Do you have a hard time finding songs to learn that you like? You should learn how to write a song of your own!
Songwriting can help you be creative, and you can write songs you love. Here are a few steps to help you write an awesome song.
1. Decide on a Structure
The first step in how to write a song is to decide how you want to structure the song overall. You should choose how many verses you want to include and if you’re going to add a bride. Some songs also have unique intros and outros.
Consider if you want to include a pre-chorus that helps transition from the verse to the chorus. You can make your song structure as simple or complex as you want. And if you change your mind while writing it, you can change the format to match. However, having something in mind can help you start writing your song.
2. Come Up With a Title
You can also brainstorm ideas for song titles. Sometimes, you may need to start writing the melody or harmony first. However, creating a working song title can be essential. You can use your title to inspire your lyrics and the melody and harmony.
List a few title ideas for each song so that you don’t limit yourself. Then, you can see how each title makes you feel and if one stands out more. If you like one title the best, you can work with that and use it to write the rest of your song. You can also start writing the song and come back to the title later if you can’t find a good title now.
3. Determine Where to Start
Some songwriters prefer to start writing a song by focusing on writing the lyrics. However, others may want to start with the melody or the bass line. Fortunately, no one way is always best when starting to write a song.
Consider your strong suit as a singer or musician. If you’re a singer, you may want to start with the lyrics and melody. On the other hand, if you play guitar, you may prefer to focus on the chords first. A drummer might want to focus on the beat and then add the melody and harmony on top. Experiment a bit to see what makes sense for you to help write a song.
4. Focus on Your Experience
Especially when writing lyrics, you should use your experience. Writing what you know can be easier than trying to write about something random. If you just got out of a bad relationship, you can write about your struggles and how you feel now.
You can also write about your dreams or interests or your more positive relationships. If you’re going to be the performer, writing about your experience can also help with that. When you perform, it will be easier to convey your emotions with something you’ve gone through rather than something you haven’t.
5. Use Simple Chords
When it comes time to write the chord progression, start simple. You can add more chords later, but adding too many for your first song can be overwhelming. Four chords tend to be more common than others: I, IV, V, and vi. In the key of C, these chords are C, F, G, and Am.
These chords go well together, and you can find plenty of great songs that don’t use anything else. If you want to add more to your song, you can add more chords, but you can also write a more intriguing melody or bass line to make your song stand out.
6. Bring the Elements Together
Consider what you started with when writing your song. Now, you can add the other elements into your song to get a rough cut. If you started with the lyrics, work on the melody and harmony or vice versa if you started with the instrumentals.
Make sure the elements fit together and change anything that is out of place. For example, you may not want to use a fast tempo if the lyrics are slower and more emotional. You may need to experiment to find the best combination of melody, harmony, and rhythm. Then, you can have a working version of your song to improve on.
7. Record Yourself
Once you have a version of your song ready to go, record yourself. You may not be able to tell if your song works until you can actually hear yourself play and sing. After you listen to a recording, you may hear some nuances that you couldn’t when you played through the song.
Recordings can also help when you start writing the song. You can use the audio recorder on your phone to record any melodic or harmonic inspiration, even when you aren’t writing your song. If you’re running errands and come up with something, a recording can make sure you won’t forget your idea later.
8. Work With Others
Even if you prefer to write songs alone, it can help to work with other musicians occasionally. If you already have a song in the works, another musician can give their thoughts on it. Then, you can use the feedback to improve the song, or you can ignore the feedback if you disagree.
You can also work with others from the beginning of the songwriting process. That way, you can bounce ideas off of each other, and you can use both of your experiences to write songs. Working with someone else also allows you to focus on your strengths. One person can write the lyrics and melody, and the other person can focus on writing an excellent chord progression.
9. Know When to Take a Break
It can be easy to get into the swing of writing a song, and you may not want to stop. However, writing a song can be frustrating at times. If you find yourself struggling to come up with lyrics or chords, don’t be afraid to step away from the song for a few minutes or even a day or two.
After a break, you can go back to the song with new ideas or a new perspective. You may find it much easier to write your song, and you may not have to deal with writer’s block. When you return, you can make your song even better.
10. Practice Makes Progress
Once you write your first song, you can use the same steps for how to write a song again and again. And you should write more songs to help refine your process and become a better songwriter. Just as with music itself, songwriting is a craft that needs practice to improve.
You don’t have to write a new song each day, but you should write songs regularly. Over time, you can find what works best for you and what doesn’t. You may write songs that you don’t like, but writing more will increase the chances of you writing a hit song.
11. Enjoy the Process
As you learn how to write a song, have fun with it. Songwriting is a unique activity, and you can create whatever you want. If you don’t like writing a particular song, you can stop and move on to something you do like writing.
Then, you can have fun both when writing your song and when you record or perform it. Even as a beginner, songwriting can be fun, and you can learn a lot at the same time.
Review and Wrap-up
If you know how to write a song, you can enjoy multiple facets of being a musician. Not only can you play music by others, but you can share your thoughts and experiences through your music.
You’ll be able to enjoy the process of bringing a song to life, and it can make you a better musician. Whether you want to collaborate with others or write a song alone, you can make your music your own. Then, people can know when they hear your particular sound.
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.