Writing a love song can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task. You want your love song to be as great as it can be since the love that you're writing about is something that is great to you. As a songwriter, it's a lot to try to get your love song to live up to the love you're detailing and trying to express.
In order to make it less of a huge project, it's a good idea to take things one step at a time in order to make the process go as smooth as possible and allow your creativity to flow easily. Many of these tips have been used by popular songwriters with love songs that have topped charts and been favorites to a million listeners. If other people can write effective love songs, why can't you?
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The first thing you want to do to really pull the authenticity out of this process is to study the main characters in your love story that will be turned into a song. Who is on the receiving end of the love being described in your song? Who is giving the love? Is the love being equally shared between two people? Is this love more of a platonic form of love? Is it an intimate spiritual love, or is it romantic love?
Once you have the storyline and the characters, bring out details that will make the love story feel more of a personal experience. The more you add unique elements of the love story into your lyrics, the less generic your love song's lyrics will seem to be.
Once you've studied the characters in your love story, consider starting with the lyrics or poetry to your song before thinking about the instruments or the beat. While having the music first is a very cool way to create a love song, starting with lyrics may help songwriters bring out the most emotionally impactful love songs driven by prioritizing the lyrics over the music.
Most songs use the following 3 rhyme schemes: AABB, ABAB, or AABBA. Not all songs need to rhyme, but rhyming in love songs really adds to the charm for the listener's experience. Rhymes in love songs can be cheesy and predictable to a certain extent, but you do want to avoid using words that are too basic if you're aiming for a really heartfelt love song that won't feel too childish.
Many love songs have the following song structure: Inro -> Verse 1 -> Chorus -> Verse 2 -> Chorus -> Bridge -> Chrous -> Outro. If you want to follow the most common song structure, go right ahead! You can make slight changes if you'd like, for example, skipping a bridge or starting with the chorus instead of the intro. The most important thing is to have a chorus repeated and at least 1 verse.
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As you are playing around with the structure of your song, you will want to match melodic phrases to your lyrics that will fit the song's story and mood. The melody of your chorus in addition to the lyrics of your chorus will need to stand out, be catchy, and feel like the most resonant part of your song. The verses can be sections where your storytelling is most present, and lower notes in the key of your song can be sung, while the chorus and bridge can be the heightened points of your song where higher notes are sung. These are only suggestions, as your song doesn't need to follow any melodic rules if you don't want it to.
Once you have decided on your lyrics and melody for the sections of your song, you will want to start thinking about how you or the singer of the song will deliver the vocals. Some sections may need to be sung with a quiet whisper, while others may benefit from being belted with high energy. Singers can often put certain emotions behind the delivery of phrases, including sadness, anger, apathy, and fear which can help deliver the emotional aspects of your songwriting intent.
Adding instrumentation may or may not be something you are able to do as a songwriter. If you don't have production or instrumentation writing skills, consider hiring a music producer to custom make a beat tailored to everything that you have created from the tips above.
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If you do have instrumentation composition skills, start simply with the chord progressions that will fit each section of your song. Most love songs fit in a major key with some minor chord progressions mixed in that will fit the lyric and mood of the song. Some sad love songs are created in a minor key to really tap into that emotional depth.
After coming up with chord progressions, you can then get a feel for percussive instrumentation if it is needed. Many love songs are created simply with vocals and guitar and do not need any drum elements. Urban genres like R&B and hip hop can tell a love story with rich percussive instrumentation included.
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, features, nursery rhymes, and DJ drops, she currently spends her time engulfed in creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her most recent creative collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!
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