Naming a song isn’t always easy. If you’re stuck, start here. This is your complete guide to selecting a song title that is memorable, unique, and meaningful.
There’s nothing as thrilling as when inspiration strikes and the perfect song gets written.
You know – when the beats and rhythm align just right with what you’re trying to say. Everything flows and the whole song comes together.
This doesn’t happen every time you write.
But when it does, it’s definitely a moment to enjoy.
Whether a song comes to you in such an intact manner or if it’s a project you’ve been working on for a while, the hard part comes when it’s time to name it.
Naming a song is just as important as writing the piece.
A song’s name is often the first impression it makes on your audience. Or, it’s what makes the message of the lyrics hit home.
As such, the name deserves your best effort. What if you’re stuck, though?
Here are 12 tricks you can use to name a song you’ve recently written.
1. Find the Right Lyric
Sometimes, the secret to naming a song is to go over it again and again.
The name might be right in front of your eyes!
Go through each line and verse. See if one sticks out to you more than the others. The right lyric could be hidden in the bridge or staring right at you from the chorus.
Either way, it’s somewhere in the song. You just have to find it.
2. Use a Cut Lyric
Maybe the right name for your new song didn’t make the cut as a lyric.
Did you scratch something out while writing?
Do you have your original ideas in another notebook or old napkin somewhere?
Walk yourself through the writing process of this song again. Think of that one rhyme or line you had that just wouldn’t work with everything else.
You may be surprised to find you were naming a song as you were writing it. The catch is you didn’t know that yet.
3. Summarize the Song
If finding the right name for a song was always in the lyrics, or cut lyrics, it wouldn’t be causing writer’s block.
Sometimes, you have to dig deeper.
Start by listening to the song again, but this time, focusing on the message. Don’t try to pick apart every line, and don’t focus on one thing. Let your mind wander as the lyrics and beats flow.
This might help you see the meaning of the song in a new light. Such a shift in perspective can get you one step closer to determining the right name.
4. Share Part of the Song’s Story
Summarizing your new song doesn’t have to be about what it means.
It could be about using the name as a way to tell the story behind the writing.
Did your inspiration strike while you were traveling somewhere? Did you do something out of your element to write this time?
Share that with your audience.
This song’s name could be the location in which you wrote it. It could be as unique as your flight number if you were traveling or the coffee shop you were sitting in brainstorming.
Such a small detail is often more important than you think. It makes the name interesting and even more meaningful. Not to mention, devoted fans will appreciate the insight into your writing process.
5. Set the Date
Sharing your songwriting process doesn’t mean giving your secrets away.
Sometimes, songs come to you in very personal situations. You may not want to share where you were when the song came to you or your go-to place for writing.
But the name of a song could be the date it was written or the final cut was made.
This sums it up and shares an interesting fact without being too open.
Other important dates that tie into the song could be used to name it, too.
Maybe the song is about someone you lost or fell in love with. Use the date that person left or came into your life.
Maybe the song talks about a transformative moment in your life.
Do you remember the exact date it happened?
Use this point in time as an option when going through possible names.
You can use a date as all numbers, or a mix of numbers and names for weekdays and months. This adds a bit more creative opportunity to the process.
6. Number It
While playing with the numbers of dates, you might think of other numbers that relate to the song.
Maybe you just want to use the year the song is about. This is an interesting take on the past or the future.
Numbers can stand for much more, though.
If a song is about you and your siblings or best friends, try using the number of how many people you all are. If it’s about how many times you’ve done something or tried something or wanted something – use that.
Is the song something many people can relate to?
Consider the number of a statistic or hotline.
This could be your platform to share the message you’re trying to say. When people ask about the reason behind the digits, you can hit them with something more meaningful than they might expect.
7. Stand for Something
Speaking of the message you’ve created and the insight you want to share, don’t be afraid to be more direct than a number.
Think about what you’re really trying to say, then make the connection between the lyrics and the title.
Remember, it’s all about making people feel something.
This could be a sense of joy, love, or peacefulness. Or, it might be to stir a feeling that can’t be ignored – one that needs to be acted on.
There is much going on in the world today that needs our attention and efforts. If your song is about any kind of social justice or personal growth, it deserves a name that takes a clear stance.
This turns naming a song into much more than finishing a track.
It makes the name a call to action.
8. Try Describing with Adjectives or Synonyms
Another way to approach songwriting is to use something similar to the message or lyrics, but still unique.
Try talking about the song to someone else.
Make note of the words and phrases you use to describe it. This could be in terms of the message, or how it feels, or just how good it sounds.
Then, see if any of the details you used can end up in the title.
Consider what sparked the inspiration for your new song as well and talk about what that felt like.
Also, look for synonyms of the descriptive words you’re using to get an even wider variety of ideas for naming a song.
9. Find a Cool Translation
Are the words that come to mind just not cutting it?
Do you still want something that pushes the limits even further?
Try going somewhere outside your comfort zone: Use a different language.
Some words look or sound funny after writing and saying them too many times. Others just don’t flow as well with certain things.
But such phrases could sound better than you’d expect in another language.
Foreign words can go back to the inspiration and message you’re trying to get across, too.
If you wrote your song while away in another country, consider using their local language. If your message is deeply tied to your heritage or a value you hold, use the language of your people.
At this point, naming a song isn’t about the song anymore. It’s about creating community and/or awareness, which is even more powerful.
10. Be Abstract
Not all songs are meant to hit home, though.
Some songs are about having fun in a carefree, easy-going manner. Others might be too deep to add even more thought-provoking material to the title.
Both ends of the spectrum are good reasons to get a little funky with your title.
There are many songs whose title quite frankly have nothing to do with their context.
The title isn’t about any lyric in the song nor does it relate to how the song came to be. There’s no message or movement behind it either, it’s just a name that stuck.
That’s the secret to naming any song effectively – giving it a title that people won’t forget.
11. Listen to Music
Songs whose title’s people remember are often songs whose lyrics are pretty great, too.
This stands true for all genres of music. Take a listen and see – or hear, rather – for yourself.
Listening to the best tracks of other people will often give you the inspiration you need for your own songs. This goes for everything from laying the first beats to naming a song once it’s done.
When you let yourself get lost in the music, you never know what you’ll find.
12. Step Away from Writing and Come Back
The one downside to listening to other people’s music is you might start comparing yourself. Or, you’ll end up with song titles that are already taken or too similar to another.
In such cases, it’s best to do something else for a little while.
Put your writing down and go for a walk. Plan to meet up with friends for a few hours and just relax your mind. Hit the gym, call your parents, or do whatever.
The point is to take a break so you can return to the process of naming a song with a clear head.
Writing and Naming a Song
You may find when you step away from naming a song you come back with a new idea for a track altogether.
Let the ideas flow. The more these come and go, the better chances you have of creating something great.
Feeling particularly stuck, though?
Check out different ways to find inspiration when you feel like it can’t find you.
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