Singer-Songwriter recording

Expressing and Generating Emotion In a Song

This is a tricky but very true concept: A good song generates emotion. It may also express emotion, but it’s possible to express emotion without generating it.

So you can spend a lot of time in a lyric telling the world how you feel, and you may have wasted a lot of time… if you haven’t done anything to generate emotion in the listener.

The generating of emotion is done mainly in the verse, because it’s the verse that sets the scene, describes the people, and tells the story.

And if you’ve told that story capably enough, with the kind of imagery that creates powerful images in the mind of the listener, they’re already beginning to feel something.

And that’s when a chorus lyric becomes so poignant, and so effective. If the verse has done its job, the chorus will express and generate emotions in the heart of the listener.

So if your entire song is an expression of emotion, don’t expect your audience to feel the same. They won’t, because they’ll be missing the story that typically comes from the verse.

When a song fails to make an emotional mark on the audience, start by looking at the verse.


Gary EwerWritten by Gary Ewer. Follow Gary on Twitter. Hooks & Riffs“Hooks and Riffs: How They Grab Attention, Make Songs Memorable, and Build Your Fan Base” shows you how a good hook can make the difference between songwriting success and failure. With great examples from pop music history.Written by Gary Ewer. Follow on Twitter.

How to Harmonize a MelodyHave a  great melody, but stuck at the “how to add chords to it” stage? “How To Harmonize a Melody” shows you, step-by-step and with sound samples, how it’s done, with suggestions for chord substitutions that might work as well. It’s part of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 10-eBook Bundle.

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