Feel the Blues
For me blues is more than “just” music. So before writing a song you should live it, feel it, sense what you are about to create. And although blues songs are mostly sad, it’s not all about writing a depressing song. It’s about the calm smooth feeling that should overtake you when you are creating… It’s like you are getting drunk with sharing your feelings through your song.
First of all, there are no rules. That’s right, actual rules of a “true” blues song just do not exist. Sure there are things that songs have in common but in the end it’s all up to you. I can give you a short list of the things most songs share:
The most popular instruments are harmonicas, guitars and pianos.
A lot of songs have repeating shouts or question-answer lines.
Lyrics are mostly spiritual or relationship based.
Songs often have shuffle rhythm.
So How to Write a Blues Song?
Start with learning. Try listening to the songs that already exist. Or, if you have the opportunity, you may go and see someone playing live. Blues is all about emotions and you will see how people transfer their feelings to the audience through singing. Trust me: it will be quite handy. Plus it is always a good idea to listen to some good music.
How to write lyrics for songs? After you’ve experienced the “feel of blues” whether you were watching B.B. King live or just listening to some music on your I-Pod, you should choose what your song will be about. Create a story. It’ll be better if you have lived through it. It may be anything you want from a cheating wife to having a son born. As I wrote earlier, songs don’t have to be all about suffering. But it will be easier to start with a sad topic. Sadness is easier to transfer to others. It will be great if you write your song from the first person.
Then there’s music. If you can’t play any instrument, try tapping the rhythm. Or you can download tons of lessons from the Web. You can even make the recordings using your own computer or any other device you have. Songs have the right to sound rough because IT'S BLUES for God’s sake.
But then it’s perfect if you do play some instrument. Start with twelve bar blues. It’s the most common one and is quite easy to play. Twelve bar means twelve measures. It’s divided into four-bar fragments. It’s “The spine” of a good old fashioned blues song. Or you can improvise. Create something new. Remember that there are no rules. That’s the basics of “how to write a blues song”.
Make it Perfect
Practice your song. Sing it loud, sing it proud. Let some of your close friend listen to your new song and provide you with some feedback. Trust me, opinion of somebody that is listening to the song can really make it better. Then you practise more and you’ve got yourself a candy. That’s pretty much how to write a blues song. So enjoy, have fun and stay a cool cat.