What you need to know in order to understand how to write a country song
For you to understand how to write a country song, you must first of all understand what a country song is. The definition of a country song can change depending on the geographic location and the taste of the person describing the genre. Most country song enthusiasts can list the characteristics of a country with less difficulty since they are easily identifiable and understood by many listeners. The multiple styles within the country song genre renders sounds that reflect the very traditional forms of music spanning to popular modern arrangements. As you listen, the basic core formula, which is made up of a straightforward chord progression, a bridge or a resonating chorus and a memorable story are often the foundation of country songs. Whether the song was written in a ranch of plains, a mountain cabin, in a small bar or pub or in a modern recording studio, the heart of a country song is identified by the chord progression in its foundation. This characteristic is very appealing to listeners who feel more comfortable with a song structure that can easily be followed and be heard.
Throughout the history of songs, the most beautiful and inspiring country song arrangements are made up of a great chorus or refrain where an additional instrument or vocals to emphasize the feeling or mood of the piece join the primary vocalist. This section of a country song is often the punctuation of the message the writer delivers to the listeners. The country song chorus can be the signature of the song that combines brilliant harmonies and emotionally driven lyrics that add to the unique quality and truth of the genre. And lastly, country songs are always known for the memorable stories that they tell within their verses. This is because most country songs are written by the people raised in rural areas that are exposed to social and economic problems or have been motivated by an individual’s spiritual foundation. The story within a country song can be personally inspiring, emotionally moving and easily identifiable by anybody who is exposed to the same life experiences. Whether it is in traditional folk, bluegrass, hillbilly, Celtic or in the modern country, the story can be as touching as a very beautiful poem. These are the characteristics that make a country music a truly special and unique art form. And country songs are very simple to compose. All you need to come up with a country song is to sing about how you are feeling. If you are sad, happy, mad, nervous or scared, write it in a phrase and give it a tune and you will have your country song.
Features of a country song
To be able to know how to write a country song, you must learn about its features first. Almost all country songs are written around a hook. A hook is a phrase that is repeated a number of times in the song. A hook comes early in a country song, especially in the chorus and it is repeated many times. Hooks are often played on common expressions. The subject also matters a lot when writing a country song. You need to set the mood and ensure that your music fits your story. If your song is a sad song, you will require melodies that evoke sadness. This can be achieved by slowing it down and including some minor chords. Or you may also add a twist and combine your lyrics to upbeat music so that you can create a sense of ambiguity and tension. A country song must communicate a message. It can get by with poor lyrics, but you have a good opportunity of writing a great song if you have great lyrics. Many people can relate to the words, even if they cannot relate easily with the music. This does not imply that you have to be serious, but they should not be cliché. You must write your lyrics as if you are talking to someone who you want to impress. Write the song as if you are narrating a story and you want people to understand your lyrics. The lyrics must be rhymed. There are various rhyme schemes and many tools of poetry that you can employ in your song. You can rhyme within the lines or at the end of the lines. You can also have imperfect rhymes. These are rhymes whose main vowel sounds similar. A country song must also have a bridge. A bridge is a balance between repetition and variety. Repetition makes a song catchy.
When writing your country song, you are supposed to begin with simple chord progressions and write lyrics around them. If you do not have an instrument to play and you have no musical background, it is good to find someone who does and collaborate with them. The words that look good on paper do not always fit neatly into a song structure. They need some fine tuning with the music so that the lyrics can work with the music and the harmony. Many country songs follow a simple structure. You should not be scared of using odd structures. There are many great country songs that break the rules, but you should keep in mind that simplicity is the strength of a good country song. The pattern for most songs is verse-verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus or something close to that.
The best country songs tell stories, so imagine how a story progresses in your song. Even if it is just a very small part of the story, it should create a picture that describes what the narrator is going through. And though it is difficult to avoid clichés which are common in any country song, you should try your best to come up with new methods of saying the relatively few things that many songs deal with. Ensure you use concrete images and strong verbs. Make each word hard. Most country songs contain less than one hundred words, so they have to pack a lot of meaning.
Knowing how to write your country song
The main problem in knowing how to write a country song is that it requires one to have a fair amount of talent and getting started is not an easy task. The beginning of a song is also very important because if you begin well, you will have less or no trouble down the line.
There is always the temptation to go straight and start with the first thing that occurs to you. You might only have a vague idea or the feeling that you want to express. When this happens, you may end up with a song that no one can understand or relate to.
Though being difficult, almost everyone can be able to compose a really good country song and the feeling you get while writing the song is way better off than how you feel about the money you will earn from it. Whether you are experienced or you are a beginner songwriter, there is a way to tap your potential and bring out the country song that you want. Bear in mind that the best writing of all forms must convey action. Images trump the sentimental phrase each time. Phrases form images in the listener’s mind. They are your lyric, but they are the listeners’ mental image which sticks in their mind making those images memorable.
To be able to understand how to write a country song effectively, begin writing today. Stop thinking and start writing. You want to be a star and you have always dreamt about being on stage and hearing the roar of the crowd. The only problem is that you are dreaming your life away. If you want to compose a perfect country song you need to work for it. You must also listen to a lot of country music. The best writers read books, and the best songwriters listen to music. While listening to any music, determine what you like about the song and what you do not like about it. Why do you or don’t you like the song? Is the lyrics of the song unique? Is the transition of the song from one section to the other good? Note where it repeats and where it changes. For a song to have a good structure, it must contain enough repetition.
The next step is to analyze the chorus, verse and bridge. Here you need to get technical. You do not need to have a degree in music theory to come up with a great song. But you must have an understanding of how a song is constructed. There are infinite ways to create a country song, but there are some common sequences found in many of them. While listening to a country song, identify the different sections, choruses, verses or bridges. Some country songs have something else referred to as a pre-chorus or a lift which is a segment that leads lyrically and melodically from the verse to the chorus. You can also check online or in country music books. The sections of a country song are labeled there.
The next tip on how to write a country song effectively is to be prepared when inspiration strikes. It is important to be able to recall every new song that pops in your head. Have a pen and a piece of paper with you wherever you go or you can as well have a digital audio recorder since melodies may be difficult to capture on paper. However little you capture might later on grow to become a country song. But ensure that you capture it when it comes to your mind because otherwise you may forget the words or the melody which hooked you. Another tip on writing your country song effectively is, write from experience and not just your own experience. Various people have experiences which can form a great country song lyric. Learn to put yourself in someone else’s situation and imagine how it feels like. Put down everything that crosses your mind which can be used in your song or as a building angle. Books, movies, articles or things that people say in a conversation, can all inspire songs.
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