How to Write a Song
- If you are serious about learning how to write a song, head for Nashville Tennessee. Nashville is a treasure trove of information and opportunity. If you aren’t sure you can yet justify a move to the city, go for long weekends, get to know the city and see for yourself why writers and artists flock here. Some of the greatest songs ever written have been written in Nashville.
- Go to the Bluebird Café. It is a must visit for anyone who wants to learn how to write a song. It’s one of Nashville’s most well known listening cafes for talent on the way up. Songwriters perform rounds most nights of the week, and many greats like Garth Brooks and Pam Tillis got their start there.
- Join NSAI. It stands for Nashville Songwriters Association International. This is a wonderful organization for helping you learn the ropes. An annual membership affords you such opportunities as Song Camp, a wonderful long weekend of songwriting workshops taught by songwriters who know the business and have written hit songs.
- Get to know other song writers who are also just starting out on the songwriting journey. Song Camp provides an awesome opportunity for this. The camp brings in attendees from all over the country and sometimes from other countries.
- Schedule some co-writes with song writers you begin to get to know from your visits to Nashville. Finding writers who sync with you and your work can be a bit like dating, sometimes it works and sometimes, it doesn’t. But when you find the right fit, the results can be magical.
- Plan to write during your visits to Nashville, but also schedule writing appointments via Skype. Skype is an incredible tool for song writers to meet up online and get a writing session started. You can be flexible with timing, especially if you have a full-time job and are writing around that.
- Study song lyrics. Especially those of songs you have loved. Great song lyrics move us, make us feel every emotion from sadness to elation.
- When a song really grabs you, make a point to disassemble it. Look at the melody, the structure of the song, intro, verse, chorus, and bridge. Looking at the individual parts can sometimes help us figure out why something works as a whole.
- Enter a songwriting contest. Contests are often judged by producers, songwriters and other industry professionals. This is one way to begin getting your work noticed.
- Read great books on songwriting. Here are a few highly recommended: Writing Better Lyrics by Pat Pattison – The Art of Writing Great Lyrics by Pamela Phillips Oland – Six Steps to Songwriting Success by Jason Blume.
- Study the careers of successful songwriters. Think of some of your favorite songs. Find out who wrote them. Google the writer and read what you can about their journey from new writer status to hit songwriter status. There is much to be learned from those who have succeeded.
- Write songs that speak to you. Songs that pull some emotion from you, whether it’s happiness, humor or nostalgia. If it makes you feel, it will make someone else feel as well.
- Seek out an opportunity to visit a recording studio. Nashville is blessed with more than its fair share. If you happen to meet and click with a writer who is planning to record a demo of a song he or she has written, ask to tag along so that you can begin to learn how the process works.
- Songwriters in Nashville are known to be a pay it forward community. Most are extremely generous with their talent and experience and are willing to share what the know with those just getting started. As you progress, remember to practice the art of giving back.
- Check out the SlideShare version of this post here.
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I love books and music. I write both fiction and song lyrics. I can usually be found tinkering with one or the other. My love for songwriting and the Nashville community led me to start a fictional series called, of course, Nashville. I hope you’ll check it out
Young singer-songwriters going for the Nashville dream! Nineteen-year old CeCe Mackenzie leaves Virginia for Nashville with not much more to her name than a guitar, a Walker Hound named Hank Junior and an old car she’d inherited from her grandma called Gertrude.
But Gertrude ends up on the side of I-40 in flames, and Nashville has never seemed farther away.
Help arrives in the form of two Georgia football players headed for the Nashville dream as well. When Holden Ashford and Thomas Franklin stop to offer CeCe and Hank Junior a ride, fate may just give a nod to serendipity and meant to be.
5 Stars. “Ms. Cooper has written such a beautiful story that gives you hope. It fills you with laughter, sadness, and many other emotions. You feel connected to the characters and really share in their successes and hurt in their failures. I can’t wait for the next part to come out. I’ve really grown attached to the characters and want to see what lies ahead for them. Again…beautiful story.” – Amazon.com Reviewer
5 Stars. “Her car catches fire, 2 smokin’ hot guys stop to help. . . .the rest is history.” – Amazon.com Reviewer
5 Stars. “This book captured my attention from the very start! The characters are each unique yet seem to fit together. I love each of them, especially Hank. I was reading this on a plane and was so disappointed when I turned the page and realized I was going to have to wait to find out what happens. Excellent! I definitely recommend Nashville!” – Bookishblonde – Amazon.com Reviewer