Songwriting Advice

How To Start To Write A Song

how to start to write a song lyric assistant

You're walking down the street, and suddenly a melody pops into your head. You can't ignore it; it's catchy, emotional, and feels like it could be the start of something incredible. But how do you go from that initial spark of inspiration to a fully-fledged, unforgettable song? Writing a song can be challenging, especially if you're new to it. But with the right approach, you can turn your ideas into musical masterpieces. In this guide, we'll explore the essential steps and tips for starting to write a song, complete with a realistic example. We'll also show you how Lyric Assistant can help you perfect your craft and write songs that resonate with your audience.

Every songwriter's journey begins with a single step: deciding to create something new and powerful. Whether you've always dreamed of penning a hit, or simply want to express yourself through music, learning how to start writing a song is the first step to unleashing your creativity. It's essential to approach the process with patience, courage, and a willingness to experiment. Remember, every great songwriter was once a beginner too, and by following these steps, you'll be well on your way to creating music that stirs the soul.

Step 1: Choose your theme or topic

The first step in writing a song is deciding what it's going to be about. This might be a specific emotion, experience, or message you want to convey. Think about what inspires you, what stories you want to tell, and what your intended audience might connect with. You can draw inspiration from your own experiences, the world around you, or even other songs and artists you admire.

Step 2: Determine the song structure

Next, consider the structure of your song. Most songs follow a traditional structure that includes an intro, verse, chorus, and bridge. This doesn't mean you have to stick to this format, but it's a helpful starting point, especially if you're new to songwriting. Experiment with different song structures to find the one that best suits your style and message.

Step 3: Create a melody and chord progression

The melody is the backbone of any song, setting the tone and creating the foundation for the lyrics. It helps to start by creating a simple chord progression that works well with your chosen topic. Once you have a chord progression, work on developing a memorable melody that will stick in your listener's heads. Don't be afraid to experiment with different styles and genres to find the sound that best fits your vision.

Write Hit Songs Like a Professional Songwriter

The ultimate songwriting tool that takes your creative vision to the next level! With just a few clicks, you can unleash your inner songwriter and craft a hit that's uniquely yours. You own it.

Example: Pop, Rock, Rap, Electronic, R&B, K-Pop, Drill...
Example: Happy, sad, inspirational, romantic, gritty...
Example: Love, loss, overcoming adversity, party, faith, personal growth, reflection...
Example: Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Grimes, Beyonce, Billie Eillish, Pink Floyd, BTS ...
A bridge is used to provide a new perspective or shift in your song's mood

Step 4: Write the lyrics

Now it's time for the most crucial part of the songwriting process: penning the lyrics. Start by brainstorming ideas and jotting down phrases that come to mind. Keep the theme or topic of your song in mind during this process, and don't be afraid to revise and refine your lyrics as you go. Use vivid language and avoid clichés to keep your listeners engaged. They say practice makes perfect, so write as often as you can to hone your songwriting skills.

How To Start To Write A Song Example

Let's say you're inspired to write a song about overcoming adversity. You decide on a powerful-turned-triumph theme, a traditional song structure, and a catchy pop-rock sound. You might start with a chord progression like C-G-Am-F, which creates an uplifting feel. Then, experiment with different melodies until you find one that fits your chosen genre and topic. Finally, write lyrics that tell a story about facing challenges and emerging victorious, using vivid imagery and personal experiences to create a relatable, emotional connection with your audience.

Now that you have a solid understanding of how to start writing a song, it's time to put your newfound knowledge to the test. Embrace your creativity, and remember that each song you write is a stepping stone to becoming a better songwriter. And for those moments when you need a little extra help or inspiration, look no further than Lyric Assistant. With a few simple inputs like genre, topic, and structure, Lyric Assistant can help you craft the perfect song in just minutes. So why wait? Start creating your masterpiece today and let Lyric Assistant be your guiding hand on the path to musical greatness.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good first step for writing a song?

Beginning with a concept or a central theme can be a great first step in songwriting. Finding the emotion or message you want to convey helps guide the lyrics, melodies, and harmonies. Some songwriters start with lyrics or a melody line, while others may begin with chord progressions or rhythms. Experiment to find what works best for you.

Do I need to play an instrument to write a song?

No, you do not necessarily need to play an instrument to write a song. Many songwriters collaborate with instrumentalists or use digital tools and software to create their music. The most important aspect is understanding song structure and having a strong sense of melody and rhythm.

How important is music theory in songwriting?

While a comprehensive understanding of music theory can be beneficial, it is not mandatory for songwriting. Basic knowledge of scales, chords, and song structures can greatly help, but many successful songwriters have crafted hits with limited theory knowledge, relying more on their intuition and creativity

Can I write a song if I can't sing?

Yes, you can write a song even if you're not a vocalist. Many songwriters focus on the composition and lyric-writing aspects and collaborate with singers to bring their songs to life. Focus on your strengths, and don’t let the lack of one skill deter you from creating music.

How do songwriters find inspiration for their lyrics?

