Embrace finding inspiration anywhere. Make compilations of your favorite lyrics and figure out what makes those lyrics so special. Follow your favorite songwriters on social media and take note of their creative processes.
Songwriting for Beginners
Written by: Egoslim
September 1, 2020
Most people love to sing along to their favorite songs, whether it be a deep cut from the 80s or the newest Lady Gaga hit on the top charts. So, what is it about these songs that’s so special? And how can you write songs of the same caliber?
Whether you’re writing songs for yourself or for others, songwriting can be a daunting task—especially if you’re just starting out. Remember to keep your mind open to new creative processes. The songwriting process for you may not be the same as the songwriting process for others, so don’t be afraid to jump in and change things up. Whether you start with a genius idea for a melody or a clever song title, every creative process is valid—trust your instincts!
Write Everything Down
It is integral that you write everything—and I mean everything—down. You can jot down ideas on a notepad you keep with you, on the notes app on your iPhone, or even record yourself singing/humming.
Regardless, write it down, even if it’s just a one-word song title or concept. It may not mesh well with the songs you’re writing at the moment, but these ideas often grow out of each other into something completely new.
Determine the Song Structure
Do you already have an idea for the song structure? If not, some good questions to ask yourself are:
- How long do you want the song to be?
- Do you want a repeat chorus, a bridge, or just two verses?
- Do you want the melody to be lilting and romantic; or,
- Do you want the song to have a harsher, more grating sound—or anything in between?
The possibilities are endless!
Come Back to Your Song Later
Finally, once you’ve completed the song, step away from it for a few days (as difficult as that may be). When you come back to it, you’ll have fresh ears, and the song may sound completely different than how it did when you were laboring over it for hours at a time—this is good! It will allow you to listen to it from a more unbiased perspective, and you will be able to make final tweaks and adjustments that you otherwise may not have known to make.
Don’t Get Discouraged!
Especially at the beginning of your songwriting journey, try your hardest to not get discouraged. Songwriting, just like any other skill, requires a lot of practice and determination. Be patient with yourself!
For further resources about songwriting, you can head to Take Lessons and find teachers online or nearby.
There is also a myriad of websites dedicated to songwriting:
- Secrets of Songwriting is a great place to start.
- If you already have a song written and want to test its merit, you can always submit it to Music City SongStar —you could even win $2,500!
Embrace finding inspiration anywhere. Make compilations of your favorite lyrics and figure out what makes those lyrics so special. Follow your favorite songwriters on social media and take note of their creative processes. You won’t copy them exactly, but it’s helpful to know what successful people in the industry are doing to stay inspired.
Remember: write everything down, absorb as much of your genre-of-choice as you can, keep up-to-date with your favorite songwriters and always stick up for yourself. So, what are you waiting for? Go write your next favorite song!
Are you ready to level-up your songwriting? Check out our list of songwriting workshops!
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