20 Feb Writing A Love Song
Say It In A Love Song
There are few guarantees in life . . . but one of them is that everyone needs a love song.
There are people falling in love everyday – for the first time, the tenth time, one hundred and tenth time…and they all need love songs! This is good news for us songwriters and it’s a good idea to have a few love songs in your catalog. Since February is the month of love (you know, with Valentine’s Day and all), it’s the perfect time to perfect your love song songwriting. So light some candles, pour some nice wine and take yourself back to falling in love. Tap into your days of poster-kissing teen heartthrobs or your wedding night. The days when you couldn’t wait to fall asleep so you could dream of your newest, truest love.
Songs are the soundtracks to our lives!
There are some ways to make it easier to get the creative process going, though, and ways to give yourself the structure you need to write an amazing love song that other people will be able to relate to and enjoy. Here are some steps you can take, and once you practice them a few times, you can find out which ones work best for you and how to best adapt these methods to your personal skills as a songwriter.
Think of a soap opera actor or actress. They’re over the top. They put their feelings and passion out there. So don’t hold back in a love song. Go there. Say it. Say what you want to hear. There’s no vanilla in passionate writing. Once you start practicing passion in your entire life, people will recognize that when they meet you or listen to your songs. You will feel a difference in your life, too, and even formally bland tasks will seem authentic and enjoyable.
Come Up With the Hook First
The hook is the real main idea of the song, lyrically and musically. You can work the rest of the song around your hook easily once you have your main idea, but this is the real creative part. Your hook is probably going to be short but repetitive, and you may or may not want it to be dramatic. The main point is to get people’s attention, but in a way that makes them want to hear more. When you are writing a love song, you want to find a hook which is tender or passionate. Again, what would you want someone to say to you? What would make you start drawing their initials in little hearts in your notebook.
Choose the Poetic Pattern
Using a pattern or template might seem like it would keep you from being as creative as possible, but it’s actually easier to write if you know where you’re going ahead of time. There’s a kind of freedom in structure. You can choose the number of lines and the rhyming pattern for the verses and the chorus and let your creativity work within those guidelines. One of the most common song structures is the verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus formats. This gives you an opportunity to repeat the hookiest part of your song, the chorus, at least three times. You can break the rules and play around with other kinds of song structures, but if you haven’t written that many songs or that many commercial songs yet, you might want to master this form first. You will feel more confident breaking your own rules once you are comfortable with your own writing.
Choose Some Chords That Bring You Joy
The music will be the background to your lyrics, and it should set the mood even if someone doesn’t understand the words. Choose just a handful of chords and repeat them, using a piano or guitar to sound out how the combination works together. Once you have the basics, add your voice with the lyrics. Match your voice to the music you’ve chosen, so that you are hitting some of the notes you are playing in the background. Bring all your own passion as a singer songwriter to this part.
Mix It Up
Once you have everything else done, add in some extra effects to make it more interesting. Try slightly different rhythms, or add in some extra high notes. You may want to make these changes after you have taken a break from your new song. Don’t work on it for a few days or a week, and then come back to it with a fresh ear and heart.
Write Your Title
Some people come up with the title first because it is the main idea behind the song. Other people wait until the song is mostly done before assigning a title, because the completed product may feel different from the original idea. Try to write a title that is unique and makes the listener want to hear more. You can always choose a title first, if it helps you, but treat it like a work in progress. You should never feel afraid to make any changes that make your song better.
Writing for a Songwriting Contest
If you write because you love writing, you won’t write a better song because you are writing for a songwriting competition. However, you need to stand out when you are competing against other songwriters.
Make your entry unique, with the lyrics or the music or both. Add details. Pictures. Like a scene from your favorite Rom Com. Your song needs to be catchy and relatable but not cliche. A lot of love songs sound the same, and you need to add at least one unique element.
One of the biggest mistakes a songwriter makes is not catching the attention of the audience right away. If it starts out boring, nobody will give your new song a try. Be brave and try new things! Good luck and light those candles!
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About us: Foxhedge Music is a management company and recording studio located in historic Leipers Fork. Our mission is to support and encourage songwriters. We believe they are the back-beat of Music City, while we continue to invest our time and resources in the Music City community. Through the Music City SongStar Songwriting Contest, we want to give songwriters a chance to have their music heard. We’re believers in creativity, chasing dreams and getting the chance to pursue your passion.