How To Write A Country Song
So you want to know how to write a country song? Well it's time to plant on that cowboy hat, pull up those cowboy boots and strap on that acoustic guitar because I'm about to show you some simple steps to writing your very own country song!
There are certain characteristics that are typical of a standard country song and you should keep these in mind when learning how to write a country song.
- Simple Chord Progression Country music doesn't use complicated chord progressions or alternative chords so just keep it simple.
- Strong Story Line Country music is all about story telling so make sure you have a good story to tell.
- Simple & Memorable Chorus This supports the story line and is one of the main reasons so many people find it easy to remember and sing a good country song.
- Identifiable instrumentation Guitars, banjos, fiddles, pedal steel guitars and harmonicas are instruments that give country music it's unique and instantly identifiable sound.
If you keep these points in mind and implement them in your own songwriting you will have a country song that sounds like Willie Nelson wrote it himself. Now let's learn how to write a country song.
10 Steps To Writing A Country Song
- Pick A Song Theme - Country music is closely related to folk music in that its tradition lies in story-telling. To write a good country song you have to tell a story of some kind.
So your first step in writing a country song is deciding what story you're going to tell.
Listen to "Johnny Cash - Highway Man" for an example.
- Create A Simple Chord Progression - Guitar is the instrument of choice for country music so first of all you might want to come up with some chord patterns. A favorite is G, D, A.
- Write The First Verse - Once you have the idea for your story and a simple chord progression, it's time start putting it all together. The first verse could talk about the initial problem i.e. your wife left you and how its made you feel.
- Write The Chorus - The chorus could build upon why its made you feel that way. i.e. she broke my heart and ill never love again
- Continue The Story - The next verse could talk about how you met. Maybe you met at school or in a bar, be as descriptive as possible.
- Follow this verse by repeating the chorus.
- Add some dynamics to the next verse to keep the listener interested maybe let the chords ring so instead of playing all four beats in the bar just play one to change chord.
- Maybe you could sing about why she's left and in true country fashion how she's now with another man.
- Try adding extra instruments. Country music often features bass guitar, organs, harmonica and even fiddles.
- Country music fans know what they like. So to make sure your song is a country hit stick to these rules! There it is, you know how to write a country song.