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How to Write a Song


One question I get asked all the time as an artist is how do I write my songs. Most songwriters have some sort of method to their madness. There are times when I have improvised lyrics while playing on the piano and then there are times when a lyric may drop into my head as I am going about my day. Inspiration can come at any time and at any place, so as a songwriter its best to have something that you can always note your ideas on with you. Below is a simple, introductory method to writing your first song. 

How to Write a Song:

1. Come Up With A Song Idea
Song ideas can come from something that inspires you, a movie you’ve recently seen, or a book you’ve read. You may even be inspired by a challenge you are facing in life. Because I am a Christian singer-songwriter, most of my song ideas have come from something I’ve heard during a sermon at church, a devotional I’ve read, or a life experience. You can be inspired by anything. Don’t limit yourself and be open to new song ideas.

2. Write The Chorus/Hook
The chorus is the most important part of the song. This is something that you want to be catchy, yet simple enough for a child to remember. Look at some of your favorite songs. Why are they your favorite? Take note of the melody and the simplicity of the song lyrics. 

3. Determine A Melody For Your Hook And What Key Your Song Will Be In
For this step, it helps to have some knowledge into playing an instrument, but it is not required. As a self-taught piano player, one of the things I love doing most is improvising on the piano and experimenting with different chords. Don’t overthink this step. Some of the best songs have come from the simplest chords and chord progressions. Start where you are and build from there. 

4. Write The Verses
The verses are all about telling a story. What picture do you want to paint for your listeners? You also want to consider a rhyme scheme for your lines. Again, find a song that you love and practice replicating the song’s verse structure. If there is a rhyme with every other line try that. There is no one way to write a song verse, but my best advice here is to learn from other examples.

5. Write The Bridge
The bridge of the song is an expansion of the chorus. It doesn’t tell too much but it brings everything together. The bridge can be thought of as the final idea of the song. The bridge is not required, however many songs utilize the bridge to introduce a new song perspective or idea. 

If you are new to songwriting, a good idea may be to find a song that you really like and model your song around the same structure of the song and lyrical style of the song. For example, when I wrote my song “He Saved Me”, I used Alicia Key's “Girl on Fire” to get an idea of the song structure.  There are so many great songs out there, do your research and start studying the techniques used in some of your favorite songs. What do you like most about them? 

As with anything, the more you engage in songwriting, the easier it will become. Consider taking a songwriting workshop, or course, or find information on YouTube. Whatever you decide, get started writing today. Happy Writing. 



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