The Art of Songwriting
Have you ever wanted to make a song? Well there’s no better time than NOW!
Songwriting made simple! It’s not as hard as it might sound, and the best part is that you don’t need a lot of complicated chords to do this. In fact, most of the popular songs we’re singing were made from easy chord progressions using 2 to 4 chords in repetition. Some people start with writing the lyrics while others run a chord progression to make a song. Thus, learning chord progression gives you a head start in creating music.
A song has three components: lyrics, melody, and harmony.
1. Lyrics are the words of a song.
If you have trouble coming up with ideas for your song, here are some things that might help:
- Choose a topic or subject that you’re passionate about
- Start with a personal story or experience
- Write about something that’s happening in the world
- Tell a joke or write a funny story
No matter what you write about, remember to keep your lyrics simple. More often than not, the best songs are those with relatable and understandable lyrics.
Once you have your lyrics, it’s time to create a melody.
2. Melody is the tune of a song.
The melody is the tune or main musical idea. It is the part of the song that we sing with the lyrics or hum. It’s important to have a catchy melody because that’s usually what people remember after hearing a song.
There are no hard and fast rules in creating a melody, but here are some things to keep in mind:
- Keep it simple
- Experiment with different notes and rhythms
- Use the words of your lyrics to help you create the melody
- Don’t be afraid to try something new!
To write a melody, you can use a recorder or any other musical instrument that you’re comfortable with. If you don’t have any musical instruments, you can also hum the tune or use your voice.
It’s important to make sure that your melody is catchy and easy to sing. Here are some more tips for creating a melody:
- Start by coming up with a simple chord progression like: I, IV, V, and vi chords.
- Keep in mind that the notes should flow smoothly and logically together.
- Use simple scales such as major or minor pentatonic scales.
- If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, try starting with the words of your lyrics.
- The melody should also be reflective of the emotions you want to convey in your song.
- Happy melodies tend to have a lot of major notes while sadder melodies have more minor notes.
Now that you have your lyrics and melody, it’s time to add some harmony.
3. Harmony is when two or more notes are played together to create a chord.
The melody is the main tune of the song, and the harmony are the background chords. Harmony is when two or more notes are played at the same time. When these notes are played together, they create chords.
Harmony is what gives a song its richness and fullness. It adds texture and depth to a song. Chords add color and interest to a song and can be used to emphasize certain words or phrases in your lyrics.
There are many different ways to create harmony, but the most important thing is to experiment and find what sounds best with your melody.
Here are some tips for creating harmony:
- Try playing the chords of your melody on a different instrument or singing them in a different register.
- You can also try adding notes to your melody to create new chords.
- Another way to create harmony is by using countermelodies.
A countermelody is a second melody that’s played at the same time as the main melody. It’s important to make sure that your countermelodies complement each other and don’t compete with each other.
- You can also try adding chords to your melody to create a more full sound.
If you’re not sure how to add chords to your melody, start by playing the chords of your melody on a different instrument or singing them in a different register.
- You can also try improvising and see what sounds good.
Now that you have your lyrics, melody, and harmony, it’s time to create your own song.
Let’s get started working on your first song!
There are many ways to start creating your own music. You can always find your creative flow, or anywhere that is comfortable for you and lead the way in music-making with these steps! These workflow has been crafted specifically if we don’t feel like being creative sometimes – they’re perfect whether you’re starting out on guitar playing or wanting to create something new altogether, and to help you get started fast.
Here’s how to create a simple song from scratch in 7 quick and easy steps.
1. Let’s have a quick review of the primary parts of a song you need to work on.
- Intro: The intro is the part that sets the tone. It can be a short passage or a longer section, but it should introduce the melody and/or lyrics that will be used throughout the song.
- Verses: Verses are the main part. This is where most lyrics will be sung, and sometimes this section can contain different melodies as well. They typically follow the same melody as the intro, and may be repeated multiple times throughout the song.
- Chorus: The chorus often contains the title or the hook (the phrase that sticks out in your mind). It is usually repeated multiple times throughout the song.
- Bridge: The bridge is a part of the song that can stand on its own, or it can be used to transition between two verses. It usually only appears once in a song.
- Outro/Coda: An outro or coda is an ending passage added at the end of a long musical composition. This is where you will want to tie up any loose ends in the song, and is often used as a reprise of the intro or chorus sections.
2. Make a Title or a Theme
Making your first song can be really exciting! It’s important to have fun and try not be too stiff in the process. Write something that comes naturally for you, then see how creative it gets – even if what comes out isn’t perfect at first glance (in fact most of our favorite songs were started this way), we’ll end up surprise with just where all those witty lines are hiding when they’re put together.
If you can’t think of a title yet, you can deal with it later. To start, just write a phrase for the theme of the song. Is it happy, bright or sad and cloudy?
3. Get to know your song key.
To begin, find your voice range in the music alphabet. Since you are just starting out with guitar, use a major chord to build your progression. Guitar players often start with C Major (C) because they are friendly to both genders. It’s usually friendly and easy-going, but feel free to explore which chord makes you most comfortable! If this is too difficult for you, don’t worry! Just select any key on your guitar and transpose it later.
4. Build on a Chord Progression
Just like most of the popular songs, there’s nothing wrong with using the same basic chord progression we covered on the previous blog/lesson. You can start with the famous I-IV-V of any key, which are all major chords. Then you can explore adding minors with this progression:
- vi-I-V: Am-C-G
- I-V-vi-V: C-G-Am-F
Don’t use too many chords; 2 or 3 would be fine.
5. Create melodies out of the chord progression
You may be surprised to find that you can still create a unique tune for your song, even if it’s been used many times before. The mood and experience of the writer will make all kinds or sounds!
6. Write your lyrics down.
The most important aspect of writing a song is to come up with the verse, chorus and bridge. The later addition of an intro or outro can be done at this point if desired but it’s not necessary for success in making music that gets stuck in your head!
You can keep playing your chord progression and out of the melody, start singing some words based on what you just made. Start with anything to build up a first line for verses or choruses; these will usually narrate stories towards catchy hooks!
Like a poem, writing songs is about creating rhythms and rhymes. You can always work outside these parameters if you want to!
7. Finally, add more sections and connect all parts together.
- Add Intro and Outro
- Instrumental or transitions
- Decide how many times you need to repeat a section
The intro sets up what is happening in your verses and chorus while also building suspense for when things change during bridge or outro.
Don’t let perfection stop you from making your first song. When you’re just starting out, it can be really awkward to read or sing your first song. Remember: practice makes permanent – so go ahead with confidence knowing that every next attempt will improve until finally finding our own creative path in making music.
Find your own style.
Don’t try to fit yourself into a box you don’t fit in, instead find what makes you unique and let it shine through.
Take some time off to brainstorm ideas and find a way to keep track of your ideas. Writing lyrics and melodies come much easier to some than others, but it is important not to give up. If you’re having trouble, try spending some time relaxing and writing without thinking about the song itself. Let your mind wander and see what thoughts or words catch your attention.
You are your first audience, so don’t strive to please yourself with your first song. A tune should express how we feel, so just keep it real! The best way to express your feelings is through writing! Whether it’s for a special occasion or just an everyday moment, you can always turn those thoughts into words with music and creativity.