Titles are so important when writing songs. The Title is like a great book cover, an excellent title can capture the listener before he/she has also heard your melody and more importantly will help the listener to remember it. It’s the sales pitch for the entire song.
Purposes Of A Tune Title
Song titles have to deliver several important factors. For example it is good if they can possess some of these qualities:
Be Of Interest
Make The Reader / Listener Curious
Convey Something Original
Convey Something Common That Everyone Can Relate To
Tease The Reader / Listener – Not Reveal Everything
Use A Small Number Of Words – 5 or less
Contain Or Reflect The Main Lyrical Hook (Importance Depends On Music Genre And Perspective)
- Noun and Adjective Lists
Write down very long lists of nouns and adjectives. Blend words from these lists to create pairs of terms. In addition, also blend phrases within the same lists to get verb-verb and noun-noun word pairs. Select the ones you like and develop those word pairs or use those term pairs to create brand-new word pairs based providing lists that proceed in new directions.
- Research Other Media
Do some research. Read some online content articles, newspaper content and magazine articles etc. and use them to generate seed ideas for new titles and song lyrics.
Common Phrase’s that people say have not all been used in songs. Actually phrases that are said wrong can be turned into great Melody Titles ‘A Hard Days Night time’ was Ringo’s remark/comment said to John Lennon and we know how that turned out.
A play on words or opposites works pretty well too, one of my own tunes ‘I Mean To Be Nice’ is a great example.
- Prose On A Topic
Choose a topic you are interested in writing a tune about.
Proceed to create some free-flowing text inspired by that topic.
Explore any emotions and emotional perspectives, scenarios and conclusions that the story implies.
Use that text message to then create phrases and phrase pairs to use while a seed idea for creating a title.
Great track titles will always have one or two of these ingredients;
Connection to Events and/or People
Common Tools For Songwriters
There are a few basic tools that can be of help when creating titles and other aspects of writing a song:
A Pocket Sized Notepad
Pen, Pencil and Eraser
Post It Notepad
A Rhyming Dictionary (online and an offline publication)
A Thesaurus (online and an offline book)
A Recording Device That You Can Speak / Sing Into
For the most part, if you’re searching (as you should be) for a way to say something in a fresh and unusual way, you’re likely to arrive at an imaginative title in the process. Concept and title are so wedded that, particularly in Country music, many writers don’t even begin to write a melody until they have a great title/concept. It’s a very common and practical way to start. Sometimes, should you have the right title, the song practically writes itself.
So to recap – start with the basic concept that you want to form the music around, the feeling, the voice, the scene, the emotion etc. Then find that great-stand-out-Title that may grab the listener by the eyes before the ears! A great title will in fact help you write a better song, from my experience if I have an excellent title to start from I want the music and lyrics to become great too.
You’re looking for that tingling feeling when searching for titles, that feeling that no other title would top the one you are starring at right in front of you about the paper.