One of the most difficult questions to answer accurately is How to write a song. Should I tackle the lyrics or the melody first?
The simple answer is “it depends on what you find comes easier or possibly the most natural. Alternatively, some song writers will start with a guitar riff and put the melody line around it, or, alternatively the lyrics. Many songs are created by trial and error by playing and experimenting with chords, lyrics and melody lines all being fired off in unison.
I find melody lines come easiest, with some hooks and the basis of what the song will eventually sound like slowly but surely developing as the ideas spark into life.
If you find yourself struggling, or don’t really know where to begin, try going to a quiet room in your house (the bedroom, study, etc.), make sure you have a pen, paper and voice recorder next to you, then close your eyes and see which comes first.
If words begin pouring out, grab your pen and paper and start jotting it down. Don’t edit your thoughts or re-read it, just let your thoughts flow; you’ll be surprised at what you’ve written. If a melody suddenly pops into your head, get that voice recorder and start humming the tune; this way that sudden burst of inspiration will not be lost.
So how do you know if you have written something inspirational?
Well Sir Paul McCartney always said that, if you cannot remember what you wrote or recorded the night before without listening to it, you probably haven’t nailed it. He is a song writing genius, so I suspect much of his philosophy to be true. Even if you are able to recall the chord sequence, the hook, the main lyric or the verse melody, you must be well on your way.
Good luck and please do share your thoughts and experiences on song writing, by leaving a comment below!