Are you trying to figure out how to write a song? While songwriting might seem easy to some, it's not as straightforward as you might think. Writing a song requires a melody, lyrics, chords, proper arrangement and style. But with these songwriting tips, you'll learn how to write a song and make it sound like a hit!

Many musicians want to know how to write a song so they can fill an album and reach their dreams of stardom. Take it from someone who knows - writing a song because you want to get rich never works! You have to know how to write a song that people can relate to or one that sounds like it relates to something else. Of course, songs just for fun work, too.

But if you're not writing from the heart, you're not going to get any fans. Using these simple tips, you'll not only get fans, but devoted followers as well.

Things You Will Need

Pen and paper
An instrument

Step 1

1. Start with an idea: You need inspiration. A topic. Something you can write the song about. If you don't have someone you love enough to write a song about them, write about an experience. Use your current situation as inspiration for your song. Are you struggling to make ends meet? Do you belong to a broken family? Are you really happy about where you're at in your life right now and want to share that with listeners? Whatever you choose should trip an emotional trigger, even if it's a little one.

2. Pick a few songs as your inspiration for what you want your song to sound like. These are your influences. Although your song shouldn't turn out sounding anything identical to your influences, use the overall feeling and sound to dictate how you write the words and music. You should like the song you're patterning yours after.

3. Determine if you're a lyrics-first songwriter or a music-first songwriter. Some songwriters, like Elton John, find it easier to have lyrics written first and write music to them. I sometimes find that difficult. I usually get a little melody in my head, start writing lyrics and come up with the rest of the music later.

4. Pick apart the lyrics of one of your favorite songs. What makes it sound the way it does? Does it have a certain verse structure? Do the lyrics sound stupid if you speak them aloud on their own, but sound just right when put to music? Delivery is everything, and it will help you determine how to write a song of your own.

5. Figure out the main chords and chord progression of your influence song. Hit songs from artists like Green Day, Justin Timberlake and Linkin Park are often in a minor key and move in a 1-3-6-4 verse and chorus pattern, with a 6-7 pre-chorus pattern. A 1-6-3-7 minor verse pattern also works.

6. Begin writing lyrics to your song. Don't worry about all of them rhyming right away. Get the ideas down - you can always look for rhyming synonyms later. Use pen; never erase. Just scribble out what you don't want.

7. Come up with a melody. This melody should be fairly easy to sing and within your voice range. You don't want to strain your voice while you sing - it's not pretty. Also, keep progressing notes within an octave of each other. Unless you're writing a musical or an opera, you won't want to jump around pitches with reckless abandon.

8. Put chords to your melody. If you want a real "hit," don't use chords that don't flow from one to another musically. In other words, don't just grab your favorite chords out of mid-air. They should sound like they fit together in sequence.

9. Don't be afraid to repeat the same chord pattern from the verse in your chorus. The trick on how to write a song, and a hit song in particular, is realizing when you should use the same chord patterns in verse and chorus (think, Linkin Park's "What I've Done" and "New Divide").

10. Arrange the song. I can't tell you exactly how to do this without knowing what instruments you have access to, your ability to play them or your overall creativity. But another trick in knowing how to write a song is arranging the song and punctuating it with just the right beat and rhythm. This can mean the difference between a boring song and an upbeat, snappy song.

In general, you should keep the song moving. Either play arpeggiated piano or guitar chords or keep a steady drumbeat in the background. Cymbals and snare really keep a beat while a fat bass drum or bass guitar line keeps the song booming and full, instead of empty and hollow. Array

Tips & Warnings