Coming up with a really catchy title or lyrical hook is an art in and of itself. That doesn't give you a hot record though you must:
Remember to make sure that EVERYTHING in your lyric points to and SUPPORTS your lyrical hook. Having a catchy hook ONLY works if you build a foundation around it so that when the hook arrives, there’s a sense of drama and release.
Don't forget to give the song real emotional content. It’s possible to be so focused on the hook and setting it up that you forget to be sincere, while the average listener might not be able to tell you why the song won’t move them in the way that a song with genuine emotional content would.
Sometimes you’ve been through an experience or have an idea for a song that feels important enough to write about. Many writers start here but:
Capture the feeling and emotion of your concept. You obviously felt strongly enough to want to write about this idea, so immerse yourself in it and really tell the story.
Don't be too vague. Because you haven’t started with an actual lyrical hook, you’ll need to remember to bring your overall concept to a very sharp point by summarizing it with a phrase or hook line. A story without a summarizing point or hook risks being too unfocused to keep your listeners’ attention.
Melodic writers, have a different set of challenges. Beautiful, catchy melodies are a rare commodity and should be treated with the appropriate respect:
Honor your melody and build your song around it. Remember, people will learn your melody long before they learn your lyric, so having a good one is not to be taken lightly.
Don't let the melody box you into awkward words or watered-down phrases. While a beautiful melody is one part of a song, it’s not the only part. Cramming in words or compromising on your lyrical integrity isn’t an acceptable approach when writing from a melody. Remember, it’s the give and take of a catchy melody and a natural, conversational lyric that makes for a great song.
When you pick up your guitar or sit down at the piano, often it’s a chord progression or groove that comes first. A great starting point for many writers is using chords to begin their song:
Dig in and develop the groove and feel. This can really set the mood of a song and inspire all kinds of interesting melodic and lyrical ideas. A good groove is the very FIRST thing the average listener will notice when they hear your song.
Don't rely on a chord progression or groove at the expense of your melody and lyric. This is no time to get lazy. A chord progression and groove in and of itself is only - in most genres - an arrangement idea, which doesn't really constitute a song. Without a strong melody and lyric, it’s entirely possible to have a great sounding track, and unfortunately A MEDIOCRE SONG.
There are many ways to write. Try using different styles and methods to get your point across effectively. Always remember that just because you think its good doesn't mean your fans do. You have to craft it that way..
- by Hank (VA) Mitchell