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What Makes That Song Tick?

What Makes That Song Tick?

Songwriting Exercise

This songwriting exercise focuses on finding out what makes a song tick, and then taking one cool trick a hit songwriter used and putting it in your song!

Understanding how other songs are written is a great way to learn how to craft your own.

Not only do you find some interesting tricks used by the songwriter, but there are often a few things that help solidify understanding how things like rhyme pattern, song structure, chord structure and prosody work.

Here’s a quick songwriting exercise I do when there’s a song that I think just sounds cool, has a great line it in or a terrific execution on an idea:

 

1  Select one of your favorite songs

 

2  Now go through the song and write down the following:

  • Point of view: who is speaking and telling the story?
  • What is the scene? Describe it.
  • Who’s the speaker? Write a short bio.
  • What’s the rhyme scheme and does it amplify or conflict with the idea?
  • Punctuation: add it to the lyrics. How many phrases in verse | chorus | bridge?
  • How does the song use punctuation to tie the rhyme together? Any internal rhyme?
  • What is the song’s structure?
  • What is the chord structure for the song?

 

3  Use your answers to fill out the Song Analysis Worksheet

There are a few more things to fill out on the sheet, but it’s easier if you start thinking about the questions in #3 before trying to fill out the worksheet. Don’t over-think it – just keep it brief. I’ve included a few examples of a completed worksheet.

Mama’s Broken Heart

Magdalene Laundries

 

4  Apply what you’ve learned to a song in progress

Choose one unique element from the analysis and apply it to a song you’re working on. Don’t try and include everything – just one cool trick you learned by looking closely at the song.

 

More Free Songwriting Worksheets from SongChops.com





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