Friday, August 1, 2014

How to Write and Compose A Great Contemporary Song

As my pop single Color Me Beautiful continues to get radio airplay across the United States and top US A&R and record executives continue to take interest, I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about the art of writing good songs. Because that's what it really is. It's an art. 

Grammy Award Winning songwriter Diane Warren once said, "I just love writing a great ballad, something so essential that it reaches across genres. You could almost say that the best songs are 'genre-transcendent' -  they translate well into a variety of styles sung by different artists."

A couple of things I want to point out to you from the outset. There is no formula to writing a good song. You don't have to adhere to a specific format, because then it becomes too rigid. Because at the back of your mind you're trying to conform to what you think is the way it SHOULD be done. What that will do is stifle your creativity like you wouldn't believe. So don't go there! Just allow your creative juices to flow and WRITE.

INSPIRATION comes from all around us. It's from the variety of music we listen to; the experiences that we go through; the source of your inspiration therefore can be quite diverse. That said, I implore you, PLEASE don't go writing a song by someone
else and try to pass it off as your own. I've seen people write this way and the astonishing thing is they were completely unaware that their inspiration was basically a copy and paste job from another artist's song. Get real! Do something that YOU create yourself. There's nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from another song, or a set of ideas but DON'T copy lick for lick.

RECORD your ideas onto your phone as you go along. When an idea hits you, record it! Even if it's just a couple of lines or a lick, make sure you tape it. Ideas tend to vanish from your mind if you don't record them. I recorded all of Color Me Beautiful in bits and pieces on my phone over an extended period of time long before I even pieced the song together. So record your ideas. You'll be glad you did.

And one more thing. A song needs a memorable hook. Something that people can remember about the song if they didn't remember anything else. Imagine the note "Saving all my love for you" in the Whitney Houston song. Now, if you don't remember the song, that part you WILL remember. And on that note, I wish you all the best with your songwriting.

Thanks for dropping by, catch you in the next blog post!

Vocal Coach & Author

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