4 Tips for Writing A Song on Guitar

by Rodrigo Sanchez, Oct 11, 2021 . 4 min read

4 Tips for Writing A Song on Guitar

These 4 tips for writing a song on guitar will help you kickstart your creativity.

They are a starting point that you can use as a springboard for your ideas. After all, few things are more intimidating for a songwriter than a blank page. These tips will also help anybody looking to get started with songwriting. Here you’ll find insight on the basic aspects that make up a song. Furthermore, these are all practical as opposed to theoretical, so you will get to test them immediately while trying to write a new song. So let’s tune-up and have some fun. Here are 4 tips for writing a song on guitar.   

Think of the form

The form of a song is the order in which its parts appear. The most common form is verse – chorus – verse 2 – chorus 2 – bridge – chorus 3. The verse can be eight bars long, and the chorus can also have the same length. Typically each verse features the same melody and chords but with different lyrics. On the other hand, all three choruses tend to be identical. For the bridge, you can do four bars of new chords, melody, and lyrics. 

The challenge is to make each part different but also seem like they are part of the same song. Try writing a song with the form mentioned above and see how you like it.

Start with a title

Professional songwriters usually start a new song with a title. This gives them a clear direction to build to the song. Once you have a title, you can make every single choice of the song relate to that title. For instance, the melody and chords might suggest something mysterious to match a mysterious title. Naturally, the lyrics will be truly related to the title. Starting this way leaves very little room to wonder what the song is truly about. This is exactly why professionals usually don’t start writing unless they have a good title.   

Pick a chord progression

One of the best ways to start a song is to have a chord progression and build on it. For instance, the progression I V iV IV is one of the most common in history. Let’s say you want to play it in the guitar-friendly key of C. That would be C, G, Am, F. Play that progression over and over until a melody starts popping in your head. Once you have that, try adding some lyrics. Does it sound like a verse or chorus? Pick one and then just write the other. To do this, simply create a new melody and then add new lyrics. Very simple in principle, and a great way to get your creative songwriting ideas flowing.

Start with the lyrics

Do you have a poem that you wrote? Perhaps a letter to an ex-lover? You can take that and turn it into a song. The trick is to only try to fit parts of it and not the entire text. Take a central phrase in a said poem or letter and you can make that your title. Then try to put it in your chorus and build around that. Starting with the lyrics is not the most common of approaches, but can also work wonders at times. 

Take the time to try out these 4 tips for writing a song on guitar. See which one of these seems to be more natural to you. Perhaps you can find a method that truly works for you and lets you write some solid songs. Keep in mind that if your chosen method does not work at a particular moment, you still have three more to choose from. Remember that every great songwriter started somewhere. Have fun.  

Get our free Alternate Tunings Guide!

Check out some other similar articles

Take advantage of our biggest backer-exclusive discounts and get your hands on this next-generation automatic tuner. Back the Kickstarter campaign today and be the first to receive the Roadie 3.

Some guitarists tend to focus solely on improving their left hand. The dirty little secret is that the left hand can only be as good as the right hand allows.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Dec 3, 2021 . 3 min read

John Lennon was one of the most beloved songwriters of his generation and was taken from us way too soon.

Frederik Nielsen
Nov 29, 2021 . 3 min read

In this ukulele for beginners guide, we’re going to explain the basics of the instrument and how to play it.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Nov 19, 2021 . 6 min read

What in the world is 432 Hz vs 440 Hz? Well, these are just two different frequencies that have sparked a debate over which is better.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Nov 15, 2021 . 5 min read

The best alternate tunings for bass will help you spice up your playing significantly.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Nov 8, 2021 . 6 min read

In this guide for beginners learning how to read music, we’re going to give you the straightforward way to be able to play what’s on the score.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Nov 5, 2021 . 6 min read

Have you ever wondered what are the 5 most used types of guitars?

Rodrigo Sanchez
Oct 18, 2021 . 4 min read

These 5 ideas to help you find your sound as a musician are quite useful. Regardless of what instrument or style you play, having your own style and sound is important.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Sep 27, 2021 . 4 min read

This guide to understanding chords in a simple way will give a stronger comprehension of harmony.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Sep 20, 2021 . 4 min read

These 4 ways to deal with musical frustration can save you a lot of grief. We’ve all been there, for a variety of reasons.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Sep 17, 2021 . 4 min read

Today we’re going to talk about five tips for changing chords faster on guitar. This is one of the main obstacles that beginners face when learning the guitar.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Sep 6, 2021 . 4 min read

This list of five mistakes to avoid when practicing can help you in your journey to becoming a better musician.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Aug 23, 2021 . 4 min read
We'll be bringing you recommended tabs and plenty of interesting quotes from guitar legends along the way!