Updated: Nov 10, 2022
Whether you have been feeling inspired lately or there is just a lot on your mind, writing a song can help turn your inspiration into tangible work that can be heard by others. Whether you want to pursue songwriting as a profession, or you just do it as a fun activity, songwriting can become a great passion for anyone to get into.
With that being said, writing a song can be difficult and there are a million different ways to go about it. This is especially true if you have never written a song in the past. The best way to create your perfect song is to know the basics of songwriting and to be very familiar with it.
In this post from Mike’s Mix & Master, we will be going over a simple step-by-step process of how to write a song, giving you everything (except the inspiration) to begin and finish your song in a cohesive process. Mike’s Mix & Master is an online-based audio engineering company that provides services to mix and master the songs created by you during this process. While this is an entirely different process, it is important to keep in mind if you ever intend to release and publish the music you end up creating. Read on to learn more about the songwriting process and how to complete it with grace and ease.
Starting the Song
Before you start putting your pen to paper for writing your song, you’ll want to begin by somewhat defining the direction of your song. This does not mean creating a script to follow to a T, but you will want to figure out answers to some key questions to help guide you through the process.
What Are My Songwriting Tools?
When it comes to creating a song, it is important to factor in the tools needed to create. This does not mean picking every instrument or melody right away. Instead, pick one instrument or melody to go off of with a trusty instrument (such as a guitar or piano) and then build from there. It is important to know your tools before you write the song in order to create clear and comfortable music that you are proud of.
Are There Lyrics?
If you are thinking of creating a song with lyrics in it, start brainstorming lines or ideas that you want to craft into the composition. These do not have to be tailored to the music (yet), they just need to be truthful to you and resonate with your ideas. Begin to match these lyrics with your instrument to create a clear and cohesive concept.
What Is the Topic?
Your song should have a topic that is botched asked and addressed within the piece. You are trying to convey an idea and emotion at the same time, which can sound like a daunting and scary task. Whether it is acknowledging the issues facing just yourself or the entire world at large, getting those ideas into a cohesive topic will pave the way for any following steps of songwriting.
Creating a Rough Draft
While it is going to sound like a weird idea, the best way to come up with a rough draft of the song is to hit record and start freestyling elements that you may envision in your piece. After recording a rough and messy version, you can then listen back to what has been created and analyze which parts you might have liked and which ones you didn’t. It is important to keep in mind that no one will hear this version of your track, so just make sure to have fun and be passionate about what you’re trying to convey.
Find Your Composition
The hardest part of creating the final version of your writing is starting. It helps to find a piece from your rough draft that you liked and then build off from there. Whether your favorite part sounds like the beginning of a verse or the middle of a hook, using it as a foundation will help the rest of your brilliant ideas fall into place.
Parts of the Song
There are various aspects to a song, and depending on the song, you may use some, all, or maybe even none of the traditional parts of a song in your final composition. Regardless of what you may or may not use, it is important to understand all of the various parts that create a whole song.
The verse in a song is the part that progresses your idea or gives a story to the overall theme of the song. The verse is the part of the song that will take you and listeners the longest to memorize, as it is often the most diverse and complex in terms of lyrics.
The chorus is a part of the song that repeats the same idea or tends to add a home base for the music to lead up to. Choruses usually occur after verses and are often the most memorable and catchy element in songwriting. This is the part of the song that can create the earworm effect, so it is important to write a memorable and catchy chorus that can become the backbone of your song.
The bridge is the part of the song that contrasts the rest of the parts the most. The bridge can also help your song move away from the general idea and into opposing or contrasting thoughts. This part is typically sat in between a chorus and hook to give movement and breakage in between the two other elements, so this can be the part that is a little more abstract. It is important to stray without becoming lost from your overall theme, but always remember to lead the bridge into another element that is catchy or memorable!
Components of Song Pieces
Now that you know about verses, choruses, and bridges, it is important to learn what components go into creating each of these unique elements.
In alignment with music theory (which any good songwriter is familiar with), the key dictates the signature and groups of notes that compose your musical piece. Any melody, chord, and bassline will be composed of the scale that creates your overall key signature. If this all sounds confusing, it will help to brush up on basic music theory fundamentals.
The melody helps define the mood of your track and is composed of a sequence of notes in rhythm and order. It is often the top-line sound that sticks out the most and can be backed up and harmonized with background elements such as percussion. The melody is often a voice or singular instrument, so use that knowledge to guide you and the mood of your piece.
The hook of a song is in line with the chorus of the song. It is the part that gets stuck in your head and leaves you humming in the shower. The hook is what makes your song catchy, and hooks users into listening on a loop (which is great for you!) No matter what part of the song you are writing, you should have a hook in mind to keep yourself and your listeners engaged throughout the duration of the track.
The song structure is the way it flows from start to finish. While many songs follow a strict pattern (especially in the mainstream), you can create any structure you imagine for your song. One of the most common formats is Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Chorus. That is just one combination of endless possibilities, so get creative!
Build Off of Song Ideas
Each part of the song becomes a stepping stone for the proceeding elements that follow after. Whether you have one part of your song done and aren’t sure how to transition or you have a perfect couple of lines that flow into nothing else, you at least have some progress.
Pro-Tip: If you are truly stuck on what to do next, listen to some music that you enjoy and see how those songs progress through different elements. It will give you great inspiration and make you appreciate some of your favorite songwriters for their talents.
Finishing Your Song
With so many possibilities of how a song can be created, it really comes down to how you complete your own process. No one else can do it for you, so just do what feels right! In the end, practice and dedication will help you overcome your biggest fears and obstacles.
Post-Production of Your Song
After your song has been created and recorded, it will then need to go through the process of post-production. This includes the mixing and mastering of your music to appeal to speakers of all shapes and sizes. While this process is entirely different and complex on its own fronts, you luckily do not have to complete these steps on your own if you choose not to. With numerous outlets for mixing and mastering, including Mike’s Mix & Master, you can hire professionals to tune and beef up your song to be the highest quality it can be. If you have completed your songwriting and aren’t sure what to do with it next, be sure to contact us today to see how we can transform your idea into magic!