Anyone can write a song! And that’s exactly what you will do with Write Your First Song, an extraordinarily intuitive step-by-step guide from singer-songwriter, Nashville producer, and top TrueFire educator Robbie Calvo.
In this step-by-step guide to songwriting, you’re going to learn how to develop all of the skills needed to create original music, including guitar Instrumentals and complete songs with lyrics. These are a few good lesson studies to get you started:
Choosing a Groove – Let’s take a listen to a few different groove options for your song. We’ll look at a straight eighth feel to start, then some variations on the groove: a swing 16th feel, 6/8 feel, etc.
Sweet Notes / Developing Melody – “Sweet notes” are the notes found in your chords. This is an ideal place to find and create melodies. More often than not, the chords will even suggest melodies to you. Let’s take one of our progressions and explore that a little bit with you.
Let’s take a C major chord and play it. The notes that make up that chord are: C – E – G. You can use those 3 notes to start writing melodies over that chord. You can use any of the other notes from the C major scale too, but the 3 chord tones will sound the strongest and sound resolved when you land on them over that chord. I call chord tones “sweet notes” and use them all the time to write melodic hooks and motifs in my music.
Now let’s take another chord and repeat the process. A minor 7 = A – C – E – G. Using those 4 notes over the A minor 7 chord is going to be a great place to start writing super strong melodic hooks.
Let’s add in one more example so that you can really hear how powerful this approach is: F Major 7 = F – A – C – E. Let’s sing those tones against the chord. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
OK, now I’m going to play those 3 chords as a progression and sing chord tones over the chords. These are simple ideas that are great starting points for more complex melodies should you want to get deeper. Most songs however are super simple melodically…so don’t feel pressured to write more detailed lines. Simple sweet notes are always good.
The Chorus Lyric & Hook / Crafting Lyrics – The chorus is the hook…the title…the message of the song. This is the section of the song that the audience will relate to most. Make your chorus memorable and easy to sing.
Here’s the chorus to my song:
I’m the O.N.E. in lonely
I’m the one doing solitary time
I don’t answer the door
Pick up the phone
I just sit in the dark, like nobody’s home
It’s just me and your memory
I’m the O.N.E. in lonely
So far we know that the singer is falling apart because his partner has left him…he’s alone, lonely…now I want to write a bridge with some semblance of hope in it…a cry for forgiveness or hope that they might get back together…let’s take a look at the bridge. >> Download the Lesson PDF