Inspiration for lyrics can come from personal experiences, stories, observations, books, art, or even a single word or phrase that sparks creativity. There is no right or wrong source of inspiration; the key is to be observant and open to ideas from the world around you.

Is there a particular structure I should follow when writing a song?

While there are common structures like verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus, there's no strict rule to songwriting. However, understanding common song structures can be helpful. Feel free to experiment with different formats to find what best serves the song you're writing.

What do I do if I’m having writer's block?

Writer's block is common, and overcoming it can involve several strategies. Take a break, find new sources of inspiration, change your environment, collaborate with others, or try writing about something completely different. The key is to keep your creative juices flowing without pressuring yourself too much.

How can I ensure that my song is original?

To create original music, draw from your personal experiences and thoughts. Combine different influences and genres to make something that feels new and authentic to you. Stay true to your unique voice, and don’t be afraid to experiment with unconventional ideas.

How much time should I spend on writing a song?

There is no set amount of time for writing a song – it can take anywhere from a few minutes to several months or even years. The process is different for every songwriter, and it often depends on the complexity of the song and how much polish and refinement it requires.

Is it better to write lyrics or music first?

There is no "better" approach to this; it varies from songwriter to songwriter. Some find it easier to start with lyrics and write music that complements the emotional tone of the words. Others may start with a melody or a chord progression and fit the lyrics into it. You can try both approaches to see which suits your workflow.

Can I write a good song without a chorus?

Absolutely. While choruses are a staple in many popular songs, there are many successful and impactful songs without traditional choruses. What's important is how the song feels as a whole and whether it conveys the intended message or emotion effectively.

What's the best way to know if my song is any good?

Getting feedback from others can be one of the best ways to gauge your song's appeal. Play it for friends, family, or fellow musicians and be open to constructive criticism. Also, trust your instincts; if you feel good about what you have created, that's a positive sign.

How do I choose the right title for my song?

Your song's title should capture the essence of the song and be memorable. Often, the title is a prominent lyric from the chorus or a phrase that summarily conveys the song’s theme. The right title can engage listeners even before they hear the first note.

Can a song have more than one bridge?

Yes, a song can have multiple bridges, although it's less common. Multiple bridges can provide contrast in terms of musicality and lyrical content. However, it's important to maintain coherence and ensure that each part contributes something valuable to the song.

Should I edit my song after I write it?

Editing is a crucial part of the songwriting process. After the initial draft, it's important to review and refine the lyrics, melodies, and structure to make sure everything works harmoniously and effectively delivers the song’s message.

What if I can't finish a song I've started?

Not being able to finish a song is common. You can set it aside and return to it later with a fresh perspective, or use parts of it for a new song. Sometimes, collaborating with another songwriter can provide the insight needed to complete it.

Is it cheating to use songwriting apps or tools?

No, it’s not cheating to use digital aids. Technology can be a great asset to the songwriting process, providing tools for arranging, experimenting with sounds, and expanding your creative options. Embrace whatever tools help you achieve your musical vision.

How essential is it to record a demo of my song?

Recording a demo can be incredibly beneficial. It allows you to hear how your song sounds outside of your head and makes it easier to share with others for feedback. A demo is also a valuable tool when working with musicians, producers, or when pitching your song to artists.

Can I make money from songwriting?

Yes, songwriting can be a profitable endeavor if you manage to get your music published, recorded by artists, or synced in media like TV and film. Royalties, licensing fees, and performance payments are common revenue streams for songwriters.

How do I protect my copyright when I’ve written a song?

Once you've created a song, you automatically hold the copyright to it. To formally protect your work, however, you should register it with a copyright office or a performance rights organization in your country. This provides legal evidence of your authorship and the date of creation.

Do I have to be able to read music to be a songwriter?

Reading music is not a requirement for being a songwriter. Many successful songwriters do not use traditional notation. What's important is understanding the flow of music and being able to communicate your ideas to others, whether through playing by ear, using chord charts, or audio recordings.

Where can I share my songs once I've written them?

You can share your songs on social media platforms, music-sharing websites, through live performances, open mics, songwriting forums, and contests. These outlets not only help in gaining exposure but also allow you to get feedback from a larger audience.

Write Hit Songs Like a Professional Songwriter

The ultimate songwriting tool that takes your creative vision to the next level! With just a few clicks, you can unleash your inner songwriter and craft a hit that's uniquely yours. You own it.

Example: Pop, Rock, Rap, Electronic, R&B, K-Pop, Drill...
Example: Happy, sad, inspirational, romantic, gritty...
Example: Love, loss, overcoming adversity, party, faith, personal growth, reflection...
Example: Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Grimes, Beyonce, Billie Eillish, Pink Floyd, BTS ...
A bridge is used to provide a new perspective or shift in your song's mood
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About Toni Mercia

Toni Mercia is a Grammy award-winning songwriter and the founder of Lyric Assistant. With over 15 years of experience in the music industry, Toni has written hit songs for some of the biggest names in music. She has a passion for helping aspiring songwriters unlock their creativity and take their craft to the next level. Through Lyric Assistant, Toni has created a tool that empowers songwriters to make great lyrics and turn their musical dreams into reality.

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