Our best songwriting tips to get statet with writing your first song. Image with graphics of a practicing songwriter.

21 Songwriting Tips You Must Know (Write Your Songs Easily)

Hey there, future rock star!

Ah, well, let’s keep things real here. You’re about to pen down your first song, and looking for some cool songwriting tips – aren’t you? Or maybe you are just stuck in using the same techniques.

Whether it’s an emotional ballad or an electrifying rock anthem, we got your back.

Songwriting is an art form, and like all great arts, it requires a dash of technique mixed with a bucket of passion.

So, let’s dive in!

Key takeaways
  • Find “your why”: Understand your motivation for writing a song.
  • Gather your tools: Equip yourself with a pen and paper, a recording device, an instrument (optional), a rhyming dictionary or thesaurus, and inspiration.
  • Embrace the creative process: Let your imagination and emotions guide you, focus on vivid imagery and metaphors, experiment with melodies, and seek feedback for improvement.

The best songwriting tips you should know about

There are countless ways to pen a song.

Here, we’ll go over some of the best techniques to get you kick-started.

Remember, these are merely the building blocks.

As you get better at songwriting and learn more, you can start trying new and different things in your songs.

Keep that creativity flowing!

1. Find “Your Why”

First things first.

Why do you want to write a song?

This is the cornerstone that’ll keep your creative juices flowing.

Your reason could be as simple as wanting to impress someone (who hasn’t been there?) or as deep as needed to express emotions you can’t put into mere conversation.

Understand your why – it’s your North Star.

2. Gather Your Tools

Before you can paint your masterpiece, you need some brushes and paint, or in our case, some tools.

Here’s a nifty list for you:

  • Pen and paper (old school, but hey, it works)
  • Recording device (your smartphone will do)
  • Instrument (if you play one; it’s not mandatory, though)
  • Rhyming dictionary or Thesaurus (trust me on this)
  • Inspiration! (Could be a person, a photo, or even your own experiences)

3. Time for Some Inspiration Hunting

Time for Some Inspiration Hunting for songwriting.

Now, this is where the magic happens.

Take that inspiration of yours and delve deep.

What story does it tell? What emotions does it evoke?

Build your song around this.

Feel free to get creative; maybe that photo of the ocean is making you nostalgic, or that girl you met is giving you heart flutters.

Channel these emotions into words.

4. Build a Structure

This is the skeleton of your song.

Your typical song will have a Verse – Chorus – Verse – Chorus – Bridge – Chorus structure.

The table below shows the purpose of each section. (source)

SectionPurpose
VerseIntroduces the listener to the song’s story or theme
ChorusThe main message; this is the catchy part people remember
BridgeA departure that keeps the song interesting

But hey, there are no hard and fast rules here. Feel free to experiment!

5. Let’s Get Lyrical

Focus on imagery and metaphors.

For instance, if your song is about a breakup, instead of saying “My heart is broken,” try something like, “The pieces of my shattered heart lay scattered like autumn leaves.”

Oh, the imagery!

6. Mix & Match with Melodies

Now, if you play an instrument, this is where you get to shine.

But even if you don’t, humming can be just as effective.

Play around with different melodies and see which one fits your lyrics like a glove.

7. Add The Cherry On Top: The Hook

This is the golden nugget of your song.

The part that makes people go, “Oh! That’s the song that goes like this!”

The hook is often in the chorus. Think of the “Ra ra-ah-ah-ah” in Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. That’s a hook!

8. Edit & Polish

This is the part where you become your own Simon Cowell. Be brutally honest. Does a line sound weird? Change it. Does the melody not flow? Tweak it. Editing is where good songs

become great.

9. Share it With the World!

This step is equally important. Share your song with others.

Whether you perform it live, share it on social media, or just play it for your friends and family, getting feedback is invaluable.

10. Keep a Creative Journal

You never know when inspiration will strike!

Keep a creative journal where you jot down thoughts, lyrics, or even doodles that can contribute to your songwriting.

You may not use them right away, but having a well of ideas can be really handy later.

11. Use Word Association Games

Stuck on a lyric? Try a word association game.

Say the word aloud and jot down any words or phrases that come to mind. This can lead to some unexpected and creative lyrical choices.

For example, if your word is “moon,” associated words could be “night,” “light,” or “tide.”

12. Break Free from Rhyming

Rhyming is classic, but not every line has to rhyme.

Sometimes the most poignant lyrics are the ones that don’t rhyme but still pack an emotional punch.

Don’t be a slave to the rhyme – let your message guide your words.

13. Create a Songwriting Group

Collaboration can often lead to the best creativity.

Start a songwriting group, either locally or online.

Share your work and get feedback. Remember, two heads are better than one and who knows, you may end up writing a hit together.

14. Play with Song Form

Don’t get too hung up on the traditional song structure.

There’s also ABA, ABAB, ABCD, and so on. Play around! For example, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody doesn’t stick to the conventional structure and it’s a masterpiece.

15. Experiment with Different Genres

Don’t pigeonhole yourself into one genre. If you usually write pop songs, why not try your hand at country, rap, or even opera?

Experimenting with different styles can lead to some surprisingly awesome results.

16. Use Technology

There are so many apps and software that can help you in songwriting. GarageBand, Fruity Loops (FL Studio), or even basic voice recording apps.

Technology is your friend; use it to experiment with different sounds and arrangements.

