Last updated on February 14, 2018 by Rob Mayzes

The songwriting process should be easy. The Greeks believed that creative gods, or muses, would visit us to deliver inspiration. Musicians were purely the vessel for those creative gods.

In this video, I’m going to break down the songwriting process into easy to follow steps. If you want to improve your songwriting, keep watching.

When you focus on the three main parts of a song, writing will become much faster and natural. You will be writing great songs in no time.

 

The song writing process should feel easy.

The Greeks believe that creative gods or Muses would visit us to deliver inspiration. Musicians were purely the vessel for those creative gods.

That effortless stream of creativity is what we all want to achieve.

That feeling of being in flow when everything just works.

But how do you get to that point?

Do you just wait around for divine inspiration?

No.

There are proven frameworks that you can learn and these frameworks makes songwriting an enjoyable experience.

Enabling you to write a song a day.

So, keep watching if you want to learn 3 simple ways to master the songwriting process.

Now, if you actually want to start improving your songwriting for practice and apply what you’re going to learn here be sure to grab the free songwriting cheat sheet that I put together for this video.

It would guide you through the entire songwriting process and it’s completely free.

So, let’s dive right in.

Rob here from musicianonamission.com and from what I’ve observed there is three building blocks to a song.

The lyrics.

The melody.

And the instrumentation.

Within the instrumentation we can see harmony and rhythm.

So, when we’re talking about songwriting process what we’re really talking about is how we have arranged these blocks.

So, now we’re going to move onto the 3 proven frameworks for arranging these different parts.

Framework number 1 is starting with the instruments, then the melody, then the lyrics.

Now, this is how most people start. Unless you’re a vocalist you probably have a first instrument, and actually when you sit down to write a song you start with your most confident instrument.

I used to do this, but I really, really struggled. I could never write songs that sounded normal or professional.

But in many cases and with some genres this is still the best way to start if a vocalist comes in at a later date or if there is more of a focus on the instrumentation anyway; jazz music, instrumental music or if it’s just the way you like to write the songs by jamming with your band and seeing what you come up with.

The great thing about this approach is it can start from anything; chords, a riff any kind of hook and if you’re going to take this approach it’s probably best to start with your most comfortable instrument, your first instrument.

But personally this didn’t really work for me.

So, next I tried framework number 2, which is start with a melody, then the instrumentation.

Now, for me this is a step in the right direction, because the melody is always going to be the focus whether it’s a vocal part or just a lead guitar part it doesn’t matter. The melody is what draws people in.

But I still really struggled with this. I’m an awful lyricist and it was really difficult to fit lyrics to the melody that I’d already composed.

Roses are red, violets are blue. I’m really hungry how about stew?

But for many people this is the best way to write and the other benefit of this approach of doing the instrumentation last is that the melody dictates the chords and it’s really easy to write chord progression when you’ve already got a melody.

Sometimes you get some really interesting stuff and it also makes your chord progression sound more natural and less force because they are following a melody that you’ve composed first of all.

Finally, we get to framework number 3, which is my personal favorite and this is starting with the lyrics, then the melody, then the instrumentation.

I can remember the first time I tried this.

I was pretty depressed, because my lyrics and the vocal melody in general just sucked.

So, I tried something new.

I sat down with a notepad looked out of the window and started writing.

I was free to write anything I wanted. I wasn’t constrained by rhythm or flow and it was ten times easier.

So, I had the lyrics, and then I composed a melody that fit the lyrics and it felt natural. It just came out. It was great, and then the chords came naturally too.

For me this was a much more organic way of writing that still focused on the most important element in this case the vocals.

Now of course, you’re never going to stick to just one of these 3 frameworks. You’re always going to move between them, even if you have a favorite certain situations, certain songs will pull you in a different directions and you have to adapt.

Just go with the flow but have these 3 approaches in mind, and if you’re really struggling start with framework number 3 that’s my personal favorite.

Of course, there aren’t just 3 approaches to songwriting and even there are loads more.

But these are the 3 big ones and the best ones to get started with and that’s what’s important here.

Now, if you’ve tried all 3 of these but you’re still really struggling I suggest you try the tracing paper technique.

So, can you remember as a kid using tracing paper to draw over an image and copy it?

It was a great way to get used to using a pen and drawing curves and drawing an image.

We can do the same thing with songwriting you don’t have to recreate the wheel.

Take a song that you like and try to replicate it. Breakdown every single element the harmony, the rhythm, the melody even the production record the song into your DAW and try to replicate it.

As a cover reproduce a track and you would learn a whole lot more than I can tell you here and sometimes you start by trying to reproduce something, but it pulls you in different creative directions.

Go with it.

But remember this is purely a practice exercise. You don’t want to just be ripping off other people’s songs.

So, 3 simple ways to approach the songwriting process, but even if you’re going to follow these frameworks the next issue you’re going to have is writer’s block.

Everyone gets it and if you struggle to finish songs. You have no problem with starting, but you struggle to finish I put together a free songwriting cheat sheet go through everything you’ve learned in this video and also covers 6 ways to overcome writer’s block and finish songs that aren’t finishing themselves.

There’s loads more advice in there. It’s easy to sit down with it and follow it through to start writing songs.

It’s completely free, so if you want to enjoy the songwriting experience and write songs that sound professional head to the link you see on the screen now or head to the link in the description below.

So, that’s all from me.

I’m Rob from musicianonamission.com.

I’ll see you next time and remember create regardless.

 

Audio professional, musician and founder of Musician on a Mission.

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