Beginners Start Here!

Are you interested in songwriting, but you don’t know where to begin? Are you just poking around to see if you can actually do this? Then you might be a beginner songwriter – welcome!

Check out these articles to learn how to take the first step on your songwriting journey.

Write the First Song

Let’s say you’ve got a songwriting idea. You sit down at your piano or guitar, your notebook in hand. You might write the title in bold letters at the top of the page. Maybe you come up with a riff or a few chords.  But then: the empty page starts to get to you. Your … More

What Are Song Sections?

Song sections can be confusing. Sometimes the terms can get mixed up (is it called a pre-chorus or a bridge?) or certain songs can work to free themselves of the definition of sections. Here is a guide to understanding song sections so you can use them effectively and break the rules as you like. Verse: … More

What are AABA Songs?

Many of us are used to the regular Verse-Chorus format. AABA Songs are less common, but a classic song form that is great for understated choruses or highlighting a meaningful tagline. The form itself mimics a traditional storyline, lending itself to those types of songs. The AABA Form: A – first verseA – second verseB … More

Classic and Modern Types of Bridge Sections

If you’re a songwriter, you probably have opinions on Bridge sections. Many of us tend to use only a couple of types of Bridges, and that might come from the songs that have influenced us. If you’re writing an ABBA song, the options are limited. You might hate Bridges and routinely skip them.  Either way, … More

What are Rhyme Schemes?

Rhyme schemes: love ‘em or hate ‘em, they are a useful part of songs that provide structure (or unstructured, if that’s what you’re going for).  A rhyme is words that end in a similar sounding vowel. You can have perfect rhymes (boat/moat) or imperfect rhymes (boat/globe). A rhyme scheme is the pattern of where the … More

How To Create Contrast Between Sections

One of the fundamentals to songwriting is creating contrast between sections. I say “fundamentals” because it is one of the first things you might learn, but like most of the basics, it requires practice and persistence throughout your lifetime of writing music. Even after more than a decade of songwriting, this is still something I … More

My 5 Favourite Books to Learn the Craft of Songwriting

My five favourite books to learn the craft of songwriting If you’re a reader like myself, you’ve probably noticed how many songwriting books are out there. There are also many types of songwriting books, ranging from instructive to anecdotal, and it can be overwhelming to figure out which books actually get to the meat of … More

How to Find a Co-Writer

I am a huge advocate for co-writing, but it wasn’t that long ago when I was way too intimidated to ever think about writing songs with someone else. I was worried I would get too nervous to have anything to contribute, but mainly, I just didn’t know how to find co-writers. After a few years … More

Songwriting Exercise: Structured Object Writing

Nearly every writer has tried object writing at some point in their lives. The idea is usually very similar every time: when you wake up in the morning, grab your tea or coffee and sit down with a timer and a notebook. Pick an object and free-write for ten minutes about it. Maybe at the … More

Why Your Rhymes are Getting in Your Way

There are many songwriters out there who argue that the lyrics don’t matter. I hear this especially when I hear critique of pop music, and how the lyrics are “too simple” and the songwriters just write anything down, as long as it sounds catchy. This might be true in some cases, but truly great songs … More

Overcoming Self-Doubt in Songwriting

Like everyone, I experience self-doubt when it comes to songwriting. Along with music having a brutal, messy industry, it was pretty early on when I realized just how many other songwriters are out there. Part of being a musician is getting passed on and rejected, and after many of those instances, I can feel pretty … More