How to Write a Love Song

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Last updatedLast updated: June 03, 2021
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Most of us love a good love song. Endless Love by Diana Ross & Lionel Richie stayed at the top of the charts for seven weeks, while Rihanna’s We Found Love was number one for ten weeks. A great love song can convey fantastic emotion and connect us to our nearest and dearest.

However, if you really want to impress, writing a love song can show your loved one just how much they mean to you. Of course, this is a little more challenging than simply downloading a tune. If you want to know how to write a love song, you need to be prepared to do some serious thinking about your feelings and your musical talents.

So, here we’ll delve into how to write a good love song, so you can impress your loved one on any occasion.

Forms of a love song

Of course, there is more than just one type of love song. There are actually multiple types of love songs that each express a different sentiment and evoke different feelings. The type of love song will impact the lyrics and overall melody of the song, so it is important to understand which type of song you want to create before you begin writing. There are three basic forms of love song that include:

The compliment

This is the why I love you type of love song. If you’re just starting out learning piano, you may prefer this type of song. It praises the appeal, kindness and beauty of your subject. You can write lyrics based on all the qualities of your loved one.

Whether you praise their physical beauty or inner beauty, you can get specific. What do you love about their smile, their eyes or simply the way they walk into a room. Every person has unique qualities and you need to paint a picture that will allow your listener to visualize them.

A great example of this is In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel. This song has exquisite lyrics that describe the eyes as having a doorway to a thousand churches and a light and heat that he wants to touch.

The plea

This is a superb type of love song for those who are considering the best guitar to play the blues. It is essentially a song that is pleading for feelings to be reciprocated. There is nothing more vulnerable than putting your heart on your sleeve without any assurance that the person loves you back.

This type of song allows you to say the things to your crush that may struggle to say face to face. If you were wondering how to write a love song for your crush, this could be the right type of song for you.

A good example of a plea love song is Wonderful World by Sam Cooke. This song describes all the things he doesn’t know before a confirmation that he loves you and if you loved him back, it would be a wonderful world.

While this may seem like a playful song, it actually is quite deep. It touches on the feeling that if you find the right person who loves you back, the whole world feels different.

The celebration

This is the happiest form of love song, as it celebrates the happiness you feel when someone loves you back. This type of song explores the relationship, bond and connection of love.

The celebration love song is one of the most flexible and can be composed with a variety of instruments including different types of guitar in mind.

You will need to explore how it actually feels to be in love, the images, colors and feelings that come to mind. However, it can be tricky to convey this into words. You may end up with some cliches, but with dedication, you can create authentic lyrics that will be the center of your love song. Think Etta James’ At Last.

How to write the lyrics

How to Write a Love Song

Once you have your headphones on and have listened to some inspiring love songs, it is time to sit down and write your lyrics. Most love songs follow a similar pattern of two or three verses, a couple of choruses and a bridge.

So, start with this structure for your basic love song.

  • Verse Once
  • Chorus
  • Verse Two
  • Chorus
  • Bridge
  • Verse Three
  • Chorus

Leave space between your headings, so you can write your lyrics. Generally, choruses are four to six lines, while verses are often a little longer. A bridge is typically a couple of lines.

It is usually easier if you work on your chorus first. This is the most repeated section of the song, so you want it to be catchy and easy to sing. Many people prefer to think of a title for their love song first and then work it into the chorus, but you can work in reverse if you prefer. This will allow you to write your chorus and then decide on your title later.

When figuring out how to write a love song lyrics, think back to poetry and try to use metaphors or similes to create appropriate imagery.

Once you have your chorus, think about your verses. These will tell the story of your song, so try using alternating rhymes to explore your feelings. Each verse should have a focus, so try not to repeat yourself.

Finally, you need to work on your bridge. This allows the listener to enjoy a break from the chorus and verse pattern of your song. You can still continue your theme, but use the bridge to touch on a new aspect or change up the pace.

