Everyone has a story to tell and what better way to convey the thoughts in your mind than by writing a song? You don’t have to be a lyrical genius just to create something unique and true. All you need is a pen, paper and a narrative that you’re willing to share with the rest of the world and you’re good to go.
However, it’s hard to pinpoint where to start. Don’t worry because our team at NaijaLoaded can help you out with a few simple pointers on how to write a great song. Browse through the website and perhaps we can get you through the first song you ever write.
Why you should start writing a song
People in Nigeria love to listen to music. Wherever they go, you best bet that they’ll have their phones and headsets with them listening to the latest tracks on the radio. Do you want to be the next star that people would listen to? If so, you should consider writing a song that expresses what you want to say.
Still having doubts about writing your own song? There are plenty of reasons why you should start as early as now! Here are some that might convince you to make the first step:
The first reason why it’s good to write a song is that you have an avenue to express your thoughts and feelings in creative ways. The words and melodies just blend together to create something that’s truly a reflection of who you are and what you’re experiencing at a certain moment in your life.
Tailoring it to your own voice
Ever had a song that you love but can’t sing it because it doesn’t fit your voice? That problem can be solved if you just write your own song.
This way, you have the means to tailor the melody to the timbre of your voice because it’s a song specifically written just for you. Moreover, it’s a unique song that would be your own because you’ve written it from your own experiences. This makes it more suitable for your voice to sing.
Setting yourself apart from the rest
Many people can sing but not all of them can write their own songs. Even attempting to write one is a hard feat to overcome. If you write your own words to sing then it already sets you apart from other talented people in Nigeria.
Just imagine, you can perform an original set in front of a crowd. No matter how big or small that may be, you’ll still be a diamond in the rough because you’ve showcased your songwriting prowess as well as your beautiful voice.
You’re in charge of how it goes
Writing your own music means that you’re creative in charge. This makes you the boss of your creation. Moreover, it’s up to you to decide whether you’re going to sell it or distribute it on your own.
Gives you an edge in the music industry
Just as what was said earlier, not everyone can write songs. Having the courage to write your own just means that you have an edge in the music industry. Not only can you create songs for yourself but you can also write them for other artists that ask for your help. This gives you plenty of opportunities to make it in the industry.
Gives you catharsis
Writing songs is a way for you to express yourself and the wide range of emotions that you feel. Life can be tough sometimes and you need a healthy outlet to say what you want to say without hurting anyone.
Songwriting can be the catharsis that you need. This gives you ways to cope with the challenges of life and being human.
How to write a song
Now that you’re inspired to write a song, it’s time to delve into the nitty-gritty process of creating your masterpiece. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where to start so we’ll help you out here at NaijaLoaded.
Here are some of the things you need to do to start writing your song:
Figure out the main theme or title
A single idea gives you the chance to narrow down what you want to write for your song. This can be pinpointed by your title or a phrase that sums up the bulk of what you want to say. Load this with the emotions and feelings you want to convey in your song. You can also conjure up an image to give it more flavour and appeal.
This title doesn’t have to be finalised. It can just be the idea to get your juices flowing as you write what you want to say.
Dissect your title further
One way to further branch out other themes from your ideas is by making a list of questions suggested by the title. Start by asking yourself what is it about the title that you want to talk about and what your listeners might want to know about.
It doesn’t have to be interrogative questions that are heavily researched. You can start by asking what the title means for you and how you feel about it.
Then, when you’ve figured out how things go, you can delve deeper into what caused you to write about this and what will happen next. This depends on what you feel and which themes you want to explore as you write the song.
Choose a song structure
There are plenty of song structures out there that you can use for your song. These are the verse/chorus/verse, chorus/bridge/chorus and many others that you can play with. You can even add a section called a pre-chorus or a lift between the verses so you can add dynamic to the overall message and melody of the song.
Make sure that each section of your song has an identifiable melody that follows the leitmotif of what you’re trying to express. It’s okay to experiment with different styles so that you can make your song unique.
Answer the question you posed for your song in the chorus
The most important part of your song is the chorus since it’ll be the first thing that people will latch on to. That’s why it’s good to answer your main question in this part so that your listeners know what it is you are feeling at that particular moment.
Find the melody in your lyrics
Once you’ve finished the lyrics, find the melody in the words you’ve written. There’s always a cadence to the words that you’ll discover once you manage to say them out loud many times. Don’t hesitate to play with it as you deem fit because it’s your song and what you think matters the most in the end.
Add chords to your melody
You’ve found your rhythm now it’s time to find the right chords that’ll fit into your song. Play with different chord progressions until you find something that suits your voice and the song you’ve written. Moreover, try to record yourself so that you can hear for yourself the results of your hard work.
Tips on writing songs
Songwriting is no joke. It’s challenging to create melodies and match them with the lyrics you have written. Even the most experienced musicians have problems at some point in their careers. However, don’t let this deter you from creating your music. Here are some tips that you can follow once you gain the courage to write your song:
The lyrics matter
Lyrics are arguably the most important element of your song. Aside from the melody, this also makes up the bulk of what you’re creating. However, it can be quite the challenge to write the words on a paper, especially if you don’t know where to start.
Always have a clear idea of what your song will be about. This will help you decipher the lyrics you’ll write when you’re creating your music. You should also consider a solid lyrical hook to make your verses and bridges more catchy.
Always record a spur of the moment inspiration
More often than not, the best ideas that come to your mind happen when you least expect them. This applies to creating music as well. You wouldn’t want to forget what you came up with so you should record the melody, riff or lyrics that pop into your mind abruptly. Don’t wait for another hour just to record it. You might forget the idea after a few minutes.
Write from the heart
Take inspiration from your experience when creating music. This is your arsenal and you’d be able to draft the most beautiful lyrics because you’ve experienced the joys and pains firsthand.
It’s no secret that the best songs that were ever written came from the personal experience of the writer. These artists that draw on real-life events and traumas get to spark their creativity because they’re very close to the feeling.
Collaborate with other musicians
You may have half-baked ideas that you just can’t place into words and melodies. When this happens and you experience writer’s block, a different perspective might help get you out of the rut.
Try to collaborate with other artists and you might just create something special because you fused your talents. Moreover, seeking the help of other musicians is a great way to break new ground and get a fresh perspective on your song.