Top 30 Tips for Song Writing in Indian Languages

In India, songs are written mainly for movies and albums. Songs play an important role in the Indian films and it is very rare to see a film without a song. We have seen movies which succeeded only because of songs even if the story is not impressive.Every movie will have at least 4 songs and can go up to 8.The type of song may be romantic, comedy,philosophy, devotional etc. If you ask me “Do some one needs to be highly qualified and proficient in the language to write a song?”

I am not denying the fact that the writer should have a good knowledge in the language but the key is writing the song according to the latest trend using simple words instead of proving your proficiency in the language. You might have heard the popular Tamil song ‘Why this Kolaveri di’? It neither has the depth of the language nor has the extraordinary music but it became that much popular in almost all parts of India. It used simple words in Tamil and English which can be understood even by a small child. That was the key for success.

A typical film songs will have the following format : chorus, verse, bridge1(stanza), chorus, repeat verse, bridge2(stanza), chorus, repeat verse.

The verse or the introductory lyrics appears at the beginning of the song and is repeated after each bridge or stanza. Most of the songs will have two bridges. Verses are usually short and 2 to 4 lines long whereas the bridge (stanza) may vary from 8 to 10 lines  long. Chorus is usually a small music using instruments or humming words and it does not have any meaningful lyrics.

1. Write the song on your own and don’t copy the same words from other songs or poems which have appeared in magazines. Of course you can refer the poems for understanding the concept.

2. Know the catchy words used by having conversation with school and college students so that you can include them in your song.

3. Every language will have two forms: spoken and literal. Use spoken form of the language as it will be understood by the majority of the people.

4. Learn the local slangs of the language. For example, Hindi spoken in Mumbai and Delhi are not the same. If you are writing a song for a movie taken in Delhi, you can use the slang spoken in Delhi.

5. More than one word can be used to describe a thing. Use the word which is most commonly used.

6. Using at least one English word in the song is the latest trend. So use some words in your song to follow the trend.

7. Use more rhythmic (ending characters have same rhymes) words in your song.

8. List all the points you want to say in the song even it may seem silly to you and then choose the best among them.

9. Put double effort while writing on the verse as it is the key for success as people will only listen further if the first few lines get their attention.

10. Understand the main subject of the song fully.You can refer articles or stories related to the situation in books and magazines and note down the interesting phrases in that.

11. Before starting writing,imagine yourself in the situation of the song and how you would feel. Write down your feelings using various words and choose the best among them

12. Express the feelings using simple words so that it goes to the heart of the viewer instead of the mind.

13. If the song is used to describe about the hero or heroine, you can write it in the form of a story which will make it more interesting.

14. For Melody songs, use words which are pleasing to hear when pronounced.

15. For Love songs, use words that reflects the appearance, character, style etc of the pair involved in the movie.

16. Don’t throw anything if it did not satisfy you or the director. The theme of the song may be good even if the words are not perfect.

17. Don’t criticize any belief or caste or religion in your song using strong words.

18. For writing philosophical songs, you can refer our old epics and stories and take the theme from them.

19. Make use of humorous words or things in your song which will make people laugh or relax.

20. You can use the names of latest devices and trends in technology like Facebook, Google, iPad etc and relate it to your situation.

21. The song need not strictly follow a poetic style but you also write it like a conversation, puzzle, question & answer etc.

22. While writing song for a particular hero, you can use their titles or the popular phrases or dialogues in previous films.

23. For fast beat songs, use words that will sync well with the music beats.

24. If you read our old epics and poems, they have compared a women to various flowers,birds etc. You can take those ideas and use in your song.

25. For a given situation, listen to songs  written in the past to get an idea of how they have written and to make sure you are not using the same.

26. For sad songs, use strong words that express the personal feelings.

27. Read and collect all the short poems relating to the  category appearing in the newspapers and magazines so that  you can take points from them while writing a song.

28. Make sure that the arrangement of words in your song follow the correct order and is more meaningful.

29. Don’t set any fixed time and push yourself for writing the song as it will put more stress on you. Store about the situation of the song in your mind and think about it relaxedly and write it down whenever something comes to your mind.Sometimes good idea will come even if in your dreams.

30. You can get some ideas by having a casual chat about the topic with your friends or family without letting them knowing the real purpose.


About the author

Mani Karthik

Hi, Mani Karthik here. Having lived in USA, India & Middle East, and worked for big MNC's to startups, I have a lot to share with you. My aim is to help people, by sharing everything I've learned in life. This blog is read today, by more than 150K people world over! I currently live in LA, California and visit India occasionally. Here's my full story. Connect with me on FacebookInstagram, Twitter or WhatsApp (+001-408-489-4785). Happy to help! :)

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