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Top comments that mention products on r/Songwriting:

u/etcomro · 3 pointsr/Songwriting

> I'd much rather write and have a professional singer with professional studio equipment sing it.

A lot of guys do that. And I probably will too, least that's my goal when my skills are up to it. But I'm glad you told me that, if that's your goal then you should want to get better. A hobbyist isn't going to be willing to put in the work.

Anyway, after listening to em all I would give yourself more credit as a singer. A few vocal lessons with the right teacher could get you singing so good you'd surprise yourself.

Of the 3 originals you posted, all 3 have some pretty common issues that can be addressed. I'm not going to go line by line because really the lines can be arbitrary.

  • Word rhythm - believe it not, the accentation(or lack thereof) in a syllable creates a rhythm that you can use to make more powerful lyrics. I just read about this a couple weeks ago in my rhyming dictionary but basic prosody rules apply. If you need a line to feel stable with the other lines, match the rhythm. If you need to create instability, change the rhythm (shorter or longer). Stability in word rhythm is how you get the sing-along effect.

  • Rhyme - You can tell you wrote these as a teenager because you must have been coming up with the rhymes off the top of your head. A better approach I've found is to brainstorm some words that have to do with your hook. Then go to your rhyming dictionary (not a bullshit online one, no matter what anyone else says), and pick all the rhymes that seem to fit your theme. A good rhyming dictionary will also teach about the other types of rhyme other than perfect rhyme. You can also use this to create stability/instability, perfect rhymes are stable, the more dissonant sound the less stable the rhyme.

  • Rhyme scheme - Setting up more a pattern to your rhyming will make it easier for the listener. See the above about rhymes but try out these rhyme schemes as there about the most popular in music today: ABAC, ABCA, ABCB

  • Song structure - You did a better job than most posters here of having a chorus that sticks out. However, the songs on the radio these days almost always have a pre-chorus. Back in the day it was more optional but these days a pre-chorus build that has a hook in it is the way most hits seem to work

  • Verse development - Here all the rules of story telling apply. You want each line to move your story along with a definite beginning, middle, and end (especially with country which it sounds like you're most close to). This is something else you can determine before you write the lyrics. I use a box method and a typical development could be I-You-We. Or even Aristotle's Pain-Fear-Catharsis. The way you were doing it, it didn't seem to be moving very far.

  • Detail, detail, detail - Ralph Murphy says that our job as story tellers is to get the listener engaged in a story that never happened, with characters that don't exist, in a place that never was, and make em believe it because it relates to their own story. A lot of us make the mistake especially when we start out as using music as a diary, that's fine but that doesnt' make people want to listen to your song over and over. The trick is to use lots of details that can relatable to other people. So details are objects or typically nouns that help paint a picture in the eye of the listener. Use them liberally in your verses, sparingly in your choruses. The chorus is where you talk about how you (or the narrator) feel(s)

    I'll use one of the songs as an example of some of this stuff:
  • hook/title: Just Another Broken Heart
  • When I read that I see another non-unique way of singing a sad bastard song. One of the hardest things about our job is saying the same old thing in a fresh way

  • rhyme schemes
  • Your first verse sets a AABAA (counting assonance as rhyme), the next verse is ABBAA. And you go to ABAB in the chorus to mix it up, good job on mixing it up there but you want to keep the verse rhyme patterns the same. Also, try to stay away from couplets when you want to be taken seriously. AABB can sound corny.

  • structure
  • You have a Verse/Chorus/Verse/Chorus/Verse structure. Not one of the standard structure. Again, pre-choruses are the thing these days. And your first verse is the 3rd verse. I don't know if your first verse is strong enough for that. Additionally, is there a counterpoint idea that could balance the sadness of the rest of the song? Remember, contrast is the name of the game in songwriting.

  • verse development
  • the first verse deals with not wanting to wake up to the reality and face the pain. I like that. The 2nd verse deals with the fear of what you'll find. That's okay but you've already indicated that somewhat in your first verse. You're just restating it. And then the 3rd verse is a repeat of the first. And I don't know if your first verse is strong enough for that.

    ..k so I'm getting to have a wall of text here so I'll stop there. I think you get the point. The biggest hurdle an aspiring pro songwriter has to make is the realization that listener's don't give a shit about you. They care about how your song makes them feel. If you can elicit emotion in the right way you may been on to something.

    I would recommend, if this is something you're legitimately considering pursuing, that you consider joining They're a company you can join (for a fee) that will pitch your songs to the majors. They can also give you advice on finding a studio to produce your songs. But more importantly, they'll give you reviews of your submissions for actual industry pros. At the very least you could learn a ton from their forums ( and watching some Taxi TV.

