I think that songwriting is a most underestimated art.
Many musicians (myself included) have overlooked the importance of a great song. And when I say “great” that can mean many, many things to different people. And what is great for one may not be great for another – AND what is even great for one, may not be great for the same person when in a different mood!
Whew!, this can get complex if you over analyze. I can’t tell you how to write a great song. I don’t think anyone can. I can share some things with you that just might make it a little easier. In Eric Beal’s “Making money making music”, he states that, “A good song should use the best parts of the song more than once, don’t take too long to get to the best parts and have at least one section that comes as bit of a surprise.”
I thought that that was some of the best advice on songwriting I’d heard in a while. Get to the meat and potatoes! What makes this song worth recording? Say it, say it honestly and say it again. (hopefully in tune)
I also think that most musicians go for quantity rather than quality.
I don’t know about you, but I would definitely rather hear one quality track than 10 average songs. And that’s what I hear ALL THE TIME. That’s what the major labels hear ALL THE TIME. 10 songs that sound identical to each other with the same attitude, same articulation, same general instrumentation and same dull predictable theme. Pass.
A great song usually begins with a great title. Sounds simple. It is simple! If the songs title is dull, chances are it reflects the entire piece. Not all songs have to be over the top with obscure titles, but they should at least be interesting. I know when I’m presented with a choice of what songs to listen to, I go with the most attractive title.
Here’s a cool link thesaurus.reference.com I keep it in my bookmarks on all computers. It’s a great resource, and is much easier than looking up words in a traditional hard back thesaurus.
What are you selling with this particular song?
Is it the hook? Is it the groove? Is it the mysterious personality behind the voice? Is it the story of the character in the song? (Don’t forget it’s optional whether that person is you or not – an easy thing to overlook).
Every song doesn’t have to be about your personal experiences. They can be about what you’d like to see happen, or something that you wish for. Or they can be completely fictitious, like say a novel or film. The main thing is that they are somehow really interesting
I think the most compelling songs are the ones that elevate.
Songs that are true from the heart. Not songs that are censored. When they go through that filter of, “I dunno about this lyric, I might sound like stupid saying that.” They are stripped of their power.
Not every song has to be made for the radio. And funny enough, it’s usually the ones that aren’t written to get radio play that do.