How To Write Songs
The creative process can sometimes seem frustrating and overwhelming, so learning how to write songs is not considered an easy task. Just like any creative activity writing songs is not a process like assembling furniture, it requires the participant to actively engage their creative muscle and draw upon inspiration. It is very important you don't get frustrated because something that may seem like a mistake may actually improve your piece.
1. Listen, listen, listen! Actively listening to music often will not only help your mind recognize and understand certain patterns that will help when you start composing but may also give you inspiration. Just as a good writer reads the works of others to hone their skills, a good song writer should listen to music to hone theirs.
2. Become familiar with music theory. Music theory may seem like a daunting subject to someone who knows little about it but reading up on the basics can help you when it comes to sitting down and writing songs. Simply type "music theory" into your favorite search engine and read information from the most credible sources.
3. Have a finished product in mind. While sitting down and letting your creative energies flow out may be a good way to start, it is a good idea to set a goal as to what you are trying to achieve. For example, if you are attempting to write a country song notice how other songs of that genre are structured and apply your observations to your piece.
4. Be aware of mood. If you are going for a sad sounding song, don't use an upbeat chord like a normal E, instead use an E minor, for example. The mood of a song is essential in making it flow coherently from beginning to end so be sure you are aware of the "feel" of the sounds you are using.
5. Discard parts, if you must. Sometimes you may write a part of the song that doesn't seem to fit. Even if you spent a long time writing that part don't hesitate to throw it away (or use it for another song) if it doesn't flow with the rest of the piece. It may be hard to just discard a tune you like but it will make the coherency of the song more graceful.
6. Be ready for inspiration. It may be a good idea to carry a notepad (or tape recorder) around with you in case you suddenly feel inspiration at an inconvenient time, for it may be challenging to summon inspiration when it is fitting for you. When inspiration calls you should be attentive for it doesn't always call when you're ready.
7. Be diverse and uniform. While it is a good idea to make your song have certain parts that repeat (like the verse and chorus) it is also good to mix it up so that the song isn't too predictable. Keeping the listener, well, listening, takes more than just catchy rhythms; it also requires that you keep them on their toes. If they know what to expect from listening to the first minute they probably won't remember the song as anything special.
8. Hook ‘em. The hook is a catchy part of a song that is usually found in the chorus. Sometimes you don't write a hook as much as you find it. For example, you may write a part that you feel you could improve and in doing so you may develop a catchy tune that encourages the listener to remember. This may be one of the more challenging steps but the reward of writing a song that people will remember is immense.
The more songs you write the better you will become at it. Actively writing songs will hone your skills and help you come into your own style and will make you better at recognizing what’s appropriate and where. As you develop your skills you will figure out strategies that work best for you and your style.