    Here are the books that I've probably learned the most from all most of my critique is based on:

    Writing Better Lyrics

    Murphy's Laws of Songwriting

    The Craft of Lyric Writing

    But that's just my 2 cents as a random guy on the internet.
u/BenSasso · 2 pointsr/Songwriting

This book was pretty helpful for me in creating more descriptive, tangible strings of words, along with a ton of other wildly helpful ways to create more meaningful lyrics:

This one, which I've only read a few chapters of, has been pretty helpful in getting me out of my own way. If we just tell the truth about our experience as a person (the real truth, the one we usually just think), we'll be saying things that mean more, and are more universal than any surface level or constructed truth:

u/jseego · 8 pointsr/Songwriting
  1. Highly recommend this book.

  2. Go for specific imagery and storytelling. "Still looking at this gift you gave me" is better than "Girl I'm sad you left me".

  3. Find a theme for the song that is not just the emotion you're trying to work with. For example, "sad because of a breakup" is a subject matter, not a theme. A theme would be "life is strange" or "you can never keep something for long". Then, don't necessarily make the theme a lyric in your song, but try to draw out images and ideas from the theme. If you do that and the song still really needs you to actually state the theme, you'll know. Sometimes it works, sometimes it's a cliche.

  4. Don't rhyme emotional words. Don't rhyme "mad" with "bad" or "sad" or "glad", for example.

  5. One effective technique that's used a LOT is to make the verses specific and the choruses general, or vice versa.

  6. Use the rhythm of the lyrics to emphasize emotional parts

  7. Try to have some emotional development within the song. Not just a reflection of emotion, but some kind of journey or realization. I mean, a song about depression might work well as just a static droning sadness, but for most songs, this can be really powerful.

    Example, from an 80s hair metal ballad that was a big hit:


    We both lie silently still in the dead of the night (specific situation)

    Although we both lie close together

    We feel miles apart, inside (storytelling, relatable situation, specific scene)

    Was it somethin' I said or something I did

    Did my words not come out right (storytelling - you know exactly the emotion but all he's said so far is "feel miles apart inside")

    Tho' I tried not to hurt you

    Tho' I tried (storytelling)

    But I guess that's why they say (note how he interrupts the verse cadence leading into the chorus - adds emotional weight)


    Every rose has its thorn (specific metaphorical imagery, asserts a theme (good things are always difficult))

    Just like every night has its dawn (familiar metaphor, also turns around the metaphor from the previous line)

    Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song (wtf? do they? I dunno. This line is just weird but for some reason it works for a hair metal ballad. but notice they don't go with "I feel like a sad cowboy" - they just show you the image)

    Every rose has its thorn

    Yea it does


    I listen to our favorite song playin' on the radio (storytelling, specificity)

    Hear the dj say love's a game of

    Easy come and easy go (listen to the song and notice how they use the rhythm to reinforce the emotional weight of this line, which also relates to the theme)

    But I wonder does he know (reinforces and relates to the story and a theme of distance - in the first verse, he's lying next to someone close to him and feeling far away - in this verse, he's listening to someone far away and wondering how they're feeling)

    Has he ever felt like this

    And I know that you'd be here right now

    If I could have let you know somehow I guess (notice how at the end of the first verse, they are wondering if they are at fault, and at the end of the second verse, they are admitting it)



    In the rest of the song, they start leaning on more direct stuff "I feel so much pain" and "cuts life a knife...but the scar remains" and it gets kind of cliche. The last verse returns to the story, so the bridge being more direct kinda works in that way, but for me the success of this song is the first two verses and choruses. Seems like they got a little lazy about the middle of the song. Still a very successful song about a breakup, full of relatable storytelling, specific imagery, decent rhymes, good emotional use of lyrical rhythm, and a catchy chorus that sets off against the verses really well.

    EDIT: Also, check out the work that "Just like" is doing in the chorus. "Every rose has its thorn" is pretty much the opposite idea of "every night has its dawn" - but, by relating them with "just like", the song is creating this kind of philosophical malaise - all good things are kind of bad, all bad things are kind of good, the good is like the bad and the bad is like the good, and it's hard to even tell what's bad or good, just like people feel when they suffer a painful breakup. Checkout how much weaker it would be if it was: "Every rose has its thorn / But every night has its dawn". Totally different meaning, totally different song. That would be a song about how everything is going to be alright in the end. Relating contrasting ideas like that to get at an underlying feeling can work really well.

u/heftyhero · 2 pointsr/Songwriting

If you're really serious about learning how the industry works, here is a music industry textbook that a few of my undergrad professors wrote. There aren't a lot of textbooks on the subject, so I found this to be a great resource, and the authors wrote it to be used in collegiate studies of music business. It generally strays away from giving advice (unlike many business books) and strives to teach you the fundamentals of how selling songs works, what kind of deals you can get, what professionals want when you deliver material, royalties etc., in addition to a whole host of other info like touring and promotion. Every situation is different and advice that is great for one person may not be great for you.

