Writing the Perfect Pop/RnB song
Old 28th January 2008
  #1
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Writing the Perfect Pop/RnB song

Hey GS, Im wondering how i do i wirte the perfect pop and rnb song, like i can write rap hooks, but whenever i got to write pop and rnb they suck any tips

For example i wanna write songs like this

---Katherine McPhee- Not Ur Girl
---Katherine McPhee- Open toes
---Trey Songs-Last Time
---Timbaland- Miscommunication (Keri Hilson Parts)
---Making The Band 4- I Want You Exclusive

just to name a few


or just listen to Raheem Devaughn new album "Love Behind The Melody"

I need tips
thanx in advance
Old 28th January 2008
  #2
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work on your singing.. it's far more difficult to write what you can't sing.. so the better u sing, the better u can write an amazing song.. and then convey how it should sound to the artist who will ultimately be performing it (otherwise, how do u get it out of your head/off the paper?)

that aside, just analyze/studio the stuff you like.. and also the stuff u don't like (it's great to learn "what not to do".. learning what "to do" gives people too narrow a vision.. u don't wanna be a style jacker.. be free with it and give yourself some more options than tryin to duplicate something that's already being done by one of the best, dig me?
Old 28th January 2008
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyflo View Post
Hey GS, Im wondering how i do i wirte the perfect pop and rnb song, like i can write rap hooks, but whenever i got to write pop and rnb they suck any tips

For example i wanna write songs like this

---Katherine McPhee- Not Ur Girl
---Katherine McPhee- Open toes
---Trey Songs-Last Time
---Timbaland- Miscommunication (Keri Hilson Parts)
---Making The Band 4- I Want You Exclusive

just to name a few


or just listen to Raheem Devaughn new album "Love Behind The Melody"

I need tips
thanx in advance
pretty interesting songs to reference as 'perfect RnB /Pop songs' no? Katherine Mcphee?
Old 28th January 2008
  #4
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.....ok Key flo, here's my two cents, i don't think u necessarily have to be able to sing to write a good song but you do have to be able to hear a melody in your head. Can you? If you can then find some way to notate or record it. Then you could get it to someone who can "voice it" for you, get a singer in to your studio. You are probably looking for a great hook or idea around which you can write your song. For me the best songs often are the result of something "real" a situation which happened to you or something you experienced or felt and then translated into a catchy hook.

Quote:
pretty interesting songs to reference as 'perfect RnB /Pop songs' no? Katherine Mcphee?
I think open toes is a great pop song song, no?

Anyway keyflo, good luck, practice makes perfect!
Old 28th January 2008
  #5
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by butterfly View Post
.....ok Key flo, here's my two cents, i don't think u necessarily have to be able to sing to write a good song but you do have to be able to hear a melody in your head. Can you? If you can then find some way to notate or record it. Then you could get it to someone who can "voice it" for you, get a singer in to your studio. You are probably looking for a great hook or idea around which you can write your song. For me the best songs often are the result of something "real" a situation which happened to you or something you experienced or felt and then translated into a catchy hook.


I think open toes is a great pop song song, no?

Anyway keyflo, good luck, practice makes perfect!
Yeah i can def do melodies in my head, thats how i come up with most of my rnb songs, but thanks i didnt think you had to sing to become a writer...but i will test your opinions,
Old 28th January 2008
  #6
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Usually when I write my songs, I play a beat and then write down whatever comes up in my head. It of course has to have a good rhytm on the beat! You can apply the text later, but at least you have something. So if you evaluate my post, I tell you the same as the earlier posters: You need to sing to be able to write great texts. It's all inside your head, just need to get it out.
Old 28th January 2008
  #7
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There is no secret. Just absorb as much of that kind of writing as you can and then write a ton of songs. Then in 4 or 5 years you might be close to where you want. Good luck.
Old 20th September 2009
  #8
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i guess to write a good rnb song depends on personal factors,u see everyone is different,an there music will defer,your life an life experiences can be used aswell as emotional factors such as,i dont know a relationship past or presents,love an pain are also good things to think of when writing,for me mood is major factor,i am a sort of sentimetal person so stuff like love or life experience of mines an friends are big factors also sometimes hearing a good instrumental can help but really it all comes down to the vibe for me if it aint there the song may not be that good,i ususally write the songs when i get a vybe which can come from any where,mainly a beat with the write mood does the trick try thinking of a topic an write them down or get some choruses
Old 20th September 2009
  #9
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a few "useful' Tips:

