Caucasian man in a songwriting process
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A Beginner’s Guide To Songwriting

How do I write a song? It’s a question we musicians have all asked ourselves at one time or another, hasn’t it? Writing songs requires learning to compose to some degree. Learn how to write your own songs in this songwriting tutorial.

Songwriting Tutorial on Learning to Compose

The question “Can songwriting be learned?” is probably one of the most contentious among musicians. Many songwriters insist that writing your own songs is an art and not a craft. Yes, writing songs is an art. Yes, writing songs is a craft. I’ve always believed that the world is not black and white but offers a lot of shades of gray for us.

I would agree that a person who has no musical understanding of any kind is also highly unlikely to be able to write their own songs. At least not in the conventional sense with melody, harmonies, lyrics, and emotional depth. Nevertheless, probably everyone has whistled an arbitrary melody on the street – and thus written his own song in its minimalist form, a melody.

Songwriting – art or craft?

Another point of contention is sometimes a slightly different perspective on the juxtaposition of art and craft: many musicians indulge in the romantic notion that good songs only come into being when the song is somehow suddenly “there”, out of inspiration or a dream – simply when the song is written after 10 minutes. So to speak, magically emerged from a creative moment. Of course, there may be songs that were created in exactly this way (or of which the songwriter claims it was so).

But the multitude of all successful songs out there was composed quite purposefully and in hard, dedicated work. The literature on songwriting is very informative in this regard, see also left. For me, songwriting is rather like driving a car: It becomes much easier when a driving instructor gives you tips on what to look out for and what the typical stumbling blocks are.

Nevertheless, I would also agree that innate talent for writing songs can take you very, very far. And there have been (and still are) numerous examples of that as well. But if you want to break the rules of music, you should have learned in advance what they are. This is at least true if you want your music to be (gladly) heard by an audience. Because then you need to know why people listen to certain genres of music.

If you are one of those musicians who firmly believe that writing songs is an unlearnable art, you can safely stop reading this article now. If not, read on, there are some important basics waiting for you that will make songwriting easy. So have fun with the detailed songwriting tutorial.

You should keep in mind that you have to start writing about something at all times! It really doesn’t matter if you write about brown cows, red apples or a houten knikkerbaan. All that matters, is that you get something on paper as soon as possible and go from there!

What makes a song? – Writing Songs Made Easy

The famous composer Claude Debussy once said, “Music is the silence between the notes.” And he was right. What makes a good song is something we could argue about at heart length here. And maybe we will because I’m going to give my own opinion here: A good song is one that reaches its audience emotionally with its message. They all reach their audience and thus make a good song.

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