Though often reserved for the mundane realms of the shopping cart or office Post-it note scene, a good checklist can be a helpful tool in any situation - a collection of stripped-down, simple reminders that quickly focuses the mind toward the core of the matter.
At the risk of appearing clinical or oversimplifying the often amorphous process of songwriting, here are three song-centric bullet points you may find helpful/worth running through before declaring any new composition complete:
- Does it have a good beat? Can you dance to it? No matter what style/genre you’re working in, remember the hook is king. Does your song have at least one melody, chord pattern, phrase, riff or groove that will (potentially) grab the listener and make them want to sing along, cry, scream, dance or bang their head?
- Say anything? Do your song’s lyrics make a definitive statement whether they’re obtuse, simple, serious, silly, etc? Be it “Won’t Get Fooled Again” or “Love Shack”, each makes a strong statement of intent.
- Do you feel it? Does your song convey a strong feeling or mood? Although both are quite intangible, they are still very real commodities. Never underestimate the power of creating an emotional connection between you and your listener.
Despite its grocery list leanings, hope you found the above checklist helpful and worthy of keeping in your back pocket; a little something to refer to next time you stroll down the songwriting aisle.
-Posted by Mark
Mark Bacino is a singer/songwriter based in New York City with three album releases to his credit as an artist. When not crafting his own melodic brand of retro-pop, Mark can be found producing fellow artists or composing for television/advertising via his Queens English Recording Co. Mark is also a contributing writer for Guitar World as well as the founder/curator of intro.verse.chorus.