If you are a guitarist cum singer, learning how to write a song on guitar is one of the greatest talents you can achieve. Even though it’s not that easy, regular practice can help you to make significant improvements on a daily basis. There are thousands of songs that are written from all over the world, but only a few of them get listed and released to the public.
Most people think that songwriting is a gift of the mystical ritual and those who are into the world of spiritual inspiration. Honestly, writing a song is a skill that can be acquired by anyone. Everyone can write a song without putting too much effort.
Table of Contents
- What Are The Benefits Of Using A Guitar When Writing A Song?
- Step-By-Step Tutorial
- Step 1) Plan your song.
- Step 2) Learn How to Brainstorm Melodies Via chord progression
- Step 3) Write Down & Record It
- Step 4) Add a Rhythm to your Song
- Step 5) Finalizing Your Song Rhythm
- Step 6) Complete The Full Melody
- Step 7) Working On The Chorus
- Step 8) Creating The Verse
- Step 9) Converting Chords into Songs
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Guitar When Writing A Song?
A guitar is a very great musical instrument that can be helpful when one requires that inspiration hint to create ideas. The harmonies, rhythm, and strumming patterns that one chooses are very important and can help one to play the melodies on a guitar while still singing easily.
When am writing my song, I use the following order, and if you learn it well, you will also achieve good results in your “How to write a song on Guitar” lessons. Read each and every part of this tutorial and try to understand all the key facts.
Step 1) Plan your song.
A plan is the most crucial part of any creativity. Having a clear plan on what you want to sing will enable you to organize all your ideas in a concise way. Try to stay focused on what you want to create, and you will get very encouraging results. Your song should have a good intro, and the chorus should be easy to sing.
When creating riffs, try not to come up with random riffs, you will not get good results by guessing on the next riff for the intro. A more melodic and less memorable intro can help to catch the attention of your listeners or audience. Always have all your goals set in your mind and ensure that your riff sounds good. By doing this, you will realize that you will never end up with a style that you don’t like.
If you want to come up with a complex riff, try to start with a simple melody that is easy to sing and then modify it slowly, by altering the rhythm or by expanding it, until you achieve the right results. Most artists are used to this strategy, and it’s a good tip for beginners.
Step 2) Learn How to Brainstorm Melodies Via chord progression
Brainstorm is a very powerful skill that can help an artist to develop great singing ideas and come up with meaningful lyrics. The best way to use this strong skill is to start by using your theory and then decide which words to use. When brainstorming, you need to let the words come out easily. If you are a singer, start by singing what’s on your mind, sing about how you feel and create an overall idea for the song. After coming up with several ideas, break them down into a verse that feels good to you.
Chord progressions refer to all those progressions that are played out a particular part of the song. Generally, there are no rules set on how many chord progressions you can have on a song or chorus but having one chord can be a good trick.
If you want to brainstorm ideas for your song, try picking any random chords from your keys. After doing that, select several keys and try to see whether you can figure out all the chords in the keys. The first 1,4 & 5 chords are majors while the 2. 3 & 6 chords are minors. For now we will not talk about the 7 chord because it might make things complicated to learn. I will show you how to use the A and the G major, and after this am sure you will have some good ideas to use.
Learning how to write a song on guitar is not that hard, all you have to do is follow my tips and with just some few practice you will see how easy it is. On our next part, I will show you how to progress with chords. First, try to pick a key that has many chords. I prefer to pick keys from open chords since they contain more than one open string. When you use open chords, you are able to focus on all the sounds you are playing with your guitar and the music itself.
Step 3) Write Down & Record It
The funny thing about coming up with creativity is that most brilliant ideas are always forgotten. It’s recommendable to have a paper and a pen when creating your lyrics. Saving all the words on your mind can be advantageous, but funny enough after one or two hours you will forget everything and lose your grip. After writing down your song, record all the words with a small recorder. When you do this, you will realize how easy it will be when correcting yourself.
Step 4) Add a Rhythm to your Song
To my opinion, I think rhythm is the most important aspect of any song. A rhythm normally translates to speed BPM (beats per minute), and time of 4 / 4 , 3 / 4, 6 / 8, with time being the most crucial part.
If you are a new learner, who is learning how to write a song on guitar, pick the 4 / 4 beat since it is the safest bet to start with. Most popular rock songs use 4 / 4 because it easy to combine the words with the beats. After doing the 4/4, experiments with other timings until you find the most suitable progressions that work.
