Songwriting and where to start

So songwriting, it can be quite the daunting thing. Often you don’t know where to start well, I’m here to give you step by step instructions to writing the song of your dreams. Disclaimer, this might not work for everyone, but I know this definitely works for me.

1. Brainstorming:

Songwriting is such a creative process and you need to channel your ideas. This is where the idea for the song comes up, think long and hard what it is that you want to write about, whether it be heartbreak or a song about your cat, either way it all comes from the idea. I’d recommend scribbling ideas onto a page or even a mind map to help your songwriting.

2. Songwriting with Spotify playlists:

Now this is a little unique for myself but I find the best way to create ideas for songwriting is through a playlist. I usually create a playlist, label it a song title idea or the theme for your ideal song e.g. “I miss you”, then every time you hear a song that connects with you or your idea, you add it. Then when songwriting, picking chords or lyrics, play the playlist and become inspired.

3. Chords:

Pretty self explanatory when songwriting, pick a chord progression! or multiple! Sit down with your piano, guitar or if your singer and can’t necessarily play an instrument, or if your chord knowledge is brief, try a chord progression generator, I recommend ‘Chordchord it’s brilliant for songwriting.

4. Lyrics:

Now step 3 and 4 can be swapped around, depending on what works best for you. So lyrics can often be the hardest part, you don’t want to sound to cheesy but you want to write from your heart. There’s two ways you can write lyrics, sometimes I will just pick up my guitar and play the chord progression. Then I’ll make up lyrics on the spot, improvising then polishing. Or you can battle each part of the song in sections, pick a chorus, pick a verse, or work line by line. Whatever works for you.

5. Melody:

Once you have chords and lyrics, you have the foundations for a great song, all that’s left is to create a melody. Play with different feels, and most importantly record everything, you don’t want to make something amazing and eventually forget it.

Now begin and most importantly have fun!

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Written by Chloe Parker!

Written By

Finley is the National Music Academy manager and director.