Making Bad Songs

Making Bad Songs

The Tunedly Team

Sure, the title of this article has grabbed you and possibly have you wondering why the heck you would want to learn how to write a very bad song. After all, a bad song is unlikely to be desirable to any listener or music professional who can sense a horrible song the second it starts playing. But hear us out…

Learning to write a bad song is not a pointless adventure. On the contrary, writing a bad song can help you recognize the ways of how to NOT write a song. A-ha, see? Once you figure out how to craft a terrible song, it will become easier for you to spot when you are making a creative mistake and steer clear of it. On top of that, writing bad songs could lead to some gems coming right after. It’s like Ed Sheeran once said: songwriting is like turning on an old tap; some junk will come out first but the water will eventually become clean and clear. Now that we have cleared that up, how do you write a very s*#$%y song?

Write corny and cliché lyrics

The cornier the better. Simply do not waste time thinking about whether "I want to kiss you" rhymes with "Your lips are sweet nougat," or if "Wade on my love in the night" even makes sense. Instead, write the first set of lines that come to your mind, even if it's "goo goo..." a la John Lennon's "I Am The Walrus."

Disregard song structure

Who says you have to stick with the prescribed verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus format or any of the other common song structures used in popular music? Make up your own structure. Nothing wrong with starting the song off using a six-line bridge or beginning with two sets of choruses or a continuous stream of verses, sans a refrain. Call it experimentation.

Don’t focus on rhyming anything

For starters, you can't rhyme orange with anything, so don't even blink if that's one of the words in your lyrics. You are writing a bad song, remember? After all, there are plenty of rap songs and unbearable heavy metal that have no recognizable rhymes, so you are in good company.

Forget about melodic arrangement

Want your song to sound memorable? Then work hard trying to come up with a haunting melody. The reverse is true if you want it to be a terrible track that even you won't remember after you have played it dozens of times (as a way to torture yourself).

Ignore best practices for chord progressions

Yes, chord progressions add dimension and interest to how the different parts of your song come together. But that takes a lot of thought, humming, tapping, and trying to figure out how to get from verse to pre-chorus to chorus. Whew, that takes plenty of work. You can't be bothered, so skip to the end already.

Create a looong intro

Yup, that's right. All those earworms you hear on Billboard tend to have intros lasting 10 seconds or less, but you have all the time in the world to be creative, so create. Make your intro last for a minute or more if you have to. After all, you have a lot on your mind and plenty of time to decide when to get to the point.

Get to the chorus by the 2-minute mark

As with the intro, you can spend your time developing an entire plot and plot twist with your first verse. You want to give out all the gory details, right? Because listeners truly are interested in hearing how you went from sitting in your car to parking it, walking to your front door, putting the key into the lock, and proceeding to enter your matchbox, hippie-style apartment.

Don't proofread or edit

You are making an organic song, after all. It is what it is. If people love it, cool. If not...oh well.

Seriously now, be sure to follow the above steps so you can learn how to write a very bad song. If this helps you in writing something meaningful later on, you will have gotten the point of the exercise.