Writing your first song is one of the most interesting and exciting experiences in music! Even if you have been playing an instrument or have been singing for a very long time, there is still that tingling exciting anxiety you feel when it comes to writing your first song, no feeling compares to it! It actually doesn’t entail as much difficulty as people perceive it to be. Here are some outlined steps to work you through the process of writing your first song, making it easier for you.
Write about something that makes sense to you
It’s one thing to write a song, it’s another thing to make the song reach out to other people’s emotions. How can a song reach to others? When it has reached to you first! You first song has to be something that makes meaning to you; big or small, important or not so important. It could be about someone, life’s experience, love, the world, politics, emotions, family or yourself, it could even be about a chit-chat you had with someone, you can write about virtually anything, so long as it makes sense to you. The reason it should make sense to you is because it wouldn’t make sense to others if it doesn’t first make sense to you and the passion, energy and vibe which you put into the song can actually tell if your own song makes sense to you or not.
Coin the title of the song from that idea that makes sense
Now that you have thought about the concept of your song, build a title around this concept; the title helps you stay focused and keep to a single path or pattern as you journey on. You want to build something that will capture the attention of the listeners or those who you want to promote your music. You also want to pick a topic that tells exactly what is contained in the lyrics of the song. Giving your title a completely different concept from the body or idea of the song is totally wrong.
Divide the entire song into groups and summarize
After you have gotten a topic, share the idea of the song into groups, you can organise the structure to go thus: Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Chorus or however else you want to arrange it. If you’re writing about love for instance, and choose your title “Love as much as I breathe”, you could divide your song into verse 1, chorus and verse 2 where verse 1 talks about the description of your lover, chorus talks about how much they really mean to you and how you love them like the air you breathe while verse 2 emphasizes what you’d do when you have them in your life. Breaking your song into bits like these would help you organise your thoughts better and would give direction to your lyrics.
Choose a genre
Now that you know the rudiments of your song, it’s time to choose a genre or style for your music. Rock, blues, pop, folk, country? Choose whatever suits you, if you do not know what would go for you, listen to other musicians that inspire you, listen to their style of music, maybe you can find your own spark from it.
Choose the rhythm
This is the stage right after choosing the genre of music where you want your first song to fall into. Here, you determine the rhythm of your song – the tempo, beat, chord progression, the overall general texture and form of the song. Let your rhythm clearly express the message your song is trying to pass, it would be kinda off to infuse minors which sound gloomy and melancholic into a happy or fun song. If you have your sound recording devices close by, this is the stage where you open up your DAW and begin to mix one and two instruments together to make your rhythm.
Fill in the lyrics
At this point, you should have lyrics flowing endlessly in and out of your brain. Just incase you still have challenges or you’re facing writer’s block, click here to find out how to overcome it. Your lyrics should be in line with the message of your song, it should answer the questions or give the feeling the song is meant to induce in the ears and hearts of the listeners.
Now that you have successfully completed writing your first song, congratulations! Don’t forget to “sell” your song to colleagues and close friends and get their honest opinions and feedback on the song. Whatever they say, be open minded and accept criticism. Work on the areas that need to be worked on. Tweak, add and subtract what you need to, to achieve the “perfect” song.
You get better as you keep writing. Even if your first song doesn’t go as nicely as you planned, don’t stop, write and write and just keep writing – that’s how the greatest songwriters got to where they are!