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Here are some excellent tips for songwriting! If you want a more comprehensive songwriting guide, visit How to Write a Song.
Below are 7 tips on each major category of songwriting: chord progressions, groove, arrangement, melody, lyric writing, songwriting software and production software.
1. I love to find a progression that feels familiar whether on piano or guitar. I play through the progression until it feels right and then I begin to hum a melody over it. I'll let whatever words come out just to solidify a melody. I'll work on the lyrics later once the music is done.
2. The feel and groove of a tune is a HUGE part of it's appeal. Take a song you're stuck on and completely change the feel of the song. This can breathe new life into it.
Visit How to Write Music with Feel, Groove and Style for more complete ideas and examples.
3. Song form is paramount to keeping the listener's attention. Most great songs consist of verse - chorus - verse - chorus - bridge (it doesn't always need to be a lyrical bridge, sometimes it can be just an instrumental break...something that moves us away from the song and then creates "a bridge" back to it.
For more thoughts on arranging visit Free Songwriting Tips on Song Arranging.
4. When creating a melody for a song, make sure there is variety from section to section. Quite often the highest note is saved for the chorus. Sometimes it's in the bridge or verse, but the point is the listener wants to hear variety in pitch.
Visit Melody Writing for more tips on melody.
5. Lyric writing is an integral part of songwriting. When experiencing writer's block, I will free write about a subject that interests me. The point is to not sensor yourself. Whatever you think of, write it down. Often when you have a page or two of free write, when you go back and read it will often spark ideas for songs. With skill, something personal to you can be a universal theme for many.
How to Write Song Lyrics explores this in more depth.
6. For songwriting online there are endless songwriting tips at Songwriting Software!!!!! This page offers an amazing suite of songwriting tools. Enough said!!!!
7. Lastly, if you have Garageband, which is Free Music Production Software when you buy a Mac, you can choose various drummers and find a groove you like. From there you can come up with vamps on guitar or piano to find the write progression and feel. From there you can find a melody. This is easy songwriting...
Once you have played with Garageband for awhile, consider purchasing Logic Pro for $200. You can have a full professional studio at your fingertips for the price of a fancy meal for two!