Have you ever noticed how some excellent songs use questions to hook you into a tale and get you involved in the scene? Innovative songwriters use questions because of the impact they have on you. Effective communication in songwriting includes the subtle asking of questions. To ensure the effectiveness of asking questions, it is crucial to map out the exact thought process you want your listeners to explore with you during your song.
Because the person who is seeking answers to the question is in control of the song, it is up to you (you, the songwriter) to decide how to lead your listeners towards emotional experiences or conclusions. Most people, including an audience, are all too ready to answer a question wherever you find them. Why not? It’s been taught to us from a significantly earlier age than it’s socially polite to be helpful and, whenever possible, to respond to an appropriate question. This means that asking the right questions will allow you to take your listener on an emotional ride by your song’s influence.
Whenever you are concerned about a limited lyric, it’s possible to fix it with the main question. The reason is a question can work wonders by making ‘simplicity’ your ally, arouse responses, reveal what is on your audience’s mind, capture attention, create an instant agreement with your listeners, make people feel smart and essential, and force them to sing it with the singer.
Here are some other potent effects; questions have on your listener’s thinking.
- Questions get prompt attention.
- Questions allow a listener to speak (or answer mentally).
- Questions maintain a great interest in your lyrics.
- Questions cut through friction.
- Questions (in a series) lead a listener toward the outcome you want.
- Questions validate and engage a listener for thinking.
- Questions weaken a direct command, thereby adding modesty.
- Questions strengthen confidence in your lyrics (songwriting).
- Questions define the way you think.
One great way to request answers to a question in a song is to use a particular type called a “leading question.” A leading question is used to obtain an exact response-preferably the response you want. The easiest way to do this is to transform a statement into a question, even if you’re only declaring the obvious. For example, “Sun’s big, isn’t it?” “You like me, don’t you?” and one of the most famous examples ever, “I bet you feel this song is about you, don’t you?”
This form of a question can work very well in a song lyric due to its obviousness. When used to assert the obvious, it produces instant agreement. The audience agrees because what you’ve urged them to answer is acknowledge something you said, which was true and apparent. Of course, everyone’s felt that way before; everyone knows that we all have seen that kind of thing, we’ve all lived through that type of experience, so why wouldn’t they? It’s useful because you avoid a person’s logical thinking and force them to give you an instant and spontaneous emotional response. This technique works so well because it’s so deceptive; the leading question essentially forces compliance.
Remember, in asking any question; it’s essential to cover as wide of a base as possible. Check and read the list above to find out how much your audience demands asking the question you have formed. If the question can generate the effect of at least five objectives on the list above, then your question in your lyrics is a good one.
The leading question we talked about accomplishes points 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, perhaps 8, and 9. Any question by nature of being a question will fulfill many of these objectives automatically. Just make sure, though, that the questions you ask satisfy the song’s purpose and form. Their role should be supportive and, indeed, not a leading role.