Country music is one of the most famous genre of music in the 21st century. Singers like Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert and husband Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift are some of the best country singers today. Country music unlike other genres are more meaningful and subtle. They usually don’t contain profane languages or words. They are very wholesome and highly relatable among many groups of people.
Country music is short for “country and western” and has existed since the late 1920’s. Its origin can be traced in the Southern United States, more specifically in Tennessee. Most country music is mainly composed of ballads and dance tunes. It has very simple melodies and harmonies and is very pleasant to the ears. The term country music became popular in the 1940’s, it replaced the term hillbilly music.
What is country music and how is country classified?
Writing a country song is easier compared to writing other genres. It is very traditional and simple which is an attractive option for a lot of beginners. When writing a song, it is important never to write a song as it is — as if you are spoon feeding the meaning to the listener. You have to maintain a sense of mystery by using words and lines that are general and never specific in nature. For instance, if you’re going to write about the loss of a loved one, you have to write in a more general perspective. Most likely you’ll write about pain, sorrow and how difficult it is to live without that person.
When writing country songs, this rule may not be followed. Because of its utmost simplicity, country music can be written in the most common messages and in plain language. Many songwriters write country music like they’re relating it to a friend. If you talk about heartbreaks, they write is like they’re talking about it. If you aspire to write a country song, you need to know the two basic categories of a country music.
- Traditional country — is mainly composed of hillbilly, traditional country, western and blue grass music
- Pop country — otherwise known as new country, pop country is a more modern form of country music. It combines the elements of pop rock and the traditional style of country music.
If you’re the easy breezy, free-spirited type of person and you breathe traditional country, writing country songs is undoubtedly for you. You don’t really have to come from a country to be able to write country music.
How to write a country song
Now that you already know a little background of country music, it’s time to learn how to write country songs. Here are some essential tips that you can use on how to write a country song.
1 Listen to a lot of country music before you start writing.
If you’re still starting to write songs, it is best to listen to a lot of songs related to your genre. Since you are planning to write country music, you can try searching for famous country artists and listen to their songs. Listen and observe so that you will be able to feel what country music really is all about.
2 Always remember that country music is honest.
Try to observe some country music song lyrics, the lines are very honest and straightforward. The words are so authentic, powerful and sincere; country music stir people’s emotions and inner desires. If you really want to be a country music songwriter, then you have to write genuine events in your life, or be very sincere with your white lies.
3 List common country song themes.
Classic country song lyrics are mainly about living in the country in itself. How peaceful and happy country life is and all that. However, country music themes are not only limited to this at present. Today, you can hear a lot of country song lyrics about life, country love song lyrics and a lot more. Other common themes in in most country music include sorrow, friendship, betrayal, romantic failure and the south or the west.
4 Start writing your lyrics and follow a simple structure in doing so.
Never complicate things. Since you’re still a beginner, follow the simplest structure in most country tracks. This is the verse-verse-chorus-verse. This is shorter than the usual structure but it will help you a great deal. If you think you can add more verses or even a bridge then you may do so. But if you’re still having a difficult time, you can stick with the basics first.
5 Make sure to create a hook.
A hook is the signature phrase in the majority of country music. The hook is a phrase which can be seen in the early parts of the songs, usually in the chorus. It can also be repeated in any part of a country song. The hook should be easy to remember and have a catchy melody along with it.
6 Create simple chord progressions and sing the lyrics together with the created chords.
Most country tracks are played along with a guitar. However, if you don’t know how to play an instrument, or if you have no musical background, you can find someone who does and collaborate with them. It’s difficult to write a song if you don’t play music along with it.
Once done with the lyrics, review your song and see if it fits the category of country and western. Make revisions and improvements. Improve and improve some more.