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Inspiration

My Top 5 Songwriting Tips!

PI readers, I want help those of you who like writing poetry or songs, or who are interested in songwriting. There are many different approaches, but I want to give you my personal tips on how I write my music and helpful tips for songwriting!

notebook

 1. Sit in a quiet place

If you want to write a song, it helps to have a peaceful, quiet environment where you can focus on your work. While you may be working on a song with a co-writer, it’s still useful for both of you to meet either at a studio or a peaceful place where you can share your musical ideas. If there are distractions, it can disturb the flow of your thought process and creativity.

2. Bring the right tools

If you are songwriting, you need tools such as a notepad or journal to help. You may also want to bring something that inspires you, such as a song to listen to before you write, or a Bible. If you’re writing a Christian or Gospel song, obviously prayer and the Word are vital.

Note: Be careful not to imitate the song if you choose to listen to one for inspiration, and be cautious to not copy similar melodies. Some songs may inspire you, but people tend to imitate others or follow similar patterns, so make sure your song is unique. 

In addition, if you use an instrument to give you melodies or to assist in your songwriting, prepare your instrument by tuning it.

3. Bring a recorder to document melodies, harmonies and sounds

recorder

If you are writing lyrics and music, you may want to bring a recorder, your laptop or cell phone to record a melody. If you get an idea for how the chorus, bridge or verses go, you will want to record them immediately. You’d be surprised how quickly you’ll forget it otherwise!

I use my cell phone recorder when I write lyrics, harmonies or melodies. I love being able to go back and listen to the tunes I come up with! It is so fascinating because most of the time, I will see that had I not recorded my idea, I would have not remembered it to the best of my ability, let alone at all!

Note: Most cell phones have a “voice recording” feature, and there are different apps for songwriters worth checking out!

4. Stay positive–even if you have writer’s block!

Writers often get what is known as “writer’s block,” when they come to a mental wall and just are stumped at where to go next. This also happens to songwriters! But even if you’re stuck, keep your head up, stay positive and keep up the good work!

If you need to take a break, walk away from the song for a while and come back to it, just as you would with any big project or assignment. It will help you to refresh and come with a new, clear mind, ready to refocus.

5. Copyright your song!

This has to be the most important tip out of all the tips listed! If you write a decent song you think has potential for a song collection or recording, then you need to go to www.copyright.gov and register your song for a fee of $35. There are different instructions you will need to read and follow if you want to register your music with the Library of Congress.

Remember, this is an idea that you own and if you want to protect it, you must register your work.

Note: Copyright laws are an important part of the songwriting process. If you want to become a serious songwriter or musician, it is wise to educate yourself on how the system works and what steps you need to take in order to make your songs covered by the law.

I also encourage you to read about songwriting and learn from other songwriters about what they do to make a successful song! Also, if you are doing worship music, it is so important that you come to it with reverence and a willingness to let the Holy Spirit lead you when you write. I will pray that you will be motivated and encouraged to write, compose and to explore your musical adventure!

PI readers, songwriting is so fun! For some people it comes naturally, and it’s tougher for others, but no matter what type of songwriter you are, you have a voice and it is important that you use your gifts and talents! It is so encouraging to see young people using their gifts for God and exploring the different creative outlets.

Have you ever written a song? Do you have any extra tips? Comment below!

Image: Thinkstock | Monkey Business

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10 Comments

  1. misstake

    Posted by misstake on August 19, 2013 at 11:36

    lol I cant afford to copy right my songs XP Ive got too many!

  2. AlisonA_Music

    Posted by AlisonA_Music on February 1, 2013 at 09:50

    Really love these tips! So, you just get it Copyright and then no matter how much you change it, like change lyrics and stuff, it doesn’t matter?

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by Artist_In_Blue on November 11, 2012 at 12:44

    writing a song is like writing a really short story. with many of the songs i’ve written, i get an idea and just start writing. with songs, you can write so many just to convey a single option, so song ideas are limitless!

  4. lessly18

    Posted by lessly18 on October 23, 2012 at 07:52

    Thanks for the tips! I have a question…I write christian music sometimes and i want to record it but i dont think im that good, and i dont even know if I know how to sing. I told this friend if he could help me because he sings and writes his own music the problem is that his not chrtistian do you think it be right if i end up recording the song and everything?

  5. Carnation

    Posted by Carnation on October 21, 2012 at 20:02

    My friend and I made a rap about Jesus’ birth and performed it in Religion class. My other friends also made a rap, and we had a rap-off! My tip is do it with a friend, it makes it more fun and a lot easier!!

  6. ChristinaGiven

    Posted by ChristinaGiven on October 18, 2012 at 22:49

    Great point Paris!! I do that all the time!

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by Breanna on October 18, 2012 at 19:42

    Thanks so much for useful tips Christi. Especially about registering the songs I write sometimes. I had no idea that I could do that. I just never put out anything that I write because my sister told me that i would be taking the chance of people using it as their own. I love writing songs and I enjoy writing short stories. Which I have had a problem with writer’s block from time to time. Again thanks for the great tips:) ♥

  8. Paris

    Posted by Paris on October 17, 2012 at 23:13

    Another tip would be as soon a song/poem/story comes to you,write it down IMMEDIATELY! If you don’t,you may not remember it. Sometimes the best writings come randomly!

    • Dee

      Posted by Dee on October 22, 2012 at 16:38

      Agreed! I don’t write poetry often, and I’ve never written a song, but when it comes to stories, I know for a fact that it’s important to write them down immediately. Don’t worry about grammar or whatever, just get them down. Keep a pad of paper next to your bed, too, because sometimes the best inspiration comes immediately after you wake up, or from a dream itself.