Are you ready to write a hit song that has some serious depth to it? Don't panic if you're used to writing songs for fun and now have an intense topic you want to cover.
Maybe you're looking into making all of your song lyrics come from the heart. Or maybe you already write songs from the heart, and you're just looking for some insight on how others do it. Either way, I'd like to share my personal experience with writing from the heart.
There are a few different ways I tend to tap into a heartfelt experience when I write songs, and some methods work better than others, depending on the song's topic.
A song's mood is largely dependent on the chords in the song's instrumentation. As you may already know, major chord progressions generally give a happy or calm feeling, and minor chords give an intense feeling. I say 'intense' instead of 'sad' or 'negative' because a lot of sensual, seductive songs use minor chords to create a feeling of intensity and not necessarily negativity.
The chord progressions your lyrics will follow hugely impacts the lyrics you are compelled to write. If you're looking to write something deeply somber, you will need to focus on minor chord progressions.
If you want to take it a step further and get a little demented, you may be interested in adding some diminished chord progressions. If you're looking to write an intense love song, you'll want a mix of major chords with some minor flair for tension.
Related Post: Learn How To Write A Sad Song
A lot of times, as songwriters, we can get wrapped up in making sure our songs fit one of the common formats, like 'Verse Chorus Verse Chorus Bridge Chorus' or something you'd hear on the radio. If you want to write your song from the heart, your heart isn't likely telling you to be caught up in the boringness of common song structures. Don't limit yourself!
Play around with the sections of your song and see what best fits your topic. Think outside of the box if you want to write a bridge. If you only want to sing your hook once, do that. If your song is only a hook with no verses, it can be that.
Another thing we get caught up on as writers is having proper song length. In the case of writing a heartfelt piece, don't worry too much about how long your song runs. If you want to vamp for 5 minutes in order to get your point across, do that.
After you put your all into it, you may find that you needed to just get out your full long idea, then cut from certain sections to still make a great shorter song.
When you're writing a song that has a lot of lyrical depth, it can be challenging to pour out all of your lyrical ideas into just one song. You might have enough lyrics to fill 20 pages, but need to condense it into a structure that is audibly appealing and has a flow to it.
The truth is, you can have a verse that flows really well without having a common scheme like the AABB or ABAB rhyming scheme.
Many times, you can focus more on the flow of syllables in each phrase, with ending words that can sound similar and don't necessarily need to be perfect rhymes. Maybe your verses don't even need to rhyme at all, or maybe you can have a spoken word section in the breakdown of your song to get your lyrical point across further.
A great way to stress the depth of your lyrical works is to emphasize the most important words or phrases with a dramatic melody. For example, if you're writing a song about love, you might want to emphasize the word "heart" at the climax of your song with a powerful high note.
If you're writing a song about death, you may choose to make the last phrase of the song "you're gone" with broken, emotional vocal delivery. If you're creating a song about being heartbroken, you may want your hook to focus on a simplistic, repetitive phrase along the lines of "you tore me apart" to stress the emotion you feel, constantly hitting you moment by moment.
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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