How To Write A Song In 10 Steps (For beginners)
Many beginners and hobby musicians wonder how to write a song people will love. We’ve collected 10 steps that will bring you forward if you’re a beginner in songwriting.
There is no clear recipe for how to write a hit song. If we had one, everybody would be a music world star. But you could never be sure to write a hit because of these reasons:
- The music taste of people differs a lot.
- Taste changes over time.
- Many factors are involved. It’s not only the notes and chords and lyrics, which matter. Also the instruments, tempo, style, musicians involved, the way it was presented
So let’s say you are a musician, playing an instrument or singing. And you would like to write a song. And finish it. Check out those ten steps:
- Look out for song inspiration
Notice topics and situations you want to sing about. Note down phrases, lines, and emotions that come to your head. What do singers you admire sing about? Analyze their lyrics to see how the songs are structured.
Do you play guitar, bass, drums, piano, sax or another instrument? Start looking for inspiration everywhere. Which songs do you like? What makes them special? How are the chords, the melody, and the rhythm?
- Write your lyrics
Choose a clear topic the audience can relate to. That way people can deeply connect with your music. What could be a good topic for a song?
- Love has always been good topic and worked for many amazing songs: Falling in love, pain in love, breakups, fights, future plans and more.
- An experience you had – a bad or a good one.
- Your opinion on something.
- Another idea or line that came to your mind.
There are two ways to write a song’s lyrics.
Write the text first.
You can go around collecting ideas until you have a text ready. Attach it then to the melody you composed. You can get inspired wherever you are. Simply write down your ideas on paper or your phone.
Get inspired by instrumentals & beats.
Listen to the music for a while, allow inspirations and ideas. Then write some lyrics over it
- Choose some cool chords
You play an instrument and wonder how to write a song? We want to show you a way we use.
Play a chord you like.
It might be a simple chord like C, E, F or G. Check out which other chords fit and sound nice. If you start with an E chord, the subdominant A and dominant B will fit quite well.
Experiment and get ideas.
Collect every combination of chords that sounds good together. Let your creativity flow. Check out what you like.
Get inspired by others.
Sometimes you get the best ideas when you’re playing with other musicians. You can do the same by playing along to some backing tracks.
- Add melody and rhythm
Experiment with rhythm and melodies.
You have thousands of options to play your cool chords. If you play them faster, change quicker or use a melody on top changes the song mood completely.
Record music ideas right away.
Save chords or melodies you like. Play along with them to find more ideas.
- How to write a song chorus
The chorus is the hook of each song, a part well remembered. So you need to invest some time there.
Start to gather ideas for the hook and/or the lyrics. Just as in #3, check what sounds nice. An E-A-H-E chords combo will wound differently than an E-A-E-H-E-E-A
Don’t judge your ideas too early.
Not every word you write down has to be perfect. Not every chord you play has to be the final one. Collect everything and pick, what is catchier.
Pick one of the ideas.
You have some ideas now, now pick the best. A helpful tip is to focus on ONE text /melody idea. How do you feel when you think about it? Notice all thoughts and emotions. Make them part of the song.
- How to write a song verse / lyrics
A verse tells more about your situation or feeling than the chorus. So think further. What details are there? What different scenarios? How did the situation develop? What might happen in the future?
Think again about harmony, melody, and rhythm. Do you want to play the same chords as in chorus? Do you want to have a new melody for the guitar or vocals? How should the rhythm be compared to the chorus? Think also about dynamics. A huge dynamics contrast between chorus and verse can change a lot.
- Create your song structure
Now you have a good chorus, a melody, and a text it’s time to structure them.
Order of chorus and verse
Do you want to stick to the famous verse / chorus / verse / chorus / bridge / chorus structure? Or turn it all in a new way? Think about it.
How do you want your song to sound?
Do you want a strong contrast between chorus and verse or a small difference? Classically, the chorus is played and sung on higher notes than the verse. Think of your song as a building people enter. What should they see first, what should come later?
- Play and practice the whole song
Practice your song now
You already have some great lyrics, a chorus and verse ready. You thought about the structure and created additional song parts. Connect the parts and play them a bit.
Do not judge your song too much at this time
There is no need to judge your song too much at this point! Save whatever you’ve got so far and come back to it later. With a fresh mind and after you’ve had some time for the song to settle.
- Now Record your song
Recording now is not professional, but just makes sure, you won’t loose the new song. So best options are:
Smartphone: Record yourself while you’re playing and singing your new song
Computer: Use free programs like AudioRecorder, QuickTime Player or others or multi-track recorder if you want to go deep.
- Practice, practice, practice
As every other form of writing, songwriting is a skill. It is not something that falls from the sky. Practice it often and you’ll become better each day.