Songwriting Process And Tips That Every Writer Needs To Know

Writing songs for the first time can be very difficult. As a beginner, you might be in the blue because you wouldn’t know where to start from. At least this was the case for me. But I should tell you Song writing is not a complex job. Well if you’re not in the writer’s block, that is. But don’t worry! This article will help you out of your confusing situation. It will help you get back into writing the most amazing songs. Song writing can be difficult at some point in your music career, this is natural. Not giving up is the first and foremost rule of writing a song, at least that applies to us. 

If you’re tired of song writing apps, videos, and everything, this article is for you. We have put some of the most effective ways and the basic process of writing a song that every writer needs to know.

What to do when you’re starting from scratch

For beginners, you can do whatever you want when you’re writing your first song. Songwriting and drawing on a canvas is pretty similar. Your instrument or your DAW is your empty canvas. Use your imagination, paint the canvas. However, you want. There are no rules. Whatever makes your head nod or hits you right in your feels is the song that you want to release. If you already have written songs in your career, you probably have a few unfinished projects. Going back to those projects is usually not a great idea unless you have to finish it. Start from scratch. Then, experiment with different sounds, tones, tunings. Get out of your comfort zone, explore new ideas, new vibes, and write what gives you joy. When you’re working on unfinished projects, don’t be afraid. Because your canvas is already painted. Add whatever your mind is satisfied with. No matter what it is, from a small guitar lick to orchestra, and hopefully you will get a beautiful result.  

Tips for improving your game

 Starting from scratch, you will probably feel bore. After a while, when you keep repeating the same melody or musical chords you have just written. That is natural. Not giving up is the key to success in a situation like this. Try adding more elements and make the song sound interesting. Find out which ‘spice’ is missing from your song. 

Joshua Insole says “Limit yourself. Use only certain strings on a guitar or​ only certain notes from a scale. Necessity is the mother of all invention, and I think music is the same – this will make you break your “go-to” licks and chords and patterns, and will force you to be inventive.​” 

If you don’t know Joshua Insole, check out his SoundCloud

There is no end to learning new things. You can never achieve all the knowledge this world has to offer. This applies to music and songwriting as well. Learn new scales, new chords, new licks, apply them to your songs. You never know what will make your song sound extra different and unique. So keep learning and experimenting.

Collaborate 

Collaboration gives you access to the imagination of other people. You can see what they apply to their songs to make them stand out. Try to collaborate with someone who knows what they’re doing. More likely a better or more experienced writer than you. They probably have been in the game longer than you and might know a thing or two more than what you know. Collaborating with them gives you access to their imagination. To learn what they do, and then you can apply those newly honed skills in your songs..  

Check out other songs 

Listening to other songs can easily inspire you. Try listening to other songs of the same genre you’re working on. 

Do NOT improvise 

This is a very annoying perk of writing a song. When you find out a new song and you fall in love with it, you keep singing the melody in your head all the time. At one point, you might want to change the scale and the melody of that song a little bit and make it your own. That’s not something you want to do if you want to grow as a songwriter or a musician. Don’t improvise, get inspired, and write something original

Going over the elements of a song

When you’re writing a song, it’s good to re-check the basics of it, like chords, melodies, lyrics and so on. Let’s go over some of these. 

Chords 

A set of notes or pitches are called chords. As mentioned before, music is like drawing on an empty canvas. Chords are more like the base of your song, more like the background that fills your canvas. Easy to play major and minor chords are everyone’s favorite. but if you really want to step up your game, Instead of mediocre triads or just harmonies. You must try using more complex seventh or ninth or sixth chords. To learn inversions to make basic chords sound better in your songs check out this link. 

While there are fancy sixth, seventh, or ninth chords to make a song sound different. Melodies play a vital role in making even the simplest chords memorable. A catchy melody can make anyone hum throughout the day, whether you’re taking a shower or driving to work. 

Writing any melody is easy. But writing a catchy melody is pretty tough. 

As a songwriter or musician, the melody you have written can start sounding boring. It’s because you’ve been singing it in your head since you woke up. Maybe you have been playing the melody on your piano, guitar, or in your DAW for too long. Or the melody isn’t good enough. Let’s go over the basic theory of melody. What does it mean, its types, and how to write a better melody. Melody that stands out and makes your song better and pleasing to everyone’s ears. 

