View Full Version : What makes a good song?

Noah Ridgewood
May 28th, 2011, 4:03 AM
When you listen to a song for the first time, what are the things that you're looking for to make you like the song?

Additionally, if you determine that a song isn't that good, but the message is something that you respect a great deal, does that make up for the "lack of quality" in the music?

May 28th, 2011, 6:40 AM
What makes a good song for me is if it has a catchy rhythm and good lyrics. If it has neither of those, I won't bother listening to it.

May 28th, 2011, 4:44 PM
I guess I'm fond of subtly creative, inventive music, the kind of stuff you don't realize is good until you hear it a few times.

That's because I usually disregard music the first time I hear it, like background noise, even if it's my kind of music so I'm never really watching out for anything special. There are a lot of songs that I maybe heard once and didn't think anything of only to hear again some time later and go "Oh wow, that's a great song." Essentially, I'm looking for anything that doesn't make me want to never hear the song again. So, things like cheap lyrics, boring arrangement, and just low quality music I ignore. On the other hand, overblown, over-the-top, in-your-face music is usually too grating for me, too.

May 29th, 2011, 4:04 PM
Nice beat/rhythm and the overall meaning of the lyrics. I can't listen to a song that doesn't have good lyrics or beat. But, I usually listen to a song a couple of times to figure out if there is a background meaning and then I decide if I want to continue to listen to it.

Multiple Face
May 30th, 2011, 11:09 PM
In my point of view Lyrics, Music and Rhythm makes a good song.

May 31st, 2011, 7:48 AM
The lyrics and rhythm/music is what I tend to divert my attention to when I first listen to a song. But for some songs, I have to listen to the song quite a few times before I find reason to like it. It's kind of hard to explain, really.

May 31st, 2011, 12:28 PM
If it's by Journey or Green Day, then it is automatically awesome. I dunno, I guess, but I like the musical quality of a song. So, if it has good lyrics but has bland instruments or tune, I don't like it. Same goes for rap music... that stuff is just annoying.

May 31st, 2011, 2:20 PM
The kind of atmosphere the song can create is what draws me the most to it. Following that, than probably lyrics and catchiness.

May 31st, 2011, 6:47 PM
It's a collective of many different things. I prefer it to be creative, but if it catches my attention and leaves me coming back for more that's good enough for me. However, I love creative music that puts something new to the table.

Eliminator Jr.
June 7th, 2011, 6:40 AM
It's hard to put into words what draws me towards a song. Even though I'm more of an album person there are definitely certain songs on albums that I listen to more than others, and when I'm checking out new bands I'll rarely listen to an entire album to decide whether I like them or not.

The first time I listen to a song, I usually listen to the music before the lyrics. The lyrics give the song their meaning, so I'll usually listen to these after listening to the song a few more times. Really bad lyrics can turn me off a song straight away, as I don't relate to it, whereas decent lyrics are kind of overlooked. Good lyrics add to the song and usually become the part I like most.

It's really hard to put a description on what I look for in music, as I'm not even sure if there's a blanket term I can use to describe everything I listen to. As in I'm obviously going to like different things about a Led Zeppelin song as to say, Beach House or something like that.

I also look for things that will turn me off the music. Anything overly hipster or try-hard sounding is just annoying. Obviously if the music sounds like it has little integrity I won't really get into it.

June 7th, 2011, 7:31 AM
For me, a good song is made of a nice instrumental sound (mainly guitars) and good, well-structured, thoughtful and diversified lyrics with no "ooohooooh"s or "yeayeayeah"s all over the place, and that actually make sense and talk about something potentially important to mankind.

June 7th, 2011, 8:27 AM
It has to evoke something, from the desire to dance to a change in mood to new thoughts, but it doesn't matter how. Music is a lot of things.

June 7th, 2011, 10:17 AM
I like when lyrics match how I feel, and explain that feeling in a way I can't describe in my own words. I also like when lyrics (I'll find this hard to explain) but sort of prove a point? or make me think a certain way, were it moves me or touches my heart.

I have always loved sad love songs for some reason too, even more so if they have some Piano. I ADORE Piano and bittersweet songs.

