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Steps to Writing Your First Song

You may be wondering how you can put your first song together. To create a song requires songwriting and song composition. Someone who adds lyrics to a song is known as a song lyricist. The one who composes the melody is known as a song composer. They can be separate people or the same person. Whether you are writing a commercial jingle, a song for a wedding, or a romantic tune to woo your dream soulmate, here are steps to writing your first song.

Starting With Lyrics

To write a song, you are probably inspired by a situation that happened to you, or around the world. You could be inspired by a muse, or be reflecting on life itself. Before you start with the lyrics, you would like to consider the title of your song. Write a phrase of one to six words in the title that sums up the total story or meaning in the lyrics. The title helps you stay focused on one idea, to help you convey the key message in the song.

Once you have a title that resonates with the message of your heart, write a list of questions about your title. What do you want to say about the title? What do you think your listeners might want to know about it? What happened in an event that caused you to write the song title? What do you think will happen after? Try to come up with three to four questions.

Song Structure

Most songs, including Billboard’s greatest hits, rely on this song structure, or also known as song arrangement:


Some composers add a pre-chorus or lift between the verse and chorus to build anticipation or climax to the song. The verse, pre-chorus, and chorus each have an identifiable melody that the listener can recognize and sing along to when it comes around.

The Verse and Chorus

With your three to four questions in hand about your title, choose one to answer for the verse and another to answer for the chorus. Write down short phrases to answer your question in the chorus, which is repeated in the song. What is the singer feeling, thinking or saying when s/he sings the song? How would you describe the emotion of the singer? Would s/he be feeling light, bright, sad, melancholic, lonely, optimistic, warm or cold? Asking yourself these questions would help you add emotions to your lyrics.

Add Melody and Chords

Choose the phrase you chose for your chorus and say them out loud. Say them with a lot of emotion. Exaggerate your emotion in the lines. Notice the emotion in your voice and the rhythm and melody of your speech when you say the lines. Try it out with your musical instrument as you say the lines with a lot of feeling.

Try a simple and repeated chord pattern for your song. Play with melody and chords until you find something you like. Record yourself singing and playing. Or you can just sing along to the melody you just created without any musical instruments and record it down.

Ritmo Music Studio offers many programs for schools and individuals from young to seniors looking to learn music. We also offer camps during school breaks which include song compositions. Get in touch with us if you are looking to offer music lessons for your organization or for your family.

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