How To Write A Great Song: One Message

Have you ever listened to someone speak, or had someone play one of their songs for you, and left the experience feeling like the message was all over the place?

I have!

And I’ve usually walked away either feeling confused or thinking, “If they would have stuck to this or that particular point, then it would have been great!”

Think back to some of your favorite songs and see if you can put the message of that song into one phrase or sentence.

Now think back to the last several you’ve written and see if you can do the same thing.

Each song that you write should be proclaiming its own consistent message from start to finish. If you’re writing a song and it has multiple ideas or messages being expressed, then you should probably take a step back and ask yourself, “What message do I want to convey?”

You may want to narrow that message down even more.

For example, I could decide I want to write a song about the blood of Jesus. There is so much content that can be covered about the blood! It’s a broad subject and I would need to narrow this idea down to one clear, concise message. So, a song a recently co-wrote with a friend is called I Plead the Blood and the message is when Satan or self-doubt tries to remind me of all my sins and failings, I can plead the blood of Jesus and those accusations will mean nothing because Calvary bought my freedom and paid my debt.

Narrowing the idea gives you a much clearer message to proclaim.

Once you’ve decided what your message is, don’t let yourself get off track! Even if you come up with a great lyric, if it doesn’t support your one message put it aside. You can always use it in another song!

A great song will leave the listeners with a clear message and allow them connect to an idea from the first lyric to the last.



Go back through the songs that you’ve already written and see if there is one, clear message in each of them. If not, think of some ways you could narrow the idea and proclaim one message in the song.

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  • Reply Karen November 7, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Awesome advice Brittanni! Ronnie Hinson once told me…”you are an artist without a brush.” We only have 2 to 3 minutes to paint a picture in the mind of the listener that makes them want to listen / see it again and again.

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