How to

How to Write a Sad Song – Tips for Emotional Composition in 2020

Music plays an integral role in socialization. Especially, In the teenager’s life, while they are in their phase of growing up. With the help of music and lyrics, they can co-relate with each other, and this helps them to level up in society. Music also provides a source of entertainment and allows teenagers to distract themselves from their tension and boredom. Music also will enable teenagers to consolidate when they feel lonely or when they are feeling low. 

While listening to music and their lyrics, millions of people co-related with the artists. And if someone is co-relating with lyrics, it is one of the achievements as an artist. If you want to be a good artist, the first thing you want to learn is how to write a sad song that can turn out to be a “hit.”

Sad songs are a part of today’s pop culture. People all around the globe listen to it and relates to it. With sad songs, people can connect to their emotions. Writing a sad song seems to be a difficult task, but if you understand the basics of the general flow of the song, then you can easily write the song and then work on the music and can connect with millions of people worldwide. Yeah, that’s the power of the internet!

How to write a sad song

I am starting with The Basics!

First things, first! You have to keep this mind that writing good lyrics for sad songs will take time. So you have to be patient enough, and give yourself quite some time. Keeping this in mind, Let’s start the tutorial. 

How to write a sad song

1) Understanding the structure of songs

  • A structure of song means, The blueprint of the song. It indicates how each section is interlinked with each other.
  • Lyrical songs are made up of Verse, Chorus, and Bridge. 
  • A Verse of song contains the same melody, while words can change according to your preference.
  • A Chorus of a song is a repeated section of a song; it contains the primary musical and lyrical section. It is repeated more than one time in the song.
  • A Bridge contains a little different melody or a small “tweaked” melody than the original one. It is used to connect two sections of the song. Not every song needs to have a bridge.
  • Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Verse-Chorus, Generally, Songs are made in this flow, but it is up to how you want to make your song’s “Blueprint.”  

 2) How to write a melody?

  • Be simple, don’t use some complex chords or don’t make your chord progression very complicated.
  • One of the good things about writing and composing a sad song is that you can use three or four chords in your whole song. 
  • For inspiration, listen to your favorite sad songs and try to under their chord progression.
  • Use a piano or a guitar to write a basic melody, and try to improvise the notes.
  • Write some notes, prepare a rough sketch of your melody.  A rough sketch will help you to devise and you can gain some inspiration as well.   

3) Music Theory

  • While creating the chords try to use minor chords. 
  • Minor chords portray a sad feeling better than major chords
  • Music artists, while writing a sad song, give more preference to a minor third.
  • Read other music pieces of some other sad songs and analyze them thoroughly, and you’ll get the idea of how and where you can switch to a minor third. 
  • However, it is completely up to how you want to use your chords. You can use happy chords with sad lyrics and can make your song unique.  
  • I would recommend you to Listen to Lauv’s songs if you want to make your song sound happy but with sad lyrics.

4) Writing Lyrics

  • Firstly, Draw a storyline in your head. There can be many different topics on which you can write a song. 
  • Let’s say you choose Heart-break, After this; use your creativity, and do a free-write on a paper. The more things you’ll write, The more ideas will pop up.
  • In writing the lyrics, Focus on storytelling, Like How your relationship started, How things were before, How you use to feel before, How your perspective to your life was. You can make this as your first verse
  • And then, In the second verse, you can now shift things to how things are after the  “Heartbreak.” 

5) Tips on word selection

  • Use “Similes” and “metaphor.”
  • Metaphor is a figure of speech in which you use some different object to express you the literal meaning
  • You can use phrases like “A sky full of stars” or “Tear in my Heart” to intensify your song
  • Using Metaphors will make your song so much more generic, and you can also make listeners think “How deep the lyrics are”

If you want to intensify the sad song, you can write things in the first person; You can use words like “I” and “My,” While if you are narrating things or want to write a song for a character, you can write a song in the third person. You can use words like “She” and “Her.”

One more tip I would like to give is that use your emotions, If you’re writing on something you have gone through, you can use those emotions, If you put those emotions, you can connect with listeners. But writing down your emotions on a piece of paper is not easy. You have to be patient and listen to your inner voice. For this, I would again recommend you to listen to sad songs by other artists and try to understand how they are putting their emotions in a song. 

6) Match your lyrics to your music

Now, when your musical notes and lyrics are ready, You have to set them up together in a way that they don’t sound mismatched.

  • Analyze the tempo of your other sad songs and set the tempo. 
  • Go back to listening to sad songs by another artist from where you got your inspiration
  • Decide, what type of instruments you want to use
  • Sing your song, alongside an instrument, and this will help you to compose the melody of your song
  • Feel free to adjust your melody according to the lyrics
  • You can now experiment to use an offbeat element or a note to give a grove to your music
  • Use different instruments to play your song; you’ll find some new add-ons.

Bottom line

Keep trying and be patient, as making a sad song can take time. To make your song more professional, try to add backing vocals and other effects. Also if you’re a beginner, I’ll recommend you to learn a musical instrument. It’ll help you a lot. 

One of the most important things is that you can always try to improvise things. You can add substances like a “Drop” in your song. Even though people generally don’t prefer adding a “drop” to a sad song, but if the music is matching the flow of the song, then you can add it. For instance, in the song “How do you sleep?” by Sam Smith, You can see there is a drop, which is going pretty well with the music. So use your creativity and think something out of the box find inspiration from another genre and use those things and garnish everything with ‘a pinch of your emotions,’ and you’re good to go.   

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