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8 Tips for Writing Pop Songs


❶Hum each line while writing, preferably accompanied by a guitar or piano. The chorus or refrain is likely to have the same words each time, so the verse is your chance to keep your ideas moving along.

1. Listen to Pop Music

2. Song Structure
Here’s more songwriting info…
1. Listen to Good Songs

A rhythmic groove also expresses the attitude or energy of your song. There are dance grooves, strutting grooves, bluesy grooves, sad grooves, happy ones.

Let the groove guide you into your song by suggesting words that match the mood or attitude. Play along with the recording until you can comfortably play the rhythm on your own, then write to it.

Try these resources for grooves, chords, and tracks. You pro players can use some of these ideas to get started on a song, then follow up on your own gear. Once you have a groove, try making a list of short phrases, images, and ideas that the rhythm suggests to you.

How does it make you feel? Ready for a party? What kind of situation or relationship does the rhythm suggest? Remember, the music is like underscore for your lyric. Lyric and music need to support each other.

You can start right there. If you have the first line of a melody, try repeating it for the second line. Then go somewhere else for the third line and come back to your original to wrap it up. Pop radio hits tend to have powerful chorus melodies that let the singer really stretch out and get emotional.

Try going to a higher note range for the chorus and give it a peak note — the highest of the song — before coming back down and resolving at the end. Check out some recent Pop hits that you like and notice the pattern of repetition and variation in the chorus melody. Consider using that pattern in your own chorus.

The lyrics will often change even though the melody repeats. Starting with a hook: A cool piano riff or guitar groove has inspired many a hit song. Play around on guitar or keyboard until you find a short phrase that suggests an attitude or feeling. Once you find a phrase you like, try playing it to a rhythm groove and let that suggest the theme and content of the lyric as above.

Read this to learn more: You can find the chords to your favorite songs in song books and online. Here are a few chord progressions based on recent hit songs to get you started. These are just suggestions. You can change the chords, delete some, rearrange or play them any way you want to.

The recording is a half step up if you want to play along with the song. When you have a chord progression you like, try playing it with a rhythm groove, then develop a lyric idea as I described above. Once you have an idea what you want to write about, try describing it so listeners can see and hear it. Write your lyric like a script for a movie. Be sure to keep your listeners in mind as you write.

Remember, a Pop song needs to connect with them in order to succeed. What kinds of questions would they want to ask? On a piece of paper, make a list of those questions and write down some short answers to use in your song. Find out more about writing for your listener.

Use the natural melody of speech to get going again. Notice the natural up and down motion and the rhythm of your spoken words. You can use the melody and lyric you created in the previous section as your chorus, then build your verses and bridge around it.

We use it to build anticipation and excitement leading up to the chorus. Try roughing out a lyric based on the hit song structure above. Write a first verse lyric that introduces listeners to the singer or the situation. There is no perfect formula for this as there is a different melody for every song ever made. However, pop songs generally hand a mixture of repetition and variation that make the song easy to remember.

Read the words of your song out loud, over and over again, until your mind begins to attach some notes to the words. You might find a melody someone else used, and create a variation on it. After you have figured out a melody for the first line of a verse, apply it to the second as well.

Change the melody for the third line, and then come back to the original melody for the fourth. This is a common pattern in pop songs which creates a level of repetition that a general audience likes 1, 1, 2, 1. Remember that melodies will change when you transition from verses to chorus lines.

Pop songs have strong chorus melodies which allow the singer to belt out and become emotional either happy or sad. Create a chord progression. Pop songs generally use 3 or 4 note chord progressions. Type into Google the name of any song followed by the word "chord" and it will tell you what chords were used.

For example, the song "Firework" by Katy Perry has the following chord progression: G Am Em C Chord progressions for pop songs, like in "Firework" are repeated for the verse, pre-chorus, and chorus. However, feel free to add or change one of the notes to suit your song best. If you repeat a chord progression, change the scale you play it in. This creates some level of variation between the verse, pre-chorus, and chorus. For example, "Firework" has a steady low chord progression for the first verse.

The pre-chorus ranges from low to high, and the chorus is a steady high chorus progression. Once you have figured out what chords you would like, you can go back and attach it to the rhythm and melody. Add a bridge or interlude. This usually comes after you sing the chorus a second time, and before the third time. It could be a guitar solo or a piano solo. The singer might want to belt out long notes with various modulations in their voice.