Melody: Definition, History and Overview

The series of notes, the most focused part of harmonized music, is called Melody. Melody is an essential aesthetic product of a song. It is a very focused part that is always remembered by the listener. Melody makes the song unique, different from others. Countless melodies can be written. But catchy, unique, memorable melodies are tough. Simple yet catchy melodies are the secret behind numerous songs. Those songs are hitting the charts and staying at the top. Complex melodies are hard to keep in mind. Nevertheless, a beautiful one can stay in anyone’s mind forever. Back in the 19th century, melodies were considered to be the top tone of chords in Western music. Thus, skilled guitarists can easily figure out the chords by listening to the melody of the song. A single line of melody was highly appreciated in Arab, Indian, Medieval European music in the past. In the melodies of the​ trouvères and troubadours Byzantine plainchant the single line of​ melody was highly used. Several notes combined form a polyphony. Varying a single melodic line resulting in a unique texture is heterophony.  

           Characteristics of Melody

Melodies can be characterized by its features. Some key characteristics of a melodic line are: 

  • Range 
  • Scale 
  • Contour 

Besides, intervals and structure of a melodic line are considered to be some characteristics of a melodic line as well. 

Range

The distance or gap between the lowest note and the highest note of a melody is simply its range. The bigger the range, the more complex it makes the melody. The melodic range can go up to two octaves or stay half an octave. A melody with a range of two octaves is tough to remember. It’s because of how many unique notes can fit into it, making it pretty complex. On the other hand, short-ranged melodies are easy to remember as they contain comparatively less notes than a melody with a bigger range.  

How to write better melodies for your songs keeping range in mind

Range can be effective in writing beautiful melodies. A bigger range can make a melody too complex. Again a smaller range can make the melody too dull and sound boring. Staying in between is the key to writing a beautiful melody. Utilizing range to create beautiful melodies is demonstrated by BroBeatzTV​.

BroBeatzTV:

 Scale

Melodies are written in a systematic way which is in a boundary of certain notes, that is the scale. Scale is a very simple yet important thing to consider while writing melodies. Naturally, we write chords on a certain scale and then proceed to write melodies. The melodies are ultimately on the scale. Our ears can find out which notes are pleasing to our ears. In a song, the chords form a boundary, the scale. And melodies written on that scale are pleasing to our ears. A popular ditty found throughout Europe, “It’s raining, it’s pouring” (g–g–e–a–g–e), uses the scale of three notes and 2 intervals, a wide minor third and a narrow major second. Choosing a scale and writing melodies inside that boundary is a must in case of songwriters. Way out of scale melodies make the song sound jumbled and makes no sense.  

Contour

Contour is a simple character of a melodic line. In simple words, the way the melody ascends or descends is the contour. For example, riser is a type of FX familiar with music producers. It is often used in different genres to create an uplifting vibe. The key reason for us feeling the vibe is because most of the riser melodies come with an ascending contour. 

The knowledge on different characteristics of melodies can be utilized for writing good melodies. Imagination has no boundaries. You are always free to break the rules, but when you’re doing it, make sure you are not going overboard.

The most interesting and “feelings-conveying​” part of a song is arguably the lyrics of the song. Lyrics writing can be difficult. But you can convey your feelings about certain things. Or maybe just deliver a message to your listeners through this. So, instead of wasting this opportunity by repeating the name of your “Italian luxury brand- gang”. let’s see how we can write something that makes more sense. 

Lyrics 

Lyrics are one of the most focused parts of a song. If the listener likes your song, they want to sing along. The first thing that comes up in their minds when they want to sing along to any song is to memorize its lyrics. Lyrics are the set of words that the vocalist sings as an element of the song. The key to writing memorable lyrics is simple, add easy and repetitive words in the chorus. Try keeping the syllables in a sequence and most importantly, don’t use unnecessary words. This should make your lyrics stand out more and easy to sing. 

Thoughts ?

Try to finish the song as soon as possible, don’t keep working on the same project forever. Limit yourself in scales, work with what you have. Collaborate with artists better and more experienced than you. It will help you to learn more and more about their thought-process. Write music that you enjoy and have fun listening to it. Don’t lose your pace when you’re working. Try adding different things. Listen to other songs, get inspired when you’re clueless. And lastly, never give up. Check out this video for more tips from the pros: 

Further Reading

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