How to Write a Song: Guide for First Timers

Uche Ibe, 2017-04-11
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Guest Post by Uche Ibe

What if I told you that writing a song is easy? That all you need to do is to follow the right steps and you will be able to write a song from start to finish.

Moreover, songwriting tutorials do not need to cost you money. There is no need to buy any expensive courses or software. You can get everything you need on the internet. In fact, scratch that - you can get them all for free right here.

In this article, I have compiled everything you need to get started on how to write or make your own song from scratch. All you need to do is read on and make sure you practice what you learn.

1. First you need to come up with the title

This is very important because the title of your song sets the stage for what you are going to write about next.

Think of your title as the foundation of your song. If you get it right and start with a solid foundation, then the rest of the song comes easy. The subject or title of your song is like a rough subject matter that your audience can easily relate to.

When coming up with the title for your song, you can go about it in a few ways. First, you can decide to write about an experience or an emotion that you feel.

So, for example, you had a tragic experience or a hard time dealing with love in a relationship and that becomes the subject of your song. From this experience, you can create a phrase of say, one to six words that sum up the message of your song. This serves as the title and the one thing that people tend to remember about your song.

Another option is to listen to an instrumental or a beat and then come up with something that is catchy and fun. While this method is a bit of chance, it is still recommended in a situation whereby you have no inspiration and cannot come up with anything good on your own.

2. Choose a song structure

The next thing you need to do is to choose a song structure. A song structure is simply how you want your song to flow from the beginning to the end. There are so many song structures you can decide to go with but the most common one is the Verse / Chorus / Verse / Chorus / Bridge / Chorus. This is a very simple song structure that you can model your song after.

The major advantage of having a structure in place is that it gives your song rhythm. This helps to make your songs memorable and ensures that it sticks in the mind of your audience.

3. Write the hook or the chorus

The hook or chorus of your song is the part that your listeners will definitely remember. As such, you want to make sure that your chorus is catchy and fun.

Writing a good chorus for your song is very important because it is what connects your verses together. If you are listening to a beat or instrumental, then the simplest way is to just start writing whatever comes to mind. This is usually a line or two with a set melody structure that you can write to. As you do this, you will find that you get ideas popping into your head that you can base your chorus around.

When writing your chorus, there are a few tips to consider.

  • It has to rhyme and be catchy.
  • Try using images in your words to convey a feeling or emotion to your audience.
  • Make sure the lyrics are easy to remember.
  • Make sure that it flows smoothly with the melody of the instrumental or beat.


  • 4. Write the verses

    After you have written the hook of your song and you have the subject matter, then you need to come up with the verses of the song. Think of the verses as supporting articles that add weight to your chorus.

    Depending on the song structure you choose in the beginning, your song might have three verses, or two verses and a bridge. The first verse usually comes before the chorus and is your opportunity to grab your audience’s attention and have them wanting more. Here you want to inject as much emotion and personality as you can.

    So if your song is structured in a story format, think of your first verse as the beginning of the story. With your second verse, you continue to build on your story and everything you talked about in the first verse.

    While coming up with your verses, you want to make sure that they flow and are connected to each other. If you write your verses in such a way that they are not connected, your audience might easily become bored.

    After your first and second verse, you might want to include a bridge in your songs. When writing your bridge, you need to think of something that is short and memorable.

    The bridge is usually different from the rest of the song in both delivery and how it sounds. It is usually slower and has a mellow melody to it. This leaves a distinct impression on the audience when the song returns to the original flow.

    If you decide to go with a third verse, then this serves as a conclusion to the story of your song. This is where you wrap up everything you talked about from the start of your song until the end. Make sure you end it with a strong final message that connects with your audience.

    Tips on how to improve your songwriting skills

  • Get started. While this is usually the hardest part in being a song lyricist, you just need to suck it up and do it. Once you have the title and subject matter of your song, writing the verses become much easier.
  • Remember that your lyrics matter. So you want to come up with lyrics that rhyme and are easily memorable.
  • Always have a pen and paper with you or an audio recorder because your inspiration can come at any moment.
  • Always write from experience as this helps to make your songs authentic and emotional.
  • Make sure your songs are very simple and not too complicated. This helps to reduce boredom and keeps your audience connected with your songs.
  • Always take a break when writing and come back refreshed.
  • Ask for feedback about your songs from people who matter and are ready to give you constructive criticisms.
  • Do not be afraid to fail. One thing you should know is that you will get better with practice. All you need is to keep at it and your writing will definitely improve.


  • Uche Ibe is a passionate singer and blogger at www.welovesinging.com. He enjoys teaching people how to sing and helping them become better singers. You can connect with him by visiting his blog or sending him an email.

    Disclaimer: Please note that the views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Tunedly.

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