Do you write poetry and think one of your pieces will work in the format of a song? Here’s the good news, there’s a 99% chance it will work well.
Back in the early classical days of music around the 1600s, most songs were based on poetry, and boy, were they some popular hits. As long as your poetry doesn’t suck, you’ll have a good chance of making a good song if you follow the tips below.
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Your poem has a story to tell and a mood to express it in. What genre would it fit? Don’t limit yourself here.
Even if you’re an artist that sticks to one style like R&B or Country, you can still add other genre and style elements to your song if it well reflects the message of your poetry.
For example, If your song is boastful/cocky and you’re a country singer, you might want to put a little Old town Road flavor in your song to capture that energy.
Whether you’re creating the music with a guitar, a piano, a full beat that you will create, or buying an instrumental, you now have an idea of the music you want to match your lyrics with!
They say the most important part of your song is the chorus, also known as the hook. The focal point of your poem should be the section you turn into the chorus for your song.
Depending on how long it takes to get your main phrase across, you can then figure out if you will lean more towards a simple and catchy hook or a more word-heavy and melodic hook.
The bridge in a song is also very important and stands out from the flow of the verses.
If there is a secondary idea you want to highlight, consider putting that as your bridge lyrics. This will also work well if your poem highlights a devil’s advocate stance to compare to the overall message of your poem.
As an example, if your poem is a positive love poem, but takes a section to explore the fear and dangers that go against this love, that would be a good section to build a bridge around.
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With the remaining sections of your poem, begin crafting your verses. Don’t be afraid to leave sections of your poem out, or edit sections in order to fit better into a song format.
Try not to fall into a basic rhythmic flow when coming up with the melody lines in any of your sections, it can be easy to fall into this trap because of the way poetry is read.
The added vocals that will complete your song can include words from your poetry, or new phrases and words that complement the poem well.
Get creative with these backing vocals! Don’t be afraid to add spoken word parts, sections of your poetry that didn’t make the song cut, or highlight phrases/words that really represent your poem well.
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In conclusion, turning your poetry into a song can be a fun and rewarding creative process. By following the tips we’ve shared, you can take your poem and transform it into a unique and memorable song.
Remember to consider the genre and style that best suits your poem's message and mood. Don't be afraid to mix things up and add elements from other genres if it helps to bring out the emotions in your poetry.
Finding the focal point of your poem and turning it into a catchy hook is essential, but don't forget to craft your verses and build a bridge that supports the overall message of your poem.
Finally, sprinkle in ideas for your intro, outro, and adlibs to complete your song. Whether you're an experienced songwriter or new to the craft, converting your poem into a song can be a fulfilling experience. So give it a try and let your creativity flow!
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 300 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!
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