By: Taylor Gray (ThaTruth)
Making music can be harder than it needs to be, if you let it. Creating music should be free flowing and fun, but often becomes a burden when you try to force your way into a “good song”.
Writing down how many keywords and phrases you can rhyme over time can increase your wittiness. Also, picking a topic to write about for 5 minutes, a timed verse about ____ , is another great warm up to get your creativity and ideas flowing. After a good warm up or two, you should feel ready enough to move on.
Where to Start?
Picking the title of your song first is a good way to encourage staying on topic, rather than writing anything and everything that rhymes and comes to mind. Even I find myself writing whatever pops in my head, it happens to the best of us. After your topic is set, opening your perspective can be essential (example: first/third person descriptions). Even though we don’t want to write the first thought that comes to mind, sometimes I realize I’m on the right track to what I’m looking for. Rewording lines to flow better or finding another way to say something could be what you need.
Example: I make a lot of money VS Im gettin’ all this dough
Example 2: I drive my car fast VS dippin’ when I’m whippin’
The first lines were straight forward, no flare, and ultimately boring. While the second lines give you the same message with more flavor and style.
Is It Catchy?
Wording, cadence, and syllables can change the way listeners perceive your lyrics. Although message/story is important for a good track, catchiness is just as important when your goal is to create listenable music. If you have a story worth hearing but the song itself is dry and not easy to follow along, there’s a chance you won’t be heard. For us true music lovers we assume lyrics and substance will carry our song (which it should), when in reality without a catchy hook or flow, lyrics are lost to the majority.
Finding your sound whether it’s a flow or signature voice when you record, can increase your viewership. Also having constants that are unique to you become something listeners look for in your music; Examples being: adlibs. Riffs, sayings, and styles.
A lot of current artists love the punching-in technique, which is, recording a line or 2 by stopping and starting as you record. This technique is great for getting your lines “perfect” to the way you want them and allows you to focus on your breathing and delivery. An old school method is trying to record whole songs or verses at a time, this is called a one take. By all means if you know your song front and back and can record with the needed energy, one take away! It’s more difficult for most to complete tracks this way, due to breath control and keeping up the same energy throughout. But, if you can combine these techniques you can find a good work flow. Record what you can until you start to dip breathing or energy wise, then punch in to finish another line or re-record areas that you aren’t satisfied with.
The last “infinity stones” for your complete song is, layering vocals and adlibs. Layering a line or parts of a line accentuates your voice and what’s said. It’s eye candy for the ear and makes your lyrics/flow POP! Adlibs give you extra character and something to “fill in” the blank spots in your track. This gives the listener another piece of you for them to hold on and listen to. Layering and adlibs can become experimental just as much as they can become your signature, good “extras” can be what sets your song above the rest.
Mixing vocals is just as experimental as anything else, sometimes doing the simple tweaks can be what you need, but finding something new and different can be just what you didn’t know you needed. This is why having fun while recording is so important. Dreading writing and recording because of the complexities can ruin your creativity and experience, so don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Over time everything will become more and more comfortable, then before you know it you have a hit song in your hands.
These are the things that I’ve found in my creative process of making music. It helps simplify my goal of making a great song and doesn’t have me wandering in the creative dark. I hope my tips and information helps you create the song of your dreams!