Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website.
From “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website:
You could already be writing killer songs, and not even know it! Just because you’ve finished a song, don’t assume that it can’t be improved. And improving a song could mean taking it from something good to something amazing. It’s remarkable how just a little bit of editing and changing can really make a song sizzle. Here are five ideas for taking your song over the top.
1- Don’t just strum away on a chord and use that as your song intro. Try something unique, like perhaps a drum beat alone, or use the intro as a way of developing a hook or motif that can be repeated throughout the song. The intro gives you possibilities for doing something distinctive. And definitely consider the positive aspect of launching right into Verse 1 with no intro at all.
2- See what you can do to make your chords more exceptional. You’ll love the effect that pedal tones will give a progression (keep the same bass note while changing the chords above it.) in addition, try adding 7ths, 9ths, etc., to the chords you’ve chosen, or try substituting your chosen chords with something else, especially if the progression is repetitive. In other words, don’t assume that you got it right the first time. Experiment!
3 – Try experimenting a bit with the tempo of a song. You may discover that an entirely new mood emerges when you try it slower, or faster. And that mood may really help the lyric come forward in important ways.
4- Look closely at the melody, and try to figure out if the structure is supporting your lyric. Not all melodies are created equal. Melodies that feature emotional “outbursts” work well with upward leaps. “All By Myself,” sung by Eric Carmen and later by Celine Dion, is a great example. And melodies that have lyrics that are quietly introspective work well if they use lots of repeated notes. Listen to “Sour Suite” by “The Guess Who” for a nice example of the power of a restricted melodic range that supports a brooding lyric.
5- Plan a small concert in a small venue (i.e., coffee house, etc.), and use it as a way of getting your songs out there to a small audience of friends and family. This is a great way to screen your music, and get their honest opinions about what they like and don’t like. Feedback is such an important tool, so don’t let your ego get in the way.
The difference between a so-so song and a killer may be just one or two little things. You might already have written something amazing, but how do you take it over the top? Get these songwriting ebooks.