HOW TO WRITE SONGS

 
 

A song must paint a picture in your mind as you listen to it in order for it to be successful.  For example, Jingle Bells, as you sing the lyrics you can picture a sleigh with people in it going over the snow and being pulled by a horse.  When you look at the L.P. covers of the albums that music used to be recorded on you can frequently see a picture that resembles the kind of music on that album.

Pictures can generate songs.  Picture a scene of the beautiful Rocky Mountains or Sequoia National Park, or even Yellowstone Park.

 

Here is the song / poem could reflect such an image of a scene from the Rocky Mountains.

I came to the mountains when I was just a little lad.
I've seen the eagle flying in the bright blue morning sky.
I even heard the roar of a giant grizzly bear.
The freedom here really makes you high.

My friends from the city come up here to spend a little time.
We sit around the campfire, and drink a little wine.
Telling stories, singing songs, laughing, among the pines.
Up those great mountains we'll climb.

But the times are changing and more people are coming in.
Chopping down the trees, clearing the land.
How long will this beauty last as the suburbs expand?
The eagle and the bear cannot withstand.

Look all around you while you still can
And behold the wonder of nature's last stand.
The mountains, and the rivers, the tall green pines
The vanishing eagle, when will we ever understand.

 

There are several methods that you can use to paint a picture in the mind's eye by means of music and song.  In the above exercise we used just one photograph to stimulate our minds to come up with lyrics.  Without that picture of the mountain, the water, and the pine trees I would have never come up with the above lyrics.  The worst thing you can do is to sit at the library or alone at your desk and stare at a blank piece of paper trying to come up with a good song.  There is no stimulation.  You need to go where the action is.  The action will get everything flowing for you.  The above song only took me 5 minutes to write because the visual images brought ideas and words to my mind.

There is even a better technique than using pictures to stimulate your mind to come up with lyrics, and that is actually going some place and start writing about the place where you are actually standing.  For example, go to the beach, take a pencil and some paper along with your rhyming dictionary, and start writing about what you see, feel, hear, and smell.  You might come up with a song similar to "The Girl From Ipanema".  A picture has limited stimuli to get your brain up and running.  Picture stimuli is good, but it is limited.  When you actually go some place and start writing about where you are, the amount of stimuli entering your brain is infinite.  From where you are there are multiple sights from different angles,  there are hundreds of sounds, hundreds of shades of colors, hundreds of shapes, and constant changing activities, that will flood your mind with lyrics and special words that will reflect the living picture that you are experiencing.

Another technique is to write a song about stories.  Read the newspaper and pick out a story and then write a song about it.  If you can find pictures associated with the story that is even better.

The most simplest and mundane of activities can be turned into charming little songs.  Take for example the song, "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window".  What stimulated the author of that song to come up with those lyrics?  Did he or she see a child looking in the window of a pet store?  How about the Star Spangled Banner....this song was written after the flag was still standing after a huge battle.  You see the bottom line is that you can write a song about anything.  Someone wrote a song back in the 40's about a Boll Weevil.  It became an absolute hit.

Look around, start writing songs about things that you see, about things that you hear and read about.  It is endless.

Have fun.  Who knows, maybe someday you will write a hit song.

There is a nice song writing software program called MasterWriter.  You can try it out for free for 30 days.  I did and I was very much impressed with it.  There are other song writing programs.  Just use the keywords song writing software in a search engine such as google and you will find other software programs that can assist you in writing lyrics to songs.

There are a lot of free use rhyming dictionaries on the internet.  A lot of times I will write a song by multi-tasking with two programs:  Microsoft Word, and a rhyming dictionary on the internet.  I minimize both windows so that I can move back and forth from the rhyming dictionary to the Word Document where I am trying to write a song.  Check out this free rhyming dictionary on the internet.

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This webpage copyrighted by John Axsom 2005