“How to write a song”

After we’d had four sessions or so, Ronan sent an email summarizing some of the songwriting areas we had discussed. This is a version I’ve edited from his original email.

“For your first song it’s good to have a teacher. In this case you don’t need a teacher, because I’m the teacher.

These are things on how to write a song – the name of the song and the chorus – these are what we will focus on. It’s up to you if there is going to be a melody. You don’t need a melody. Each song you write will be a little different. We are focusing on just one song now.

You can’t just sing the name of the song the entire time. You need to sing other things, too. The lyrics are what you sing, and the chorus is what you sing over and over again. You need to have a chorus. A song without a chorus would be a boring song – and we don’t want a boring song.

At the top you can write what instruments you’re using for the song. Let’s say you’re using a guitar. You write down what the guitar plays. And let’s say there is more than one person singing. You can highlight in different colors who sings what. If there are two men singing, and their names are Dennis and John, highlight what John sings in red, and highlight what Dennis sings in yellow. And if there is a time when both John and Dennis are singing, you can high highlight it in orange.

You don’t need more than one person singing. It can just be you singing the whole entire time. And let’s say you’re going to perform a song. Before you perform a song you need to write it and then practice it.

What’s the name of your song you want to write?”

Published by billpaige

Interested parties are first directed to my memoir, “Everything I Know I Learned From Rock Stars” (Eckhartz Press). While I have taken music therapy classes and read extensively about music’s effect on the brain, I am NOT professionally trained -- just a music lover who recognizes that everyone benefits from music. Giving that gift to special needs youth is highly rewarding, but again, my process is intuitive, not academic. I draw largely on personal experience. I’ve spent most of my 67 years observing a wide world of music, from working as a music critic professionally for 20 years, and holding positions in music companies in the 1970s and 1990s. Since 1990, however, I have focused on learning more about music and improving as a singer, guitarist, and performer, both solo and in ensemble settings.

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