How To Write A Sad Song Friday July 30 2021, 11:02 PM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
How To Write A Sad Song

How To Write A Sad Song For Beginners 

The best types of songs are those that come from a place of pain and sorrow. There's nothing like a sad song to get you through a tough time and release pent-up emotion.

If you're considering writing an original sad song yourself, take some of these ideas into consideration to try and make your song as touching and authentic as possible. 

Choose Your Approach To Sadness

Some sad songs offer hope in certain sections. Some sad songs are completely bleak, with no positive points to be found. Some sad songs are in the form of a story told about the writer or someone they know.

Some really interesting sad tracks have upbeat and bright energy from the instrumentation while delivering the most depressing lyrics ever.

What approach will you take with your sad song? What will it be about? Or who?

Will this sadness be a type of sadness that we all share, something to do with the entire world? Or is it a type of very personal sadness that we all can relate to?

Related Post: How To Write A Song About Someone Else

Find The Mood

Now it’s time to get in the right mental place to start writing this sad song straight from the heart. This will be tricky, as you will begin to spiral into a dark place.

Be careful with the process. If you are someone who has trouble with depression already, you may want to tread lightly with inducing this mental state on purpose. 

A good option for this is to wait until a somber mood naturally comes to you. This may be hard to do depending on your song approach style, especially if you’ll be writing a sad song about someone else’s experience and not your own. 

If you are writing about your own sadness or sadness that you can authentically relate to, the best time is to start writing right when the emotions are most present. This will also help you release that negative energy while writing therapeutically. 


Start With Lyrics

Sad songs that are written in the form of poetry can really help bring out authenticity and emotional depth in the lyrics.

Too often, we as songwriters will hear some sad pop chords played and work their way from the music, defaulting to common sad phrases heard in several thousand songs with only slight variation.

Related Post: How To Turn A Poem Into A Song

When starting with only lyrics, you will find that you have more creativity and range to think outside of the box and really get your somber point across to resonate deeply with the listener. 

Many people today will hear songs without paying much attention to the lyrics.

Writing your lyrics first can help you break through that barrier since you’ve made it more of a focus than any melody line or instrument by putting it at the forefront of your creative process.

How To Write Sad Melodies

The first step to creating your sad song melody will be deciding if you want to do the song in a major or minor key. Most sad songs are sung in minor, but there are a few instances where a major key would work in a sad song.

If you want to build up a sense of irony or humorous sadness in your song, putting your song in a major key is a good idea. If you want to focus on the positive aspects of a sad story in your song, a major key will also work here. 

Now is the time to play with melodic phrases that will match your dark, deep, unique lyrical content. You may want to cycle through many melody ideas before deciding on which phrases to keep and what to discard.

During this process, you will naturally get a good feel for what tempo you want your sad song to be. Most sad songs are slow, of course, but the speed is really up to you.

Or you could make it a song that works at several different tempos, leaving it up to the singer to perform many different interpretations. 

Once you have your melodies, you can begin to create a structure for your song that will decide how many verses you want, if you want an intro and outro, etc.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating your song structure. You can even end a dark, minor and depressing song on a positive note with a method called the picardy third

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Yona Marie

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!

If you are ever in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services for your music project or brand, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her song services page. As an Amazon Associate, Yona Marie earns from qualifying purchases. Amazon and other affiliate products are recommended to genuinely help readers and keep this site up and running as well.

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