How To Write Great Music

Writing great songs are not as difficult as most people think. Use this easy to follow guide do learn how to write great music.

What makes good music? It's a very subjective question because there are so many different kinds of people in the world and as many different types of music.

But it isn't necessary to have a degree in Music Theory to write a satisfying song. You only need to have some inspiration and a strong feeling you want to share with others.

Outstanding songs have several components that make them superior and memorable. The lyrics should be filled with truth, sometimes hard truths and sometimes joyful truths. To accomplish truth in lyrics it's important for the artist to zero in on a certain feeling: joy, despair, love, sadness or even lust.

However it is equally important to keep the central idea of the song simple. Great songs convey very straightforward ideas or emotions in a fresh way.

The second factor of a good song is something more elusive. It's called the "˜hook'. The only way to learn about the "˜hook' is to locate it in other songs. A hook is usually a catch phrase of words that sum up a commonly recognized emotion, set to a rhythm for impact.

Examples of good hooks in lyrics:

"˜Don't be cruel. . .'

"˜Every rose has its thorn. . .'

"˜Amazing grace how sweet the sound. . .'

"˜Raindrops keep fallin' on my head. . .'

Listen to songs from every genre and locate the hooks. Then listen to your favorite songs and analyze what each hook says to you. This will help you determine what kind of music that you want to write. Hint: the hook should strike a note of familiarity in you, a feeling of déjà vu should strike, as if: "hey! I know that feeling!" When that happens you've found your hook.



Your hook will be your chorus. A chorus usually repeats a few times before going to the second and third verses.

Another extremely important element is melody. A common mistake of beginners is they write wonderful lyrics but set them to the wrong music. For example, you wouldn't write a song about newfound love and set it to a slow ballad in a minor chord. Your music's tone must match the theme of your lyrics. Lyrics about the loss or death of a lover would be ridiculous set to a jaunty tune like "Happy Birthday."

There is no rule requiring lyrics to rhyme, but your syllables must fit the beat; this is extremely important. Listening to rap music is a great way to find words that fit well into unusual tempos.

Once you have a few verses written, and a chorus, don't forget to write the "˜bridge.' What is a bridge? A bridge is a part of a song that seems like a departure from the verses and chorus. Bridges are more prevalent in modern and popular music than in older music from a century ago.

Sometimes the bridge will move up a half a key and convey the song's innermost message in an even stronger way. Sometimes the bridge will issue an ultimatum to a lover, or even tell the "˜rest of the story.'

Listen to your favorite music. Locate the verse and the chorus. When the song departs from the verse and chorus you have identified the bridge. This departure from the song will be one or two lines long, sometimes four lines long, and almost will always rhyme, even if the verses and choruses do not rhyme.

These are the basic technical elements to a rewarding song, but there is one more fundamental facet left to cover.

Do not write music for anyone but yourself. Attempts at trying to commercially manufacture music that has no truth will only be a frustrating exercise in futility. Music is art, and should be respected as such. Do not try to write music aimed at a certain market with dreams of earning big money as your ultimate goal. The song itself should be the ultimate goal, and writing the best, most honest song that you can write will produce the most gratifying and powerful music.

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