Common songwriting mistakes

When writing a song, many young songwriters make a number of typical mistakes that can be grouped together to make a separate TOP. Yes, these mistakes are quite common and not just for one author. It doesn't matter what kind of music you play, whether it's country, rock, electronic or indie-pop - surely you want your songs to be interesting for your listener.

Of course, it's extremely difficult to please everyone, but you should strive to at least keep the number of songwriting mistakes to a minimum, or none at all.

Why is the content of the song so important?

The song is a fundamental part of any musical group or solo artist's performance. No music guru or music theorist can tell you exactly what will 100% "hook" your listeners, but there are a number of things you need to pay attention to. These things cannot be ignored, because you must agree that it is better to understand how it all works than to start doing something without having any idea about what you are going to do.

In general, the Russian and Western approaches to songwriting are a little different. To be more precise, to write the lyrics of a song. In the West, the role of the music itself (the arrangement) is dominant, and the text is only an addition to the overall composition. Rarely enough foreign lyrics match the high flight of literary thought, but they don't stop sounding less cool.


Songs that are too long are one of the obvious mistakes that should definitely be avoided. It is unlikely that a person will listen to a single piece of music that is longer than 4-5 minutes - this is a kind of psychological threshold. The listener should always be interested, so such long parts can simply scare him away. It is always necessary to proceed from the fact that if some part can be made shorter, it should be shorter.

After all, who would have thought that "Billie Jean" might not have been a hit at all. The thing is that in the original version of the song, recorded by Michael Jackson, the introduction lasted three minutes, and the song itself lasted an "impossible" 11 minutes. But thanks to the involvement of the producer, who removed everything unnecessary, we have a work of musical art.

Of course, the long part can be made interesting, but it is not possible in all cases. And it is not always appropriate.

A weak chorus.

When we listen to foreign songs, in most cases, the main thing that most "hooks" us is the refrain. In the Russian songs it is not so evident, but it is also present.

When listening to music of young singers, it's not always possible to see the beginning of a refrain after the verse. The refrain should stand out against the background of the music. Differences can be minor: the addition of backing vocals, one or more musical instruments. Or the differences can be more serious: other chords, changing the melody itself with the arrangement. The first example of a sharp difference between the chorus and the verse that comes to mind is "Hotel California" by the Eagles.

In both cases, it's important that the chorus be emotionally charged, sort of summarize everything that's said in the verse, and most importantly, it should be well catchy.

Lack of focus

Young performers have songs where the transitions from one chord to the next are unclear and there is no clear focus at all. And it is noticed not by some experienced audiophile, but by the average music listener.

As a rule, it is a direct consequence of insufficient work, i.e., "fast-track" songwriting.

Lack of Bridge

The bridge in music is a kind of bridge, it connects different parts of songs, creating a logical transition between them.

If when you're listening to a song you feel like the chorus or another verse is about to come, but you hear a piece that's different from the overall composition, chances are it's a bridge.

Its presence keeps the listener interested. And almost every song has a bridge, with a few exceptions.

Boring arrangement.

This problem can occur with different performers, regardless of their experience. What is meant here is that the musical composition includes the same set of chords. Sometimes this works as an original technique, but it happens very rarely because it does get a little boring.

No Hooks.

A hook in music (we're not referring to the classical repertoire now) is a part of a musical composition that somehow stands out and is particularly liked by listeners. In translation, hook is a hook, i.e., this part of the song "hooks.

No dynamics

A good song is always a rhythm and dynamics, not just a monotonous sound. It's a kind of "tension" and "discharge" in the song, so you should always think about the volume level in different parts of the song when writing a song.

A little bit about the textual component

A song is a very limited amount of words and phrases.

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