Songwriting

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Diehardpetrafan:)
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Songwriting

Post by Diehardpetrafan:) » Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:21 pm

A friend of mine has a friend and he wants me to try and write a song. Thing is, I'm definitely no Bob Hartman, so how many of you guys have written songs and can give me advice? He said I should try and write a Christian song so I'll be taking a lot of advice and inspiration from guys like Bob, and once I wrote a song that Foreigner totally could've sung. Never tried writing a Christian song and 9/10 times my songwriting goes in the trash because it's too cheesy or doesn't flow right. All I have to do is come up with a poem sort of thing while my friend's friend adds his own music cause he has a band. Does anyone have any tips or ideas that have helped them in writing songs?
-Belle
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Re: Songwriting

Post by George Harrison » Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:55 pm

Diehardpetrafan:) wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:21 pm
A friend of mine has a friend and he wants me to try and write a song. Thing is, I'm definitely no Bob Hartman, so how many of you guys have written songs and can give me advice? He said I should try and write a Christian song so I'll be taking a lot of advice and inspiration from guys like Bob, and once I wrote a song that Foreigner totally could've sung. Never tried writing a Christian song and 9/10 times my songwriting goes in the trash because it's too cheesy or doesn't flow right. All I have to do is come up with a poem sort of thing while my friend's friend adds his own music cause he has a band. Does anyone have any tips or ideas that have helped them in writing songs?
-Belle
I write songs. Well, one of the main things when writing lyrics is to make sure you rhyme the last syllable of some lines. You can try rhyming each line with next, for example, this song:
"Another sleepy Sunday safe within the walls
Outside a dying world in desperation calls
But no one hears the cries or knows what they're about
The doors are locked within, or is it from without"

Walls rhymes with calls, and about rhymes with without.

Another method is to rhyming the 1st line with the 3rd line, and the 2nd with the 4th. For example:
"We can enter in, enter in
Into Heaven's Holy place
We can enter in, enter in
Boldly by His blood we can approach His throne of grace"

Here you can see that enter in rhymes with enter in, and place rhymes with grace.

You do not have to rhyme every line with another line. It's fine to have some lines that don't rhyme, just try to keep it consistent. If you decide that all the lines in the first verse should rhyme, then the second verse should also rhyme the same way as the first one does.

Another that helps is to make sure that your lines have similar numbers of syllables. If you have lines with 15 syllables in the first verse and only 5 in the second verse, then the song will not sound very coherent.

For example:
"There is a way that leads to life
The few that find it never die
Past mountain peaks graced white with snow
The way grows brighter as it goes"

Each of these lines in the first verse have 8 syllables.
In the second verse each line also has the same number of syllables:
"The river runs beside the road
Its waters living as they flow
In liquid voice the water calls
On thirsty knees the pilgrim falls"

So having similar numbers of syllables really helps the song flow better.

In terms of structure you usually have something like a verse, then a chorus, and then another verse, then another chorus. Often the chorus has the main idea of your song, and the verses describe and flesh out the story more.

"
Verse 1
I wonder how it makes you feel when the prodigal won't come home
I wonder how it makes you feel when he'd rather be on his own
I wonder what it's like for you when a lamb has gone astray
I wonder what it's like for you when your children disobey
Chorus

It must be like another thorn struck in your brow
It must be like another close friend's broken vow
It must be like another nail right through your wrist
It must be just like
Just like Judas' kiss

Verse 2
I wonder how it makes you feel when no one seeks your face
I wonder how it makes you feel when they give up in the race
I wonder what it's like for you when they willingly disobey
I wonder what it's like for you when they willingly walk away"

In this song the first verse asks a question ( I wonder how it makes you feel), and the choruses have the main message, (it must be like Judas's kiss).

If you need ideas to write a song about try thinking of Bible stories and basing one on that. It often helps if you were the chorus first. Also, if it doesn't sound good at first that's alright, usually you go over the song a few times and try to fix it and make it better. Furthermore, lyrics sound less silly or bad when you sing them, even though they often sound bad when being read off a paper. There are also some YouTube videos that are helpful, on how to write songs and lyrics.

