Coming up with a creative song title while trying to figure out how to title a song is one of the best things a songwriter can do to enhance the prospects of getting the song listened to. Think about it. If you’re reading through a list of song titles, which ones catch your eye and grab your attention?
Here are 6 tips to help you title your songs,
Use the Hook as the Song Title
Quite often a person remembers a certain repeated phrase of a song after the first time they hear it. Or at least that’s the goal a songwriter should have when they write the song. The song is heard, a person likes it, and then later wants to look it up to hear it again.
How are they going to look it up? Probably by asking a friend or searching online. What are they going to search for? Well, it will probably be the short, repeated phrase they remember from the song. That should be the title.
The song title should have “hooked” them. A song can have many hooks and the song title should definitely be one of them. I’ve written an entire article on how to come up with song hooks. Make your song titles as catchy as you can.
Use an Existing Song Title
Under current copyright law, a song title is not protected. You can use any title you want to even if it’s been used before by someone else. That being said, you wouldn’t want to write a song that has the same title as a mega-hit. You want to be unique in your choice of a song title.
One tip would be to look through a list of song titles and find some that grab your attention and then change them up or combine parts of multiple titles into one. Another thing you could do is change pronouns.
If you like an idea for a song title that might already exist, maybe you can change it from he/she to you/me or vice versa. There is total freedom in coming up with song titles since they are not protected by copyright. Use your imagination to create one that pops off the page.
Use a Short Song Title
There are exceptions of course, but generally, you want your song title to be short and to the point. Remember, we want the listener to recall the song title long after they hear the song. Keeping it short will help accomplish that. You will also make it easier to fit your song titles on your CD!
Use Alliteration in the Song Title
If you’re unfamiliar with what alliteration is and how to use it while writing a song you can read about it in my article, alliteration in songwriting. The short version is alliteration is combining words that have similar beginning sounds.
An example would be the Rolling Stones song, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”. The double “J’s” provide a catchy and memorable song title. Short alliterative titles are very effective at being memorable. Here are a few random ones off the cuff…
Missing My Mind
You get the idea……
Use a Song Title Generator
If you’re stuck and need some ideas you can go online and look up “song title generator”. They have some fields you fill in with information about the topic of your song. Then it spits out results. Some of them can be really funny. You may be fortunate to find an interesting one or a pair of them that you can combine into a great song title.
Use Interesting Words in Song Title
Another approach to writing song titles is to use mystery. “All I Am is Behind That Door”, “She Knows My Secret”, “This is Where Love Never Goes”. These are some random titles I just now brainstormed to get the creative juices flowing.
They could probably use some tweaking but they all have a mysterious quality about them and hopefully would want a listener to find out more. What’s behind that door? What’s the singer’s “secret”?
Where is that place that love never goes? If you create enough of an interest in your song title the listener will want to at least check it out. Use this technique!
Use Action Words in Your Song Titles
Using verbs in your song titles is another way to draw attention to them. Several hit songs have included verbs in their title. Some examples include…
Jump – Van Halen
Dancin’ Queen – Abba
Knock Three Times – Dawn
Talk – Coldplay
If You Could Read My Mind – Gordon Lightfoot
I hope that I have given you some new ways to look at how you can go about coming up with that great song title. I would encourage you to use these techniques in a way that will produce a unique, intriguing, and juicy title that nobody can resist listening to. Of course, once you have that title you need to come through with the rest of the song. Don’t let the listener down! Now, go to work.