Songwriting is a deeply personal process and as such the result is also usually subject to personal taste. Some people love very easy melodies that barly move up and down the scale, others enjoy lots of variety. Some are all about ballads, while other people enjoy upbeat music the most.
The following three tips are not meant to change your writing style, but merely help you refine your song ideas and lean in on the songs´ most powerful parts.
These tips have helped me a great deal and I encourage you to try them as well:
1) Play with different perspectives
Once your song is written and you are fairly happy with it, try rewriting it from a different perspective- just for fun. If you wrote the song in first person narrative, maybe switch to second or third person or write a “response” to your song. You might find out that certain parts or even the whole song becomes much more powerful and end up keeping the idea.
2) Play with different feels
Just like you might double check if the lyrics are adressing the right person, you might also want to rewrite the song based on another groove. Maybe, you´ve written your song in 4/4 time measure, and you might prefer a 6/8 feel. Sometimes, changing the feel, can result in interesting new melodies and hooks. So, just for fun, give it a go and see if you want to stick to your original idea or adapt a different groove.
3) Incorporate tiny changes
Repetition and Variety are two ends of one spectrum. Both are important. You want to add lots of repetition (e.g. repeat the hook a couple of times) to give the listener the chance to anchor, but you also want to add lots of suble variety, to keep the listener´s interest and curiosity. This is always hard to balance out. I would encourage you to look at all the parts that are being repeated a lot and think of sublte changes you could add. E.g. sing a harmony in one line instead of the main melody, or changing your phrasing, changing a word even etc.
With these three quick fixes your songs might get the polished attitude they needed.
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