Losing It and songwriting

The third book, #LiteracyForLyrics and tips for songwriting. Jamie Scallion shares it all with us.

It’s the third part of the road to fame. Or is it the road to doom? Our four youngsters are going through a lot: new people, new scenes, new music. Speaking of which, have you considered writing a song? Danny and Mark teamed up with Jamie Scallion and the National Literacy Trust in launching #LiteracyForLyrics, which is a competition to find a young songwriter.

The task is to finish a song for the last book/EP and Jamie here shares some tips on the how.

Know your strengths and weaknesses.

Many lyric songwriters find it difficult to write/compose melodies, and many melody songwriters find it difficult to write lyrics, so they often seek to collaborate. Every songwriter has differing strengths. My number one skill is lyrics, next is melody, lastly musicality, orchestration and arrangement. I can write a song on my own, but by surrounding myself with people with different strengths, the result will almost certainly be stronger.

Don’t be afraid to collaborate.

I thought I could do it all myself for years and when I finally succumbed to collaborating I found it liberating. Working together with people that have strengths that don’t match your own is the key I think. If you love lyric writing why not find someone who loves to produce. Finding a multi-instrumentalist to work with can really up your game.

Think about the point of view of the song.

Who are you singing for? Is it you, me, we or us? The pronoun “you” is most popular because the listener wants to identify with your song. This way of thought is sometimes called the “you card” and deliberately putting it in a song is called playing the “you card”. Whilst writing your song try different POVs and see how they change the perspective.

Watch out for too much repetition.

Don’t let the listener get bored. The structure of your song is important so work on that aspect. Repeated choruses are often fine but I like to give the listener more information. Of course it needs to be subject matter that progresses what you are trying to convey. Remember that if you have a refrain make sure it not only relates to your song but almost solves what your song is about. It’s the same as the first line of your song. You only have one shot at this and it’s important to set the tone and mood of your lyrics.

Use an online thesaurus to look at words that relate to your songs subject.

Rhyming websites are useful too. Once you have found your central thought or the subject of your song build an arsenal of words that you can draw from. Rhymes you can use in your rhyming couplets.

***

If you listen to the new songs you definitely hear these pieces of advice in practice.

Good luck if you apply to the competition! More info on it here.

To keep uptodate with the RockAteers adventures, get the book here.

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