3) Start writing
There are two common ways songwriters start a song: music first or lyrics first.
A lot of songwriters start with the music and melody before writing the lyrics, often coming up with gibberish lyrics in order to find the structure of the melody.
For example, Paul McCartney woke up one day with a melody in his head. He came up with nonsense lyrics so that he could remember the melody and get the phrasing just right.
“Scrambled eggs, oh you’ve got such lovely legs,” he sang. This became one of the most covered songs in recent history, the Beatles’ “Yesterday.”
On the other hand, when you start with the lyrics, make sure they have a repeating rhythm and words that sound good together and rhyme. Think of it like writing poetry.
4) Edit and play!
This is the fun part. Sing the melody over and over, smooth over the awkward phrasings, work out the kinks, and give your lyrics more focus.
If you’re a new songwriter, make sure the melody is in a range that works for your voice. As you get the hang of songwriting, you can start writing melodies that stretch your vocal range, getting you to inch out of your comfort zone. That’s how you get better!
5) Get trusted feedback
This is not when you post your song online; you’ll get so many different criticisms that you won’t know which to listen to.
What you should do first is go to someone who has a good musical ear and will be upfront with you. This could be an honest friend or a fellow musician (not your mom!).
Now, stop imagining yourself as a songwriter and just start writing!
Versions of part 1 and 2 were originally published in iSing Magazine