I’ve seen this question arise from time to time about how to write a song from the heart. People desperately want to be able to express what they’re feeling through words and music. We are, after all, songwriters, correct? We should be able to accomplish this. There are a few things to consider before attempting to write this way.
How to write a song from the heart. The first step toward writing a song from the heart is being honest. Are you willing to be completely open with your thoughts and emotions as you express them through words and music? This will make you vulnerable. A listener can detect when this isn’t the case. If you’ve decided that you are willing, then move forward.
What Does “Writing From the Heart” Mean?
We’ve established that being open with our feelings and emotions is the first step. That means that a song written from the heart can be one about Love, sadness, anger, inspiration, and any other state we find ourselves at the moment. It is being authentic in what you have to communicate.
Writing From the Head First
Before we can write a song from the heart we need to understand how to actually craft a song in the first place. That takes learning and practice. We first need to know in our head how a song is constructed before we can accomplish the task of pouring our heart into writing one effectively. Be sure to know what the function of each section of a song is, how rhyming schemes and patterns work, and how to take advantage of tools such as alliteration.
Don’t Be Too Specific
Unless the song that you are writing from the heart is meant only for a specific person to hear, you should state your message in a universal way. What I mean is, we all share the same emotions, share yours in a way that someone else can relate to. Don’t include details that wouldn’t make any sense to someone who wasn’t in the situation that caused you to write the song in the first place.
You need to set up the backstory. An example might be you writing in your song how you teared up when she walked through the door with a puppy in her arms. I might think that you are just so happy to get a dog.
What if they were actual tears of joy brought on because you knew she had been bitten by a dog as a child and had refused to be around a dog ever since? She knows that you’ve always wanted a dog and her love for you finally outweighed her fear. Without that knowledge the listener is not totally clued in, right? That’s something to consider when writing your song.
A key to a song coming across as written from the heart, apart from the lyrics and music, is the performance of it. If you are a singer/songwriter and can perform your own songs you have an advantage there. Since you’ve written the song from your own heart, you have intimate knowledge of the subject matter. As long as you’re not inhibited with your performance abilities and are able to be as open with it as you were in writing the song you should be successful.
If you’re not a performer and look to someone else for this task you need to find someone who believes in the song enough to be able to “sell it” for lack of a better term. You see actors portraying characters rather effectively in shows and movies. A good vocal performance should do the same thing, communicate the message of the song with emotion.
The number one ingredient in the creation of a song written from the heart, by far, is honesty. You have to be real to come across to the listener as real. I love hearing “from the heart” songs. Use these tips to create your own, I’d love to hear it someday. Now, go write!