When you contemplate how to write a song, you may need to discern that you cannot write a song by following some basic steps in a particular manner. The concept and theory of songwriting is fluid as it depends more on the person and the song.
Everyone has different techniques and procedures to pursue songwriting. While one may like to write lyrics first, others may want to create music to inspire their mind for the song.
Taking into consideration that the human mind is versatile, I try to come up with a certain style that helps not only a few but all kinds of people when they want to write a song. The steps for how to write a song is something that is fluid and which can easily combine with the style of the songwriter.
Before I tell you more about how to write a song, you need to know that songs can help us in our lives in a manner which can give a smile on our face.
Before You Start
When you are really into songwriting, there are certain practices and knowledge you need to have to create a song that can be a proud representation for yourself.
When the questions arise in your mind, how to write a song, you need to understand what you want to write about before you can start writing the songs.
Understand Your Style
When you look for a style or genre to write a song, you first need to know how you want to write it. All the great songs that have been produced possess a unique style. ‘Bad Guy’ by Billie Eilish is one of the most relevant examples of this.
While some get inspiration from the situation that arises in their own life or someone they are close to, others like to explore something more of their mind than their life.
Check out this article to check Taylor Swift’s style in her songs.
When it comes to having an inspiration for writing a song, you need to see the world in your way. Never try to copy when you want to do something creative. It may be good just when you want to improve some of your skills but not when you want to create something original.
You don’t need to look for good ideas, as most of the time, it is already in our minds. You just need to concentrate a bit to become aware of it. You need to feel about what you want to write.
Even people who write something that doesn’t exist in the world is inspired by what they have seen and felt in their life.
Keep a Record
To create a song, you need to write lyrics. The lyrics idea can pop into your head anytime and anywhere. Sometimes, the lyrics can be just a line or two that may strike in your mind and sometimes a whole song.
The same theory can be applied to melody too. It can strike anytime and anywhere, and you need to record it as a voice memo or in your audio recorder.
However, some of these great ideas may slip through your head when you need it later, so you need to keep a record. It can be noted is your phone, a pocket notebook that you carry, or anything as long as it can preserve your idea of lyrics.
Pick an Instrument
When it comes to how to write a song, you need to know that writing lyrics is different than creating a song. You need music to make lyrics into a song, and for the music, you need to know how to play an instrument. It can be anything like an acoustic guitar, piano, keyboard.
If you don’t know how to play an instrument, it’s fine as long as you have a collaborator who knows how to. When it comes to achieving your dream, you need to know that it is not necessary for everything alone. It’s okay to take someone’s help.
How to Write a Song?
Now, let’s come to the most important question: ‘how to write a song?’
I have already mentioned some necessary details that you need to know before writing a song. When you want to know how to write a song, lyrics and instruments aren’t enough.
You need to be aware of song structure, music theory, arrangements of chords, and many little details that, if neglected, can hamper your song attribute.
You also need to keep in mind that you need a great deal of patience while songwriting because sometimes you get a block, and it takes a lot of time to write a certain song.
Taylor Swift’s everlasting masterpiece ‘All too well’ is an excellent example of that. She took a month to write a song, but to date also it is one of the best songs she has in her collection.
Create Some Rough Idea
As I mentioned above, you can have lyrics ideas anytime and anywhere. However, when it comes to the writing process of a song, you sort of need to have a direction of how you want to pursue. Of course, it’s not some minutes’ game, and it’s fine to take your time with it.
Try to sketch some rough idea of lyrics and vocals. You can’t make a song in one try. You need to sharpen it many times before it can be called as your finished work.
When you have some rough idea of how you are going with the song, it can help you to create music for the song and fix an image of song structure in your mind.
Tip – Record your vocals when you are going with your rough draft. Listening to the recorded vocals will help you to come with the idea of music and how you can build it as a good song.
Music and Tone
When you have a rough sketch of your song, you need to come up with the song’s music. The melody not only adds a definitive beauty to a song but also helps in deciding the song structure. Even though music and song structure go hand in hand, music helps us set a better link between verses and chorus.
