How many words should a song have???

 
       
 
Apr 17, 2005, 10:13 AM

Is 200 to 300 words good??
And is 400 or more words a bit too long???

 
     
VeS Joined Apr 17, 2005
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Apr 21, 2005, 11:54 AM

Well, I think it depends on the length of the song. If you are telling a long story, like in folk, it might be ok. but is would never be a sing along number.

 
     
gordon mccaffrey Joined Feb 14, 2005
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Apr 21, 2005, 01:31 PM

Number of words in a song? As many as needed to tell the story or communicate the messages.

Think economy…  you’re writing a song, not a book. Three verses max… but usually 2 verses with choruses and perhaps a bridge or instrumental section for a pop/country hit.

Some rap songs might have over 400 words… with lots of internal rhymes to help the flow and meter…

Study some of the songs your favorite artists have recorded. Look at the song structures, rhyme schemes, wordplay (alliteration, consonance, metaphors, similes, etc.), meter, and lines. See how tightly the lines form the story and offer new information to keep the story/song moving…

 
     
Bob Clay Joined Feb 05, 2005
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Apr 21, 2005, 02:33 PM

[color=hotpink]okay thanks[/coloer]

 
     
VeS Joined Apr 17, 2005
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Apr 21, 2005, 02:35 PM

oops messed up on the color…. oh well rofl

 
     
VeS Joined Apr 17, 2005
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Apr 21, 2005, 03:43 PM

unless of course your talking about “the end of the world” REM or “we didnt start the fire” Billy Joel…...

 
     
Gary Szymanski Joined Jan 08, 2005
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Apr 24, 2005, 10:15 PM

How many word can a song have?  Hmmmm?  That’s like asking how many licks does it take to get to the centeor of a Tootsie Pop.  In the pass there was basicly a rule of thumb, but then the Beatles showed up and changed a whole lot of stuff.  I think as long as your song keeps the listener engaged it really doesn’t matter.  Much of todays stuff is very commercial.  Every thing basiclly sounds the same.  There are however some artist that keep it real.  You’ll notice that they have the more lenthy songs.

 
     
David E. Diaz Joined Apr 07, 2005
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Apr 25, 2005, 03:08 AM

How About “Jamie Brockett” and “The Sinking of The Titanic”? Anyone remember FM underground radio? 13 minutes long, oh, how about The Moody Blues and"Nights in White Satin” Long Version?

 
     
Dyson Steel Joined Feb 06, 2005
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Apr 30, 2005, 10:43 PM

It depends…If you have a bunch of instrumental breaks or a very slow song you dont need nearly as many words as you would if you have a very fast song like rap lols or just a fast paced song…least in my opinion
xxx
caitlyn

 
     
Caitlyn Lennon 2 Joined Apr 27, 2005
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Sep 08, 2005, 07:54 PM

It should not matter as long as you are saying what you want and it woun’t put people to sleep WHO cares?

here is a VERY basic format

1st verse
chorus
2nd verse
chorus
(optional 3rd verse here then repeat the chorus)
bridge
chorus (2 times if you want)

Like I said very basic. Lots of songs have no real bridge
but sound AWESOME!

 
     
chapter bennett Joined Aug 23, 2005
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Sep 08, 2005, 07:54 PM

It should not matter as long as you are saying what you want and it woun’t put people to sleep WHO cares?

here is a VERY basic format

1st verse
chorus
2nd verse
chorus
(optional 3rd verse here then repeat the chorus)
bridge
chorus (2 times if you want)

Like I said very basic. Lots of songs have no real bridge
but sound AWESOME!

 
     
chapter bennett Joined Aug 23, 2005
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Sep 22, 2005, 10:18 AM

Hi VeS,

In my humble opinion there is no rule on how many words you can use in a song. I try to write what I think are commercial sounding country songs and I use a neat little trick which is as follows;

Make all your words descriptive. Imagine each line as a scene in the music video to your song. Use the least amount of words that you can get away with to creat the scene that lets your listener picture what’s going on in the song. Commercial songs generally last somewhere between the two and a half to three and a half minutes, so you don’t have a lot of time to tell your story.
So, how ever many words it’s taken you to complete the song as descriptively as you can in the commercial time scale, then that’s how many words it needs.

Hope this helps,

Later, Graham

 
     
Graham Rodgers Joined Feb 09, 2005
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Oct 08, 2005, 04:44 PM

No rules write what ya got in your heart. Just dont go inagodadavida freakin nuts ya know?

 
     
Kelly Reeves Joined Oct 08, 2005
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Oct 26, 2005, 11:19 PM

As many as it takes to make 2.5 to 3 minutes sound awesome.

 
     
Arizona Boulevard Joined Sep 11, 2005
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Oct 27, 2005, 01:12 PM

I can’t help but feel like you are trying to apply a science to an emotional, creative journey that is an entity unto itself.
I believe in the power of letting a song develope in it’s own time and format.
Lyrics and melody create themselves, entangled in each other, I have never applied science, or structure in the creative process, .....lol but then again, I have as of yet to sell a song. But I will.
Marlene.

 
     
Marlene Marie Eickmeier Joined Aug 23, 2005
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Oct 28, 2005, 01:03 AM

Most songs for radio are written for 3 to 3and half minutes. That includes intros, instrumentals ,and instrumental hooks.The best rule of thumb for writing a comerical {meaning one you get paid for} is the least amount of words that gives your message clearly. Also remeber that the words should convey the emotion of the song, that the music is trying to convey.Phrasing is more important than rhyme, but if its a song that you expect another artist to record remeber to make ithe words meter properly.

 
     
Michael West 2 Joined Apr 13, 2005
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