10 Expert Songwriting Tips for Success

Writing any song might be easy, but writing great songs is much more challenging. Writing a song that people will remember is every songwriter’s lifelong goal. So, what are the songwriting tips to consider when penning down a song?

Songwriting is a true art that comes with a lot of practice. Here are ten tips to help you write a song with great melodies, captivating lyrics, and memorable hooks.

10 Pro Songwriting Tips

There’s no formula for songwriting, but these writing tips should inspire you in your journey of writing songs.

1. Compose a catchy melody

The melody of a song is one of its most essential features as it provides interest and helps with memorizing. The melody works as a hook and allows the audience to remember the lyrics. Singers typically have their melodies and then compose a song to fit the melody.

Great melodies have a focal point, like a high note in a melodic passage that anchors the rest of the melody line.

2. Incorporate rhythm into your song.

Rhythm is a central element of music. It consists of a regular succession of notes that become gradually faster or slower. Rhythm is what hooks people in on the first listen. Make sure your song has a catchy rhythm that will make your sound memorable in the audience’s minds.

3. Use all types of chords

You’ll limit your musical ideas if you stick to only a few chords. Compose songs that contain all kinds of chords from major, minor, to dominant, diminished, and augmented—to make it feel more complex and exciting.

4. Write a song you can play live.

Write a song you can perform on live stages and connect with your audience. When writing your song, make sure it would be as compelling when performed live as it would be in recorded form.

5. Step away from your instrument to write.

You might think it’s best to write songs while seated at the piano or holding a guitar. This works, but you may fall back on familiar tropes, which can leave you in a difficult situation.

Set your instrument down, and write melodies and rhythms in your head. If you have some excellent ideas, record them with a voice recorder on your phone. You can then use your instrument to figure out how to play the song.

6. Get ambitious with song structure.

Most songs mix the following: an intro, a verse, chorus, chorus, bridge, instrumental solo, and a coda or outro. Your song should do more than just switch between verses and choruses. Use the well-defined song structure thus: verse/ chorus/ verse/ chorus/ bridge/ chorus.

7. Structure your lyric properly

Lyrics writing is one of the hardest parts of songwriting. When your message isn’t written properly, your audience can get lost. Highlight the message and the emotions you want the audience to feel during the song. Make sure the lyrics are written in a very simplistic way and don’t have too many words.

8. Learn to break through writer’s block.

Take a step back and learn the basic principles of songwriting and tune them to suit your needs. Vary your creative process. If you’re used to writing music before lyrics, try doing it the other way round. The best way to spur creativity and inspiration is to move out of your comfort zone and try new things.

9. Write a beginning and an end to your song.

For a song to be coherent, it needs a beginning and end. These may not be the traditional verse-chorus song pattern. It can be any section of text that is memorable in some way. Make your introduction memorable; a great introduction can lead you to write the remaining parts of the song.

person wearing white shirt holding guitar and writing with pencil on white paper
person wearing white shirt holding guitar and writing with pencil on white paper

To Wrap Up

Songwriting can be fun and rewarding when it’s done the right way. You might not know how to begin, but not to worry. The songwriting tips in this article will guide you through the process of composing your first song.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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