Songwriters have all kinds of goals. Depending on what they are trying for, each songwriter has their own goals and although the goals can be very similar but it’s hard to find two individuals who are sharing the exact same goal and exact same approach for getting to their goal. I do a lot of mentoring sessions. One of the big discoveries I have made in those sessions is that people have all kinds of different goals for their music. And they have very different approaches for reaching to their goals. I have discovered that almost every answer to every question people ask us depends on their answer to the question “What are you shooting for?” as soon as they can answer that one question, they basically had answered any question they might think I should answer for them. Some are just writing for themselves, the joy they find in writing makes them happy enough that they are not really looking for getting into the commercial world and want to get better for their own satisfaction. Some other have different dream and they want to hear just one of their songs on the radio someday. Many others are hoping to make a living writing songs and sky is their limit. Your end goal, your target determines so much about what you need to do to improve.
Your songwriting rhyme scheme helps the listener keep up with where they are in the song. You want to keep the rhyme scheme consistent across all of the verses and consistent across all of the choruses if the choruses change. Not doing so makes the listener feel unsettled. They will feel lost and no human being enjoys being lost, therefore, there is a little chance they will come back to your song to listen to it again, and that’s not what you want, right?
Your hook or title has to appear in one of the following places or you risk the listener not being able to tell what your title is, and this would happen perfectly when you repeat the song title (which is good to be same as your hook) in various places. There had been researches about it and as a result, the title is best to be placed at: 1. The last line of the verse. 2. The first line of the chorus. 3. The last line of the chorus. 4. The third line of the chorus if it’s also the first line.
I’ve enjoyed a 16-year music business career that has exceeded my imagination by far. When I started doing music, I could never imagine that one day it will become my full time job - although I was desperately hoping for it. I couldn’t even imagine to be anywhere near where I am today, yet all those dreams came true and today I am very happy about where I am and what I am doing for a living. After all these, now it’s time for me to pass on some of the things I’ve learned in this time period of 16 years, about keeping cuts coming over time. Here are the ways I have turned a couple of cuts into a bunch of cuts. Don’t develop a “thing” that you do. I always cringe when someone says, “This is what I do.” If your “thing” goes out of style, you are in trouble. Try to write all over the spectrum in your genre. Don’t limit yourself to only one aspect of what you are doing and don’t let people to think your capabilities are just limited to that one “thing”.
Time after time, I see the warning signs. It takes a trained eye to spot them, but even simple statements thrown out in casual conversation can reveal that a songwriter has crossed over from social songwriting to having a real problem. When you get the hang of writing songs, it really is addictive. You want it or not, there are times you would find yourself thinking of songs ideas when you hear even random words from people around you. My friends are talking about their life, relationship or even simple things like when they are talking about football or politics and I hear songs in my head. When that happens to you, you would know it exactly is the definition of addiction. There are lots of things an addicted person says or does that would tell you about their situation. When you hear statements like these are a dead giveaway: “I think I need another guitar” or “That would be a great song title” as will as “We should write that” or “I woke up and wrote that chorus at 3 AM”. They sound innocent enough, but they reveal a deeper problem. Much deeper than what they look like. This person is addicted to songwriting.