Keep in mind there is no one set way of learning how to write a song, every songwriter has a different process, but for the sake of the beginner I’m going to explain one way how to write songs. Then as you begin to write more and more you will find your own method that works best for you.
Step 1. What do you want to write about?
Before you start messing around with chords and melodies, Ii is helpful to have an idea of what you want to write about, this will help you stay focused on one subject and keeps your song from veering off into too many directions.
You should be able to sum up what your song is about in one short sentence. For example, “A relationship that’s on the rocks” or “cheating girlfriend, begging for me back”.
Knowing what theme your song is based around is the first step in learning how to write a song, it will help with the future steps of choosing chords and melodies. For instance, if your song is sad you would tend to use more minor chords and melodies constructed using the minor scale.
Step 2. Get A Chord Progression
So now that you know what you want to write about it’s time to get a chord progression together. You have two options.
1. Play the same chords for the entire song i.e. same chords for verse, chorus etc.
2. Play different chords for verse, chorus, bridge etc.
Both options work perfectly and many successful songs have been written using both methods.
Step 3. Creating A Melody
Try to write your melody, well at least a rough version of your melody out first. The reason for this is that when you have a melody sometimes the lyrics just write themselves, certain words have a natural rhythm and melodic tone.
Coming up with a melody is easy enough. Just play your chord progression and hum notes over it. You start to hear a melodic phrase come to life. Sometimes it might take a couple of re-writes but keep at it until you find something you’re happy with.
Step 4. Add lyrics To Your Melody
It’s time to bring your melody to life by adding lyrics which is in your own hands and imagination.
Learning how to write a song is a very individual process so just trust your process and let your creativity flow. There is no right or wrong way of how to write a song so just practice different songwriting techniques and with time, trial and error, you will find your own way of writing songs.
You want to record those great tunes you’ve written right? You have a band project going and you need a place to record your work? You got the material, but you need to record that demo for the record companies?
Well, building your own recording studio is a great place to start.
When you’re based on computer recording, good audio recording software is essential. You need software that doesn’t use up all the resources in your computer, but still has the power to get the job done.
You should look for audio recording software featuring:
Great quality, low latency, audio recording (16 bit, 24 bit or 32-bit-float at frequency 41000 Hz or higher)
Low latency midi recording (support for ASIO drivers)
Good mixing capabilities (i.e. multi tracking)
Good plugin support (VST/DX software synths and samplers, effects plugins)
Good Mixdown/Export capabilities (you should be able to export your final mix/recording to a high quality audio file which you can burn onto a CD, ship to a record company and get the deal of your dreams!)
Now onto the audio recording software:
In my opinion these are the most important things to look for in audio recording software.
The sound card (a.k.a. audio interface, sound interface) is one of the most important parts in your recording studio computer.
Audio interfaces handle the input and output of audio (and midi) to and from your computer. A few pieces of advice here on what to look for in a good audio interface for recording purposes.
The following benefits are what you should get out of great audio cards:
Support of great audio quality, both input and output.(24 bit, 96000 Hz, high quality audio)
Capability of low latency sustained recording of both audio and midi.
If you intend to use recording software like Cubase SX, the sound interface has to support ASIO drivers.
Among the variety of audio interfaces I can recommend the M-AUDIO Audiophile 24/96 for any home recording environment.
In recent years the USB and Firewire external audio interfaces have grown to be of good quality as well. So if you plan on using your laptop as a studio computer, or you simply don’t have any PCI slots to spare in your computer, this would be the way to go.
All of this information listed above can be very helpful when starting to build your very own home studio.
I suggest taking things a step further,by doing more research after you have read this article.
After you’ve recorded the perfect song, you’re only halfway there! Mixing is where the magic really happens, and where the most of your time is likely to be spent. Getting the perfect mix is a challenge, but with this information, professional quality mixing equipment at home, and will power, this will be completely within your reach!
Keep in mind that mastering goes hand-in-hand with mixing. The truth is, if your song is mixed poorly, most likely amateur level mastering isn’t going to do any good for it – in fact, it probably makes it even worse.
So before starting to experiment with mastering, you need to learn to mix. Your song needs to sound as good and balanced as possible before going to the mastering stage .The thing is, professional mastering makes great sounding mix to sound outstanding.There are a wide range of VST plugins that can be used for mastering: brickwall limiters, single band compressors, multiband compressors, equalizers, stereo enhancers etc. and there’s even a bunch of presets to get you started. I have to say though that there really isn’t a “one button solution” or “setting that fits for all” -quick fix for mastering. Each mix is different and that’s why the mastering tools needs to be chosen and tweaked according the situation – everything depends on the audio material you have and what you wan’t to achieve with the mastering. That defines the tools and settings you need to use. Sometimes, you may just need a little help of a limiter in the master channel to do the job for you and if you can make your mix sound good with it, it’s ok. The thing is, you just need to learn to use your ears.
Lot of producers and professionals say that mastering should be left to mastering engineers and that you shouldn’t master your songs by yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing. I agree, because mastering engineers have the skills, professional equipment, right kind of listening environment (which is ESSENTIAL), trained ears and usually a years of experience so they pretty much know what can be done (if any) to enhance the quality of your mix. But let’s say you don’t have a professional engineer around and you need your music complete? You have to start somewhere and my suggestion is that you research as much information that you can about mixing your tracks down.
There are several programs like fruity loops, pro tools, and audacity, to name a few, that allow you to mix your tracks down perfectly. If you need help on using these programs, I suggest choosing one and start messing around in that program and get some books on it. Once you get the hang of mastering your own tracks there will be nothing you cannot do!