Songwriting 101

A song is a musical composition that usually consists of lyrics and melody. It can be performed alone or with accompaniment by one or more musicians. A song may also be part of a larger vocal musical form such as opera and oratorio, in which case it is called an aria or recitative. It may also be written for a solo singer or a lead singer supported by one or more background singers, or for an entire choir. It is possible to write a song using only voice and instrumentalists, or acoustic instruments (such as an acoustic guitar), but songwriters often prefer to have the ability to play the music they are writing.

Most Songwriters say they start with an idea, such as a title, a chord progression, or a melodic line. From there, they write the lyrics and create a context with meaning for those words to convey the proper feeling and to compels and inspire listeners to want to hear it. Whether they write the lyrics first, write the music first, or do both at once, their goal is to find a combination that works well together.

It is helpful to have a songwriting notebook with you to write down any ideas that come to you. Sometimes, inspiration can hit you at the most unexpected times. When you are in nature or by the seashore, for example, it is possible that a new lyric or melody will suddenly appear to you out of nowhere.