Learn How to Analyze a Hit Song & Use What You Uncover
This songwriting worksheet 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.
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.