Step 5) Finalizing Your Song Rhythm
On this step, we learn how to create a good rhythm for your progressions. For example, if you have chosen the 4/4 time, you can play all your chords with a 4/4 bar. Use a strumming pattern for the chords and pick strings like arpeggio for all notes. With your guitar strum all the strings that make the chord, ( try 1, 2 , 3, 4) or use any other strumming pattern that you like.
Music is all about creativity, if you feel that the strumming patterns don’t work well, try your own choices and try to be more creative. You will realize that this step is so time-consuming and it can take you a while before you come up with the right things.
Step 6) Complete The Full Melody
On this part, you will use your guitar a lot, since it the most crucial instrument that will create a good melody for your song.
When writing your song with the guitar, you have to note that the vocal and the melody part are very important and if not done properly, they can mess up the entire song despite lyrics are perfect. Most Guitarists underestimate this part, and they think that writing a song is only done with a rhythm and harmony.
I believe that the power of any song lies on 70% in vocals and 30 % in rhythm and harmony.
Well, let us start with the melody first.
When creating your song or learning how to sing on a guitar, try not to overload all your vocal melodies. If you can, make them simple to cite and give all your melodies a rest. Melodies that have a constant flow of notes will easily lose power and to avoid this, try to stick with small chunks of words. Melodies need small breaks to provide some room for rest.
How can a singer come up with melodies? Well. The right answer for this question is to try to play all chord progression in a repeated pace and add some hums on them. I usually do this why am creating my songs, and one thing I will admit is that it’s very tricky and one must use some ample time to come out naturally.
After having your melody that is perfect for the song, try to repeat it several times and then play it in a loop. When doing that, also try to come up with your words that match with the melody of the song. If you can’t come up with new words, just use La La La at the beginning, and you will eventually learn how easy it can be to fix the melody line.
Repeat this step several times until you feel comfortable with your results.
Step 7) Working On The Chorus
One thing that you have to note when learning how to write a song on a guitar is that the chorus that you will choose can determine how the audience will react to your song. Most people only remember the chorus because it is the easiest part to sing. In most songs, the chorus is repeated several times, and it normally drives the overall feeling or sentiment that is being expressed.
When writing your song, you can have a chorus with one hook phrase that is repeated several times. A chorus can also be used in the place of a “hook”.
As a guitar player and a singer at the same time, you can think of “hooks” as the riffs or lines that represent an instrument or vocal cord. Great riffs attract more attention and can make your listeners to enjoy your performance on stage.
Choruses are used, to sum up what is being sung on all verses or the entire meaning of the song. If you want your listeners to get the message of your song, use the chorus as a hammer to make all the points clear. Choruses can be expressed in a single line or four lines like most traditional verses.
Step 8) Creating The Verse
A verse in a song is the most important narrative section. It’s the only part where the writer can describe all the thoughts of the songs. Most simple songs use just 2 verse parts, chorus, verse, chorus, verse. Etc.
The verse represents the place where all settings are established and where characters are introduced. A verse typically creates the main story of the song.
Most songs that are sung with a guitar are typically composed of several verses and a chorus. Traditional verse consists of four major lines, with the fourth and second line forming a rhyme.
If you are learning how to write a song with a guitar, try to develop your story and create characters on all your song verses.
Step 9) Converting Chords into Songs
Most artists usually come up with two good catchy riffs and then get stuck on their next riff. If you are one of the people who experience this problem, you only need to learn how to work with different parts. All songs are typically built up in several layers. If you have a band, you will notice that for it to work and create good music, all people must work together. For example, when the guitarist comes up with a riff, the bass player must add something to support it while the drummer helps to add time by playing interesting rhythms. The first part of the guitar might be sweet, and it’s the contribution of other parts that combine the chords into a good song.
When writing a song on guitar, it’s good to know that only very little part of the song sounds goods on its own. You will need to combine several parts in order to come up with something that makes sense.
Having several people to help you compose a song can be very helpful. One player can add depth to a riff while the second person uses the bass to add texture to the song. If you want to learn more about this, I recommend that you listen to the song “Dueling Banjos” from the movie “Deliverance”. It’s a very good example and can help you to nature this tactic.
If you have followed most parts of the above article, I guess you have realized how easy it is to write a song on guitar. Every part of this article describes the most crucial lessons of how to write a song on guitar. Take your time to learn these new skills, and repeat each and every step until you become a pro.