Music and tones also help singer-songwriters to know the pitch of the song. It will help them know the vocals’ arrangements in which the song is needed to be sung. The musical instrument is the most basic way to create acoustic music for you to write a song.
While using guitar and other instruments, you must also know chords progression. It is a series of chords where each cord is determined by moving forward while the chord changes overtime.
The chord progression is used to set out the tone and harmony of music, and singers like Elton John use it a lot while writing his songs.
When it comes to the songwriting process, deciding the song structure is one of the most important things, you need to do as a songwriter. The song structure is simply an arrangement of the song.
A song structure is mainly like Intro – Verse 1 – Pre-chorus – Chorus – Verse 2 – Pre-chorus – Chorus – Bridge – Chorus – Outro. The structure can be changed as per the song’s need, but verse, chorus, and the bridge is something that you will find in every song.
The song structure is important to set the chords structure too. As I said before, melody and song structure go hand in hand. It mostly depends on a person what way he wants to take, but the result will be the same.
Chorus is like a definition of your song, which points out what you want to say with your song. Most of the time, when we write a song, the chorus is something that comes up in our head as it is the most memorable set in the whole song.
Chorus is a repeatable set in a song that is at least sung twice or thrice or maybe even more as per the song requirement.
The verse is a supporting pillar for the chorus as it mainly narrates the meaning of the song’s story. Verses put forward the idea of what a songwriter wants to show more definitively. Most of the songs have rhymed verses to make it more catchy for the audience.
It is highly recommended to get knowledge of a rhyming dictionary to enhance your songwriting skills. The verses have the same tone if we go musically, but the lyrics are different for giving meaning to the song. The transitions in the songs are mainly done with the help of verses.
The bridge is like a climax of the song, which either concludes or outdoes the verses to make the song more impactful. In most of the songs, the melody of the verse and bridges are very different, and the bridge is something to create the whole vision lasting to the audience. It is not necessary to have a bridge in the song, but it is preferred nowadays.
Pre-Chorus, Intro and Outro
While pre-chorus, intro, and outro are not compulsory to be in the song yet, they play an important role when they are used. Pre-chorus is a small set of lyrics that help in the verse’s transition to the song’s chorus.
Intro (i.e., introduction) is the starting of the song, which generally introduces people to the song’s vibe, tone, and music. Outro (i.e., conclusion), as the name, suggests it’s the ending of the song, which concludes the song.
Most of the time, the intro and outro are more focused on the music, and very few or no lyrics are written in that part of the song structure.
When you finalize the melody, set of the chords, and song structure, you need to record your vocals while synchronizing all of the work. Before you have built the parts of the song, you are now gathering them into a piece. The main purpose of practice recording is to set your tone and to check if everything is in sync or not.
Even though the basic part of songwriting is finished, you can add some more things to the songs to make it more appealing and definitive.
A hook is a catchy word that is repetitively used in the whole song to make it more addictive as a tone.
The title is something that many times, people thought before they start writing a song. However, The title needs to be something that is closest to what the song means yet suggestive so that people look forward to listening to it.
Collaboration in music is not just limited to singing the song. If you want to release a song, you need a music producer, background vocals, maybe co-songwriters, and various technical and creative staff to collaborate with.
You Are Ready
After doing all the things that have been mentioned above, you are ready to record your song. It is the last and final stage of how to write a song where you do the final recording of your song.
It doesn’t matter for whom you have written the song for as long as you can successfully pour a part of your soul into it. Just memorize your song to record it with the music to produce the final product of all your hard work.
This article is for beginners who want a guide on how to write a song. As everyone has a different songwriting process, the guides focus on individuality, which makes it very adaptable to everyone.
You need to know some basic points before starting writing a song to be aware of what kind of style they want to be represented by, the need to record the parts of their song ideas, and know-how to play a musical instrument.
When you start with how to write a song, you need to get started with creating a rough idea, then move on to melody, chords, and song structure, and finally conclude with a practice recording session to make final arrangements for making the song more appealing.