Thoughts on Songwriting

Hey, SuperFunk here. For my first blog post, I want to talk about the songwriting process. I’ve been researching it for the past few months to write more kick-ass songs for the band and I’ve discovered that writing a good song is more about how you tell it, rather than what you say.

"Writing Better Lyrics" by Pat Pattison, 2nd ed.

I started by looking into books to buy, and found a couple that were great: “Writing Better Lyrics: The Essential Guide to Songwriting” by Berklee Professor Pat Pattison and “Popular Lyric Writing: 10 steps for effective storytelling” by Andrea Stolpe, also a Berklee Professor. I’m going to share some useful info from them in hopes that it might encourage others to write. Did you ever want to write a song about your escapades, daydreams, or heartbreak? Read what follows, then give it a try:

  1. Use sense-bound language to involve the listeners in your story. That is, use language that affects your sense of taste, touch, sight, sound, smell. There’s also a couple of other senses such as movement and internal thoughts. The point is you want to have the listeners experience your song. It’s the difference between “the smell of bacon and eggs” and “the delicious aroma of smoked belly meat, dripping with a glaze of grease and the avian unborn served on the side”.
  2. Focus on using powerful verbs. Verbs are what make things happen in a story. It’s the source of the action. Avoid using boring and generic verbs and opt for very specific and descriptive verbs. Don’t use adverbs to make up for lack of interesting verbs. For example, instead of “minding my own thoughts” say “absorbed into my daydream”.
  3. Internal details are supported by external details.  External details happen outside of the main character. Internal details are the character’s thoughts and feelings. That is, you want to show your audience what you’re talking about, then tell them what you think about it. Try it with an idea, then try the other way. Loses some punch, right? Internal details provide the “why” of your song and external details provide the points to support it.

That’s it! Just taking these points into account have improved my song writing tenfold. Hope you guys find it just as helpful.  Also, don’t forget to come check us out at the Kozmik Zoo this Saturday to check out some of our new songs!  See ya there.

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