Today we’re going to look at how to write a song for beginners in terms of lyrics. If you’ve decided you want to write a song and need help picking the subject and structuring the song properly, this is the guide for you.
Some guides on writing songs are overly complex, and often overload you with information you don’t really need to know. I’ve tried to avoid that in this guide, giving you just the steps you need to get started on writing your song within the next 20 minutes or so.
But anyway, I don’t want to waste time with intros. Let’s get right into this so you can move on to writing your first song. 🙂
P.S. This guide refers to writing lyrics, not writing music. If you find this guide useful, please share it using the social links at the top of this post. Thank you.
How To Write A Song – Picking Your Subject
Without doubt, one of the most important parts of writing a good song is getting down the right subject matter. While the backing track, the flow of your lyrics and more are all important, if you really want your fans to connect with your music, you have to sing or rap about the right things. Depending on your genre of music and how you want people to relate to you, the ‘right thing’ will vary for each individual musician.
So if you’re new to writing lyrics, how will you know which subjects you should be talking about in your songs? Well, there are two ways you can figure this out:
- Write About Whatever Is On Your Mind.
When you’re writing, you want to get a real part of you into your songs. This means you will often have to take what you’re feeling, and display it on a track for all to hear.
Writing about your personal experiences, good and bad, will really allow the listeners to relate to you. If they can relate and see some of themselves inside you, it’ll make it that much easier to convert these people into long-term fans.
While you don’t always have to write about total truths or do songs that are talking about you personally, this is a good way to get started and practice lyric creation. It’ll mean there’s no thinking about ‘what to write about next’; you already have the full story in your head so just let it flow out.
- Listen To Similar Song Writers And Get Ideas.
If you’re stuck for inspiration, hit up a TV channel or website that plays your genre of music. Have a look at the other acts on these channels, and see what the themes for their lyrics are. Is there a common theme that continues to come up song after song? If so, there’s a good chance it’s a proven song subject that is currently working at the moment.
My advice is to write a song with this subject, but try and do it differently from the others. As you become a better song writer you will want to come up with unique ideas of your own, but while you’re still in practicing mode, it may be best to learn the methods that are currently working.
In addition to those two ideas, it’s never a bad idea to brainstorm a few subject as well. So once you’ve practiced writing to the above formed subjects, get as many weird and wonderful song ideas down on paper as you can.
Ask yourself if you’d want to hear a song about each of these subjects, and write to the ones you genuinely would. The ones that make people think, relate to you, laugh or dance are often the best subject ideas to go with.
Writing Your First Song – The Structure
Once you have your subject, the next stage is to write the song.
As I mentioned in my last guide, this can either be done to a backing track, or written without and placed on a backing track at a later date. Either option works fine, but if you’re a beginner songwriter, you may want to start out writing to a backing track. This will allow you to structure your lyrics in a way that fits an instrumental, as without this structure it’ll be hard to match your lyrics to a beat later on.
While the structure of a song can vary, it often looks something like this:
This is optional as you can always leave the instrumental to play as the intro, then go straight into verse one. If you decide to do an introduction, you can either have you talking in it, or singing / adilibing random “ooo” and “yer”s.
- Verse One.
The beginning of your song. Here you should introduce people to the song’s subject, and talk about it in as much detail as you require.
- Chorus One.
The chorus will hold the main part of your song, and sum up the subject matter in full. To make your song really stay in people’s mind, you may want to make the chorus catchy.
- Verse Two.
Here you should continue to build on the song’s subject matter and go into more detail about it.
- Chorus Two.
Your first chorus done again.
Once again this is optional, and can instead be replaced with a third verse if you prefer. A breakdown though is where you change up the style of the song, and build it up so the next chorus sounds explosive when it comes in. You could make it so your lyrics here are slower, quieter, or just change up the way they’re delivered. Making your backing track match this change will also add to the effect.
- Chorus Three And Four.
Finish your song with your chorus twice in a row. This firmly backs up the point of your song, and will be something for your listeners to sing along to.
This is a tried and tested song structure, but feel free to change it up as you see fit. There is no set right or wrong way to write a song, so you may want to jiggle things up a bit once you’ve got used to the basic layout.
How To Write A Song For Beginners Conclusion
So there you have it, two more tips on how to write a song. As you may know though, song writing is a very big subject. My guess is that while I’ve now written a few thousand words on how to write a song, you still have some unanswered questions, and want some extra guidance in this process. If this is the case, your best best is to check the following resource on how to write a song for beginners.
It goes into much more details then I possibly could in such a short space of time. So if you’re serious about writing your first song, I suggest you check it out.