Be a Songwriter: Basics on How to Write Music

After Learning to Play the Guitar, You’re Ready to Write Music

For beginners, learning how to play guitar chords isn’t the only component needed for musical creation. If there’s one thing harder than learning how to learn or teach the guitar, it’s writing music. However, learning how to write music is definitely rewarding. There are a variety of ways to approach the art of writing music. In some ways, personal view is the finest spice. Writing music, while time-consuming, grants personal satisfaction and creates astounding songs. That’s the reason you learned how to play guitar chords, after all!

A few steps exist for anyone starting their own musical creation. If you’ve just learned how to play the guitar and are just beginning to hop into the art of writing music, understanding the following will boost your progress while preparing you for an astounding experience:

Record Your Ideas

Writing everything down is necessary (Ultimate Guitar). In the beginning, you’ll likely utilize pen and paper to record your music. If you can read music, sheet music will be your friend. If you can’t, you can use a pen and paper to draw the guitar tabs that you learned when teaching yourself how to play the guitar.

Guitar tabs are like a diagram of where you place your fingers and which strings you pluck to play a song. For those who are just beginning to learn guitar, they are fortunately easy to understand and can be learned quickly. Regardless of your affinity for reading, understanding, and playing music, writing music, as its term suggests, requires writing. You’ll need to mark down everything before you begin.

Key In Based Upon Lyrics

Whenever you start writing a song, you’ll want to select a key. As you have probably already learned when learning how to play the guitar, most songs are in G, D and C, but the key doesn’t matter (Music Industry How To). Learn every guitar chord in your selected key and don’t limit yourself to just one.

Additionally, when drafting your song, begin with lyrics first. Sometimes, picking a similar song can assist the creative process. Once you’ve written your song’s lyrics, structuring the song’s notes will be easier. Your lyrics, in this case, will act as a “song skeleton”.

Creating the Chorus

Your song’s chorus is its lifeblood. Many beginner guitarists and songwriters write the chorus first, which makes it easy to reverse engineer the song’s other components from its biggest flair. When writing music or marking down tabs, write the song’s portions you relate to. These high-energy sections, once drafted, will serve the rest of your song’s identity.

Your chorus doesn’t need to rhyme, although it does need to stand apart in its catchiness. You’ll want to create a chorus people want to hear.

Cut and Paste Your Work

One important thing to remember when learning to play the guitar and write music is that songs work in sections (True Fire) and their entire structure mirrors their internal elements. If your song contains a verse-like section, take a look at your pre-composed “chorus-like” notes. Put things together and mix them around, as you did when first learning how to play guitar chords. You’ll be surprised at the results! Too many beginning songwriters fail to “compartmentalize”. Understanding a song isn’t all about one-after-another theory. Different angles can be created at different times. Don’t be afraid to paste in new things.

Avoid limiting yourself based upon linear design, but remember that a song needs to flow. As any music instructor of guitar lessons will say, this is a creative practice. Sometimes, different genres can contribute a lot in terms of style and creative purpose. Sticking to a single genre, strictly, can reduce your creative lifeblood (Ultimate Guitar).

Not quite at the point of writing your own music? The ChordBuddy is an effective tool for teaching beginners how to play guitar chords. To learn more about this unique guitar learning system, contact us today!


Works Cited:

Guitar, Ultimate. How to Begin Writing Music (In 5 Basic Steps). 26 March 2014.

Lessons, Guitar. 7 Tips for Writing Great Guitar Songs. 2012 16 March.

Letang, Sean. How to Write a Song for Beginners – A Step by Step Guide to Becoming a Songwriter. 6 August 2012.

WikiHow. How to Write a Song with Guitar Chords. 2015.