The book is called Off the Record - Larry Wacholtz et al. Normally it's priced like a textbook but I found used copies of a slightly older edition on Amazon for like $12 so I thought I would share.

u/SirSparrow · 3 pointsr/Songwriting

Buy a Scarlett 2i2 USB interface

Download Reaper (a free Digital Audio Workstation)

Buy an Audiotechnica AT2020, a great all-purpose mic

Take songwriting classes and production classes, or try and find lessons on Youtube or something. Learn music theory and how chord progressions and good melodies are written. It doesn't matter how good your hardware/software is if you don't first spend a lot of time learning how to create a well-structured song.

If you don't understand how chords and melodies fit together, and how to make a well-structured lyric (at least subconsciously) at a music theory level, it will be very difficult for you to progress if you are trying to make catchy music - Find a professional and invest in classes!

u/naw613 · 1 pointr/Songwriting

Thank you for all the information! It’s all super helpful :) is this the bundle you would suggest I buy, and will it basically be everything I need?

u/shakeBody · 1 pointr/Songwriting

Since music covers such a broad stylistic range there cannot be songwriting "rules". Genres can be broken down into idiomatic terms but I think what you're looking for is related to tonal harmony. The foundational "rules" of music theory can be applied to all musical styles and will teach you how to analyze a song to extract the patterns that indicate the musical style.

This is a pretty standard book which will teach you the basics of theory from the ground up. Hope this helps :)

u/BlindSpotGuy · 2 pointsr/Songwriting

Get yourself this book.

The Beatles Complete Chord Songbook

Imo it's the best beatles book for guitar. Every day open it up and learn a new song. Some of their compositions are just genius. You will be exposed to brilliant progressions, strange new chords, and a new insight into songwriting.

I guarantee it will change the way you write and play.

u/GoodAndBluts · 3 pointsr/Songwriting

There is actually a book - "songwriters on songwriting"

I have read through it a couple of times looking for secrets - but here is the wierd thing... they dont really seem to have a formula. I felt like reading these people talk was no different to hearing a bunch of redditors talk. They make great songs, but they are not sure how they do it. The only solid advice is "keep doing it"

u/nakriker · 1 pointr/Songwriting

What's your budget?

Yeah, get a decent mic, and an audio interface (so you're not limited to USB mics or using you laptops crappy 1/8" input.

If you want to go super cheap, this interface doesn't suck.

and neither does this mic

That combo is only $136 and will do wonders for your recordings. If you have a bigger budget, you can do better all the way around.

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/Songwriting

Well, I feel like that's music theory in general, no? My city has something called the Old Town School of Folk Music and they have a ton of classes that discuss the subject. Super affordable, too. If I were you I'd look for something similar to that in your area, unless you'd prefer to just read a book. In which case, one of the instructors there wrote this one.

u/iamkyledean · 2 pointsr/Songwriting

On songwriting specifically, Writing Better Lyrics by Pat Pattison

On harmony and melody, Writing Hit Songs by Jai Josefs
You may need to know basic theory for that one though

u/yasire · 2 pointsr/Songwriting

I've got this one ( which I like. I hear Pat Pattison is the one to go with though. I watched his Coursera class online and it was good.

u/polymonic · 11 pointsr/Songwriting

Some suggestions:

  • Spend some time working on instrumentals
  • Try writing a piece where it's okay to have 2 lines
  • Give Object Writing a try
  • Check out Writing Better Lyrics
  • Work through The Artist's Way
  • Continually make shitty writing every day. Occasionally something amazing will happen.
u/dinorawr5 · 1 pointr/Songwriting

Get yourself a copy of Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting. I had a songwriter in Nashville recommend it to me, as well as other NSAI members. They call it the Nashville Bible and it breaks down all the elements that make a hit song.

u/sweetcuppingcakes · 2 pointsr/Songwriting

In researching this stuff yesterday I actually found quite a few on Amazon with that exact purpose. Like this one.

u/squidysquidysquidy · 2 pointsr/Songwriting

If she can read/write music, a cute notebook with staff paper:

When I was about that age, I had a cassette recorder and MIDI keyboard to play around with recording my songs... unfortunately I’m not sure what the equivalent would be these days!

u/TreesAndDoughnuts · 1 pointr/Songwriting

Every artist you have ever heard has done covers.

Probably the best thing that you can do is to take each one of those influences and mimic it. Create a small 2 minute song which duplicates that influence well. That will become your palette of musical colors.

Once that is created, you can mix them together in different portions.

You will always be a ripoff. No one may notice it but you, but you will always be borrowing and being influenced by other sources. That is how we get new stuff.


Book: Steal Like an Artist

u/reo_snoowagon · 1 pointr/Songwriting

Many musicians and singers work with specialist lyricists. Try /r/BedroomBands/

I like this:

Also these guys have some videos on writing lyrics to melodies