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Posted on Feb 6, 2009 in Creativity, Songwriting

5 Elements of a great song – Chris from Canada

I just found a great article over on Chris’s page.

Here’s the link: http://www.chrisfromcanada.com/?p=1033

Here are some of the highlights from the article:

  • 12:37 Chris – 5 Elements of a Great Song – #1 Define Your Purpose
  • 12:38 Chris – ‘Songs that have universal appeal fall in to that trap. They have no specific purpose and no specific meaning.’
  • 12:40 Chris – Lots of worship songs are filled with phrases that have worked really well in other worship songs.
  • 12:40 Chris – ‘What is my purpose here? Is this how I would talk with someone I love? It this really how I talk or am I treating people like cattle?’
  • 12:43 Chris – Example of specific songs with specific purpose – Heart of Worship by Matt Redman, God of Justice by Tim Hughes.
  • 12:44 Chris – 5 Elements of a Great Song – #2 Eight Seconds
  • 12:44 Chris – ‘Whether it’s A&R or a congregation, you don’t have more than about eight seconds to get them engaged.’
  • 12:47 Chris – ‘Don’t bore us, get to the chorus.’
  • 12:49 Chris – 5 Elements of a Great Song – #3 Show and Tell
  • 12:49 Chris – ‘Communicate the image by telling them what it is.. but you also have to provide them with a picture, something they can see, something that they can put in context.’
  • 12:50 Chris – Don’t go overboard on the pictures – make sure part of the song also TELLS the meaning of the song.
  • 12:51 Chris – Examples of songs that show and tell – East to West by Casting Crowns, One by U2.
  • 12:53 Chris – 5 Elements of a Great Song – #4 Strong Lyric and Melodic Hook
  • 12:53 Chris – ‘If it’s not entertaining or captivating or interesting you’ve missed your point.’
  • 12:54 Chris – ‘We’re all free – create whatever you have to create. But if we want to be better communicators with our music we have to do things that are captivating and interesting.’
  • 12:55 Chris – ‘Lyrically, people just get lazy. Melodically, you’re just not daring enough.’
  • 12:58 Chris – Sound of Your Name by Above the Golden State, Crazy Beautiful by Chasen.
  • 13:00 Chris – Weave hooks through different sections of the songs.
  • 13:01 Chris – 5 Elements of a Great Song – #5 Critique and Re-Write
  • 13:01 Chris – ‘When you co-write, critiquing happens in real-time.’
  • 13:02 Chris – ‘I think it’s important that you let the song happen. Give the song an opportunity to be birthed.’
  • 13:04 Chris – ‘Don’t do critique and re-writing right away. It’s a creative thing and you need to give it time before you can come back to it with a little more objectivity.’
  • 13:04 Chris – Listening to the first two versions and then the final take of Great Things by Matt Maher.
  • 13:07 Chris – ‘A melody is good if you can remember it after going for a drive and spending the day at work.’