Been writing songs with my buddy Jon for a few weeks now. Our songwriting sessions keep reminding me of the money laundering scene from Office Space:
I can’t believe what a bunch of nerds we are. We’re looking up money laundering in a dictionary.
As you can see in the above photo, I resorted to sketching out a song structure on my notepad during the last session. I also marked out the rhyme scheme (AABB for the verses, ABAB for the chorus) and circled the words that rhymed to make sure it was all connecting. I imagine these things will get internalized more as we gain experience, but for now I’m trying to stick to the basics. One of my top tips in Writing for Designers is to create structure to guide your writing – such as an outline – and I’m finding that helps me with songwriting, too.
Things I’ve wondered out loud during our songwriting sessions include:
- Wait, how do songs work?
- Where is a bridge is supposed to go?
- Three verses makes it a song, right?
It’s been refreshing and enlightening to have: a creative constraint (from weekly challenges issued at the open mic night), a deadline (one week until the next open mic), and a partner (Jon). I’ve gone whole years without actually finishing a song, and in the last five weeks we’ve written three. So here’s to being nerds, I suppose.