While music is a very subjective experience, thousands of songs are undisputedly good.
A good song doesn’t need to be a hit single. Good music can be found on albums as bonus tracks, on SoundCloud from unknown artists, and can even be made up while you’re singing in the shower.
A good songwriter doesn’t need much to make a good song. You don’t need fancy production or even the greatest singer to make something magical.
You would be surprised how easily and quickly a good song can be created with one simple instrument. That instrument is your voice.
Now it will help if you have a piano or guitar to guide your melodic ideas with chords, but some good songs are acapella. Why is that? It’s because the magic is in the lyrics, rhythm, song structure, and melody.
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One of the first things you think of when creating a good song is the lyrical content. Your song lyrics are the heart and driving force of emotion and energy that makes or breaks the quality. Good song lyrics are relatable, catchy, and often affect listeners emotionally.
Some good song lyrics are basic, while others are profound. Both types require skill, although many will say that good music must include a song that has a deep message. But it’s not true, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” is a banger!
Good song lyrics often follow a catchy rhyming scheme that is fluid and sonically pleasing line after line.
You could have a good song topic but not have the writing skills to turn your words into good lyrics. Your lyrics should also flow well with the next element of a song: the melodic line.
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Good songs have well-crafted melodies that are often catchy as well.
Again, catchiness isn’t required, but many good songs have unique melodies that still feel familiar to the listener's ear. Good melody lines feel just right, as if the song was made 100% as it was intended to be from the start.
A great melody line also fits the lyrics in a good song very smoothly, emphasizing the right syllables that would flow well, sung or spoken.
Good songs often pair their melody well with the emotional beats of the lyrics, highlighting key points in the words with dynamically appropriate melodies that you feel right in your soul.
The singer doesn’t need to be the best in order to do the song justice. As long as the singer is in the right key and hitting most of the right notes, a good song’s melody speaks for itself.
A good song has a structure that captures and keeps the attention of the listener. Good songs don’t need to have common song structures, but the structure does need to make sense and flow well.
Most good songs have a recurring hook that comes back at least twice before the song is over. Many good songs also have at least two verses that showcase the writer’s lyrical skills.
Other common song elements include an intro, an outro, a bridge, a breakdown, a pre-chorus, and a vamp. There are thousands of ways to structure a song that all makes perfect sense.
As long as the song feels cohesive when performed or sung, it has the potential to be good or even great.
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Many hip-hop songs don’t include good melodic lines and solely rely on lyrics and rhythms to make the song magical. While it seems like a challenge, combining your lyrics with rhythmic phrasing is a great way to start writing a song.
For some songwriters, melodic and rhythmic ideas come at the same time, but for others, they’re basically writing raps or poetry first.
For your lyrical poetry to flow in song format and sound good, you will want to have several different rhythmic phrases that complement each other well. You want it to be catchy but not too repetitive.
For example, most good songs don’t use the same rhythmic flow for the verses and the verses in the chorus. Many verses change the melodic lines' rhythms at least once to keep the listener on their toes.
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In conclusion, the qualities of a good song can be found in various elements that work together harmoniously. While music is subjective, there are certain characteristics that tend to make a song universally appealing.
Firstly, good song lyrics are relatable, catchy, and capable of evoking emotions in listeners. They may be simple or profound, but they should flow smoothly and follow a pleasing rhyming scheme.
On top of that, a good song features a well-crafted melody that feels just right, even if it's unique or familiar. The melody should complement the lyrics and emphasize key moments effectively.
In addition to the above elements, a good song has a structure that captures and maintains the listener's attention, with recurring hooks, well-crafted verses, and other song elements that make sense and contribute to the overall cohesion.
Lastly, the rhythmic flow of a song, whether it relies heavily on lyrics or not, should be catchy and varied to avoid monotony.
By considering these qualities and finding the right balance between them, songwriters can create compelling and memorable music regardless of their resources or technical skills. So, grab your instrument, let your voice be heard, and let the magic unfold in your songs.
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her recent collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!
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