Song Composition Tips (Part 3)

song composition tips 3

Today, I will be sharing part 3 on our series of Song Composition Tips. So far, I have shared 3 song composition tips with you, and I will sharing two very important tips today. So, let’s dive into it.

Try new chords

We all have some chord progressions that can easily be referred to as our favourites. Mine, for instance is the 4-5-6 progression (maybe because of my temperament). And truth is, these chord progressions have a way of re-surfacing every time we want to write a new piece of music. We could almost say they have become like our default chords. I struggled with this in my early days of songwriting. Every single song I wrote back then had a 4-5-6 chord progression. I had to intentionally start trying out new chords and it improved my song composition. Even if you don’t struggle with a particular set of chords like I do. You can still try out new chords in your song composition. It could just be changing one of the chords in a regular progression from minor to major. For instance, instead of playing the 6th chord in my 4-5-6 progression as minor, I could decide to play it as a major chord. Also, play around with bigger chords; don’t just limit your song composition to triads. This is why a basic knowledge in music theory is very essential for songwriters.

Be conscious of the length

This tip is especially necessary for composing in the 21st century, since we all know that the average attention span of people has drastically reduced.  As a songwriter, you need to put that into consideration as you compose these days. Don’t let the duration of your song be too long. Somewhere between 3 to 4 mins is a safe place to end your song.

Usually, as songwriters, when we write a new melody, we enjoy it so much that we could repeat the melody as many times as possible within the song. Don’t do that. It will only add to the length of your song. As much as possible, strip away every unnecessary repetition. If your listeners enjoy any part of the song, they will replay it over and over. So, don’t repeat it for them in your songwriting, let them do the replay while listening. Just keep the length of your song reasonable.

So, there you have it; part 3 of my series on song composition tips. This is the last week I will be posting link for my short survey on Depression among musicians. So, if you haven’t answered the survey questions yet, please do so. The results of the survey would be published so as to help other musicians. HERE IS A LINK TO ANSWER THE SURVEY QUESTIONS.  Thanks in advance.



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Song Composition Tips (2)- Create Dynamics

create dynamics

Last week, I shared two tips for song composition in the 21st century, but today I’m going to focus on creating dynamics in a song. I actually wanted to share two tips today, but by the time I finished with the first one, I realized it was long enough for an article of it’s own. So, here’s my third song composition tip for you.

Be Intentional About Creating Dynamics

This is a very essential tip, especially when writing/composing for this generation, considering the fact that over the years the attention span of most people has dropped. There should be a clear difference in melody between the verses and the chorus of your song. This change in melody creates dynamics in your song and keeps the listener’s attention till the end. It also makes the chorus (which captures the entire message of the song) to pop out.

Why should you create dynamics in your song?

Because songs without dynamics are boring. Usually, when I want to sing my daughter to sleep, I sing the chorus of a song over and over, without singing the verses or singing any other thing, and it works. And that’s because hearing the same melody over and over for a long time is boring and so it makes her sleep. This is why you need to be intentional in creating dynamics in your song, so that your song would not be boring to your listeners.

So how can I create dynamics in my songs?

You can create dynamics by choosing an entirely different set of chords for the chorus, to differentiate it from the verses. Say for instance, in the verses you had a 1-4-5-1 chord progression, you could make the chorus a 6-4-1-5 progression. You can also maintain the same chords as the verses, but then switch the progression. For instance, the 1-4-5-1 chord progression we used for the verses can be switched to 4-5-1-1 for the chorus. You will find out that just switching the progression of the chords (though still the same) creates a different feel when the chorus enters.

Can Producers help?

Yes, producers can also help their artists have dynamics in their songs, even if they didn’t create such originally while writing. All you have to do, as the producer, is use a different set of instruments for the chorus of the song. For instance, if you used the grand piano for the verses, you can try guitars for the chorus. Or you change the drum pattern or something. Just introduce something different for the ears of the listeners to keep their attention. That way, even though the melody is the same, there would still be a clear difference between the verses and the chorus.

Another thing you can do to create dynamics in your song is to have some sort of pre-chorus with a slightly different chord progression. That way, even if the chorus still has the same chords as the verses, it would still not be so boring.

One last thing, I would like you to go listen to a few of those songs you really enjoy. This time I want you to pay attention to the dynamics created in the song by either the songwriter or the producer. It would help you understand what I have shared with you today.

So, that’s it for today. For those of you reading my blog for the first time, I’m carrying out a short survey on ‘Depression Among Musicians’ and your inputs are needed. I hope the publish the results of the survey to help musicians who are going through depression. HERE IS A LINK TO ANSWER THE SURVEY QUESTIONS.  Thanks in advance.


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Tips For Song Composition in the 21st Century

Song composition

Last week, I explained song composition for you guys and we saw that it is an essential part of songwriting. Today, I’m going to share song composition tips for songwriters.

