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How To Write Songs: Choosing A Title

February 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 155

This is part of an article series about how to write songs, which I am writing entirely from my own experience as a songwriter. I don't have any formal training and haven't studied under any great teachers in the field, but I seem to have a knack for it, and it is my passion and livelihood. I have taught a number of successful songwriting workshops and am happily pursuing a career as an independent recording artist, performer, and producer. I hope these articles help you. If you like what you see, please comment with your own songwriting tips, questions, or success stories.

In this article, I just want to say a few words about the different ways to choose a title for your song.

The most common way to name a song is to take a phrase or word in the song that repeats and use that for your title. In other words, choose the "obvious" title. This has the advantage of being memorable, and there are experts who say that this is the best way to go if you want to write hits. There are obvious benefits to having a title that listeners can guess if they hear the song on the radio or at a concert or party. That being said, I almost never do this. I find it much more fun to make the title change the meaning of the song in some way. If your lyrics are memorable, that's good enough, in my opinion.

For instance, you may choose a word or phrase which only occurs once or twice in the song and use that for the title. That way, your listeners, knowing the title, will be listening for that word or phrase. When they hear it, it will stand out, giving it added significance in the song. Famous examples include Burrito by Pete Yorn, Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell, and Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin.

Another approach would be to choose a title that does not appear anywhere in the song at all, but contextualizes the song in some way. It may tell you something about who is singing the song, or when, or about what. Some examples are Anthem by Leonard Cohen, Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict by Pink Floyd, Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones, Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin, Ghost Story by Sting, Bear Tracks by the Grateful Dead, and Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls.

If you enjoy reading my articles, I hope you will check out my music. Visit to download your free mp3 of my new single. Enjoy!

Source: EzineArticles
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