How to Write a Song

Song is a musical composition with vocals, usually at distinct and fixed pitches (melodies). It can be performed alone by a solo singer or accompanied by instruments. The term song is also used to describe larger vocal musical forms such as opera and oratorio, which are characterized by repeated sections with variations.

Many songwriters find inspiration for their songs in everyday life, such as in conversations with people or when observing nature. They might also find inspiration in other art forms, such as movies or books. A song may be written in any style and can address a variety of topics or feelings. For example, a pop song can tell a love story, express a feeling of loss or grief, or even evaluate the human condition.

Writing a song can be a long process. It can take months or even years for some artists to complete a single song. For others, it takes just minutes to write a song.

To write a song, you can start with the lyrics or a title and then work out the chords and melody to match. Or you might have a more general concept in mind, such as a theme or message you want to convey, and then build the chords, melody and lyrics around that idea. For example, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s hit song “Proud Mary” was inspired by John Fogerty’s love for the Deep South and especially the bayou. This was reflected in the lyrics, the melody and chord progression, and the overall sound of the song.