What about the melody?

Now you have your lyrics, tune up your guitar and work on the melody of your love song. You’ll need to choose a set of four or more chords for your love song. These should be in a major key to maintain a happy sound. During each section of the song, you’ll need to play the four chords in a different pattern.

You can add interest to your song by playing extra notes over your chords. If you want to add extra melodies and pitches to your instrumental, try different notes in a key you’re already using, but in a different rhythm. Experiment with different patterns of notes to see which fit best with your song and how they sound with the chords.

Once you have your notes, you can use the chord notes for the vocal melody. Match the tone of your voice to the instrument notes, but don’t be afraid to change your voice pitch, as you don’t want your love song to sound monotonous.

If you’re looking at how to write a love song for your boyfriend or girlfriend, you want to keep the song sounding romantic, so choose different rhythms for your vocals. Maintaining the same vocal pattern for the whole song may sound a little boring. So, try holding syllables for shorter and longer periods.

Don’t be afraid to write multiple versions of your melody. You can play through and sing them to see how each different one sounds and which one best suits your lyrics and the theme of your song.

What Instrument to Use?

How to Write a Love Song

There have been beautiful love songs created using guitars, pianos and other types of instruments. So, there is fantastic flexibility and you can choose an instrument that you are comfortable with.

Many composers find using a piano an easier way to create a love song, but if you are a confident guitar player, you are likely to prefer to use your trusty guitar to compose your song.

If you want to be able to recreate your song, you should also be familiar with reading and writing music. This will allow you to play around with chords and keys.

As we touched on above, creating a melody can require a lot of experimentation, so it is a good idea to use an instrument that you are familiar with or call in help from a musically gifted friend. This will allow you to concentrate on composing your song rather than trying to learn how to make notes on your instrument.

The Ideal Length of a Love Song

Of course, if your mind is filled with romantic imagery, you may be tempted to allow your song to become a full sonate. However, the ideal length of a love song is three to five minutes. Historically, the most popular songs were in this length range. This was because a 45 record only held three minutes of audio. While we don’t typically use 45 or 78 records any more, this length seems to have stuck.

When you listen to popular love songs from the contemporary era, you are likely to find that these songs are rarely over three to five minutes. This length provides sufficient time to include three choruses, three verses and a bridge.

Perhaps this is also because it is an optimum length to hold the listeners attention.  You want to keep your listener engaged to the lyrics of your song. This means that you don’t want it to run for too long or you risk losing attention. So unless you feel confident that you can produce a Meatloaf’s Anything for Love, which is 7 minutes and 48 seconds, it is a good idea to stick to the three to five minute length.

Song editing

While it is possible to write a love song and perform it on an acoustic instrument, if you want to polish the song, you will need to edit it. There are many types of recording software including free versions. For example, Garageband for Mac or Audacity are free programs that will allow you to record your song.

Software allows you to edit your song, add effects and give it a pro finish.

You’ll need to set up a microphone, so you can play your song into your computer. You should record your instrumentals first before recording your vocals. Don’t be tempted to record both the vocals and instruments at the same time, as it will be difficult to make adjustments. After you have all the tracks of your song recorded, you can adjust the various volumes to create a good mix.

Once you have finished your song, you can even export it as an audio file to send to your sweetheart or share it online. There are plenty of platforms that allow you to share your music to get some critique or even develop a following.

Final thoughts

If you enjoy music and want to express yourself to your loved one or the world, learning how to write a love song will be an invaluable skill. While it can take practice and you will need to be confident about your music skills, once you start composing songs, you are likely to find that you get a taste for engaging your loved ones with your lyrics and melodies.

Once you become familiar with the basic pattern of writing a love song, you can experiment and may be able to get really creative. There are some epic love songs in the world that break the rules yet pull on the heartstrings. So you never know, you may find that you have a unique talent that will not only win over your true love, but impress your family, friends and social network.

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