RAMBLING THOUGHTS ON SONGWRITING II
By Ira Braden, ETSSA Songwriter
Melody, Rewrite, The Ending, Tag, Song Structure, and Starting a Notebook.
What is a melody?
A melody is a series of high notes, low notes, and notes in the middle that are all mixed up to form a song, and that will flow easily for the singer and the listener. Remember the melody is carried with the vocals most of the time. Don’t over-think a melody. When a melody has to be held, make sure what you’re holding has a vowel sound; a consonant closes the word, and makes it very hard for the singer to hold. A song may have to be re-written if the melody takes the song in a different direction; sometimes this happens when there is no space or place to breathe. Lyrics must be written in a way that they will flow for the singer.
Remember the rhythmic pattern helps the listener grab and hold on to the idea. Try to get a motif in the song if you can, something that will identify that song so it can be recognized immediately, and not be associated with any other song.
Anytime you rewrite, be brutal with your lyrics. Rewrite any time you get an idea that you think will make your song better. Hold nothing sacred. Look at things that stand out to you, there may be
something there. To make a great song, prioritize what you see that stands out.
Think about how you’re going to end the song:
At the end of the song, after the bridge leading into the chorus, throw in another verse if you wish that will give the listener another something special, a continuation of the story.
Use a tag to reinforce the idea in the song:
You may want to use an outro, some musical progression, that will help the song, and make it be remembered. Diversify the verse, chorus and bridge when possible The verse, chorus, and bridge should be able to stand on its own. Try putting a melody with your idea; build a song from the idea or the melody, and try to have enough difference to set verse, chorus and bridge apart.
Write out the structure of the song (template) Intro (acapello, or use just a single Instrument, or two or more of the instruments, or all of the musical instruments, in the song). Verse or chorus to open the song (whichever makes the song stronger).
Start a notebook:
Write about anything and do this every day; go back occasionally and see what you have written. You’ll be amazed at what you write. Some of it will probably be pretty weird, and that’s OK.
If you’re going to have a deep meaning, don’t have it so deep that no one can figure it out.
Writing in itself will give you inspiration; use that inspiration to write even more.
Listen to music; listen to different artists; listen to the music you love, listen to different genre’s.
Avoid using standard phrases unless they will improve your song. Preserve each thought on paper; write it down, no matter what.