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How To Write A Quality Song?

Updated on March 5, 2013

Most every songwriter wants to be known for their beautiful melodious poetic abilities. We all know it takes a down right good song to be successful. There is a few I think that have slipped through the cracks because of politics or previous success.

Writers often get an extreme emotional attachment to their songs: This done in the wrong way can be the making of a low-quality song. Why is this so important?

1. Because you cannot make yourself believe it is a great song until it has been purged and passed the inspection of your best discernment.

Editing a song does not mean you are trashing original inspiration. Inspiration is the plot, the stone; you have to chisel the edges to begin the formation of a work of art everyone will admire.

Don't be afraid to make songs you have written long ago better. For one thing your writing improves with time and experience. You might turn that cute little song you wrote ten years ago into a smashing hit with a little makeover.

One word can make a song ugly or maybe a bad verse or line..

I have had songs that simply needed a bridge added or the second verse climax re-written with stronger emphasis.

2. Never sacrifice excellence for expediency!

Getting in a hurry can result in a sloppy ugly song. Even songs that you have sent to the industry and may have been cut can come back and haunt you later. You have to set a standard of excellence for yourself, something that people will identify you by and don't compromise even if it takes time to produce. Some songs can pop out perfect, but be patient with the ones you have to give birth too. Sometimes the struggle can turn your lump of coal into a diamond.

Sometimes numbers are too important to songwriters. How many songs you have written is not near as important as how many truly quality songs you have written? I have read biography's of great hymn writers of the past and they were told to have written hundreds if not thousands of song, but are only known by a handful, if that. That don't mean they were not quality songs, most songwriters have legacy songs, but we must strive not for the numbers because in time when we have passed on, the great songs will be the timeless songs. We need to write timeless songs that will outlast trends and popularity contests.

3. Melody matters! If you are a great lyric writer, but don't have a ear for music and melody then you must find a accomplished musician or another duel experienced songwriter to compose your tune. I have heard songs that totally annoyed me or just simply had an awful tune, but the lyrics were great. A melody can make or break a song. I have heard songs with simple, very un-profound lyrics that ranked the high on the charts because they had a great catchy tune.

4. Sometimes you might need a critic.

The reason I say sometimes is that some great writers are capable of confidently producing great work and get noticed by being their own personal critic. If you are a novice or you are having trouble getting your songs to stand out, then an honest critic might be perfect for you. Sometimes you just need to polish up the English or add more color. " Don't get offended, just take everything they recommend and evaluate it carefully before you make changes. You don't want the cocky or extreme critics messing up or taking over your song." One man told me, " You can't put a mustache on Mona Lisa so don't let them compromise your great song."

Being a song critic can be awkward, I have had people have me to look at their songs and there was simply no poetic flow, just chaotic jumble. There is a difference in being a songwriter and a musical expressionist.

Some are truly gifted, but just need the tools to make it better. None of us are past the point of getting better..

Be careful that a critic don't rewrite your song to the point of consuming the rights. You will have to be fully conscience that you may have to give co-write credits if you adapt rewrite changes, that's not a bad thing, it might be the boost you need. Some of the most popular songs are co-written. Co-writing might be the elevator to the confidence you need to produce your own hit.

Happy Writing!!!!!!!! CG


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    • singingmommy profile image

      Candace Green 8 years ago from OKLAHOMA

      Lol sometimes musicians just brave us up! Wonderful memories!

    • Lowell's Notes profile image

      Lowell's Notes 8 years ago

      ...and sometimes studio musicians change the original tune so that the writer doesn't even recognize it any more...just kidding...we had a blast. It really does help on an original song to make sure you don't let the intended melody get lost.

    • profile image

      Bill 8 years ago

      For me I write a lot of lyrics. I also write and record all the music via multitrack. Weird thing is I have a lot of lyrics lying around with good intentions. Why? Because when I get a musical idea, I record a song around it, then always seem to HAVE to put new lyrics to it, kinda like capturing the vibe of the song at that moment of creation. Now, if I can just find a singer.....

    • Cam Anju profile image

      Cam Anju 8 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

      I love music, it inspires me to draw... I used to write songs when I was little, I still write some songs now.. but I have never finished a song as of yet. :)

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Great tips singing mommy. I guess when we want to improve our craft, it takes openess and willingness to have improvements, revisions and so on. Hey, it would be nice to hear your songs one of these days. :) Take care...

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 9 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Very good advice that applies also to poetry. There's a common myth that the first attempt is the inspiration and should not be touched. But that fails to recognise that while writing may be cathartic, the created work has a life of its own and deserves the best chance. This will only come from careful analysis and editing. During a 'dry spell' (I'm sure we all have them) it's good to sit down and rework some of the old stuff.

    • hot dorkage profile image

      hot dorkage 9 years ago from Oregon, USA

      I am much better at melodies. I struggle so much with lyrics. And yes you are right, I tend to sit on my songs & never let them out in case they migh get better some day.