How to Write a Song

A song is a musical composition with vocals and may be written for any number of instruments or voices. It can also be performed without lyrics, using just the musical accompaniment, as in chanting.

The most basic element of a song is the melody. A great song melody is often enough to move listeners on an emotional level. The melody of a song should reflect the theme and emotion of the lyric. If the lyric is questioning, try using a rising melody; if the lyric is about an upbeat event or experience, a descending melody works well.

Once the melody has been decided, set it to a rhythm and key that fits your song. It is best to work out the rhythm on a keyboard or guitar before moving on to other instrumentation. Adding other instrumentation can make a song sound more full and professional. However, songwriters are cautioned not to over-complicate their songs right from the start, as it can often be hard to change elements once they’re recorded.

Once a song is complete, it is a good idea to play it for someone who will give an honest critique of the lyrics and melodies. A good songwriter will listen for things that the average listener may not pick up on, and will use these as an opportunity to refine the song even further. In addition, it is important for a songwriter to find a mentor who can offer constructive criticism of their work.