In one of their most recent reports Spotify calculates it receives about 60,000 music uploads a day. That’s about 22 million tracks a year, and a huge number of artist vying to catch an editors attention for a chance to be placed on an official curated Spotify playlist; which could potentially be a game changer for the career of an artist. Exposure to a playlist like RapCaviar which has over 14 million followers an just over 2.5 hours of playtime can produce in one week the amount of streams many recording artist will never attain in their entire careers. There are many factors editors look for when choosing tracks for their playlist and songwriting is one of them. Grammy- recognized songwriter, music producer and author Cliff Goldmacher recently sat with BMI weekly to give us his 4 tips all artist can utilize for writing better songs.
1. Honor your metaphor
Metaphors are a wonderful way to make your song’s message more memorable by conjuring vivid and meaningful details inside of the framework of an overarching theme. The trick, however, is to be certain that once you’ve chosen a metaphor, each image is related back to the metaphor’s theme and not simply random visuals or expressions that feel good while you write them.
2. Make sure your rhyme schemes match in your verses
The strategic use of rhyme is designed to help your listeners learn your song and remember it. The danger is in not paying close attention to the rhyme scheme in your verses. In other words, it’s not enough just to rhyme wherever you can. If you’re rhyming the lines next to each other in the first verse, you should do the same in your second verse as opposed to, say, rhyming every other line. It’s all about setting up an expectation and then delivering on that expectation the next time a verse comes around.
3. Keep your chorus lyric the same for all your choruses
Given that it is the job of the verse (through details and visual imagery) to tell the story of your song, your chorus is designed to summarize your song’s message or theme. Another way to put this is that the chorus is what you’ve been leading up to in your verses. Since this is the case, a rule that I’ve found works most of the time is NOT to change your lyric from chorus to chorus in an attempt to further your song’s story. That’s the job of your verses. If you feel that you absolutely must change your chorus lyric, I’d recommend that it be the final chorus once your listeners have had time to learn the original chorus so the difference has real impact.
4. Go for clear over clever
As songwriters who love words, there is always the temptation to make your lyric clever as a display of your verbal skill. Clever can be fun and it can also be entertaining but when the choice is between clever or clear, always go for clear. Your listeners will be more moved by the clarity of your message than they will be by wordplay that leaves them confused or lost. The simplicity and power of clear beats clever every time.
We hope you all find these points useful enough to implement into your songwriting