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What is the process in writing a song that people enjoy? Both music and words.

I am starting a Christian band. #music

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Paul’s Answer

Songwriting is a creative process that you'll probably work on the rest of your life. You'll never just "get it down" - there's all kinds of songs for all kinds of uses. BUT... there's a few standard conventions you should learn.

1. Learn music theory. You need to understand major and minor scales, and maybe even modes. You need to understand major and minor chords. You need to know basic song structures like AABA. (Here's a secret: over 80 percent of pop hits are structured some form of AABA).

2. Learn to use these conventions. Challenge yourself to write a really good AABA song. Then learn the conventional structures used for your style of music - namely, Christian music. For example, write a really good congregational verse-and-chorus song.

3. Learn the conventions of your genre. Christian music definitely has some standards, especially when it comes to church meant for live worship. Things like easy to remember words, simple melody lines, call-and-answer, etc. Learn what works for your church. If you're going the artist route, it's a little more open, meaning you can look at pop artists - Christian and secular - for ideas and inspiration.

4. Learn to break the rules. Good songwriters know the rules of songwriting - and then when to break them for the right reasons. Not every chorus has to be 8 bars, for example. Know the rules so well you know when it's OK to go your own way with it.
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Kevin’s Answer

Hi. Well in writing a song I go with what I feel. There is no wrong or right formula in my opinion. Just play it from within. :)
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Shrey’s Answer

Hi Samuel,

According to the songwriters I admire there is no write or wrong way of writing a song. You might write a simple song with easiest of words, sung and composed in the most simplest of scales and people would still like it. Its just what comes out from the heart and is felt by another heart feels good.

Regarding composition, there are a few scales which are considered happy scales and some are so called sad scales. You can try to go conventional or you try doing the exact opposite of it. You would also have to keep in mind which scale is the singer actually comfortable in doing justice to the lyrics and vibe of the song.

What i personally feel is when you make or write a song from your heart it would touch hearts. There is no write or wrong way to write a song.

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Kimberly’s Answer

Hi, good question. I love listening to music that tells a story. Music is such a powerful force...it can make you feel every emotion possible. I would tell you that if you can write a song that tells a story people can relate to, you will be successful.
Sometimes people have feeling that they don't know how to put into words and a song can help them communicate.
Finding a new way to say how you feel in words also makes a song successful. For example; instead of just saying I love you in a song, you find a more creative way to say it, like, my heart skips a beat or if I only had one cookie I'd give it to you haha.
Use your own experiences to create a song, write down what happened, how it made you feel, what it made you think of, etc.
If you haven't had a lot of life experiences, then talk to people who have and ask them those questions.
Good luck.

Kimberly recommends the following next steps:

Start writing down experiences and how they made you feel
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Loyd’s Answer

Your music needs to tell a story. Ask yourself, what music resonates with you? What gives your life meaning? Now study and listen to that music and write down attributes. What is the story? What do you like about the choice of words? What is the beat like? What kind of chords does it use? Major, minor, or a combination of both? Does it make you want to dance or be still? How does it make you feel to listen to that music? Now think about how you might create something that makes you feel the same feelings. Make it authentic and tell YOUR story!
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KJ’s Answer

First, let me just say that starting a band and writing original music is tough. So, to add to what Paul Bordenkircher answered, here are my thoughts.

Writing is a muscle. Whether you're writing musically or lyrically, you must work it out! Write all the time: write music, write lyrics, write snippets, write inside and outside of a genre. The best thing you can do is to find your voice, and the only way to do that is to write a lot and make mistakes!

Consider a child learning to speak: at first, the child can vocalize, but not form words. Perhaps the child can use some hand gestures to help emphasize what s/he means. As the child grows, s/he can then use words and even full sentences! But this does not come without a lot of mistakes and frustration (on both the communicator's and the communicatee's end).

Write with goals in mind: "I want to get better at lyrics" or "I want to write better guitar riffs" or "I want to write from a person/people's perspective."

KJ recommends the following next steps:

Discover why you love certain artists.
Try to emulate said artists in your writing.
Don't be discouraged by "bad" songs.
Keep writing!
Don't forget that writing is half the battle—performance is equally important!
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