Songwriting Ideas for Beginners— Ignite more imagination and creativity than you ever imagined within yourself, or your musically-inclined child, through one simple concept – learning to write songs!
Music has numerous cognitive, social, and educational benefits, like acceptance with expressing emotions, and it’s fun for performers of all ages and skill levels. In this article, we’ll outline some great ways to encourage songwriting in beginners.
First things first – always be prepared!
Be sure to have something to record with or sing into, and/or a pencil and paper handy for jotting down notes, melodies, and lyrics as you go, since you never know when you might be struck with the perfect desire or idea for creating music.
Find Songwriting Inspiration
All writers need some kind of muse, so it can help to have your surroundings reflect many of the things you love. Maybe it’s a photo of loved ones, a favorite gift, or a family heirloom. Maybe it’s a cherished childhood stuffed animal or a commemorative purchase from a trip. Any of these things can be an inspiration to write a song. One thing is important here – don’t rule anything out!
A great suggestion to help get creative juices flowing is by creating a list of favorite musical influences – artists, songs, genres, instrumentalists, etc. Listen to as many songs and musicians that you can to find what holds meaning, or even music that helps you to develop ideas. Creative writing is also helpful and fun, and you can find so many ideas in everyday life.
Songwriting Ideas for Beginners
15 Prompt Ideas to Help You Get Started
Get ready for the imagination to soar with this list of 15 awesome songwriting idea prompts to help you start feeling the music:
- Taking a trip somewhere and the things you might encounter (the beach, the zoo, the park, the mall, etc.) – what did seeing or experiencing them make you feel?
- Your first love / first heartbreak – how you met and fell in love, what prompted the breakup, and how will you survive? Can you fall in love again?
- Try storytelling – think of someone or something you’ve always thought was interesting – what about them/it drew your attention? What could they/it do that would be funny/unexpected?
- Write about a time in your life where you had to overcome a difficult struggle.
- What was the last book you read? What about it was interesting that you could draw upon and write about from your own perspective? Could be a character, situation, etc.
- Think about something that you might be missing – did you move and you miss your friends? Or maybe you just miss this awesome ice cream shop or donut place from your old hometown?
- What are your hopes and dreams for the future? Write about what makes them so special to you and how you plan to make them happen.
- Start by writing down feeling words that rhyme so you can create a fun rhythm. For example, if you use the word “happy,” find words that rhyme like snappy, clappy, sappy, etc.
- Write a song about your best friend and the fun things you two do together.
- Write about something that makes you sad or unhappy, such as a situation, and how you want to handle it to make it better.
- Write about your favorite holiday or traditions you have with your family – how are they special and what do they mean to you?
- Write about someone who hurt you, maybe physically or emotionally – what would you like to have said in the situation? How would you deal with that person now?
- Write about one of your fondest memories with your family or friends, remembering all the littlest details.
- Write about your favorite pet or an animal you admire – what makes that animal so wonderful? What would you do if that animal could talk?
- Write as if you’re telling someone that they can be anything; something uplifting to help them follow their dreams and achieve them.
I hope you enjoyed this songwriting prompt list of ideas.
MAP OUT THE SONG STRUCTURE & CREATE THE SONG TITLE
A simplistic song structure is the best way to help beginners. The classic and most utilized is the ‘ABAB’ format, or where you set up your pattern as “verse-chorus-verse-chorus.” Sometimes you add another chorus so it’s more of an ‘ABABB’ structure. Getting the lyrics and melodies on paper will lead you to this next step so you can actually set up how you want the song to play out. Music journaling is a great way to keep down ideas when listening to music to note structures and formats.
Writers can play with this structure as they come up with verses, and sometimes they might add a third verse or, what is called the ‘hook’ or ‘bridge’ that transitions into another chorus. In this case, the format looks more like ‘ABACB.’ Otherwise, another typical format is set by bringing the song back to the chorus with just one added line, to give the tune something different and unique. Starting with a simplistic structure is best, however, because you can always go back and add more to it later on.
When you’ve figured out the song lyrics and mapped out a basic structure, you should at this point be ready to put a title to your song. There is no wrong answer here, so play around with all of your lyrics to find the perfect fit or reference for a title. You can make it as simple as just one word, or maybe a line in the chorus that is used multiple times.
TAKE MUSIC LESSONS WITH A PROFESSIONAL
There are many ways that a new songwriter can lean on others for support. Talking with other fellow writers is a great step. Asking for opinions, feedback, and advice from people whose opinions they trust can go a long way to helping with their songwriting.
One of the best ways to get assistance for a child’s budding songwriting abilities is by having them take music lessons and learn an instrument with an instructor who can also cover the fundamentals of composing. For example, with Music To Your Home’s online lessons, students receive guidance and assistance from a professional within the industry who has a vast education in the field. Songwriting instructors can be there to assist with writing out the song, figuring out a melody, coming up with lyrics, and even performing it, tweaking it to fit a better structure, and so much more.
DRAW UPON LIFE EXPERIENCES
One of the best pieces of advice when writing a song is to draw upon people or experiences that you know well. Writing about things that have happened or people that you know creates an instant connection to the song, which is important for songwriters. Not only that, but drawing upon those experiences and people also gives songwriters a therapeutic way of dealing with situations and feelings, so it has even more added benefits.
An audience loves to relate and identify themselves in the music that they hear, so think about the type of people that may listen to the song. Music is meant to inspire creativity as well as touch people’s hearts and minds. Writing songs about things that have happened or that could happen is a great start, and an impactful song in the audience long after the songs have been forgotten.
TAKE A BREAK FROM WRITING WHEN STUCK
A great tip to help new songwriters is whenever they are experiencing a block or having trouble coming up with something, to just take a break from it. Deliberately switching your mind’s gears to another activity is actually a great tactic in assisting with writing.
Some suggestions would be to go take a walk, get something to eat, spend time with a friend, etc. This allows for the opportunity to find another spark of inspiration, which may bring you back to the song more quickly than anticipated. It also does not allow writers to get too frustrated or downhearted. Writing songs should be a positive experience, so when it becomes something that is too difficult, that is the time to set it aside and step away for a while.
Song ideas are everywhere; you just have to know where to look for them. Drawing upon your imagination can come from so many various things, and identifying those opportunities to write about is part of the fun when it comes to songwriting.
The goal is to avoid becoming discouraged if something doesn’t turn out how you were hoping. The inspiration is out there; you just have to be willing to look around, narrow it down, and focus on one idea at a time.
May your talent soar as you pick a topic from one of our songs prompts and use it to explore your lyric writing and craft your own song, There are plenty of ideas here to inspire beginners as they learn the songwriting process.
Until next time, write on, and happy songwriting!
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