How to Write a Song - from


Ok - as silly as some of this is - and it started as a tongue in cheek post - there is some good advice in here and it may be worth a skim if you're a) new to writing or b) stuck.    The video in the article isn't showing up for me - but it promises:  "This video explains the "songwriters formula" used in mainstream music. An easy method to writing music that is effective!"  ... ok - now I'm being tongue in cheek...


- John


Want to write a hit song? Join the club! The problem with hits is that they require a fair amount of talent and a huge serving of luck. Almost anybody, however, can write a really good song, and the feeling you get when you do is even better than the feel of cold, hard cash. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced songwriter, here's how to tap your potential and bring out the music inside you.


Stop thinking about writing songs, and start writing songs. You really want to be a famous star, don’t you? You daydream about being on stage and hearing the roar of the crowd. Only trouble is, gee whiz, you’re dreaming your life away. If you want to write a really good song, you’re going to have to work for it. Start today. Commit to writing a certain number of songs per week, the way successful authors commit to writing a thousand words a day.


Listen actively to a lot of music. Good writers read books. Good songwriters listen to songs. As you listen, think about what you like about a song. Are the lyrics unique, do the song's chord changes perfectly capture a mood, do you like the transition from one part of the song to another?


Get technical. You don't have to have a degree in music theory to write a good song, but you should have an understanding of how songs are built. This includes a basic understanding of harmony, melody, and rhythm. Harmony, Having to do with chord arrangements having harmonic qualities that blend with both the rhythmic feel and the melody of the song. A beginner would want to look into basic major and minor keys and chords which pertain to the given key they are working in. The I IV and V chords of any key can be thought of as a meat and potatoes way of writing a song as these three chords will accompany any melody that stays within the given key. There are infinite ways to structure a song, but there's a common sequence found in most of them (see Tips). As you listen to songs, try to identify the different parts. Check yourself by looking at lyrics online or in a music book; the parts of songs are often labeled in these media.


Be ready when inspiration comes calling. Unfortunately, inspiration usually doesn't strike at the most convenient times, so it's important that you be able to remember each new song that pops into your head, no matter where you are. Carry a pen and paper with you wherever you go, or better yet, carry a tape recorder or digital audio recorder--melodies can be extremely difficult to capture on paper unless you have a strong music background.

  • You can usually record yourself a memo on a cell phone, and if not, you can call yourself and leave a message of your singing or humming on your voice mail. Make sure you sing loud enough for the song to be clear when you listen to the message later; make people think you're crazy!
  • It would be helpful if you have a musical instrument (e.g. Piano, keyboard, guitar, etc.) so that you can explore the music. An added advantage is that you can easily write down the notes (or tabs) when you have a tune. Try recording it for feedback. Guitars plug directly into computer mic jacks with an adapter. You can always go back to your recording. It helps. If you revise it, then record it again.

Views: 72

Comment by John K-N on May 12, 2011 at 7:48am
Rest of article at:
Comment by John K-N on May 12, 2011 at 8:04am

Further reading:


try the ummm... humorous "How to Enjoy Aphex Twin's Music":'s-Music


"How to Start a Record Label":


"How to do harsh death metal vocals":


"How to make a rainstick"


"How to write gothic horror instrumental music"


"How to make trance music":

Comment by John K-N on May 12, 2011 at 8:06am

Oh no - I forgot one:


How to be a goth:


and How to be a gothic Lolita:




Comment by John K-N on May 12, 2011 at 8:07am

I promise I'll stop.



Comment by Fellirium on May 12, 2011 at 1:28pm
Nice! :D


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