June 10th, 2011, 9:48 AM
The lyrics representing the artist as a poet, and the sounds he emits, as a composer and creative artist. It's marvelous to hear the artist talk about things more important than the general audience; expressing their global opinions and beliefs.

Also find it respectable when the lyrics to a song allude to certain references and have a deeper meaning than they appear to possess, rather than just generalized phrases spun to earn a quick dollar.

June 11th, 2011, 2:01 AM
I mostly listen to instrumental pieces and melodic metal and what really makes me like it is if it has catchy and really nice guitar riffs and solos. When I listen to something with vocals, I like it when the vocalist has the same quality and emotion as the instruments so that it harmonizes nicely together.

June 11th, 2011, 1:37 PM
I can't even think of anything specific because I like all sorts of genres and sounds. I wish I could pinpoint what exactly makes me like a sound, because that way I could just google that specific thing and find tons of music I like. :D unfortunately (?) as far as I'm aware it's something random that decides whether or not I like a song.

Mr Frost
June 11th, 2011, 2:45 PM
Good vocals , nice catchy melody and a deep bassline

June 11th, 2011, 7:18 PM
For me, it's mainly the vocals. Like when i'm listening to metal, I prefer high pitched vocals and when I'm listening to rock, I prefer medium pitched voices.

June 11th, 2011, 7:55 PM
For me, a lot of songs that i like have one word in common: ~memories~
For example, one time i went on a trip with my friend, and a certain song (Dynomite) was playing while we were driving there. so whenever i hear that song, i think of all the fun memories i had on the trip :)

and songs dont always have to remind you of a trip. lots of songs i like remind me of fun video games, great movies, and other things like that.

i like songs that are happy, have a nice beat to it, and make me smile :) Kinda like Owl city, big time rush, plain white tees, bruno mars, and many other bands/artists that put a lot of work into their music to make it sound just right.

One of my favorite songs "Sticks and Stones" by Jonsi makes me think of the wonderful movie: How to Train your Dragon :) I just feel so peaceful whenever i hear that song, even if i cant understand all the words :)

So for me, songs that are popular arn't always songs i listen to, its what I LIKE that i enjoy listiening to :) no matter what anyone says :)


Mr Cat Dog
June 12th, 2011, 7:16 AM
Good songs need to either remain consistent or grow on you after each listen. The songs I like the most I either didn't get on first listen or didn't like as much as I do now (anything off Radiohead's OK Computer is a very good example of this). As for components necessary to make a good song: good melodies and harmonies, strong instrumentations, production values that help rather than hinder the 'message' of the song, as well as the standard stuff of good lyrics and vocals.

June 14th, 2011, 6:10 AM
First time i listen-how the production feels
Second time-lyrical content (This is why I LOVE Lupe Fiasco)
Third time-instrumental & heart put into the song (This is why I LOVE B.o.B and T.I.)

I really look the most for the lyrical content and how much heart the artists put into it. Like listening to some rappers just wig it... hate that. Watching rock bands have obnoxious 20 minute drum solos also annoy me.

Keep on hackin'

Captain Hobo.
June 14th, 2011, 4:33 PM
I think if it catchy and makes you want to listen to it again.

June 21st, 2011, 1:30 PM
As a musician myself, I find songs to be categorized into two different kinds of 'good'. The first kind is something I can be inspired by, something I strive for in music. The second kind is something I can be influenced by. There really is a difference between the two.

For a song to be good enough to inspire me, it has to be straight up real.. like, it has to evoke emotions or memory from me, it has to make me want to become a better musician. For a song to be this good, it has to be something from the artist that is completely themselves, unique. This kind of good isn't about a catchy tempo, but it can rely heavily on lyrics and the thoughts it puts through my head. Overall, it has to be a song that I can tell each band member has their heart into it. Many bands do have their heart in it, but it takes heart from everyone in the band for it to be a truly wonderful production of inspiration.

Then there's music I can be influenced by.. good ol' fast paced, catchy music with a few licks and tricks I can pick up. Usually heavy music for me, lol :P

June 21st, 2011, 9:22 PM
A good song for me is the one that creates some sort of atmosphere, a song that creates a space, and has something original. I also really like songs that sound like something you'd hear from a garage band or something really "real", by real i mean , that it doesn't have many effects and it hasn't been heavily modified in a studio.