by Karen Randle
Are you interested in writing a song? Don't know how to begin writing a song? Here are 10 simple steps to get you going:
- 1. Choose and Compose a Title of your Song.
What do you think you would like to be that sums up the heart of your song’s message? You will need to come up with the subject of your song. A good way is also to brainstorm song titles as well.
- 2. Write from Experience or Fantasy.
You may wish to brainstorm possible lyrics. What you want to say about your title and what you think your listeners might want to know? These are the questions to want to ask yourself. You may write some sort of an experience or feelings.
- 3. Choose a Song Structure.
Currently, the most popular structure is: Verse / Chorus / Verse / Chorus / Bridge / Chorus. Thus, a formula of: ABABCB. Also, analyze the chord structures of your favorite songs. Are they verse, verse, chorus, and then bridge, or do they just repeat verses and choruses? Say your favorite song is “Someone Like You” by Adele, what is the song structure of like?
- 4. Construct a Temporary Chorus and Verse.
What do you want to say in your chorus and hook? Look for imagery and action words to bring your answers to life. What emotion are you describing? What do you wish to say in your verse?
- 5. Find the Melody in your Lyric.
Choose the lines you like best for your chorus and hook. Recite out loud with emotion.
- 6. Chord Progression
Add chords to your Verses and Chorus and Melody. Try a simple, repeated chord pattern. Play with the melody and chords until you find something you like. I would suggest singing or humming over the chord progression to experiment. Or maybe even use a background music track. Remember one of the world’s biggest hit was written with a background track (“Old Town Road” by ‘Lil Nas X).
- 7. Rhyming.
Find pairs of phrases in this material for your Chorus and Hook. Remember to connect the words that rhyme.
- 8. Connect Your Verses and Chorus and Bridge.
Connect it melody and lyrics. Do you wish to add a bridge before you add your final chorus? Explore your concepts more and add connections.
- 9. Intro.
Do you need an intro? Or maybe no intros at all? Keep your intros short and simple. Remember the songs on the radio have short intros; no one wants to listen to a long intro like “Stairway to Heaven”.
- 10. Putting it all together: Record a Demo.
A simple guitar/vocal can be a good first step for your song. Or do vocals over an existing music background track. It doesn’t have to be perfect at first; you just need to get started putting your song together, remember that it is progress and not perfection!
For information on the 25th Annual USA Songwriting Competition, go to: https://www.songwriting.net