Guitar and paper

Thoughts on How to Start a Song

I can say at the outset that there is no one way to write a song, and certainly no one way to begin the process. Songs are judged by how they sound in their finished form, and if the song’s a great one, how you got there — at least at that point — becomes irrelevant.

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Having said that, it can be useful to think of different ways you could start the songwriting process. Trying different methods is often a good way to stimulate your imagination and keep your own songwriting process fresh and hopefully somewhat innovative.

Over the years of writing this blog I’ve offered different ideas for what you might do to start the songwriting process. Some of that advice has come in the form of helping songwriters who are just starting out, but other articles have been written to encourage more experienced writers to try different starting points as a way of changing things up.

Here’s a list of a few articles I’ve written, and I hope you might find some help if you’ve been feeling things getting a bit stale:

1. Turning an Idea Into a Song

Once you’ve thought of an idea for a song, how do you develop it into a complete musical journey?

2. You Love Lyrics, But Can’t Start a Song That Way?

If for you the lyric of a song is the most important feature, you’re definitely on the right track.

3. Starting the Writing of Your Songs With the Chorus Makes Sense

The task of writing your verse becomes easier if you know where it’s going to end up. For that reason, working on the chorus first, and getting that sounding the way you want, makes the verse easier to write.

4. Why Starting Your Songwriting Process With a Title is a Great Idea

It’s a pretty easy first step: grab pencil and paper, and start writing random titles. Don’t think about what you’d do with the title, or anything about where the title might eventually lead. Just start writing.

5. Starting Songs: Building On that First Idea

So if you find that your songwriting process is always grinding to a halt after you’ve written a good, short musical fragment, try these ideas.

6. Tips and Tricks for Starting Songs

If you find it hard to finish songs, this may be the cause: You haven’t started properly. You’re too focused on pulling all the elements of a good song together, and you don’t yet have one good main idea.

Gary EwerWritten by Gary Ewer. Follow Gary on Twitter

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