HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN THE SONG IS DONE?
A song is not like a suitcase, you don’t have to try and stuff everything you have into it. So how do you know when the song is done?
A song can really suffer from having too many ideas or concepts in it. That can really confuse the listener. So an early check is to make sure the lyric makes sense and there are no massive jumps in the story that only make sense to you because you wrote it. Remember the listener does not have a pamphlet explaining the song. They only have what they hear!
It’s easy to continually dabble with a song, and never finish it.
“It ain’t final ‘til it’s vinyl” used to be the saying. Some people say, you never finish a song, you abandon it. We all like to tinker with our creations, and try to finesse them forever. Our fragile songs can feel like babies at first, and we are scared to let them out of our sight because someone might be mean about them.
Ask yourself some of these questions, and see if your baby of a song is actually now fully grown and can fend for itself and make a good impression on the world.
SPEAK the lyric out loud, don’t sing it, speak it:
Does that first line grab the listener?
Do you use any weird words or phrases that no one would ever say?
Do you sound like Yoda?
Does it flow naturally like a conversation?
Does it feel rushed or the words too compacted in?
Is it relatable? Will anyone care less about what I’ve said!
Am I showing or telling:
Is there enough detail to help the listener feel what I feel about the song topic?
Is it too clever, too many images that conflict?
Does it have some originality, or is it too cliche?
Does the story of the song make sense?
Is the intro interesting enough to grab the listener and make them stay until the first line?
Do I need a Pre-Chorus, OR is the one you have helping?
Does the first chorus come soon enough? If you need to have the first chorus later to make the story work, consider playing the melody of the chorus or have a snippet of the chorus right at the top of the song.
Can you go off humming the chorus melody after the first listen?
Does my Chorus have the highest point of the melody?
If I have a bridge, do I really need it?
Is the song a good length? About 3 minutes, never more than 4!
Most Critical Question:
Do I love it? Because if you don’t, no one else will!
Do you need some professional feedback on a song? These guys offer a lyric or production critique service that can pinpoint what needs to be improved in your song: