How do you write a song for the first time (Part 1)

Let’s write a song!!!

How do you write a song for the first time? or How to write music for a song? or How to write a song for school?.

Hello everybody and welcome to our blog, today I’m beginning a series of posts showing how I began making songs, tricks about how to get started in composition, writing lyrics, and other great tools like interesting chords, inversions, arranging, modulation, and a lot more!!!. I hope you have fun reading this post and you can get ideas on how to begin your own writing journey.

First thing, how to start to WRITE A SONG…

How to write a song?. Every song writer creates songs in different ways, for many It may look like a difficult task, and for others is a natural process, just like talking. If you want to write songs the most important thing like anything in life is to start. The first song doesn’t need to be the most technical composition or the most inspired one, it just needs to be a song.

For me the easiest way of starting writing my first song was to do it using only two chords. Many songs use only one progression of chords for the whole song, an example of this is “What’s Up” by Four Non Blondes which use the following progression: I – ii – IV – I (A – Bm – D – A), only three chords and is a really good song. You can even write a song using one chord!!!, an example of this is “The nana song” by Sheryl Crow, she does everything around the A chord and is a great song too :).

For me the most important thing as I said before, was (and still is), to start and then, to finish a song. My first song was written and recorded on the same day, before this song I tried to write another song but it didn’t went that good, on that song I started by writing the lyrics and then I did the music, this is the way Elton John works, in fact he doesn’t write lyrics, he has a partner who writes all the lyrics and then he writes the music. At the end I finished that song but I never recorded it, because of that I think of that one as my song zero.

For my first song, I used only two chords FMaj7 and C and I wrote it on 6/8. The song is in the Key of C Major and the chord progression is IVM7 – I. For me this two chords repeating over and over create a meditative state, the continue C note during the song and the 6/8 rhythm helps too. I could spend a long time just playing that progression, the chord FMaj7 has a kind of Zen feeling to me.

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The process of writing this song was simple, I played the two chords while singing melodies, when I had something that I liked I asked myself does this sound as a chorus or a verse, then I would repeat the process. After that I wrote the lyrics listening to the sound of melodies, sometimes melodies sound like words, that can help, just allow the words to come to you, many times it feels like they are in the air just waiting for you to catch them.

There is something that I like about verses of this song and is all the pauses between lines, for me to live empty spaces allow the words to sink in. An excellent example of this is the song “How will it go”, by Izzy Stradlin, he doesn’t fill every space with melodies, is like the story is given to you by pieces and not all at once, like he is thinking about what he is saying, it also gives you time to enjoy the music behind.

Let’s look the song structure:

Intro – Chorus I – Verse I – Verse II – Chorus II – Chorus III – Outro

To arrange this song and make it grow this is what I did:

  • Intro: Two guitars strumming one in each side and on the middle doing a riff which is like a little bass run
  • Chorus I: Guitars continue and voice enters doing the first melody
  • Verse I: Voice presents a new melody
  • Verse II: Strings begin fading in doing the root note C
  • Chorus II: Same as Chorus I but now with backing vocals, at the end of this section strings begin to evolve
  • Chorus III: Same as Chorus II but this Chorus is all about strings elevating the moment to create a climax
  • Outro: Start like Chorus 3 and finishes just with guitars and voice

As you can see the production/arranging part of a song is really important, for me that’s the most fun of the whole process. Some people prefer the writing stage, others recording, and for many performing. On the recording and producing part of the song is where you decide which instruments the song needs, repetitions,  song structure, is when the songs really takes it shape, and is not the last shape, many times playing songs live makes them to change and continue growing ever more.

I hope you liked my first post, how to write a song,  on this let’s write a song series. My next one will be coming in a few weeks, if you are interested in go deeper in composition, arranging, recording or producing don’t hesitate to contact us, at Epic School of Music we can help you to start or continue your musical Journey, Have a great week, and start writing your own songs!!!

To listen more of my songs follow the following link!!!


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