Part 1 of The Songwriting Formula – The Concept

Part 1 of The Songwriting Formula – The Concept

A common complaint that many songwriters have is that they’re unable to finish their songs. You can easily avoid this by ensuring that you have a clear concept before trying to develop your song idea. In this article, we’ll talk about how having a concept is the first step in the songwriting process.

This article is a summarised transcript of part one of our video “The Simple Songwriting Formula that Changed Everything for Me”. Click here to watch the video for more details, explanations and examples.

What is a Concept?

In the case of songwriting, a concept refers to having a general idea of what you want to write. Famous songwriter Jimmy Webb provides a great example in his book “June Smith”, as follows:

“I want to write a song about someone who goes through acute mood swings from euphoria to emotional exhaustion. I love this person and want to address the song to him.”

A song concept can also just be an interesting angle of approach. For example, “I want to write a love song about a person I want to marry but I’m going to address the song to the person’s father who’s refusing to let me propose.

By establishing your concept, it will help you when you’re writing your song map later on in the last step of the process. 

In the meantime, click here to download a free PDF song map template that will help you finish every song you start:

A Song Concept Isn’t a Song Idea

It’s important to note that having a song concept is not the same as having a song idea. In order for a concept to be an idea, you require a title.

To follow up on the previous excerpt from Jimmy Webb’s book “June Smith”, the songwriter said the following:

“If, however, you add the following sentence: ‘I want to call the song Problem Child,’ then you have an ‘idea,’ even though the song may not end up being called ‘Problem Child’”.

Conclusion: Part 1 of The Songwriting Formula – The Concept

It’s important for us to establish our concept during the songwriting process. This allows us to have a solid base upon which to build our song. In addition, it also ensures that we don’t lack a sense of direction in our songwriting.

This is only the first of three parts of our songwriting formula. Check out the full article for all 3 parts or watch the video here now.

Level up your songwriting with five radically practical exercises used by professional songwriters around the world:

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