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How To Write A Song Essay Research

How To Write A Song Essay, Research Paper

Want to write a song to call your own? I imagine most would love the opportunity. All you really need is a little knowledge playing a guitar or piano, a voice that can sing relatively in key, and a touch of imagination spliced with creativity. Depending on someone’s personality, interests and experiences the type of song, how it is sung, what is sung, and how it is played can vary greatly. Writing the song can be easy enough if you have the skills and some patience.

To start your creation, sit down with your guitar or piano, a pen, a piece of paper, and an open mind.

Ask yourself questions before you begin. What do I want to sing about? I suppose you do not have to sing at all if an instrumental piece is what you are after; for the sake of argument, lets say you want to sing and play your own backing. Jon Huntress of Lyrical Line (2000) says, “You can write about ANYTHING! That’s the beauty of song writing-there are no rules”. Make some notes about the story you want to tell or message you plan to get across. Writing it down can help in case you might forget. Now think about how a song speaking of such a topic should be sung. Is it a serious subject? Perhaps a ballad. Funny? Perhaps punk or rock. If you’re angry, or have taste in music like myself, you may want heavy metal or hard rock. There are many other types, as well, such as reggae, blues, jazz, latin, and funk. Jimmy Brown (2000) says, “Keep your mind and ears open, and don’t be afraid to wade into unfamiliar musical waters”.

Now that you’ve decided on your song’s subject and have an idea how you want it to sound, write it! Play around; strum some simple chords and notes. Try to get a feel for the sounds you need to back up your voice. No one can tell you what to write, but it never hurts to ask others opinions. Once music is there, hum along. How you will sing to what you play is very important. Try to be unique in your sound, so the song is distinctly your own. At this point, get some lyrics in there. Jon Huntress (2001) adds, “Most of the stuff you put down won’t work, but you never know.“ After the basics are there – some chords and music, rhythm, and lyrics with notes to sing them – the make-it-or-break-it part is upon you.

Editing and perfecting is perhaps the most important part of writing a song. It is what can define your song from something that sounds like a dying cow to Beethoven’s 5th. Where can I improve? What could be better? Ask yourself these new questions and more. Fiddle around, perhaps singing that bar a third higher will provide more dimension, or changing from a C major to an E minor chord at one point will give the piece more ambiance. Pick everything apart. Nothing will be perfect the first time; it can always be improved.

As long as there is a sufficient amount of ability to write and play a song, anyone can compose a piece and say, “I wrote that,” but everyone will be different in how they go about it. Some will write lyrics first and the rest later. Some will write complex and catchy guitar parts, and add some vocals afterwards. Some might whistle a homemade tune to themselves and one day try to put music and words to the sounds. However you go about doing it, getting a feel for what you are trying to accomplish is the key. I have given the following steps as a guide but, ultimately, you must do things your own way.

Now go, write a masterpiece, and in the words of Steve Vai (1998), “Song writing is poetry that society is still willing to pay money to hear.”



Brown, Jimmy. (2001). Supportive guitar, part 1. Guitar World, October 2001, pp. 141.

Huntress, Jon. (2000). Enhancing creativity. Lyrical Line [website]. http://www.lyricalline.com/articles/article-creativity.html

—. (2001). What songwriters want to know – questions and answers with the pro’s. Lyrical Line [website]. http://www.lyricalline/articles/faq1.html

Vai, Steve. (1998). Celtic floss. Guitar World, October 1998, pp. 138.

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