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The Art of Good Songwriting


Well go ahead.. Think about it. Whether you are a musician/songwriter or not, you've heard thousands of songs in your life, right?? So what exactly makes a song "good"? The answer is actually very simple. But before I let it go (My opinion of it, of course) lets dive into songwriting a little bit When you really dig deep into music, all of music is divided up into into the same 7 notes. The musical alphabet is only 7 letters (notes). A-G, and thats it. (if you count the sharps and flats, technically 12 tones, but I digress) [plus microtones, but for the sake of simplicity lets roll with what we have] Think about all of the music that you've heard, all of the creative melodies, chord patterns, vocals etc. All derived from 12 notes. But they all sound so different. How? A good songwriter can make a song about anything, and make it listenable and good. That's because at the heart of it, a good songwriter is the Author of a 3-5 Minute book that you listen to with your ears. They can tell a story, not only with their words/lyrics, but with the musical composition of the song. Using Chord voicing, and different Rhythms to pull on your emotions and direct your feelings where to go. THIS is what makes a song good. The Lyrics/Vocals are often thought of as the most important element in a song, but thats not 100% True.. They are important, especially in modern day music. BUT, the music has to be a good supporting element of the feelings that the lyrics are trying to portray, otherwise, the listener will get confused and not know which direction to go. So now that we know that the story/storytelling is the most important part of songwriting. What are the most important elements of storytelling. This one is easy too. CONFLICT/RESOLUTION. Think about ANY story you've ever read, any movie you've ever watched. They usually go in 3 main sequences. Foundation (establishing features). Conflict. Resolution Foundation. You've gotta pave the way for the conflict to be found. In movies, these are building the characters so that you have the background stories. Conflict. This is the battle. This is where it all falls apart. I need explain no more Resolution. In movies, this is where people get married, the Villain comes to terms with what he's done, so on and so forth.. As musicians, we focus too much (Speaking from my perspective of course) on the fads. "Oh that riff sounds super cool, I've gotta include this into the song" instead of thinking, "How can I make this support the story" STORY is king of all. You can have the most musically complex piece of music ever, but if it doesn't tell a story, no one is going to listen. At the heart of it, people listen to music to feel emotion. Sometimes that emotion is happy, sometimes its sad, nostalgic, angry, on top of the world To make a good song, you must pick the story you'd like to tell, determine what emotions you're trying to draw, and then use your lyrics and songwriting abilities to support that. Thanks for tuning in!

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