I’ve become a student of songwriting. The more I have tried to teach songwriting, the more I realize that I can only teach what I’ve learned, so I’m continually studying and trying to learn.
Whether you are trying to write songs for the commercial market or are just writing songs for your own pleasure, here are some things that I think make a song “better.”
1) Your song communicates what you are trying to say. Unless you will literally be the only one to ever hear your song, the song will be “better” to the extent that it communicates your intent most clearly.
2) Your song makes a connection with people. It somehow connects to people’s hearts and minds. If the listener “buys in” to your song, then it’s a better song than one that people don’t connect to.
3) Your song elicits a response in the listener. It makes them want to laugh, dance, cry, etc. They should feel SOMETHING when they hear your song. Songs that make people respond are better songs.
4) Your song gets stuck in people’s heads. Songs that are better songs stay with us. The combination of words, rhyme, melody and rhythm get’s in our brains and won’t leave. That’s a better song than one you can’t remember!
Check your songs out. Sometimes a small re-write addressing one or more of those issues can make all the difference in the world.
Write on. And write better.