How to Write a Song


A song is a musical work that includes lyrics (words) and music, or melody. It can be sung without accompaniment, or with instruments or other vocalists. Songs can be performed live or recorded on audio or video, and may appear in plays, musical theatre, stage shows of any form, and within operas, films and TV shows.

Some songwriters will start with the title of the song, or just some action words, while others might play around with chord progressions, melodies and a rhythmic feel or tempo. There’s no right or wrong way to write a song, just as there is no one style of painting. Some songwriters might find it helpful to create a ‘raw material’ folder on their computer or phone and store ideas that come to them when they are not working on a specific song.

Once you have a concept, title, lyric and melody for your song, it is important to work on the structure of the piece, which is also known as the song form. Most songs have an introduction, verse and chorus, and many have a bridge or a transition section near the end.

It is important to experiment with sounds and melodies until you find the one that really works for your song. This can be done by trying different scales and chords, varying the key of the song, using counterpoint and a thematic approach, and so on. It can also help to ‘kill your darlings’, meaning that if you find that a particular sound or chord is not working for the song, change it and try something else.