Useful Tips

Music College Online


Finding a universal way to write a song perfectly is unlikely to lead to anything, look even at the authors of recognized musical masterpieces - these are all different people with different life experiences, feelings and worldviews, which plays an important role in creating music. But certain techniques for writing songs do exist. Which ones - read on.

Where to start: text or music?

The first approach involves writing the text, and then applying music to it. For some, this method seems difficult, because not every poem can be beautifully put on music. Someone, on the contrary, likes this method more, because in the finished text it is then easier to musically emphasize some key points.

With the second approach, the creation of music comes to the fore, while instead of text, the author can use a meaningless set of words in order to temporarily fill the vocal part and correctly arrange the song. This is how Paul McCartney wrote the well-known song “Yesterday” to everyone: the melody came to him in a dream, so he decided to write it as soon as possible, hastily inventing a text called “Scrambled eggs” (“Scrambled Eggs”).

It makes no sense to limit yourself to only one of these approaches - try both to find out which is more convenient for you. The only thing is that, starting with the text, you will need to immediately think about the topic of the composition, and starting with music, write a text for it according to the mood of the composition - sad or funny.

What to write about

Think about a topic that could really be interesting to the audience. Sometimes people listen to even the most unsuccessful musically and vocal songs simply because they are close to the very meaning that it carries in itself.

The best way is to write a song about something from your own experience. Such a song will turn out the most sincere and make the listener empathize with her. You can also write a song about something for which you have an opinion and want to share it.

If you decide to write a song in the genre of electronic or pop music, do not write about too complicated things that will be difficult to understand. For such areas, as a rule, themes of love and entertainment are most characteristic.

In the style of country and blues often write texts with elements of self-flagellation and complaints about life. Hip-hop texts usually feature revealing vanity, domestic, sexual, and socio-political themes. The styles of rock music are quite diverse in this regard - there are a wide variety of themes, from love to social satire.

Come up with a name

The name of the song is a word or line, which is almost always found in the song itself, most often in the refrain, forcing the listener to remember it well. A good title should summarize the whole song, expressing its main idea.

A good headline should not be long - from one word to five. This is most characteristic of the genre of pop music, where the names, by definition, should be concise and memorable, which, in most cases, a long name cannot guarantee. But in many styles of rock music, this is quite acceptable: long song titles have become a feature of such groups as, for example, The Smiths and Fall Out Boy.

It’s easier for someone to immediately come up with a name, and then write a text for it, and someone first writes the entire lyrics, and only then thinks about the headline - choose the one that suits you best.

How to write a melody to the lyrics

  • Author: Denis Chufarov
  • Aug 18, 2015
  • Songwriting

If you prefer to compose a song based on the finished lyrics, then perhaps creating a melody and chord accompaniment for your lyrics is a big problem for you.

Many in this case are looking for co-authors and working in pairs. However, you can write great melodies for your lyrics yourself if you follow the recommendations about which we will talk below.

The peculiarity of writing a melody from a text is that in this case the melody is of paramount importance, in contrast to the chord sequence. This is due to the fact that a good text already contains vivid images that must be emphasized precisely in the melodic movement.

To begin with, you can create a schematic progression of chords, and later you can change it. But at the first stage, this is a good tool for working on a melody. Take any basic progression and get started.

1. Read the text aloud several times.

Try varying the pace - fast, medium, slow. Feel the rhythm of your verse. It can give you momentum to build phrases. Very often, a certain rhythmic movement and prototype of phrasing is already embedded in the text, do not neglect them.

2. Rate the emotional message of each line on a 10-point scale.

A simple description can be rated at 1 or 2 points. Vivid phrases and images - for example - i scream but you can't hear at 9 or even 10 points. This will give you a clearer understanding of what artistic means are needed to underline a text with a melody. Here you need to take into account the basic rules of writing texts and remember that the melody and the overall arrangement should help the text and certainly not contradict it.

3. For each part of the song write 2-3 words that characterize it most clearly and clearly.

These are the words that will attract the attention of the audience when listening to your song. They should clearly, clearly and concisely show the idea, the essence of the verse or chorus.

4. Find the culmination of each piece of text. It should be one word.

The climax of the text will help you when building the climax in the melody.

5. Go to the music.

Play the first chord from the progression and sing the prima chord. (For C major C for A minor A, etc.). Try to change the way. At this stage, your task is to find the right rhythm, so the intonation can be as simple as possible.

6. Start reading your text on this note.

Emphasize important words with longer durations. Catch the rhythm of the poem and transfer it to the melody

7. Now try playing a progression and change the note in the melody depending on the chord.

Here you can rely on hearing. Stick to your chosen rhythm. Experiment with long chords and their changes

8. Indicate the emotional message.

Sing the melody to the selected progression using the pattern:
For stitches with 1-3 points, use the tonic in the melody, for stitches 3-5 a third, for 7-8 quint, and for 9-10 high tonic

9. Create jumps on the words noted in paragraph 3.

Just let the melody move more broadly on these words.

10. The climax.
The highest note should fall on the word from paragraph 4. Approach it smoothly or with a bright jump

What will give you this approach?

First of all, the generation of ideas. If you do not know where to start, follow these 10 steps and perhaps you will begin to feel the melody, listening to it and further actions will no longer be useful.

In any case, following this scheme, you will get some kind of sketch with which you can work further. You can change the progression, work out the melody and its intonations, make development, etc. Remember that the best creativity is the use of restrictions. It works in every aspect of making songs.