KEYWORDS
it all starts here get a few very catchy keywords and build around that. Something that people will remember and will allow them to call the radio stations and request the song easily.
Think in the lines of " Cyclone, Halo, Suga Suga, Umbrella, Battlefield, Paparazzi etc...
Very catchy words that will allow you to write a song with a concept. naming a song
" You are my true Love" is cool but it's not very original, it has been done dozens of times, nobody will remember such a generic title and it will also NOT help you writing something creative.

METAPHORES AND CULTURAL REFERENCES
yep, people still love Metaphores (especially in Rap/R&B and Pop), people also love when you compare or cite cultural references, something they can relate to or know about
a few examples from Urban records:

"your body is like a rollercoaster my favorite attraction"

"Mad Heels like Jessica P
I'm tryna give home girl sex
And the city-titty?

"I Only Talk To Models Yeah I Get My Seal On"

"My Flow Would Have To Plead Insanity
So sick I need greys anatomy"


Sorry I can't find better example from the top of my head

Make sure your hook is catchy, trying to fit too many words will make it too complex for people to remember. Listen to most songs out right now, very often the same word (usually the title) is repeated all over the hook and it's kept lyrically simple.
Create bridges, Pre Hooks etc.. make the song move. A song with a repetitive structure/arangment becomes boring after the second verse.
Hope this helps
Old 20th September 2009
  #10
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Synthy08's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyflo View Post
Yeah i can def do melodies in my head, thats how i come up with most of my rnb songs, but thanks i didnt think you had to sing to become a writer...but i will test your opinions,
Drawing from past experiences that your friends have also been through can help. Like you talking to your friends and their like "YEAAAA i been through that".......


This songs has REALLY been stuck in my head lately, Its also very relatable:

Old 20th September 2009
  #11
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voicegenius's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdjice View Post
a few "useful' Tips:

KEYWORDS
it all starts here get a few very catchy keywords and build around that. Something that people will remember and will allow them to call the radio stations and request the song easily.
Think in the lines of " Cyclone, Halo, Suga Suga, Umbrella, Battlefield, Paparazzi etc...
Very catchy words that will allow you to write a song with a concept. naming a song
" You are my true Love" is cool but it's not very original, it has been done dozens of times, nobody will remember such a generic title and it will also NOT help you writing something creative.

METAPHORES AND CULTURAL REFERENCES
yep, people still love Metaphores (especially in Rap/R&B and Pop), people also love when you compare or cite cultural references, something they can relate to or know about
a few examples from Urban records:

"your body is like a rollercoaster my favorite attraction"

"Mad Heels like Jessica P
I'm tryna give home girl sex
And the city-titty?

"I Only Talk To Models Yeah I Get My Seal On"

"My Flow Would Have To Plead Insanity
So sick I need greys anatomy"


Sorry I can't find better example from the top of my head

Make sure your hook is catchy, trying to fit too many words will make it too complex for people to remember. Listen to most songs out right now, very often the same word (usually the title) is repeated all over the hook and it's kept lyrically simple.
Create bridges, Pre Hooks etc.. make the song move. A song with a repetitive structure/arangment becomes boring after the second verse.
Hope this helps
TWO BIG thumbsupthumbsup!
Old 20th September 2009
  #12
I wish I could give you tips, but I find that writing a great song is about experience, trial and error, practice, writing (1000+ songs written), learning how the pros do it by studying successful songs and analyzing the songwriting, and just plain luck too.
Old 20th September 2009
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenlotus View Post
There is no secret. Just absorb as much of that kind of writing as you can and then write a ton of songs.
IMO, it's better to write 10 and then REWRITE them again and again, until you love them.