This interlude should flow naturally from the song, rather than being an interjection. The first time you sing the chorus, sing notes relatively short. The second time, sing them longer, stretching them out. You can then go straight into a bridge which allows you to sing the same notes for as long as you want. A lot of pop songs might start an interlude with long, belted notes and then transition into a piano or guitar solo.

The options are nearly endless. Reel the interlude back in so that you can end the song. Remember, you want distinguished lines between the different sections. A common way to end a pop song is to simply repeat the chorus line over and over again as the song fades away. Many Aerosmith songs such as "Love in an Elevator" use this fading action a lot. It is best used for loud, rhythmic, hard edged chorus lines. Other, more sad songs might end better coming back to your original starting point.

If you started off slow and soft, bring it back there, to effectively "close" your story. For example, the ending to Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Freebird" is over five minutes worth of instrumentals. However, you can play your basic riff a couple of times at the end of your song, just begging your audience to repeat and play again.

Copy edit your lyrics and notes. After you have finished adding the music to your lyrics, you will want to go back and add your rhymes in. In modern day pop songs, there is more "free-styling" when it comes to lyrics but there is still a basic rhyme format.

The trick of the pop song is to make it easy to remember, and rhymes facilitate that. A list of words will pop up and help you decide on which word best fits. This is a back and forth, give and take process. Collaborate with family, friends, or partners. Use the strengths of the people around you to help make your song better. Find out whether a person you know plays an instrument. For example, if you are doing a very upbeat pop song, you might want someone who knows how to play a trumpet, or someone who is a good DJ.

You might also want to ask around for anybody that has an "in" into the music business. Someone who has already recorded an album, or who has worked with a record company, might be able to get your song some radio air time. Listen to your song. Record it on your computer or stereo.

Listen back and see if you can follow it. The words should sound crisp and clear as they will be memorized by millions of pop song listeners.

There should be clear, distinguished lines between the verses, pre-chorus line, and chorus lines. Your interlude should flow naturally with the rest of the song, rather than intrude on its progression. Rerecord the song until it is exactly right. Note how you feel during the song. The essence of a good pop song is if you can feel the emotions you are trying to convey.

Come up with a title for your song. This can literally be anything you want it to be, but it should have something to do with your topic. Often times pop songs have titles which use lines from the chorus. This makes it easier for a general audience to look up your song later on.

However, if your song is very metaphorical, you may want to give your song a more obvious title. Before you go into the actual writing process, find some similarities in the writing styles of Adele and Tori Kelly from their songs.

What has made their songs so good and exceptional? Apply these methods when writing your own songs. Not Helpful 3 Helpful Not Helpful 5 Helpful 9. You don't necessarily need to know how to read music, but it's always a good skill to develop. Start by learning scales and basic harmonies and pick up an instrument if you can - piano or guitar would serve your purposes best. Not Helpful 3 Helpful 6. You could do natural sounds such as claps, hums or sighs.

Not Helpful 4 Helpful 7. If you have a stand out line in your song also known as a vocal hook that you repeat many times, use a word or a few words from that. The simplest option is to pick the line you remember most in your chorus. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 3. How would I come up with everything, and catch up with all the items and ideas?

It's best to write about an experience that happened before, whether it's your best friend breaking up with you, or a family member passing away. Popular songs often come from personal experiences. Not Helpful 4 Helpful 6. You absolutely can, if you have some good ideas for lyrics in your head, you should definitely write them down first, then work on the music later. Not Helpful 2 Helpful 4. Sabrina has her "old" songs and her new songs. If you like her old songs better, then try this: What do you like about it?

Try to think of a catchy phrase or idea to revolve your song around. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 2. I consider myself a poet, not a songwriter, and I don't play any instruments.

How do I know if I have a song or a really long poem? Not Helpful 3 Helpful 2. If you're talking about a poem that you wrote, no.

If it's a poem that someone else wrote, yes, that's plagiarism. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 0. How can I make a haiku into a pop song? Answer this question Flag as How would I go about making my own beats for the songs that I write?

2. Learn a Musical Instrument

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