You have written a piece of music with lyrics. Now what? You have difficulty in arranging the songs and it’s normal. Below are the tips I would like to share to minimize difficulties in arranging songs. These are the best ways to put a song together.
You must be familiar with different song arrangements style typically, it looks like the one below:
1. Start the song with Intro – if you are a singer-songwriter, you can start with a simple guitar strumming of your preferred song chord progression.
2. 1st stanza – using Intro chord progression, if Intro sequence is G-Em-C-D, then 1st stanza should have the same beat and progression as this.
3. 2nd stanza -still using the same chord progression and set of melodies as the 1st stanza but with DIFFERENT lyrics this time.
4. Chorus -using new chord progression called as the “Chorus chord progression”, but depending on songwriter creativity he/she may still use the stanza chords but with a different set of melodies already for the same chord progression. Chorus chords are characterized by being more lively, catchy and should produce the most memorable parts of the song called as “hook”.
5. 3rd stanza– it will now use again the stanza chord progressions, same one used with 1st and 2nd stanza. Make sure the lyrics will be different from the one used in 1st and 2nd stanza.
6. 4th stanza– the last stanza of the song, will be using same chord progressions as 1st, 2nd and 3rd stanza. Again the lyrics for this one should not be the same as those previous stanzas.
7. Bridge (optional)– this will be using a chord progression that is entirely different from stanza and chorus progressions, as the purpose of bridge is to capture more of listeners attention to the song by drastically changing the melodies of the song using different chord progressions. Most songs do not bridge, so this section of the song is optional.
8. Chorus or Ending– it will go back again to the chorus to emphasize the hook of the song. This will ensure that as the listeners finished hearing the song, it will have a higher chance of remembering the song and a useful way to popularize or marketing of the song. Memorable songs do earn a lot of royalties, because in the first place, people are playing it because they remember it. And they like it because they know it well by remembering the song.
Once you get to know those components or section that make up the song, it is the time to write down some songwriting tips:
First thing to do: Construct the basic chord sequence of the song by defining the Key of the song. This will be the basis for all the chord progressions in your intro, stanza and in your chorus. Strum it and give it a beat, this will be your INTRO. Popular chord progressions could be like C-Am-F-G or D-A-Bm-G. Mostly intro can be done with your own style using acoustic guitar or a piano.
Second thing to do: You have to make sure you have written a great 1st stanza melodies with lyrics. Write it down and do not forget to record it with your cassette. Practice it several times and when you get to know it…
Make sure you are equipped at least: a writing pad to write lyrics, a guitar or any instrument and a cassette recorder if you are really serious of crafting your songs.
Third thing to do: Spend the whole day or week creating the best hook of the song. It is worth your time. After all, the song hook is what makes the song remembered and you should avoid writing songs which are not memorable. Spend more time developing it and make sure it is highly marketable and competitive. Make sure the transition from stanza to chorus is smooth, harmonic and catchy. Do not do weird creative things, it will not sell. Do not do things such as changing the key of the song from stanza to chorus, except you are 100% sure, it is nicely done.
You have done the foundations, remember you only have two formulate two sets of melodies: one for the stanza (which will be the same melodies to be used throughout the 2nd, 3rd and 4th stanza) and the other for the chorus. Once the foundation is complete, it is now the time to write lyrics that will exactly fit those melodies. Write marketable lyrics that will touch people lives. It will last and get noticed I am sure.
Remember that the most important part of the song is the hook, you can watch this video to get some live tips on how to write the hook of the song: