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How to Write a Love Song

» Introduction
Not sure what to do for Valentine's Day? Try writing your love a song!
» Step 1
One of the sweetest things that you can do for your love on Valentine's day (or for any other special occasion, for that matter) is to write them a song. Love songs have been used to woo prospective and current loves for about as long as humans have been creating music. But a certain amount of thought needs to go into any songwriting process if you want your love song to have its desired effect on the recipient. Specifically, when writing a love song it's helpful to apply a version of the KISSS method (and yes, the extra "S" is intentional): Keep it simple, short, and sincere.
» Step 2
Keep it Simple!

The vast majority of people respond positively to music that appeals to them on a very basic, instantly pleasurable level. A casual listen to any pop radio station will reveal this fact to you - the hits arenít the songs that have the most impressive playing or complex song structures, they're the songs that have the catchiest melodies and most easily accessible hooks and lyrics. So unless you're dating someone in a prog rock band (and if you are, maybe the songwriting idea isn't the best idea anyway), theyíre probably not going to notice or care too much about that wicked 11/8 time signature part that you wrote after watching a four-hour Rush DVD. Rather, whatís likely going to appeal to them are simple, memorable melodies and basic, common chord structures. Remember - the focus of any good love song should remain on the lyrics, so itís best not to do too much with your accompaniment thatís going to detract your love's attention from the words that you've written.
» Step 3
Keep it short!

Okay, so that time you saw The Grateful Dead at Buckeye and they played Terrapin Station for six straight hours might have been the most amazing thing you've ever witnessed. But that doesnít mean that you should in any way try to emulate this transcendent moment when writing a song for your love. In fact, it's probably best to keep your song under about three minutes long if you can manage it, and definitely not longer than four. You know that feeling that you get when people are singing the Happy Birthday Song to you, and about halfway through you start feeling kind of awkward and unsure as to what you should be doing? Well with a love song you've got a bit more time to work with, as the song will be new to your recipient and he/she will (hopefully) be pretty excited that youíre singing it for them. But if you start to run too long, that same kind of awkward feeling might start to creep into them as they wonder, "How much longer is this going to go on?" Thereís nothing worse than pouring your heart out in song and looking up after about the thirteenth verse to find that your love is wading through time as if it were molasses. So try to keep your focus on quality, not quantity: Whittle down your lyrics into a good three or four verses, and keep your song at three minutes or less.
» Step 4
Keep it sincere!

As with any expression of love, the most important aspect of a love song is that it reflects what you truly feel about your love, and comes directly from your heart. So take some time on your lyrics. Don't just write something because you heard that Tom Brady said it to Gisele one time and it seemed to work pretty well on her. Set aside some time alone to really bring out what you truly feel about your love. Surround yourself with mementos of your relationship - photos, letters, emails, anything that reminds you of your relationship together. And then try to get to the heart of the reason that you love this person. What is it about them that makes him/her special in your eyes? Are there any special moments that you've shared together that just kind of sum up why you love them? If you can nail down the right mix of flattery and references to little secrets that you and your love share, your lyrics have a chance to really have quite an effect on them.
» Step 5
If you want to truly do something memorable for your love on Valentine's Day, writing a song for them is an excellent way to go. Just keep the above tips in mind, be sure to give yourself ample time to pull everything together, and you should do fine. And if it all backfires and your love thinks the whole idea of you writing a song for them was stupid and totally lame, well then they're probably just a big jerk anyhow and not worth your time. Good luck!

Grady Mutzel has been a practicing musician for most of his life. He has written a number of love songs, ranging from the reasonably appealing to the truly embarrassing. He graduated From Fredonia State University, with a bachelorís degree in philosophy for some reason, in 2000.

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