17. Research Your Favorite Songs

Pick some of your favorite songs and dissect them.

What is it about them that you love? Is it the lyrics, the melody, or the structure? Use these insights to guide your own writing, but be careful not to copy – let it inspire you.

18. Set Aside Your Inner Critic

When you’re first laying down ideas, silence that inner critic. It’s important to let your ideas flow without judging them initially. There’s plenty of time for editing later, so for now, just let it all out.

19. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like any skill, songwriting gets better with practice. Don’t be disheartened if your first few songs aren’t as good as you’d like. Keep writing and trying new things. Remember, even the greatest songwriters started somewhere.

20. Reflect and Learn

After you’ve written a song, take some time to reflect. What worked? What didn’t? What did you learn? This reflection is invaluable for growth.

Every song you write is a stepping stone to the next, possibly even greater, one.

21. Don’t Overthink It

So, here’s the thing – our brains can sometimes be our worst enemies.

You start with a cool idea, and then that little voice inside your head goes, “But is it good enough?”, “What will people think?”, or “Maybe I should add a key change, or a mandolin, or maybe an entire orchestra?”

Hold on! Take a deep breath. Let’s break it down.

Overthinking can suck the life out of your song.

Sometimes, the beauty lies in its simplicity.

Think about some of the most iconic songs out there. “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan, or “Imagine” by John Lennon.

What makes them timeless? It’s not an intricate web of instruments or verbose lyrics. It’s the simplicity and authenticity that strike a chord (pun intended) with anyone who listens to them.

How Can These Songwriting Tips Benefit You?

After getting a detailed grasp on a variety of songwriting tips, you might wonder: “But how do these tips actually benefit me?” Let’s break it down!

The Benefits
  • Boost Creativity and Expression: Understanding and practicing these tips can unleash your creativity. Finding ‘Your Why’ and ‘Inspiration Hunting’ will help you dive into the depths of your emotions and experiences, allowing you to articulate them creatively through song.
  • Develop Skills and Knowledge: Techniques like ‘Building a Structure’, ‘Getting Lyrical’, and ‘Mix & Match with Melodies’ empower you to build a solid foundation for your songwriting. These technical aspects are essential in creating a well-structured and captivating song.
  • Inculcate Discipline and Persistence: Tips such as ‘Practice, Practice, Practice’ and ‘Reflect and Learn’ emphasize the importance of commitment and perseverance. The constant process of writing, editing, and reflecting will instill discipline and persistence, which are crucial for growth in any art form.
  • Overcome Writer’s Block: With tips like ‘Word Association Games’ and ‘Keeping a Creative Journal’, you’re equipped with strategies to overcome the dreaded writer’s block. These techniques stimulate your brain and can help you to keep the words and ideas flowing even when you’re stuck.
  • Experiment and Find Your Unique Style: The inclusion of experimenting with different genres, playing with song form, and utilizing technology creates an openness to diversity in your music. This experimentation can lead you to discover a unique style that distinguishes you from others.
  • Constructive Collaboration and Feedback: Creating a songwriting group as suggested, will not only provide you with different perspectives but also help you learn from others. Sharing your work and receiving feedback is invaluable in refining your craft.
  • Enhance Emotional Well-being: Songwriting can be a form of therapy. By expressing yourself through music, you are giving an outlet to your emotions which can be cathartic and help in improving mental and emotional well-being.
  • Opportunities and Recognition: By consistently honing your skills and sharing your work, you never know when a song might catch someone’s ear and open doors for you. The music industry is vast and always on the lookout for fresh talent. Your dedication and improvement through these tips might just be what you need to get noticed.

Wrapping Up

And there we have it! You’re now geared up to pen down your first song.

But hey, let’s keep it real.

This is just the beginning.

The journey of songwriting is a roller coaster, and it’s oh-so-important to savor each twist and turn.

Remember, your first song is just that – the first. Keep going. Experiment, have a blast, and let those emotions pour out.

The songs you pen are like pieces of your soul wrapped in melody. Isn’t that something?

And, oh, that feedback thing? Gold. Pure gold. It might sting sometimes, but it’s the polish that your diamond in the rough needs.

Alright, I’m gonna wrap this up by saying: Dive in and make waves. Your voice, your words – they matter. The world’s waiting for your song.

FAQs

Q: How can I overcome writer’s block in songwriting?

A: Writer’s block is a common challenge for songwriters. To overcome it, try changing your environment, seeking inspiration from other art forms, or collaborating with fellow musicians.

Q: Are there any specific techniques to improve lyric writing?

A: Yes! Techniques like using metaphors, vivid imagery, and personal storytelling can elevate the impact of your lyrics and make them more engaging for listeners.

Q: Can I still write great songs without knowing how to read sheet music?

A: Absolutely! While knowledge of sheet music can be helpful, it is not essential for creating great songs. Many successful songwriters have relied on their ears and intuition to compose music.

Q: How do I find my unique musical style as a songwriter?

A: Finding your unique musical style takes time and experimentation. Explore different genres, draw inspiration from various artists, and allow yourself the freedom to create without boundaries.

Q: Is it necessary to learn an instrument to be a songwriter?

A: While learning an instrument can greatly benefit a songwriter by providing a deeper understanding of music theory and facilitating composition, it is not a prerequisite. Many successful songwriters collaborate with instrumentalists or rely on technology to bring their ideas to life.

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