Best Ideas for Writing R&B Records

Classic R&B songs are inspired by raw emotions. Good music, period, is inspired by raw emotions. These emotions are often backed by true life experiences. That’s why the R&B songs our parents and grandparents listened to when they were younger, can still be played in the now and still be as fulfilling. These are the types of songs your ears get hypnotized to, then your mind visualizes a picture, and this internal thought then gives your heart a certain feeling. When the song gives you a feeling, it’s a classic.

Writing an R&B record isn’t rocket science. It just requires practicing simple songwriting techniques:

  1. Tell a story* Most successful R&B songs paint the listeners a story with their lyrics. Whether it’s Brandy’s “The Boy Is Mine” that has you singing in two different voices or the vibes Sza’s “Broken Clocks” gives you, storytelling has always been an integral part in the process of writing R&B music. Express little details that people can relate to. 
  2. Decide on the style of your song* Do you want it to give an old school feel or a modern vibe? It’s okay to listen to the greats and revisit your mom’s old R&B collection. You can even pull on other genres, this helps with setting the tone and molding the sound you’re aiming for.
  3. Develop strong melodies and vocals * These make the song more memorable and catchy. There’s no rules to how to construct your melody, but make sure it keeps the listener engaged. Listen to your favorite artists and see what kind of vocals can be inspired.
  4. Deepening the message through lyrics* R&B songs focuses on the actual meaning of the lyrics. The listeners want to hear their story in your song. Ladies want to feel it’s them singing “Crazy In Love” by Beyonce. Giveon’s “Heartbreak Anniversary” have young men crying over an old love affair. The lyrics used in R&B songs are meaningful and aims to fulfill.
  5. Be Creative* Music is an art that expresses day to day events. Try to avoid over-thinking and have fun in the process. Most R&B songs use the same song structures.For example, the verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus is the widely used setup. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be in that way; nowadays, with the newer R&B songs coming out, the beat is your canvas. It’s good to create your own setup and use your gut feeling.

There are no boundaries or limitations on writing R&B songs. Music is a freedom— you are able to create it without any restraints. Rhythm and Blues, R&B as we more commonly call it now, was a style created after WWII, its genes are made of a combination of gospel, pop, jazz and blues. There are no real rules, just practice good writing techniques and use your emotions. Emotions cannot be caged. The next time you go through anything heart-felt, grab a pen. What you may write , in the moment, may just be a hit Classic.

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2 Comments

  • Testymo
    1 year ago Reply

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    • Mike Smythson
      1 year ago Reply

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