Song Writing for Beginners, pt.2 This week I’ll tell you how to write a song with music first. This is the sort of thing that the guitarist or bassist of our band would do but I find it harder. However I’ll do my best to explain the process to everyone.
Ok so some people, when writing music first, will let it just “flow”, like our guitarist, now I can’t explain this. It’s like a mix of improvisation and schizophrenia and I can’t tell you how to get it, although it seems to become easier as skill level increases. You could try just listening to a lot of guitar riffs you like then changing them a bit then just doing the whole “flow” bit. But like I said, unexplainable.
So, as I can’t explain that type of music first I’ll give you a more reasoned out way, but to use this way you have to know your scales. This is how my bassist writes. Basically choose a key, for this example I will choose c major because it doesn’t have any sharps or flats.
With c major, the notes in the scale are C D E F G A B C. Let’s call these 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 (you can do this with any scale, just start at 1 on the root note). You can use any chord you want in a song really, as long as it sounds good, but these are slightly better, and of these C (1), F (4), G (5) and B (7). Don’t ask me why because I do know quite a bit about it and I will bore you with talk about resonant pitches and the mathematical relations of the 1 4 5 7 chords. All you need to know is that they’re related.
So what I’m going to do here is write an example song for you using these four chords. I’ll use guitar because it’s much easier to write like this on electric guitar.
So, for the verse, start with a C power chord for 2 bars, then F for a bar, then G. Repeat. Pre-chorus – B power chord for half a bar, then C for half a bar. Repeat four times. Chorus – power chords for one bar: C C F C C F G G C C F C C F G C Bridge – F for 3 bars, C for half a bar, B for half a bar. Repeat three times then go F for 2 bars, G for two bars.
If you put that in to a verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus x2 structure then TA DA! You have a completely new song, music all done. Play around with where you put the chords and put it in different keys, chuck in some weird chords, just have fun with it. And then you can write lyrics. So basically, take the idea I just gave you (using 1 4 5 7) then do the letting it “flow” thing, then write lyrics. And that is the second way to write a song.
New Kid On The Block