As songwriters and professional musicians, it is our job to make songs as believable and realistic as possible. If we want to write about a flower, we cannot write just about a flower, or even a rose. We need to get detail oriented, and write as deeply and intimately as we can. It does not necessarily mean writing every physical detail of a rose. In fact, you should barely describe the physical appearance of the rose, but rather describe the emotional characteristics of a rose, or connect it to something else. Makes no sense to you? Do not worry! This article will help you learn how to add little details into your songwriting that will make your songs more credible, and more memorable for those who listen to your songs.
Use Inside Details
What are inside details? This non-technical term refers to those physical, emotional, and mental connections to words that we are as people make to everything that we see, also known as the connotation of a word. A word has two parts to it, the denotation and the connotation. The denotation is the actual, literal definition of a word. For example, a rose is a flower that comes in varying colors and has thorns and leaves. This is the literal definition of the word. However, that is not the entire definition of the word.
The second half of a word is the connotation, which is the implied meaning of a word. A rose can refer to love, passion, and emotion. The connotation can be different for different people. A person whose first main memory of a rose is at a funeral will grow up connecting a rose to death, while a person whose parents always sent each other roses when they were growing up will connect the flower to love and stability. The connotation is the part of the definition songwriters need to connect with and use in their songs.
Use Relevant Imagery
Just because you like a rose, does not mean you have to use it in every song, or that it is even suitable for every song. While you cannot control people’s specific connotations for words, you must be aware of the general feeling people receive with words and images. You as the songwriter will need to be able to differentiate when you should use a word, and why you are using it. If you are talking about a love song, a rose will be perfect to get the right connotation across. A lily may not give the same emotional punch in that same situation, but has its own uses.
It is the small details in your songs that will take your songs from flat to dynamic. Picking the right words with the right meanings will allow your fans to better connect to the song, to you, and to each other, making your song a better success.
Be True to Yourself
When looking at the songs that are making the top 10 on the Billboard charts, and see what sells the best on iTunes, it may seem easy to change your approach to become more like the hit artist, and less like yourself. While this may or may not help you be more successful, your songs as a whole will fall flat and will be soon forgotten by your fans. What makes any songwriter and musician a true success is when they are able to combine what makes them an individual with what the public at large wants from their artists. This can be a daunting task, but it starts with you.
As a songwriter, if you feel as if you want to write a song about a breakup, do not try and copy Adele’s breakout hit CD, rather write what you feel. What makes someone like Adele so accomplished, and what has allowed so many people to connect with her songs, is that she wrote from her heart, and wrote exactly what she was feeling. She did not try and be someone she was not, or pretended to feel things that she did not really feel. She remained true to herself, and to what her imagination was able to come up with. It may take time for your songs to become a hit like Adele, but by working and staying true to yourself, you will have a much greater chance at success.
Find True Inspiration
Inspiration is the blessing and the curse of every songwriter. An inspiration can set your mind on fire, and give you the ideas and the words to showcase everything you care feeling inside of yourself. It is the basic foundation of every song that has ever been written. With no inspiration, there is no song. However, finding a true inspiration can be extremely difficult. Something may spark an idea or a concept, but finding the words and the tools to combine those words may be beyond the capabilities of that inspiration. Do not let the frustration drag you down. On the contrary, that should drive you to find your inspiration, whatever that is.
By directly looking for an inspiration, you are much less likely to actually find one. Your mind is in the mindset of finding something to help you write a song, and it can become too much pressure. Rather, you must let the inspiration come to you. If you find yourself stuck on a song, and out of ideas, take a walk in the park, or downtown. Get out and experience and enjoy life. If you are always trying to write, you will miss out on the very experiences that make life and your work so exciting. Songs that are based on real inspirations and events will always connect more to your audience than songs that are forced and created from fabrications. People can tell when something is real, and will be able to hear it in your words.