Love is such an important emotion that it’s hardly surprising how many songs have been written on the topic. One of the earliest love song writers can be traced all the way back to 2250 BC!
Today, love songs command much of music listeners' attention. From soapy ballads on enduring heartbreak to lighthearted tunes talking about finding new love, people have a lot to sing about on this four letter word. As a songwriter, knowing how to write a love song can only be a good thing because there is always an audience for this type of music.
When it comes on to writing a memorable love song, there are a few things to keep in mind for maximum effect. Here are some tips to follow to help you write the perfect love song for Valentine's Day or for general consumption.
Write from experience
Love songs need to sound believable and relatable. The only way you can write a song that achieves those objectives is to write from your own personal experience with love. It would be rather difficult to write about love at first sight if you have never felt in love with someone the first time you saw them, or write lyrics about having a crush if you have never crushed on someone else (or being aware of a crush on you). At best, your love song would probably sound like you are making the details up.
On the other hand, if you are writing about a love situation you have been involved in or saw somebody close to you go through, it is easier for you to tap into the associated emotions and form your lyrics accordingly.
Write a catchy hook
Love songs can easily get boring and overbearing without a catchy hook and melody. Whether before or after writing the lyrics, you will need to focus on a few catchy lines that sum up the main idea you want to bring across in the song. Think about the message you want people to get without hearing the verses of the song. If you can fit all of that in one or two interesting words or phrases, you probably have a good hook on your hands. By writing the hook, you will likely have the chorus down as well.
Find an interesting title
“When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars, “All Of Me” by John Legend, “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey, “One In A Million” by Aaliyah, “Un-break My Heart” by Toni Braxton…these are all song titles that ignite curiosity even without hearing the song. Likewise, your song should have a title that piques the interest of listeners. As with many other songs, the titles of most love songs are usually taken from the chorus.
Avoid corny or cheesy lyrics
Try to avoid filling your love song with corny one-liners, clichés, and cheesy, everyday slangs. This will weaken its impact and cause listeners to lose interest in the point you are trying to make. Even if you are feeling the same way about a situation described in another love song, you want to try and say it in a different way so people don’t go “yeah, yeah, yeah” (followed by an eye roll), or “Hmm…where have I heard that line before?” Remember, you want your love song to sound as honest and personal as possible, not like you are trying to rewrite another love song that already exists.
Go for a poetic tone
If you are good at writing poetry, you may consider giving your lyrics a poetic tone to make your love song more mysterious. Think about songs such as “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri with lines such as “I have died everyday waiting for you” or “Jealous” by Labrinth with lyrics such as “I’m jealous of the rain / that falls upon your skin.” With poetry, it can sometimes be easier to organize your thoughts and focus on your emotions using figurative language that the listener will appreciate.
Fill it with feeling
As mentioned before, love songs are usually best if written from personal experiences. If listeners are able to connect with how you feel regarding the topic, it is likely they will enjoy the song and even try to relate to it even if they have never been in the same situation before. The way to achieve a truly memorable love song is by pouring a lot of feeling into the lyrics and into the musical composition, so listeners can connect with your passionate delivery.
Match the music to the mood
The mood of your song will be portrayed in its message. Are you feeling heartbroken? Happy about being in love? Ignored by someone you really like? Frustrated by your loved one? Doubtful about your chances of getting with someone? Contented with the state of your love life? Etc.? Whatever mood you are trying to bring across in your song, you want to make sure the music helps to enhance it rather than compete with it. For example, if the mood of your lyrics is one that is subdued or laidback, the accompanying music would likely not fit well if it’s filled with blaring drums and horns.
Listen to other love songs
Learning how to write a love song can be enhanced by paying attention to other love songs that are popular. This will help you understand how many songwriters tend to construct lyrics for love songs and the songwriting structures they tend to use.
There are no real hard and fast rules when learning how to write a love song. However, keeping the above in mind can be helpful when trying to create love songs your audience will appreciate.
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