10 Tips For Songwriting

Tomas Cera IV & Dustin Yonts

When you're writing music, you may start to feel hopeless if you can't figure out what to do with your songs. Getting advice and inspiration certainly helps. Here are ten tips that can help you make progress:


Think about the sound you want to have — in terms of imagery and emotion.

In order to create new music that adds value to your songs, use your imagination as a tool. Absorb visual and mental images and describe them with your music. Think about how your visions inspire you and attempt to convey those emotions and styles through rhythm, melody and tone. Believe in yourself! You have access to lots of thoughts, passions, points of view & personality traits that others could never replicate.

Tell a story with sound.

Use your music to express thoughts and feelings. Send your audience on a journey through time! Give them something to think about. Developing a plot in your song can give you a path to success. The goal is to allow your audience to enjoy a pleasant, memorable experience they can follow.

Use your own experiences.

Recognize your life experience as a source of inspiration and confidence. You can write songs based on your memories, just like anything else. You don't need to be a particularly interesting person. Share your story with the world!

Allow your music to evolve throughout the song.

Any sound can become monotonous if it's abused. Give your fans something to look forward to, as they are slipping out of the current melody. You can continue the same kind of pattern, but change a fundamental part of it for the next section of your song to keep it fresh. Keep an open mind and allow new ideas to flow without judging yourself.

Surprise your audience with unexpected sounds at the right time.

There's a time and a place for everything. Find interesting patterns (especially grandiose & outlandish sounds) that could fit somewhere in your song and break the routine. You can build up to an epic (but predictable) chorus, however, don't forget that there are opportunities to catch the audience off-guard with auspicious variations of the main melody.

Dare to make mistakes.

You are limited, but capable of making decisions that can build on one another. Expect to make mistakes as you build your masterpiece. Cultivate an attitude that promotes confidence and freedom. Sometimes the most powerful music you can play is created by accident. Don't focus too much of your time on making a perfect piece too soon.

Try to write a song in 4 minutes.

Sometimes the best way to make progress is to limit yourself more than ever. If you give yourself a short time-limit, your mind has less time to focus on self-pity and irrelevant nonsense; therefore, you can stumble through a whole song and form a rough draft. You can always add filler content, such as terribly simple patterns, in places where you can't think of what to do yet.

Stay Strong.

“Perseverance, secret of all triumphs.” —Victor Hugo

Change your state of consciousness.

When inspiration seems hard to come by, try coming back to your song after your mood has changed. You may gain a new perspective after exercising, drinking coffee, meditating or doing anything that would be conducive to your productivity. You can change your environment and potentially discover new ideas based on what you see. Keep an open mind and trust your feelings.

Take breaks.


If you can no longer concentrate, it may be better for your music if you do something else that inspires you to feel wonder and dream. If you keep an open mind, any experience can be seen as a potential source of inspiration for your future songs. Make memories that you can express and share through your music.


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