The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #58222 Message #920719
Posted By: alanabit
28-Mar-03 - 03:55 PM
Thread Name: Art of Songwriting
Subject: RE: Art of Songwriting
There is lots of good stuff here and I agree with all of it. You should also check out other songwriting threads where you can get advice from excellent writers the quality of Jed Marum, Jerry Rasmussen, Rick Fielding and Harvey Andrews.
Remember that a song has to sound good when you sing it. It is the way the words and music create the effect together which is important. You may find a lyricist you like working with. I also think you do not need to limit yourself to writing just tunes or just words. I have worked with people who have thrown in just a couple of lines which have brought the rest of a song to life. Most songs come back to one central line. I look to get that one first and then build all the other lines around it.
From a technical point of view, it is a good idea to make the first line of your chorus or the last line of your verse the one which carries "the message". It does not have to be anything profound or earth shattering, but it should say clearly what you want the song to be about. Try and work it so that this line ends with a word which is not too difficult to rhyme with. I'll give you an example.
One of my favourite Mudcatter's songs is "The Green Heart of Harlow" by Kevin McGrath (McGrath of Harlow). The song is a eulogy of that town (not universally held in high esteem) by an Irishman who settled and lives there happily. Now if you stick "Harlow" at the end of a chorus or the last line of a verse, you have a bugger of a job making it rhyme and scan with anything which makes sense. Work hard at it (and it will be hard work) and you will find some rhymes - but they won't be good ones. What Kevin does, is to end the verses with, "In the green heart of Harlow where the Stort River flows". You should check out his site from the link in the members pages and see what he makes of it.
Keep writing and tell us how you are getting on. Good luck!