TEN SONG WRITING SUGGESTIONS
By C. D. Johnson
To all of my fellow songwriters let me say that these ten suggestions are a flexible guideline that I follow when I'm writing a song. In my experience I've found there are many different approaches to writing songs. However, these ten rules have given me the most "worthy for submission songs" I've written and, as often as not, a favorable critique from the judges on the crafting of the song and the format I follow.
Note that the theme or content of a song is a different subject all together and best left as a choice for the writer of the song and the artist for which the song is targeted. In my opinion, targeting an artist is a great avenue to walk upon if you're serious about having any type of success in the song writing world. Pick an artist and try writing a hit specifically for them.
Well that’s enough rambling, here are the ten:
KEEP YOUR INTROS TO AROUND 10 SECONDS - Excessive intros will most often cause an A&R guy to move on
GET TO THE CHORUS IN 30 TO 40 SECONDS
PUT THE TITLE OF THE SONG IN THE FIRST LINE OF THE CHORUS - A song writer with way more experience than I and whose song writing ability I admire once told me about something I humorously refer to as the "John Rule". It goes like this; try writing a four line chorus. The title of the song should be the 1st and the 4th line. In lines 2 & 3 be creative and make the listener want to sing that chorus all day long.
KEEP THE SONG TO ABOUT 3 MINUTES & 15 SECONDS - Longer than that and you better be telling an extremely interesting story.
TELL THE STORY___TELL THE STORY___TELL THE STORY -
FOR COMMERCIAL SUCCESS, WRITE VERSE/CHORUS TYPE SONGS - The stronger the chorus the better your chances
IF YOU USE A BRIDGE, IT SHOULD USUALLY FIT BETWEEN THE LAST 2 CHORUSES
In one song, USE 1 IDEA, 1 PLOT, 1 STORY, 1 TONE, 1 THEME, 1 ATTITUDE, 1 EMOTION – In other words, Stay focused and don't let the lyrics ramble.
BE CLEAR AND CONNECT ALL THE ITEMS IN RULE #8
ABOVE ALL__KEEP IT SIMPLE
In closing, I you the reader find at least a couple of these suggestions useable in your song writing future. Stay safe and keep on writing. Remember, success is just one "CHORUS" away!!!
Carl David Johnson
Singer / Songwriter