A key exercise to helping you grow in your songwriting is to evaluate the great ones. Where do you start? How do you evaluate a song? Here are a few questions that may help. I’m sure there are plenty of others, so see this as a start and add your own as they come to mind.
1. What song structure did the composer implement?
2. How many bars are in each song section (Verses, Chorus, Bridge)?
3. What is the meter for each line of the song?
4. Does the Chorus melody start out higher or lower than the Verses?
5. Does the melody contain a unique hook anywhere in the song? How many bars/syllables are in the hook?
6. How much melodic repetition was used, and where?
7. Are the melodic and rhythmic repetitions exact, or are the phrases similar?
8. Is the melody comprised of notes that are close to each other…2nds and 3rds, etc.? Are there pleasing, unexpected intervals in the melody?
9. Are there varied rhythms in the different sections of the song?
10. What is the range of the song?
11. Is this a melody you could envision millions of worshippers to wanting to sing?
1. Does the song have an interesting title? Is the idea fresh?
2. Does it have a universal theme? …something that most people can relate to?
3. Do the verse lyrics clearly lead to the title?
4. Is there one consistent verb tense throughout the song?
5. Are consistent pronouns used?
6. Do the opening lines of the different sections “grab” the listener and set an emotional tone?
7. Is there a consistent tone and style throughout the song?
8. Are detail, action, and fresh imagery used?
9. Is the lyric conversational, or hymn-like in style?
10. Are there any clichés…overused phrases?
11. Is there a lyrical hook?
12. Is the lyric redundant anywhere?
13. Does the second Verse add new information?
14. Does the Bridge (if applicable) add a new angle to the song?
15. Does each line logically flow into the following line?
16. What is the rhyme scheme of the lyric?
17. When reading the lyric, does it’s emotional tone match it’s melodic tone?
18. Are the words properly placed in the melody so as to preserve the proper stresses of the word? Prosody…
19. Does the lyric, apart from the music, inspire you to worship God?