It can be intimidating to write your first song. When I was getting started, it helped me to remember that every songwriter was once in those same shoes. Soon enough, you’ll be a seasoned pro just like the songwriters that you most respect! Here are some tips to help get you over the finish line of your first song.
1) Start with an idea that is meaningful to you. You can write a song about almost anything. However, make sure you choose a topic that you care about. It will be much easier to write, and you’ll end up with a more powerful song if you start with an idea that means something to you.
2) Create an outline. Just like writing a story or an essay, it can help to start with a simple outline to keep you on track as you write. Try to write one sentence for each section of your song:
- Verse 1: Growing up working long days on the farm, I met you at the fair
- Chorus: We don’t have much, but that’s okay because we have each other.
- Verse 2: We left home together, that old truck broke down
- Chorus x 2
The simpler and more specific you can make these sentences, the easier it will be to write your lyrics.
3) Just start writing something. It’s easy to get caught up trying to write the perfect lyrics. A first version of your song is very rarely going to be your final version. So, just write! You’ll be surprised the types of things you can come up with if you can remove the pressure of finding the perfect way to express a thought.
4) Keep the chords and melody simple. You don’t need to get too fancy with your progressions or melody. Explore different chord progressions to find one that matches the feeling you want to convey. If you need ideas, try using a chord progression generator like the one included with Songcraft. If your song is sad or serious, look for a slow, minor feeling. It it’s happier, try some upbeat, major progressions. You’re looking to match the feeling of your lyrics.
5) Don’t be afraid to rewrite. Nobody writes the perfect song on their first (or second) try! Play through your song and share it with friends or family. Remove or change the parts that don’t feel right. A song is a living, breathing piece of work.
You did it! Now that you’ve written your first song, pick that pen back up and start another. The key to improvement is writing. A lot.
Ready to jump into songwriting feet-first?
Check out Songcraft, our online songwriting platform that makes it easy to write, share, and collaborate.