by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website:
Because songwriting is as much or more a craft than it is an art, I am a big fan of working and re-working songs. For most composers, the working out of a song from start to finish can take weeks or months. Any songwriter who says that they composed their song in a matter of minutes, with no real reworking beyond the original creation of the idea is either bad, lucky or lying.
A building can be beautiful, perhaps even a work of art. But if there aren’t certain structural elements in place, a beautiful building will fall as quickly as an ugly one. Using that analogy, merely reworking a song isn’t going to matter if you don’t follow some basic structural guidelines. My e-book “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” describes those structural guidelines in fairly minute detail. Here are some points just for starters:
1) Songs without CONTRAST risk being boring.
2) In general, the energy of the END of a song should EQUAL OR EXCEED the energy at the beginning.
3) Songs need to use a mixture of STRONG and FRAGILE chord progressions.
4) Chorus melodies should be pitched higher than verse melodies.
There are several more important principles of good songwriting. And my point is this: if you don’t know these basic elements of good song structure, no amount of rewriting is going to save your song. You could be blundering around in the dark, never really knowing why your song can’t get beyond the “good idea” stage.
So you must educate yourself. If you were an architect who only considered the beauty of the original thought you had for a building, but didn’t give any thought at all to whether or not the building would stand in a strong wind, no one will build it for you.
When audiences hear songs that just don’t work, they don’t usually know why they don’t like it; they just stop listening. So if you find that people are not listening to your songs, not buying your CDs, and not going to your performances, it may be time for you to really educate yourself, to really begin to understand what makes a good song.
And once you know the basic principles of good songwriting, you’ll find that audiences will want to listen, and will want to hear more of the great songs you’re writing. So take the time to begin to educate yourself. Your future as a songwriter depends on it.
Gary Ewer’s songwriting e-books were written to help you solve those nagging problems, and get you writing songs that people want to hum all day long! Read more about these e-books by clicking here.