A ballad is a beautiful narrative composition which is garland with rhythmic verses, making it possible for a person to sing it like a song. It is nothing, but bringing together of vague idea or imagination in a sequence, with the help of creatively and carefully used phrases and words. Traditionally, ballads were never written down. They were, in fact, just passed down the generations orally with the music, helping the people to remember it. Singing a ballad is an imaginative exercise using which one can convey or narrate a story, situation or an incident in a way gives message as well as entertains. For a beginner, there are certain guidelines which need to be followed, in order to come out with a decent work. The following article will provide you with important guidelines that will help you in writing a ballad.
Tips For Writing A Ballad
Read few examples of famous ballads to get a rough idea of the format. This exercise will give you a feel of the rhyme and the rhythm, which is the main part of the poem for a ballad. There are many online sites and books available that will help you research to create your own beautiful composition.
The endeavor of writing a ballad has to start with thinking of a plot or a theme. A plot or a theme serves the same purpose as it plays for a writer. So, let your imagination spread its wings and come out with an impressive piece. You can also think out-of-the-box and materialize a fictional and fantastical story with mysterious creatures and places. You can also narrate a story which you always wanted to as a child through your ballad.
Think of any starting phrase, word or a line relevant to your storyline or theme and then build your song using the phrase as a medium. It can also occur to you to just write a song without any decided plot or story. In such a case, a phrase or an inspirational line will help you a lot in framing your ballad. The starter phrase need not necessarily be the starting lines of your song; in many cases it can form the chorus for the song.
An idea or a phrase that pops out instantly in your mind can become your inspiration for a beautiful ballad. If the phrase you came up with is catchy and sounds like summarizing the plot, it can be taken as a chorus. If your ballad is about a particular thing, then think about few words that describe the nature of the particular thing. Any such word can be used as an inspiration to create the entire ballad.
The next step in creating a ballad is to complete the verse or a chorus that contains the starter phrase. Ballads generally consist of four lines, out of which two or more lines rhyme. Some of the common rhyme schemes are one in which the word at the end of the first line rhymes with the word at the end of the second, and the word at the end of the third line rhymes with the word at the end of the fourth line.
While few rhyming schemes have the second and the fourth line in rhyme, there are others in which the first line rhymes with the third. You can build a verse around your starter phrase, using any one of the following techniques. Use a consistent meter to create the verse. A meter is a pattern of linguistic units in a song. The meter for the chorus can remain the same as in case of most of the ballads or can even differ from verse to verse.
Once you have the first chorus for your ballad, you need to just complete the remaining choruses and verses using the same template. However, don’t be a slave to the same format, keeping the length and the placement exactly the same. You can go ahead and vary the length of the line or the verse. You can even deviate from your rhyme pattern, if you come up with something more interesting related to the particular verse.
Once you have completed all your choruses, your ballad is ready to be sung. However, it will be better to look at it with fresh eyes after some time. Come back to your ballad after a while and critically view it to check the flaw in the rhymes and ideas, all the way till the end of the song. Cut out any unnecessary verses or add on few new phrases relevant to the story line. Once you are done with the editing, read it once to feel contended and satisfied with your endeavor.