Inspiration for writing a song can happen anywhere, at any time. You could be walking through the park or driving down the highway when an idea pops in your head. Whether it be a melody or a catchy lyric, you’ve created a snippet of a potentially rockin’ song. The problem is, most of the time these ideas never get put on paper. If you’re becoming more serious about your songwriting you have to understand that sometimes it’s a process.
Although a catchy line came to mind in the car, a catchy melody is just as important. Even if you aren’t familiar with the melodic side of writing yet, you can get an idea of how you want the melody to go by humming or trying out vocal runs. It’s also a good idea to listen to music you’re inspired by to get an idea of what kind of sound you want your song to have. The melody might change during the duration of the writing process-but that’s okay! Your song is developing into its best form.
It may seem like a simple concept, but establishing the storyline of your song is such an important element. Make sure that once you know what you want your song to be about, you stick with it. Keep it on the same track so your song doesn’t become messy and seem unorganized. Is your song going to be narrative? Will it paint a picture? Do you want it to be a fun party song or an emotional ballad? These are a few decisions that need to be made early on. Be picky about you’re the vocabulary you’re using for your song.
“Good songwriting I think knows what it’s audience is, and knows how to speak to that audience.” Said Nashville songwriter J. Morris
Keep in mind who you’re talking to. This is where vocabulary plays a huge role. Although narrative structure and vocabulary seem simple, they are critical elements when it comes to great songwriting. Be sure to know your audience and what they’re looking for.
When it comes to a co-writing session be sure that you don’t show up with a blank page. It can be anything from an initial melodic idea to a song title, but there needs to be some sort of direction you’re bringing to the table. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable with the person you’re writing with. Some of the best songs come from genuine moments and feelings. Too many times writer’s produce songs simply because they think it will sell. Whatever genre or audience your selling to, being genuine in your writing is what is going to have your audience relate.