Here is a simple guide on how to write a song. Follow our suggestions to avoid writer’s block and get your song ideas out of your head.
Songwriting is not easy if you don’t know what you’re doing. So learning a few tricks and tips can help you avoid writer’s block and get your song ideas out of your head.
Also, there is no 100% set way to write a song, and different processes work for different songwriters.
However, you can follow the suggestions below to become a better songwriter and write your first memorable song.
What Is Songwriting?
Songwriting is typically defined as creating a song, which is usually in the form of music and lyrics. It is an integral part of the music industry and can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Songwriting for beginners can be intimidating at first, but it is possible if you are patient. You just need to find your own unique style.
How to Write a Song
1. Pick A Song Title or Topic
Picking a song title can help you decide the song’s direction, so it is one of the first steps to writing a song. You could write a love song, an empowerment anthem, or just about any other topic you can think of.
Start by brainstorming ideas and writing down everything that comes to mind before choosing something. Get all of your thoughts out on paper before writing the song’s lyrics.
Related: 15 Free Song Name Generators
2. Start With a Hook or Chorus
Once you have decided what your song will be about, it is time to write the lyrics. You should start with writing the chorus of your song. This will help you figure out the song’s direction and structure. You can write the verses of your song after.
Most songs become popular because of their catchy hooks. The chorus is typically the more popular and memorable part of a song. So if you have a chorus in your head along with a catchy melody, capture it to help lay the foundation for your song.
Typically, a chorus lasts 8 bars or 16 bars. Sometimes there can be more than one chorus. It is important to make sure that the hook stands out from the rest of the song because it will typically be the most remembered part.
3. Write To A Beat or Instrumental
If you have a beat or instrumental to write to, this can inspire many songwriting ideas. Certain beats and instrumentals will bring out different thoughts and emotions.
You can find a beat or instrumental on YouTube, the producer’s websites, or you could create one yourself with music-making software like FL Studio.
Many young songwriters start writing to a beat, which is a good starting point. It can help you get your ideas out of your head. It is also a great way to experiment and figure out what style of music you prefer.
Additionally, it will help you learn how to write a song with a structure and fit lyrics into 16 bars that are nice and catchy.
Freestyling is rapping or singing your song ideas without preplanning anything. Freestyling can feel like a blank slate, but it is one of the best things you can do when writing a song.
Record yourself freestyling over a beat to help capture your ideas, melody, and energy. The goal is just to capture ideas and not worry about what you are saying.
This can help you develop melodies, rhyming patterns, different approaches for the different verses. You can begin shaping your song’s lyrics after this.
When you begin writing verses, you may get stuck on sentences that can stop the creative process and cause overthinking. You don’t want to lose your ideas, so use freestyling as a way to capture the feeling of a song to revisit as you continue to write your song.
Related: Best Songwriting Courses Online
5. Jot Down Ideas
As your write a song, you can capture random notes and ideas. This can be lyrics, moods, examples, feelings, the direction of the song, and more.
Jotting down your ideas can help keep your thoughts organized. This will come in handy while revisiting certain lyrics or sections to see how they work with other parts of your song.
You can also use these notes to shift sections around in your song if you feel it flows better that way. This is especially helpful if you finish a verse or chorus and realize that it doesn’t really fit with the next verse.
6. Write The Verses
Now you have a chorus, notes, ideas, and outline for the basic concept of the song. It’s time to start writing lyrics for the different verses.
Depending on the song structure you decide to use, you will need 2 to 3 verses. As you write, think about the song title, topic, and chorus to stay on topic.
If you find yourself stuck, refer to your notes to be reminded of the melody, energy, and flow that naturally came to you in the first place.
You can also use the freestyle recording as an option to fill in any empty spaces you might feel during songwriting.
Related: What Is A Verse in Music
7. Use Songwriting Apps For Help
If you struggle with solid writing, you can use online tools to help with songwriting. These can be used for inspiration, song structure, or writing.
Songwriting apps are great because they give you prompts, examples, and structures to help you write your own song.
Following songwriting apps can help you write unique, unexpected lyrics and heighten the quality of your songwriting.
1. Rhyme Desk
Rhyme Desk is a great online tool that can help with your rhyming patterns. The app suggests different rhyming words. You can filter rhyming words and even add your own words to create great rhyme schemes.
The tool can be helpful for beginner songwriters to utilize different rhyming schemes to keep their lyrics unique and unexpected.
