How can we make songwriting easier?
Change your perspective before you start writing!
Songs are really just scenes strung together – so just write those!
Break your song down into smaller scenes (verses) to make it a bit easier to structure and write.
We’ll focus on the steps for a single scene.
So, if your song is Verse | Chorus | Verse | Chorus | Bridge | Chorus
. . . you’ll need 2 complete scenes.
The song idea and the first scene should tie together so your song starts heading in the right direction immediately.
A strong first line helps, but your scene will be what plays in the listener’s head.
Think about what will set the song up right and visualize it.
Based on your song idea, who needs to show up first (remember, first verse only right now)?
Try and restrict your scene to no more than two people or two mentions of people. For example, if it’s a song about a man who cheated on a woman, he and she are easy to follow.
But what if you put the lover into the scene? He, she and him might be a little complex if not handled expertly. Keep it simple first.
What’s the setting? Does it resonate with your song idea?
What about other places? Create a list and see if anything jumps out. And – try some odd places just to keep the list fresh.
For example, you can be drunk in a number of places – being drunk on a plane is a little different.
This is a great way to give yourself some twists and turns you hadn’t originally come up with as part of your plot.
Make a list and see if there’s anything that creates some interesting character choices or drama.
Pretty self-explanatory, and a good habit to get into, especially for story songs when looking for that “unique” aspect if you plan on pitching your songs commercially.
So now let’s connect your song scenes!