Mapping out your songs - Don't get painted into a corner.
Dave wrote a book entitled The Songwriting Fundamentals which has been sold worldwide.
Often we all write these clever lines but then have trouble rhyming to it. Maybe we've used a nice metaphor or a vivid use of words or phrases and then we get stuck with the next line that has to rhyme to it and we end up sounding like Dr. Suess using a tired cliche rhyme. In this case, we've painted our self into a corner.
Your last line is your "punchline" of your stanza. Make sure it is the very best it can be. The 1st line of the stanza needs to be very good and draw them into wanting to hear the rest of the stanza. Consider those lines 1st and write them the best you can. Fill the middle, the lines in between with interesting details that follow out from line 1 and lead right into your punch line, your last line that is so remarkable.
Mapping your songs out
Another technique Dave discusses is mapping your songs out. When you write a song think "what am I trying to say here? Let's say you have a story about a guy who was defensive about The Lord but was struggling and then finally let go and let God in his life let's say. Let's say the hook is, ... "letting go. So quickly write out any lines that pop in your head so you don't lose them. Any phrases that might go along with the story that hit you during the inspiration mode we want to write down because if we start trying to "write the son" during the inspiration mode we will often forget some of those great lines that came to us during the inspiration phase." Lets map out the song now:
Verse 1: Describe setting and characters - Describe the situation of guy defense about God.
Chorus 1: Wrap around hook letting go, and focus on that - how it's hard to let go.
Verse 2: Go deeper into the character. A familiar mistake in verse 2 is straying from the main character. Following verses are best used by going deeper into details.
Bridge (if used) Sum it up or twist things - Let's try to sum it up - guy figured since he had nothing, he had nothing to lose and anything is better than nothing, God will just have to help him in "letting go"
Using this technique will keep your songs focused throughout. Remember the KISS method (keep it simple stupid) of doing things. Draw your listener into the story and keep it easy to follow. As an example, imagine that you and some friends get this idea to drive to California and go to the beach, and see the sights, and so on. Wow, you are all excited! Then you need to sit down calmly and "map it out. When could you go, do you have the money, how long to stay, what car to take and so on. Inspiration gives you a destination. The destination is the fun part. Mapping it out gets you from point A to Z in a logical manner. Before you start walking, decide where you want to end up. Often songwriters will write a terrific line, maybe use a wonderful metaphor or some words or phrases that are very vivid. Then they get caught trying to write another line that will rhyme with it. Often that line sounds like it’s "rhyme forced" meaning that it’s there mainly to rhyme to the previous line. Don't let rhymes dictate your writing, let the story or message of the song dictate them. The quality of your song will be much better using these and many of the other techniques described in detail in Dave's book "The Songwriting Fundamentals."
Do you feel like your songs aren't as good as you wished they were? Does it seem like your writing the same old thing? Do you have trouble finishing songs? Do you find yourself sounding like a Dr. Suess book when trying to rhyme? Are you ready to improve your songwriting? This is the book for you then. Dave Byers has studied many of the songwriting books on the market. His goal was to lay out the craft of songwriting in the clearest, concise and direct manner. He has spent years pouring over interviews from songwriters and studied at great length hit songs from many genres. He is an accomplished musician and instructor. He has been a songwriter for over 30 years and will quickly help you improve your songwriting. "Discover the true joy of songwriting when you understand the fundamentals used in many successful songs!" This book covers songwriting from A to Z. It is the perfect book for those starting out in songwriting as well as the intermediate and advanced writers looking to improve their songwriting skills. Each section is clearly labeled and easy to find. No other book covers the songwriting fundamentals as completely as this book does. Get a lifetime of songwriting experience in this book for less than the cost of a typical music lesson. A terrific value!
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