How to Write a Song? Easy Steps to Get Started

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” We’ve all heard that saying by Thomas Edison at one point, and while some might think this only applies to science, the truth is, it applies to almost everything.
Songwriting is a creative process, and when it comes to creating a good song, a strong talent can indeed make a world of difference, but only through discipline and hard work can your ideas turn into reality.
If you’re ready to take your first step and need to know all about how to write a song, we have all the necessary steps and exciting ideas to get you going.

Step 1: Keep Your Notebook Close

Have you ever gotten a great song idea or a catchy chorus and thought to yourself: “that’s a good one, I’ll write it down later”? Yes, we all did that, and we know how it ends. It’s gone forever.
Great ideas know no boundaries; they show up in the most unlikely places and times.
That’s why you should always have a notebook near you. As the famous saying goes: keep your friends close, and the ideas notebook closer.
Keeping a record of these ideas, even the not-so-great ones, will help with the writing process. It can also serve as inspiration whenever you’re experiencing a writing block.

Step 2: Choose Your Hook

Whether you’re a beginner or a professional songwriter, creativity can turn into chaos when endless promising ideas spiral through your mind or your notebook.
Before you get caught in this overwhelming flood of ideas, you should settle on the main theme for your song. You need to be quite specific for this part because the clearer the idea you’re working with, the easier it’ll be for you to develop the lyrics, structure, and chord progression.
Now, ask yourself: what is the main topic that I’m writing this song about? And put a title to it. When you’re thinking of a title, you’ll want to look for phrases that are catchy and easy to remember. This is your hook.

Step 3: Build Your Structure

A good song is not only about strong, meaningful lyrics, and many elements go into shaping your songs, such as lyrics, melody, musical instruments, and structure. So, let’s go through some of the key parts to help you craft a strong structure for your song.

1- Storytelling Element

Storytelling is all about maintaining your audience’s attention because no one wants to listen to boring stories. This is why the storytelling element of a song consists of 3 parts, each serving a different purpose.


This is where you introduce your idea to the audience, and it should be able to grab the audience’s attention to continue with the song. According to Music Machinery, almost 35% tend to skip a song within the first 30 secs.


Where you tell the story. A verse’s main purpose is to deliver the song’s story to your audience. Therefore, different verses throughout the song should tell different parts of the story.


This is the part that highlights the main idea of the story and is often the climax of a song. A chorus is where the emotional intensity reaches its highest point. It is the most powerful part of the song where the melody changes before going back to the original rhythm (going back to another verse).
It will also include the hook (song title) in it, and it’s often the part that we remember the most.

2- Connecting Elements (Connectors)

Connectors are the parts that keep the flow of your song. They ensure a smooth transition from one part of the song to the other.


A bridge is where you offer a new perspective to your story. A bridge contrasts with what was previously mentioned in the verse or chorus. You can use it to shift the focus to a new emotion or zoom in or out of the picture you’re drawing. It can be shorter or longer than other parts of the song.


Also known as pre-chorus, it comes right before the chorus. This is where the intensity builds up before reaching the climax in the chorus.
A common song structure to use is intro - verse - chorus - verse - chorus - bridge - chorus - outro.

Step 4: What Is Your Story?

After choosing the main idea and title (the hook), you should now break your main idea into a list of smaller elements. Think of what you want to say about this topic and write all the elements down.
For example:
  • Are you describing a certain situation? Or are you going for a more general approach?
  • If it’s a specific situation, think about what parts of it you want to highlight. Is it the place, the people, or the event itself? What picture are you trying to draw for your audience?
Whenever you’re brainstorming, try not to have an editing mentality. Instead, write down whatever comes to your mind, even if you’re hesitant about some of it.

Step 5: Chord Progression

Are you using a specific instrument for this song? Then now is the time to pick up your instrument and decide on which chords you’ll be using for this piece.
If you don’t know how to come up with a chord progression, or you’re just struggling to find one that perfectly suits the genre/mood of your song, you can use online chord progression generators. Then keep generating different chord progressions until you find your perfect fit.
After settling on the chords, you should work on coming up with the melody. Again, if you’re a beginner, this step might be a bit challenging, so give it time and play your chords a couple of times to see what goes with it.

Step 6: Time to Make Some Art

With all the song elements in hand, you’re ready to start writing the lyrics for the verses, chorus, and any other structural parts you plan on using.
And don’t get overwhelmed. Songwriters do create well-structured songs without necessarily including all of the elements mentioned above, so think of this as a guide, not a checklist.


Now that you’ve learned all about how to write a song and create song structures, this is your chance to put your talent into practice, because at the end of the day, how can we appreciate your art if we never got a chance to see it, right?
We know songwriting can seem a bit intimidating. However, with all the right information in hand, all you need to do now is get your pen and work some magic.