Song writing: what is your secret to a hit song? Dec 28, 2011
To say I get writers block when trying to compose a song is an understatement. Creative writing has never been a problem for me, then why is writing 3 verses to a song with a chorus so challenging? I have to admit that I have written probably a dozen songs and only one of them seems to get any rehearsal time with me and the band. Do I suck that bad or is it the general consensus for all song writers?
When I start to write a song I normally come up with a melody which could be a progression of chords and a change in the chorus and maybe a bridge. That part doesn’t seem to be a problem. I have a Boss RC-3 loop station which enables me to record up to 3 hours of music or 99 preset slots to store them. This has been a big help because I tend to forget what chords I play, the progression and the strumming style. With the RC-3 I can record the whole song and loop over top of it and insert the solos. It has really been a big help for me in arranging songs. Even if I don’t go back to the song immediately I can listen to it and figure out how I played it, when it was recorded.
I also like to use google docs when writing a song, taking advantage of “Cloud computing”. If I am not at my computer but have access to one, ie: at work I can login into my google docs account and write away. Every song I have ever written, even just snippets of a song lyric is available to me. This is convenient when great ideas pop into your head. Paper gets tossed or things spilled on it. Electronic docs can easily be edited and printed out when needed.
Now the difficult part…the lyrics. It seems easy to find a catchy verse that could be used as a chorus but what about the rest of the song. Although it has been difficult, I try to write it like a story. You have the beginning, the middle, the end and a chorus that may or may not be different than any of the verses. All parts should come together to tell the story that inherently is the song. There are certainly songs out there that would not seem like a story at all and more a jumble of sentences, that when put together make no sense. Is there an underlying message, perhaps? Not every song is the same so I may take an entirely different approach for each song.
Every artist has there own technique and there really is no correct way of doing it as long as a song is created. If you have any secrets to song writing you’d like to share, please do so.