If there's something more specific you need help with let me know, you could also message me the lyrics you need help with if you want.
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Re: Songwriting

Post by Diehardpetrafan:) » Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:51 pm

Thanks! I'll try writing some stuff out, mess around, try to get something good. Guess what though! I posted the same thing on Heavy Harmonies so I could get help from several sources, and the least likely person told me they've written a Christian song before and that they would help me- the dude that told me he'd get me banned if I continued to message him. I think that Learn To Pray by Chris Taylor, The Lions Den by Guardian & MT by the 77s are some of my favorite lyrics. 🤤🤤🤤 Thank you again! I'll keep you posted when I get something down.
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Re: Songwriting

Post by brent » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:19 pm

If you want help with lyrics....don't think about writing a "Christian" song with cliche Christianese and such. If you want it to have the most reach, be authentic and relay your thoughts. Whoever you are will come out in whatever the content is. Just remember, the more specific and detailed the lyrics are, the smaller your audience will be. Some of the biggest selling tunes on the planet are vague and leave room for people to interpret them at will. Some of them have no meaning at all and just rhyme phonetically.

As far as music is concerned, I would reference Rick Beato on Youtube. He dissects songs of various genres. It's great. If you are going to write and produce art, it can be whatever you want it to be, because it will have a small audience. If you want to produce music to sell in the music business, then you should reference the songs you want your tunes to be associated with and head that way, because the money counters like me-too tunes.

You have a taste for old music in CCM. Old music in CCM is some of the corniest ever and won't appeal to a broad audience today any more than sermons about the pending Y2k nonsense and clothing from that era will. Take a creative writing class. Read poetry. Don't copy music that couldn't be convicted for being good in court.
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Re: Songwriting

Post by George Harrison » Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:09 pm

Rick Beato is great. There are also other YouTubers who explain the process of writing a song in a more basic way, for people who don't know much about music theory and have never done it before. Practice makes perfect, don't expect to get the hang of it right away.
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Re: Songwriting

Post by Diehardpetrafan:) » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:41 pm

Right, and I kinda misunderstood what my friend wanted. He wants me to change up some songs that are unfinished by some of his friends, but he thinks I'm really smart so he wants me to have the job. I know nobody cares about old CCM anymore but whether or not it was corny it definitely had some deep lyrics. The stuff they put out today isn't very deep at all sooo 🤷‍♀️. But I know that you can't make it super detailed and my friend probably won't want anything Christian anyways. Who knows. Thanks for your guys' help!! I really appreciate it 8)
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Re: Songwriting

Post by gman » Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:09 pm

I took a songwriting class in college. One thing that was stressed, and Brent alluded to it, is songs needing to have universal emotion. Meaning, people everywhere can relate to the meaning. If the song is going to name something specific, it is done in such a way that the listener can replace the specific thing with something from their own life, and the song still works.
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Re: Songwriting

Post by brent » Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:53 pm

Diehardpetrafan:) wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:41 pm
Right, and I kinda misunderstood what my friend wanted. He wants me to change up some songs that are unfinished by some of his friends, but he thinks I'm really smart so he wants me to have the job. I know nobody cares about old CCM anymore but whether or not it was corny it definitely had some deep lyrics. The stuff they put out today isn't very deep at all sooo 🤷‍♀️. But I know that you can't make it super detailed and my friend probably won't want anything Christian anyways. Who knows. Thanks for your guys' help!! I really appreciate it 8)
Back in the day, the bulk of CCM music was made for the church audience and the majority of the church audience was conservative. CCM was more direct. While it definitely had sub-genres doctrinally, if it was on CCM radio, it was doctrinally conservative. Again, this is a generalization. Today, CCM is written by unsaved, saved, gay, straight, Hindus, Buddhists, evangelicals, Catholics, WOF, etc, etc, etc. We have CCM artists who are as lost as lost can be, living alternative lifestyles and in it for the money. The market for CCM has to appeal to the masses and say very little. There is a TON of bad CCM. Heresy. But, the average listener accepts it. I work in lots of different churches weekly and here Hill Song heresy being sung in conservative churches, where everyone is asleep at the wheel. Soooooo. Yeah. You are correct and CCM and I avoid it like the plague.
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Re: Songwriting

Post by Diehardpetrafan:) » Thu Feb 27, 2020 5:04 pm

I don't like Christian radio I always turn it to classic rock. My dad turns it to classical but actually he had some WhiteHeart CDs and tapes I found out last night when my Sunday School teacher gave me one that was signed from 1992. Tales of Wonder. So you know what he did? He bought a belt for a tape deck we have :lol:
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