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If you are reading this, you are most likely a complete beginner and you may be writing some of your first songs ever. Let me start by telling you that there are many approaches to writing songs, and you will probably make up your own at some point as well. But to start, we’re going to go with the absolute easiest and fastest way and I’m sure once you get through this absolute beginner roadmap, you will understand songwriting a little better and see it’s not as hard to get started as you think.

As a general rule, to write a song with no experience you should start with the basics like using a standard chord progression in a major or minor key, a standard Verse – Chorus Pop song structure, and a basic 4/4 or 3/4 time signature, You can also use powerchords instead of regular chords to make it easier to play on guitar.

Let’s take things step by step now and get started writing your song out.

Start with a Common Chord Progression

Music theory can get complicated real quick, and if you’re just starting to write songs you don’t need to know a whole bunch of it right now. So I’m going to show you how to use common chord progressions without explaining how they work, because really, we just want to start writing songs. We don’t need to understand how it works to use the tool. I don’t know how the parts of a computer work and yet here I am using one to write this article.

Major Chord Progression

The most common major chord progression is the below. It’s known as the Pop Song Chord Progression and is used in many pop and rock songs. There are many other common chord progression but this one is the most used.

I – V – vi – IV

Why is it in Roman numerals? Because people invented a system (called Roman Numeral Analysis) where they give a Roman Numeral from 1 to 7 to each note of the Major scale. The major scale has 1-7 notes. What is cool is that using those numbers, all you need to do is plug in the chords of a key.

So if you are in the key of C Major these are the chords of that key:

  • I – C Major
  • ii – D Minor
  • iii – E Minor
  • IV – F Major
  • V – G Major
  • vi – A Minor
  • vii° – B Diminished

Now just plug them into the formula above (uppercase means major, lowercase means minor)

I – V – vi – IV


C Major, G Major, A Minor, F Major

This works with any key, so for now, you can just Google what the chords are for the key you want your song to be in, and see what the chords in that key are and just plug them into the formula.

Minor Chord Progression

All of this applies for minor chord progressions too. So if you want your song to be in C Minor instead of C Major then we check the chords in C Minor (shown below)

  • i – C Minor
  • ii° – C Diminished
  • III – Eb Major
  • iv – F Minor
  • v – G Minor
  • VI – Ab Major
  • VII – Bb Major

And plug them into a common minor chord progression formula. There are many but for this example we are going to use the one below:

i – VI – III – VII

And we plug in the chords into the formula to get this:

i – VI – III – VII


C Minor – Ab Major – Eb Major – Bb Major

(the “b” means flat)

Ok so choose major or minor and now you have the chords of your song. This is all you need for your first one. Many pop songs just play these 4 chords over and over for every section of the song. For the sake of simplicity we’re gonna do the same, just play the Verses softer than the Choruses.

Let’s move on to setting up the song structure.

Use a Verse – Chorus Pop Song Structure

One of the most common song structures in Pop and many Rock songs is the Verse – Chorus Pop Song Structure. It goes like this:

Verse – Chorus – Verse – Chorus – Bridge – Chorus

Some people will also throw in a Prechorus between the Verse and the Choruses.

The reason this works is because song structure is a lot like storytelling structure. You have a beginning, middle and end. Song structure is the way the story of your song is being told. Therefore each part of the song has a job to do.

  • The Verse is meant to describe or expand on the main idea of the chorus. It gives us context.
  • The Chorus is the main idea of your song and usually the most catchy. Dave Grohl has said he sees the Chorus as a bumper sticker phrase meant to hook you and stick in your head.
  • The Bridge of the song is meant to give a feeling of going away from the Verse and Chorus. It’s where you have room to switch things up and do something different from the Verse and Chorus. It’s the part of the journey where you are farthest from home.

I recommend you use this song structure for your first song.

You can also check out these articles for more on song structures Song Structure Templates To Write Songs Fast and 7 Creative Ways to Structure Your Songs Better.

Find a Topic to Sing About

Many people start with the music first but many also start with the lyrics or vocal melodies first. It depends on the individual. You might already know what you want your song to be about and if you do then great. However if you don’t, here are a few tips to help you think of what to sing about:

  • How do you want people to feel when they hear your song?
  • Sing about something that made you feel that way.
  • Have you had any recent experiences that don’t happen often or stand out?
  • Have you had any realizations about yourself or others recently?
  • What is your insight or opinion on something many people experience?
  • Sing about something you wish you had.
  • Sing about how you wish you felt instead of how you feel now.
  • Sing about your job, a relationship, a funny story, or a trip to somewhere new.
  • Who is the weirdest person you met recently and why did you think they were weird?
  • Forget about a message and just sing words that sound cool with your music.

Many people sing about their emotions, their troubles, their experiences. Think about your own. Even simple everyday things can make interesting songs depending on the perspective and the way you talk about it.

I will say that if your life is very boring and you don’t ever do anything interesting, or think deeply about things, or are exposed to great works of art it will be more difficult to write.

As a songwriter you need creative stimulation. This means you should be curious and constantly looking for inspiring things and have a practice of getting out of your comfort zone. Do things you are scared of doing. It won’t just make you more creative, it will improve your life.

Make Vocal Melodies

Vocal melodies can sometimes be a hassle. At least they are for me because my first instrument is guitar so I don’t often think about them first.

For that reason there are some things I’ve come across that are helpful for making vocal melodies.

  • Read your lyrics over the song without trying to sing, just speak to the rhythm.
  • Sing the Root note, the 3rd note, and the 5th note of the scale of your song and see which one you like most and go from there.
  • Go up and down from that note and start off singing long notes.
  • Play around with how long and short you hold your notes for.
  • Pay attention to the rhythm of the song, and make your melody groove with it.
  • Vocal melodies usually look like a wave when written down on sheet music, so most of the time there are not many big jumps from one note to another.
  • Once you try playing around with notes that are close together, see where you can add big jumps to higher notes for added drama and emotion.
  • Choruses tend to be the high point in songs so your vocal melodies may be higher pitched than in the Verses. Not always though.

Making good vocal melodies can be tough but I think the important thing is that what you sing sounds natural. Don’t force it, and try to groove well with the rhythm.

Check out this article on melodic movement too Spice Up Your Melodies with Melodic Movement.

Wrapping it up

Your song will likely look something like this when you are done with this exercise:

Key: If in key of C Major or Minor (can be played as powerchords on guitar to make it easier).

If Major Key

I – V – vi – IV

C Major, G Major, A Minor, F Major

If Minor Key

i – VI – III – VII

C Minor – Ab Major – Eb Major – Bb Major


Verse – Chorus – Verse – Chorus – Bridge – Chorus

Topic: Insight on a recent experience or a description of a feeling, event, or relationship.

Vocal melody: Centered mostly around the Root, 3rd or 5th note of the scale of your song.

Hope this has been helpful in writing your first song with no experience in songwriting. I know it can seem a bit daunting at first but the more you do it, the better you will get at it.

Don’t forget to listen to tons of music and if you want to see how other artists write songs check out my songwriting analysis videos on Youtube where I analyze the songs of different artists and bands.Seeing what others are doing can be really helpful for you to learn what you can do with your songs.

Until next time, cheers.

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