Denis, in my opinion you are driven. Well, hanging noodles on the example of other people's works is okay. But, learn to compose. Can you put something of your own? Nakolbasit so much "training" material and not boast of at least one Hit ... We are waiting.

If you are too lazy to go to the Who are we page, then this is not my problem. The musicians and my surroundings know what I am doing and the quality of the music that I make. Goals to prove to someone that I do not have. Come and listen, study. Like well, do not like it too good.

By the way, what does it mean to broadcast noodles on the example of other people's works. Almost all the lessons that I write are made on the example of what I compose.

Just not necessary.
A person who teaches what and how to do does not have to do this himself.
I will explain.
If it’s good to do something, then you need to do only one thing - * learn, so learn. To compose, so to compose and all.
Denis is a very good teacher. Thank God that it is not sprayed and focused specifically on the learning process. This is the main thing. It’s important not what the TEACHER composed, but it’s important that he can skillfully, easily and intelligibly convey to the person “floating” in theory the essence of the matter. This is valuable.
And great artists, writers, etc. can turn out to be very bad and inept teachers. The teacher and the representative of the profession are different people. Teacher is a gift and must be protected. It is important to know the secret, methodology and be able to put it into the head of the "teapot".

Thank you for participating in the discussion, but the problem is that I also practice quite actively, just as I wrote. There is no goal to prove to anyone above. He who wants to finds, recognizes and listens. Well, by the way, in confirmation of your position - creativity and creativity training are 2 big differences. It is for this reason that lessons from the stars are, as a rule, populism without the slightest benefit.

Thank you Denis! This is an interesting approach. And useful!

Song structure

The most common principle for building songs is a couplet-chorus-couplet-chorus-bridge-chorus.

But there are still options: couplet-chorus-couplet-chorus-chorus, couplet-couplet-chorus-couplet-chorus-bridge-chorus, couplet-couplet-bridge-couplet, couplet-chorus-couplet-chorus-couplet-chorus-chorus - It is from these few elements that almost all successful songs consist.

The verses, as a rule, reveal the theme of the composition, its plot, which ultimately leads the listener to the name, the melody of each verse is the same, and the text is different.

Chorus is the brightest and most dynamic part in the song. It differs from verses both melodically and harmoniously. A bad chorus can ruin an entire song.

Often before the chorus is the so-called pre-chorus, which is sometimes called the transition bridge or development. Its function is to prepare the listener for the refrain itself.

The insert that connects the two parts in the song, for example, the second verse with the chorus and the third chorus, is called the Bridge. It is used as a pause before the final part of the track and is melodically different from the verses. It does not always contain the text and can be performed as an instrumental loss.

Which structure the author chooses depends on his personal preferences, on the topic that he seeks to reveal, on the mood that he wants to convey. Pay attention to the structure of popular and your favorite compositions, perhaps this will help determine your song.

Music Creation

To write music for a song, you will need to learn how to play one of the musical instruments, for example, the piano or guitar - the most common instruments that are used to create the melody for the first time.

After you come up with a melody, you need to start arranging it. Arrangement is an accompaniment to the main melodic line. It is the arrangement that makes the song multifaceted, voluminous and wide-sounding.

However, mastering the game on a musical instrument is not necessary if you want to entrust the entire process of creating an arrangement to a professional musician. If you have developed musical hearing, you only need to compose the main melodies of the composition and record them on the recorder to the arranger, who will then deal with this material.

If you want to control the arrangement yourself, you should at least understand what a melody, harmony, rhythm, bass section is, have some knowledge about the genres and styles of music, know their rhythmic and textured formulas.

The arrangement of a song begins with a definition of musical style. Perhaps later you will add elements of other styles to it, which is quite natural, since in their pure form musical directions are now not so common, but now your goal is to determine the main vector of movement.

For different styles of music, the use of different instruments is also characteristic, for example, for rock music it is the sound of electric guitars and drums, for country it is an acoustic guitar, violin and banjo, and electronic music can now be completely written using special programs on a computer.

When choosing musical parts for your song, it is worth considering the features of the future vocals so that the abundance of different instruments does not drown it.

Professional Tips

  • To write a good song, you need to learn to write poetry. Poetic size, rhyming methods - all this is used here, only with the difference that the text will need to be combined with music later. Therefore, many authors prefer to write music first, and only then adjust the words to it.
  • Each verse must reveal new information - for repetition there is a refrain. Verse and chorus should be clearly different from each other.
  • Effective lyrics are logically connected and consistent, and a successful song does not last long. The listener should easily understand what the song is about, and you have no more than 4 minutes to do this.

  • Always keep a dictaphone with you - no one knows when a successful tune will come to your mind that you need to urgently record. Do not forget about the notebook - write down all the ideas that come to your mind during the day, and then analyze and filter out the unnecessary.
  • The melody of the song should be simple, with a catchy beat, so that a person can easily sing it. Take note of such popular songs as “Wannabe” by Spice Girls, “Beat it” by Michael Jackson, “Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison - according to research, their motive is remembered to listeners faster than in three seconds.
  • If you have such an opportunity, give the written song to court not to relatives and friends, but to professional musicians who work in the same style as the track was written.

Remember: if you do not do a cover version, but write your own song, plagiarism is unacceptable. Of course, some melodies turn out to be similar to each other by chance, and there are only seven notes in the world, but deliberate borrowing of ideas always becomes obvious.