Part 2 of The Songwriting Formula – The Title
Songwriters regularly underestimate the power of a song title. Many think that a title is just a way of identifying a song and marketing it. However, this is simply not true and coming up with a title is a crucial part of the songwriting process. In this article, we’ll talk about why a title is important and look at a case study on an effective use of a title.
This article is a summarised transcript of part two of our video “The Simple Songwriting Formula that Changed Everything for Me”. Click here to watch the video for more details, explanations and examples.
Why Is a Title Important?
By providing a song with a title, you also provide the song with an anchor – otherwise commonly known as a hook. This allows us to say that our song is about a specific idea, and we’re going to talk about this idea in a specific way.
If you compare your idea to a house, then having a title is like putting a door onto the house. Thus, limiting the number of ways you could get inside the house.
When you pick a title, you also provide a target for all of your lyrics. In this manner, every line of lyric in the song has a destination in mind. This sense of direction 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:
Case Study: “First Times” by Ed Sheeran
This concept of this song is all about Ed Sheeran writing a love song for his partner, in which he’s celebrating all of the small and intimate daily first times that he gets with them. It’s also about how these little moments are more significant to him than the epic, grandiose first times of being a world famous performer.
If we take a look at the lyrics, we can see how every line is aimed towards forging a direct path to the target idea i.e. first times. In the first line of the song he describes the experience of playing Wembley Stadium for the first time. This provides contrast to the real first times he’s talking about, which are all the first times that he shares with the love of his life.
Titles and Momentum
When you come up with a title, you then have a destination in mind. So, your lyrics will be able to have direction from the beginning of the song. However, it’s important to remember that you’re not contractually bound to keep the title that you came up with from the start. Titles are allowed to evolve over time and often do so.
Direction puts you in motion, which then breeds momentum. It’s that momentum that will often set you on the path to discovering new and better ideas.
Conclusion: Part 2 of The Songwriting Formula – The Title
It’s important that we as songwriters don’t overlook the importance of a title. By taking the time to properly think about our song titles, we can come up with directions and ideas that we would have never thought of before. This will then set us on the path to coming up with new and better ideas.
Turn your inspiration into beautiful songs with step-by-step guidance through two professional songwriting methods. By the end of this course, not only will your tool belt be stocked; you’ll have a plan and a method for finishing your songs – all of them: