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How To Write A Love Song When You Have No Talent

by Shane Mehling
music & audio

Maybe you don’t have any money for a Valentine’s present or painting supplies but you’d still like to give that special someone something special. So how about writing them a song? Even if you don’t have an American Idol singing voice, it’s much, much easier than it sounds:

Step 1: Make it Short
You are going to overwhelm yourself right off the bat if you think you’re creating the next “Bohemian Rhapsody.” This song is going to be simple. Terribly simple. You should aim for about a minute. So don’t turn on the radio and think you’ll be imitating the newest pop hit. The most important elements of this are literally “short” and “sweet.”

Step 2: Pick an Instrument
What do you have at your disposal? Don’t worry too much about how well you can play yet; if you can only download keyboard app on your iPhone, then that will have to do. Don’t let that stop you from putting something together. This is not going on your greatest hits album and you’re just looking for something that can make a melody.

Step 3: Write a Melody
This may be where you decide to check out, but this is really not difficult at all. If you can play a few guitar or keyboard chords then you already know how easy it is to put together 2-3 of them and make something that sounds pretty good. And if you don’t know the first thing about playing a chord, then just play some notes. There are only 8 of them so odds are that sooner than later you will stumble on something catchy. You don’t need a verse and a chorus. Let’s not get crazy. Just find a simple progression that you like and can sing to.

Step 4: Add Lyrics
One more time, remember: You are not writing an Elliott Smith song. These should be simple and cute. You don’t need to sing about how you two are the greatest lovers that have existed for a millennia. Just say some funny and endearing things that pretty much rhyme. Don’t stress about this. The music will make it come off much better than just some bad poetry.

Step 5: Practice
A few flubs during your performance will be endearing but you should still make sure you can get through it pretty okay. Just play it a few times every day before it’s time. If you find yourself tripping over the same thing over and over again, just change that. This is your song and you can do whatever you want with it.

Step 6: Prepare for Them to Love it
Maybe there’s someone out there who wouldn’t adore a song that was written for them, but we don’t know any. The total time it will take you to write, practice and play this won’t be more than about an hour or two total, but it will be remembered for a long time.

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Shane Mehling

Shane Mehling is a freelance writer and editor who plays in noiserock bands.