How to Write a Song


A song is a musical work composed of words and melody. It may be sung without instrumental accompaniment (a cappella) or accompanied by an instrument or group of instruments. A song may have a rhythm or beat and often contains repetition of verses and choruses. Some songs are designed to accompany activities such as dancing, labour, courting, or religious ceremonies. Others are narrative, such as the Irish folk song and Anglo-American ballads, or emotionally sentimental such as the Christian hymn. Some songs are written for a solo singer, while others are designed to be performed with a vocal group, including a duet, trio, or larger ensemble such as an opera or orchestra.

To start writing a song, try to identify the mood you want listeners to experience when they hear your track. This can help you make decisions about how to craft your lyrics, melody, chords, and arrangement.

If you’re unsure where to begin, ask friends and family for suggestions on how to improve the lyrics or melodies of your track. They can provide a fresh outside perspective and uncover issues that you might not have considered.

Once you’ve finalized your song title, circle the key words and phrases that inspire you to write a lyrical hook. Use these as your raw material and create a short list of eight to ten phrases that you can translate into lyric lines. It can be helpful to divide the story you’re trying to tell into sections: a verse, chorus, and bridge. The chorus usually includes the most direct statement of the song’s main idea and is the catchiest part of the tune. The bridge is a contrasting section that leads the song in a new direction before returning to the chorus or verse.