How to Write a Blues Song

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The blues is an American musical genre borne out of hard times and the essence of writing your own blues song lies within relating your feelings in song. The structure of blues music songwriting is basic but only works if you can convey those feelings to a listener.

  • Find your feelings. Many people think that blues music means sad music. Not true. The blues can be happy or sad, but it must have some heartfelt emotion at its core to which the listener can relate.

  • Express yourself. Now that you have an emotion, you need a line that will convey that feeling and since we are talking about the blues, you don't necessarily have to worry about being grammatically correct. A line such as "I Ain't Got Nobody To Stay At Home With Me" would be perfectly acceptable for blues music songwriting, even if it would make your grammar school English teacher cringe.

  • Repeat it. The essence of a blues song involves repeating the opening line. So, simply repeat that same line and you are halfway home.

  • Rhyme it! It's a song, so it should rhyme and that applies especially to blues music songwriting structure. Once you have your opening two lines come up with a third line that rhymes. For example you could have: "I ain't got nobody to stay at home with me," (repeat) being followed by a rhyming line, for example, "I feel lower than the bottom of the deepest sea."

  • Name that tune. Now you are ready to give your blues tune a title with the title serving as a good hook for the song. Something like "Bottom of the Sea Blues" would work in the example. Now that's a bluesy title.

  • Keep the beat. Blues follows a basic 12 bar musical format and uses key chords I, IV and V. Follow this basic formula and you have the makings of a blues tune.

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