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.