to make an efficient emotional statement. You ought to practice a lot with the instruments you desire to use to make sure that you are at ease with every word, note, and chord. That helps you when finally putting out the song because your focus is now on singing the song and not the instruments. That enables you to produce a song that has the right effects.