Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi, I'm 15 and I've written 150 full and unfinished songs in the past 6 months, and I have a struggle I face every time.

When I get a song idea, what I first write usually ends up being the most fitting for the chorus. And that's fine, but what makes me frustrated almost every time is thinking of the verses. 

I think and write and think and write, but I'm never satisfied and I just never finish the song.

So, I'm here to ask if any of you could help me out with this.

How do you write a song?
Do you start with a chorus or a verse?

How do you write a verse?

What do you write in a verse?

THANK YOU!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mona,

 

I'm going to move this into the Songcrafting Discussion forum, where it may get more answers. (This forum is more for Q&A about the site).

 

That said:

 

How do you write a song?

It varies. I don't always start with a lyric, to be honest. But sometimes I do. 

 

Do you start with a chorus or a verse?

When I'm writing, I'm often not sure whether what I start with will end up as a chorus or a verse. However, what I am doing in these early stages is to work out what the idea behind the song is. Sometimes what I start with is different from what I end up with.

 

To get around this, some people will start with a title and develop an idea from that - deciding what will be said in verse one, verse two and any other parts, depending on the structure chosen. It could be a story (V1: This happens, CH: theme, V2: then this happens ... etc.). It could be a list. It could be various examples to support an idea and develop it.

 

If you are writing a lyric that you hope someone will put to music (rather than writing your own music) it is generally a good idea to make the structure very clear and match the patterns of word stresses between verses - pay attention to rhythm. This makes it much easier for the musician to get started on the music.

 

How do you write a verse?

Each verse should get across at least one thought. It doesn't need more than one. Sometimes the first verses I write get thrown away. Sometimes they stay.

 

What do you write in a verse?

The first verse is simply an introduction. Then whatever is required to carry the idea (or story) forward. This is distinct from the chorus, which simply cements the idea and doesn't carry us forward at all, normally.

 

Sometimes when things aren't working it can help to look at a few other things to see whether they help. Of course, the entire lyric may be discarded in favour of something else, but taking a different angle can help. 

  • Who are you singing to? For example, "I love him" has a very different feel from, "I love you".
  • What tense are you using? The present tense is often more engaging than the past tense (but not always).

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good tips from the Alistair and Hobo.

 

I'd suggest you take the (free) Coursera Songwriting class give by Pat Pattinson - it's not offered/listed right now, but gives some good tips.   They do offer this (paid) class, but you can audit it for free:

https://www.coursera.org/learn/songwriting-lyrics

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I write for other musicians I normally begin with the chorus as well. That must be the strongest part of the song and present the hook that usually also is the title. When both, the composer and I, are happy with the chorus - the heart of the song - I begin working on lift and verses. Bridge, if needed, usually comes last.

As for the veres I ask myself: what (story) could lead up to what the chorus says. At this moment I have a chorus fragment that goes:

I give you time to think
come clear with what you feel
I won't give up hope too soon
that you'll be back with me

So the story will have to be: they got together, became lovers yet somehow got seperated because she (male singer) got somewhat unhappy. Could have been some misunderstanding. She might have seen him with another girl. Another story could be that they fell in love during both their vacation, and because of the seperation once they had returned home the feeling cooled down, at least on her part (that was my first idea). Probably, this background will make one verse, maybe two - before the first chorus. In the second part I then could write over his time after they had drifted apart, his yearning, his hopes. In the bridge I then could describe how he tried to forget her, to get over it - yet didn't succeed.

***

When I write my own folk songs I normally begin with the verses. Some don't even have a chorus. It could be a good exercice for you just trying to write an AAA song (only verses) instead of jumping right into the middle. The content, the story, could be anything. Among other things I retell Greek myths in some of my songs (Dionysos, Ganymede, Europa), for example. Once I retold a news story that I found hilarious (rule of thumb). There are more stories to be told than anybody could do in a lifetime....

Good luck!
Bernd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone's advice here is great. 

 

An extra tip to help out on the verses...

 

I usually pick some specific detail of the story/idea the chorus is trying to tell. Often these are objects or actions that have an emotional connection to the theme of the chorus. 

 

For me, all creative processes are driven by me asking myself questions. So when it comes to writing I might ask "what made me start feeling this way?" and often I can trace it back to an action, situation or object that got my mind on the chorus idea. From there I can describe the thing and it's connection to the idea. Once you know what you want to talk about it's just craft work to make it fit.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×