Songwriting is a great way to express yourself. You can take exactly what’s bothering you or what is making you euphoric at any one given moment and then turned into a song which is one of my favorite things about songwriting in the first place. One of the most common questions which I’ll get is how to song write to begin with. Is this something you can develop over time or is this something which you are just naturally born with a talent to do?
Fortunately, it is really just a talent which you develop over time. In this article I’m going offer three different methods for how to song write so you can have a number of different options for spring boarding your songwriting technique.
The first method of how to song write is to focus on your lyrics and let them dictate the song. In this case, the lyrics come first and dictate the music. This is not generally the method which I use, but every now and then I will find success in paging through my lyric book, looking for lines which really stand out to me.
These are lines which either make use of incorporating uncommon words which you would not normally hear a song or just a cleverly written set of standout lines which commonly lend themselves to developing a melody around.
The second method for how to song write is to come up with words around the melody. This is generally how I write the vast majority of my song.
To come up with a melody, all you really have to do is string together a few different notes in a sequence until you find something which you like. Ideally you have some kind of background within instruments and know how to make a few chords and can play those underneath of a melody which you hum.
It’s important to remember that a melody which doesn’t really work for a particular progression underneath of it can sound completely different and refreshing under a different chord progression. Imagine some of your favorite songs with different progressions underneath them. Think about a chorus from your favorite song at the moment and try playing different chords within that same key around that same vocal melody and notice how it’s not nearly as effective in most cases.
Every now and then I’ll find a chord progression which I believe sounds better than the progression which I’m currently listening to in a song. It’s interesting to think about how much a progression subconsciously is what makes a song popular and sells records.
The final way for how to song write is to develop a song idea around a title. This is generally how I recommend first time songwriters.
Come up with a great and unique title which paints an entire picture for the rest of the song in terms of mood energy and even specific things like tempo. With that title just like step number one you can find a melody to put on top of that. Try putting different notes on each syllable of each word in the title. It doesn’t work, try different notes or try spacing them out differently so that you use the same note on multiple syllables or words. A lot of good songs draw out one note or syllable in particular for emphasis and make that the central hook.