We are created in God's image and He is the Creator, creative -- therefore, we are creative, in His image.
- Cultivate your connection with the Creator.
Hear God, know God - Then translate His heart uniquely through yours in a song
- You can describe concepts like: glory, presence, holy, passion, purity, awe when you have tasted, touched, seen, and received it?
The technical side of songwriting flows out of the spiritual; man's attempt to 'formulize' inspiration.
Lyrics and Music
What comes first? Sometimes lyrics, sometimes music. But music and lyrics must complement one another, be in unity.
Writing the Song
- Identify your target group -- Who are you writing for?
- To God
- To others -- one person, the church, the world
- For yourself
- Specify the type of song
- Story song
- Teaching song
- Theme -- What's on God's heart
Who is writing these songs for the Body of Christ to sing?
Focus on one theme:
It may be helpful to look in a hymnal to find the historical Church themes and holidays
- Christmas or other Church holidays (Easter, Pentecost, Advent, Lent)
- Kid's song
- Spiritual Warfare
- Scripture songs (OT/NT, not just Psalms)
- Blood of Christ
- Elements of a song
- Verse A
- Chorus B
- Bridge C
AA -God is so good, The steadfast love, He is Lord
AB -Shout to the Lord, I will offer, Jesus we enthrone You
ABC -Light of the world, Blessings and Honor, My Redeemer Lives
- Meter, tempo, rhythm, dynamics
- Hook line
(e.g. My Redeemer Lives, Here I am to Worship)
- Rhyme (inner rhyme, repetition, alliteration, true rhymes)
(e.g. "I will offer up my life", "Jesus, we enthrone" (we raise you up with our praise),
- Checklist for a good song
- Focus and simplicity.
- Aim at the heart. Emotional impact.
- Avoid cliches.
- Say something old in a new/fresh way.
- Make one point and develop it.
- Logical progression of message and music.
- Form. ABAB or AABA -- Good structure: beginning, middle, climax, ending
- Hooks. Lyric, melodic, rhythmic, vocal, instrumental, etc. The hook will become a good title. Aim for a short, colorful title that gives good idea of the song.
- Rhyme. Consistent patterns, perfect rhymes where possible.
- Lyrics and grammar.
- Straight-ahead lyrics:no backward phrases.
- Singable, flowing vowels, no glottal stops at the ends of phrases.
- No explanation required.
- Consistent form (1st person, etc.) and appropriate (don't mix KJV with common language)
- Compact or succinct lyrics -- short, descriptive, sensory phrases, no unnecessary words.
- Use action words, words that sing.
- Set the stage with strong opening lines, setting theme quickly.
- Marriage of music and message
- Words supported by a suitable and supportive melody.
- An appropriate range: Over an octave (for dramatic effect) and not over a twelfth (for singability); or small range (for quiet and worshipful atmosphere).
- Theologically sound with spiritual content and anointing.
- Hear what the Spirit of God is saying and let Him say it through you.
- Take the listener/singer one step further in knowing God.
- Examine and test together with a spiritual mentor.
- Focus and simplicity.
- Short list of key factors in a worship song:
- Singability -- difficulty to sing/play
- Biblical accuracy
- Message -- saying something fresh
- Songwriting is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration
- The most common mistake of beginning songwriters is trying to say too much in one song. Stick to the theme and keep your target group in focus.
- Make sure what you write is biblically sound -- especially for worship songs. * Get some help!
(References: "Words and Music ©1984 WORD, by Jimmy & Carol Owens)