The Elusive “Catchy Fast Song”

Though I love to write music, I admit it–I’m terrible at writing fast and catchy songs.

Most of my music is slow; I write lyrics that are heavy with meaning, couched in melodies that unwind across 20 seconds rather than 5 or 10. And, as I’ve observed during performances, not everybody enjoys slower-paced music. In fact, given my druthers, I’d like to write faster, more dance-like music, since that’s what I listen to the most. Slow music that isn’t mine bores me, unless I’m not actively listening to it and doing something else while it plays in the background.

But it is quite difficult to write a “fast song”, something that you can dance to, that doesn’t have vapid/meaningless lyrics. If it’s fast, according to today’s stylistics, then it nearly has to have very few words (because nobody can spit out hundreds of words at a fast pace, like a machine gun, unless they’re rappers). I don’t like the idea of a song having very little meaning just because it’s upbeat–that’s like trying to feed yourself on cotton candy alone. Yeah, sure, it tastes good, but it’s not very filling.

Some Ideas for Crafting a Faster but Meaningful Song

I’m not sure, at this point, how to get over this particular hurdle in my songwriting. But I have a couple of ideas:

  • Use a synthesizer or a beat generator to mix up a fast, dance beat that I like, instead of trying to generate one on my own
  • Come up with two short sentences that describes the idea I’m going after in my song

Why use an artificial generator for my beats? Simple–I ain’t good at rhythm. My pitch is great; rhythm…eh, not so much. Not sure why, but it’s hard for me to put together a rhythmic sound that doesn’t sound old. Giving me a playground of various beats can help me figure out what I like and don’t like, and what could be good as the background for my song. Sites like, and even a game like Sound Matrix can help out quite a bit!

The two-sentence idea makes me get to the point of my song, instead of winding up to it over the course of two verses and two choruses. I’m famous for writing long-winded stuff–if I’m forced to condense it into two coherent and meaningful (yet short) sentences, maybe I can craft that into a dancey tune that still means something.


I’m still working out the kinks on this idea, but you can be sure I’ll update you on my odyssey toward writing thoughtful songs that are catchy and dancey too. 🙂 After all, creativity IS a process!

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