The 5 best tips for writing songs

Image Credit: Dayne Topkin

If you’re wondering how you’re going to get started with creating your next song then come with us through the top 5 methods for getting started and creating music.

It can seem like a daunting task; sitting down and starting the process of creating a new song. Whether it’s your first time or whether you’ve recorded albums worth of music, sometimes you just need a help to get started.

There’s no right answer to writing music other than that it comes from inside of you. But we hope, with some of these tips motivating you, that you feel energised and inspired to create some new music that means something to you.


Clear Your Mind and Your Space

Image Credit: Yeasin Chowdhury

Now, I’m not saying you need to achieve an hour’s worth of transcendental mediation before writing music (though it worked for The Beatles!). However, allowing yourself to clear your head and the space around you will make a big difference.

You’re not going to find inspiration if your head is buzzing with work stress or chores that need doing. Likewise, if the space around you is messy it can affect your ability to properly relax; If you don’t feel like tidying, try finding a secluded spot outdoors to level yourself out in nature.

Once your head is clear of worries you can fully explore ideas without any nagging thoughts – unless you want to write some angry punk lyrics, in which case work stress and societal dismay may be exactly what you need!


Find a Concept, Theme, or Narrative

Image Credit: Diego PH

Now your head is clear, you can think about exactly what type of song you want to write. Think of a story that you might want to tell through your song or explore different themes that you’d like to express in your music.

There are no wrong answers here, as long as it inspires you. If you’re struggling to come up with something original, think about what you’ve read, watched, and listened to recently.

Some of the greatest artists have taken inspirations from the books and TV they love and turned translated them into their music through their own creative eyes to magnificent results. Here are a couple of examples:

Kate Bush’s huge hit, of course, was inspired by the Emily Bronté novel
Kendrick Lamar’s massive track was inspired by the story of rebellious slave Kunta Kinte in Alex Haley’s ‘Roots: The Saga of an American Family’


Write It Down

Image Credit: Green Chameleon

Whatever starts coming into your head as you explore different ideas, write it down. You may write 3 pages of lyrics and 10 different chord progressions only to throw them out: that’s okay!

Exploring the ideas until you discover the one that hits you right is part of the magic of the process. It’s okay to throw ideas out, but once they’re down on paper you can properly try them, review them, and pick out the bits you feel are worth working on.

Play Your Instruments

By this I mean, play a variety of instruments; or if you’re producing digital explore the different sounds on there. The same chord progression can give you a completely different feeling played on a piano instead of guitar.

Writing music isn’t just finding the chords or melodies that sound good, but then the arrangement of them that inspires you the most or creates the most feeling. Try playing it slowly, try playing just the root notes, try exploring melodies within the chords. Experiment and get creative!

Start Recording

Image Credit: Soundtrap

In a similar way to the last tip, but with slightly more design in mind, start recording your ideas. Listening to it back as you write and come up your designs gives you a better perspective than simply listening as your playing.

Hearing back your ideas as you go will allow you to pick out the bits that are great and ditch the parts you don’t think sound so good in retrospect. As before, there’s nothing wrong with wiping a bunch of ideas to get to the one that you feel is right.


We hope that these tips will give you some inspiration to start coming up with ideas and if you end up creating a song you’re happy with, you can always send the final version to us at RouteNote to get your music up on all of the world’s favourite streaming services and music stores.

If you have any methods that we didn’t mention, share them in the comments below!

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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