2. Rhyme Brain
Rhyme Brain is another great rhyme app. It can find rhyming words for your lyrics to create unique and unexpected ideas. You can also find alliterations with Rhyme Brain, which can help with songwriting.
Alliteration is when you repeat consonants in a sentence or phrase to make the phrase more powerful and memorable. It can help take your lyrics to the next level.
Rhymes is another excellent app to use for finding rhyming words. This tool can help you find more ways to say something, which can be used in your lyrics.
Songs can be challenging to write, but this tool helps bring thoughts and feelings to life. It can give your lyrics a more robust and dynamic feel.
WikiRhymer is a rhyming dictionary for songs, which can be helpful if you are looking to write lyrics that flow well. You can use it to find rhyming words and phrases depending on the number of syllables you need.
Additionally, WikiRhymer can find rhyming words for songs using different patterns, including vowel patterns.
5. Rhyme Zone
Rhyme Zone is another rhyming dictionary that can help find new ways to say something. This app will help you find different words that rhyme with the words you enter.
The tool has many more features, such as finding rhyming phrases, sentences, and lyrics based on the concept. You can also organize the results by the number of syllables or letters.
The tool is beneficial to find different ways to say something and can be a great help when writing lyrics.
Thesaurus is another excellent tool to use when writing lyrics. The app can help you find new words and phrases to use in your songs. You can add a dynamic word or phrase that you may not have thought of before.
The tool offers many filters, such as the number of syllables, parts of speech, and even word origins. You can use a combination of all these filters to help you write the perfect lyrics for your song.
8. Get Creative to Stand Out!
Creativity is a huge part of songwriting. It can help you succeed in your career and help you stand out from other songwriters.
Most songs follow a typical song structure and formula. But you don’t want to sound like everyone else. You want to make your song unique and switch things up to keep the listener interested.
So as you continue to work on a song, ask yourself how you can make the song better. The right song can become a hit and change your music career, so always push yourself to do better.
You can work with songwriting software to bring out different sounds that are more creative. Additionally, you can use your songwriting app to get inspired by the structure of hit songs.
9. Record A Demo Song & Verses
Recording a rough draft of your song is great for keeping the creative process going. You can refer back to your demo to continue writing or to get clarity on certain verses, lyrics, or sections.
Recording demos can also be used to see your song objectively. You may notice things in the recording that don’t make sense or take away from the song.
You don’t need to record a hi-fi demo either. You can easily record your vocals on a laptop or desktop using any free recording software. Recording demos can help you figure out what to keep and what needs to go so your song is perfect
10. Sit With the Song A Couple of Days
Once you record a demo, sit with it for a couple of days. Listen to it every day, take notes, see how you feel about it, and see if it could be better.
You can also share it with your friends and other songwriters you trust. Ask them to review and critique your song. Their comments and advice can be constructive to write the perfect piece.
You want to craft a song that you love, and getting objective opinions will help you figure out if the song is ready or needs more work.
Many music artists work on songs for weeks to get them right. So don’t worry if you aren’t finished in one sitting, and realize that the best songs are usually reworked many times.
For example, the music producer DJ Khalil talked about creating Aloe Blacc’s “The Man,” which has 53 million YouTube views. The song took two months to complete and had around 150 tracks, and he recreated the drum pattern three times to work with the piano melody.
So after you have done your best work and think it’s finished, sit with it for a couple of days and see what else can be done better. It will be worth it when you have a finished song and it goes viral.
11. Record Your Final Song
Once you have done your best work and improved a song over a few days, it’s time to record the final version. It’s best to have your song professionally recorded so you can put your best work on the market.
You need to make sure your recording is high quality. Look for good recording studios in your area and see if they offer a service to record a song, and you can go to a studio for recording.
If you don’t have the budget, you can also record your song yourself. But make sure you know how to record it and have all the right equipment.
Once the song is recorded, you can upload it to your streaming accounts to share with the world. You can also make the song available to purchase on music platforms like iTunes.
Now that you know the steps to write a song, it’s time to get started. The process of writing a song can be challenging, but it’s worth it when you have a finished product.
Songwriting is an art form and takes practice to perfect. But if you follow these easy steps, you will be on your way to crafting the perfect song.
Don’t forget to revise and improve your work as you go along so you end up with a masterpiece that everyone will love.
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