There's no science in songwriting. Well, Rivers Cuomo might disagree. But there is some method to the madness. I'm gonna do a short series of mini-blogs about the art, method, struggle and magic of writing a song. Let's start at the beginning...
I'd argue that the most important part of a song is the hook. We'll save that for later. The next most important, I'd argue is the line right before the hook. Some might say the title is up there too. Truth is, it's all way important, but we're here to talk verse. See, without the verse, there's no chorus, or hook.
Here's the experiment: we're gonna write a song (you're not getting any publishing). And I will take a look at each section, with each blog. While, this first one's about the verse, we're still gonna need a title. For our purposes, let's go with "Ferris Wheel". And let's just say for the sake of focus, that it's a country song. Not "twangy" country. We don't really do that around here. So, if I walked into a writing room with that title, the next thing that would be discussed is...what's the concept here? What's it about? Is it about the guy who invented the Ferris Wheel? Well, no that's awful. Is it about a runaway Ferris Wheel that destroyed a town? Of course not. It's obviously about a boy and girl who met on one.
So, verse 1. We need to establish...what's up? A carnival or fair has clearly come to a, we'll say small, town. Bobby is a bit of an outsider and Jenny is the prom queen. They're both in line for the, well you know; and they end up sitting on it together (wonder if anything happened interesting to put them in that fateful position? Remember that for verse 2). Then we need to establish what happens. In this case and in around 60% of all modern songs, they fall in love (yes, there was a study). We should, also set the scene best we can. Fill it out with some heart racing and introspection.
So something like this:
Small town, summer love started at the county fair
Jenny's waiting to take a ride Bobby's trying not to stare
Somehow they end up together his heart starts beating fast
Funny where you sometimes find the one, the one that's gonna last
Tune in soon for the next mini-blog: The Chorus, where things get...BIG.