How to compose your song

How to compose your song

Song Composition is the most important process to making high-quality music, but it's often overlooked by newer Rapchat users. Unless you are just freestyling, you'll want to be intentional with your song lyrics and structure—like a painter sketching outlines before painting a mural. Of course, you can use Rapchat to just record a verse or drop a few bars, but the guide below walks through an overview for creating a full-length song.

💡
One of the best things you can do before even starting to compose your song is to listen to the beat loop on repeat.

7 Steps for composing your song:

1. Start by listening to the beat a few times to get inspired and in the mood (click on the repeat button in the app).

2. If you don't already know what you want to rap/sing about, start by thinking about how the song makes you feel? Any topics, stories, emotions, or messages that come to your mind? Jot down some thoughts and ideas in the lyrics notepad.

3. Once you've got an idea of what kind if song you want to write you'll want to outline the song structure. Listen for the parts of the beat that are similar to the others. Often this will include an intro, verses, hook/chorus, and (sometimes) a bridge.

  • Intro/Outro: Open or closes out the song but isn't repeated
  • Verses: Usually 8-16 bars
  • Hooks/Chorus: Usually 8 bars and you'll hear the music take a shift
  • Bridge: Usually leading up to the last chorus

4. Jot down an outline of the structure in the notepad. Here are some examples of how that could look:

  • Intro, Verse 1, Chorus, Verse 2, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Outro
  • Verse 1, Chorus, Verse 2, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Chorus

5. Once you have the structure and topic for your song, it's time to start writing the lyrics. Start by writing the hook/chorus since this is going to be repeated (usually). This is typically around 8 bars and falls between verses.

💡
It's common for artists to start by humming or mumbling to fill in what they want the chorus/verses to sound before they write the lyrics

6. Next, it's time to write the verses. These should all help build the overall theme/message of the song. A typical verse has 16 or 8 bars depending on the length and place in the song (but can be any number). You can also try different rhyme schemes to deliver your verses (AABB, ABAB, ABBA, etc.) Here's an example of AABB from JAY-Z's Empire State of Mind:

Cruisin' down 8th St, off white Lexus
Drivin' so slow, but BK is from Texas
Me, I'm out that Bed-Stuy, home of that boy Biggie
Now I live on Billboard and I brought my boys with me

6. Last, if your beat has an intro, bridge (usually found after the second to last hook),  or outro you'll often use this to tie the whole song together. This is where you can add 4-8 simple bars that are memorable.

In the end, there are no strict rules to song structures—what's important is that you create a song with the sound and feel you are going after.


Contributors:

Systovis: Rapchat | Spotify | Instagram