Writing a song is either very simple or very hard. At least in my case it is. I have written a whole song in 15 minutes (Wonder) or it’s taken me a week (Druzie) to get it together. I get to do so many fun things as an artist like tour, make merch, meet talented people, sing for people...but nothing is as enjoyable as finishing a song.
I started writing when I was really young. It was usually short stories or poems, sometimes I would even start a book. My teachers actually enjoyed my writing and English was the subject that I excelled in because I LOVED it and I got to really let my creativity flow. I only started realizing I could transform these stories into songs when I turned 12, and let me tell you, these songs really fit that 12 year old vibe. My depression was at its peak since it was mixed with teenage angst so you could imagine the dark songs that came out of it. Looking back now, I usually laugh at them. They’re very immature so of course I had to give you a lyric or two.
“I said see you later alligator, you’ll be just fine don’t you see..”
“I’m like a cloud, I’ll rain down if you tell me what to do…”
I could keep going but I think you get the point, but just like with anything if you give it a lot of practice you can get better. I believe I’ve gotten better?
I can’t give you the exact formula for writing a song because I believe everyone writes differently. Some people do better with groups, some people find it easier to write first thing in the morning, and some write the music out separately from the lyrics. It’s all what works for you.
I tend to sit down in the afternoon and try to find chords that stick with me, maybe a lyric or two that could later on spark some stories. It’s very rare for me to write a whole song in one sitting before 5 o’clock. My brain just doesn’t work that way? I can get the business side of things done early and then the creativity side done at night. My best writing happens at 1 am so it’s all about finding that time when your creativity is peak.
Lyrics are my favorite thing about a song. It’s the first thing I will notice if they’re good or personal or tell a great story, so I tend to lean heavily on my lyrics. Do they make sense? Could someone relate to them? Will they stick in your head? These are the questions I ask myself as I write out the song. I also make sure they can fit really well with the melody and flow of the song. Usually, I will have the most meaningful lyrics in the bridge because I believe the bridge is the most important part of a song. You don’t have to have a lyric filled bridge, and if that’s the case for a song then I will have the versus be more complex and meaningful. Either way, I don’t put the complicated stuff in the chorus. I want someone to be able to relate and if it’s too personal and detailed then they might not connect with it. Next time you listen to one of my songs, really listen outside of the chorus.
I could go on and on about songwriting and my personal way of doing it, but then we would be here all day. So maybe we can call this part one? If you are going to write a song, it doesn’t necessarily have to be about YOU. Write a story, make up some characters, give it a plot, and then add some music. If you are writing about your own story, then be honest and pour your heart into it. The main thing is that you try, and you figure out your groove.
Write a song over the weekend and see what you come up with.