In the past couple of weeks, I listened to quite a number of new music from very talented musicians (both within and outside my city) and I noticed (actually, I’ve been noticing this for quite a while) that many of them (who are also songwriters themselves) did not quite do a good job in the area of songwriting. This is what inspired me to write on this topic. In today’s article, I’m just going to share two tips and hopefully, I’ll be sharing more in the future.

Choose a Compatible Genre

In many cases, this is the problem with some of the songs that don’t just sound right. You could hear that the voice texture of the singer is great, you could also hear that the production is clean, but then something’s not quite right. I know you’ve heard such songs before. It’s probably the genre. As a musician who writes your own music, discover the genres that are compatible with your voice and style of singing and write your songs in those genres. You’ll notice that your songs will automatically sound better when you write (compose) in the genres that are compatible with you.

Let me give you an example, there’s this musician I know that started with folk music (with just acoustics) and his songs sounded great. But then for some reason, he started doing ‘Afrobeats’ and honestly, when you listen to his recent songs, you’ll find that something just doesn’t sit well. So, please don’t just go with what’s trending with regards to genre; find out which works for you, even if it’s not trending, and stick with it.

Now, how do you discover compatible genres? It’s majorly by practice (though sometimes it could just be a musical instinct). You could also record simple demos of the same song written in various genres and ask your friends which of them they feel the impact of your voice most. This is a major reason why you need to learn at least one musical instrument as a songwriter, especially a harmonic instrument (I will probably write on this in another article). But for now, just know that you need to compose in a genre that’s compatible with your voice and your style of singing.

Choose chords that portray the emotion of the song

I’m quite sure you know every song has it’s own emotion/ mood. A song’s emotion could be happy, sad, exciting, frustrated, depressed, sorrowful, angry, hopeful, hopeless, encouraging, etc. You can’t be writing a song that is supposed to be used for celebration, for instance, and use sad/ moody chords in the composition. That just doesn’t fit. Usually, as musician, your musical instinct is enough for you to know the type of chords that don’t fit the message of your song. But there are also resources on the internet to help you if you need some help. Just ensure you choose chords that fit.


I would have added another tip but I just realized this article is getting too long, so I’m going to stop here. Please remember that my short survey on ‘Depression among musicians’ is still on. Your answers to the survey questions would go a long way in helping other musicians. There are just eight questions and it won’t take more than 5 minutes of your time. HERE’S THE LINK TO TAKE THE SURVEY.

Thank you in advance. Have a musical weekend ahead and keep making amazing music.

Songwriting And Composing

Songwriting and composing

Originally, I wanted to write on basic song composition techniques for songwriters, but then, I thought there might be some of you who don’t know what song composition is, so I decided to write on Songwriting and composing, first.

So, what does song composition entail?

Well, composing a song involves creating/ giving melody to a song. It could be done for an already existing lyrics written for a song, or it could be an entirely new work of musical creation to which lyrics could be added later. It could also just be a composition intended to be left without words and just enjoyed as instrumentals. People who only compose music are called composers. They do not write the words of the song; they only make the melody. Many modern music producers, especially hip pop and EDM producers, also double as composers.


Now, how about songwriting?

Songwriting is a complete process that involves writing the lyrics of a song and adding melody to it. In other words, songwriting involves song composition as well. Most musicians are songwriters; this means they write the lyrics of their songs themselves and also the melody to accompany the words. In some situations, a songwriting team is involved in writing a song. The team comprises of composers and other people called lyricists. Lyricists are people who only write the words of a song. Just like composers, they could write lyrics to fit an already existing melody or they could write lyrics completely independent of melody. However, in a songwriting team, both the composer and lyricist work hand-in-hand and after the song has been completed, both the composer and the lyricist are credited as co-songwriters.


So, between the lyrics and the melody, which should come first?

This varies from person to person. Some songwriters write the lyrics first, then add melody to it. Some others compose a melody first, then write words to fit the melody. There are others who do both at the same time; they compose as they write the words. A lot a rappers request for a beat from their producer, then write lyrics to fit the beat. In such a case, the producer is actually the composer while the rapper is the lyricist, meaning that both the rapper and the producer should be accredited as the songwriters.

Personally, being more of a composer, I compose melody first and then write words to fit the melody but I know people who write the lyrics first before adding melody to them. It all depends on the songwriter.

Now you know that songwriting involves both composing and writing lyrics. So, next time you address yourself as a songwriter, know that you are expected to double as both a lyricist and a composer.

I hope you have learnt something new today? You can check out other articles I’ve written here.

By the way, my survey on ‘Depression among Musicians’ is still on. If you have not answered the survey questions yet, please hit the link below and answer them. I promise it won’t take more than five minutes of your time. And the results will go a long way in helping other musicians. TAKE THE SURVEY HERE


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