If you write 'a ton', you'll develope a habit of running away each time you reach your present limits. Stay with the song. Kick it around till it's awesome!
Old 21st September 2009
  #14
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VT-MHE's Avatar
Keyflo... What chris (lago) said was accurate... It takes a lot of experience to write these type of songs correctly. It will take a lot of studying and work for you to really perfect it and get it right, this does not in any way come overnight. You need to learn a lot of things about music because in a rnb or pop song the anatamy is way different than a rap hook. Your first thing you need to do it STUDY!!!!!!!!! You need to understand and know certains aspects like the back of your hand. Melody, song structure, and when and where to use it most and how to use it best. These are things that only come with experience. Your ear has to be developed to hear this. I highly recommend buying and listening to work by these specific songwriters.. Neyo, the dream, and sean garrett. These guys are duking it out for the best. Very very very powerful melodies.. And amazing structure.. And of course lyrics... Study r.kelly for actually every thing as he has perfected every element I have described... The dream learned a lot and got a lot of his chops from r. Kelly. But listen to his song structure... It is always obscure... And unique. And this also varies if its for radio or not... with Radio you must keep it at no longer than 3:43. All of them also have been on songs with hits from there hook writing. Dream. Put it in tha bag, neyo you make me better, sean garrett wit mario the break up. Also t-pains melodies are very very creative... And at times his song structure.... The structure is what gives the song its feel. And you need to write with people that are better than you and if you can get around professional songwriters that will help and speed up your process.. (I hope) you will hear and see how their minds work while forming the songs, and how they approach the melody. When your with a pro you will see how they do it because they know what the people are looking for and what they want to hear and how to please the labels at the same time. And soon so will you. Remember. Study!!!!! I've been writing since I was 13. God bless.

Last edited by VT-MHE; 21st September 2009 at 06:40 AM.. Reason: left a word out
Old 21st September 2009
  #15
I've said it many times, but I also suggest that you read some songwriting books to understand key concepts.

My favorite book in mind is:

Amazon.com: The Billboard Guide to Writing and Producing Songs that Sell: How to Create Hits in Today's Music Industry (9780823099542): Eric Beall: Books

When I feel lost about the music industry in general, I re-read this book and it makes me understand all the things that have to be done to write a hit song.

I have others but this one is the first one I can think of, as it is right in front of me, next to my midi controller.

I really don't think I've ever written a hit song... Yet! Or else I'd probably have a couple of top 10 hits, which I don't yet.
Old 23rd September 2009
  #16
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Quote:
work on your singing.. it's far more difficult to write what you can't sing.. so the better u sing, the better u can write an amazing song..
Don't need to sing to be a song writer/composer! Look at David Foster. I'm sure he has had more than enough input on melodies (read...SONGS) in his lifetime!

Mick
Old 23rd September 2009
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSR74 View Post
Don't need to sing to be a song writer/composer! Look at David Foster. I'm sure he has had more than enough input on melodies (read...SONGS) in his lifetime!

Mick
If you're not working with a singer (ie, working alone) the better you can sing, the easier certain aspects of songwriting will be.

Especially in a format like urban pop and modern r&b, where performance is a huge aspect...

You cannot put a song by The-Dream down on paper easily along side the piano notation.. however, you can easily do this with many hits by say, The Beatles, and have it interpreted by a singer/musician easily. Dream's song would surely be lost as lyrics w/ chord notation. You better be able to sing a demo.
Old 24th September 2009
  #18
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It is definitely hard to write a song when you don't know the singers voice - or the other musicians for that matter.

A good song is not that difficult to write when you get a feel for it. I've watched PSM turn out good songs during sessions without writing down a lick of music or a word of lyric. Great songs are a little harder, because they require some kind of inspiration. And there is simply no formula for that piece.

I would say, write a song a day - the worse the song, the better. Be formulaic, cliche, predictable. Eventually you'll stop, but the point is just to familiarize yourself with foundational tools. This way, when you do get inspired you can write the inspiration - and not the format, and the melody, and the theme, and all the other things that ultimately aren't the magic of the song.

Or, hire PSM to do it.
Old 24th September 2009
  #19
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