How to write a song

How to Write a Song on Guitar in 8 Steps

In this post we will look at How to Write a Song on Guitar in 8 steps! 

Are you a guitar player who has been itching to write your first song on guitar? 

Most people think that writing your first song requires years of experience or even luck in order to get it right. 

But the truth is: anybody can write their own songs and all it takes is a plan and time.

No matter your level, guitarists at some point will always find themselves stuck in a creative rut, unable to come up with new music. 

Luckily for you, this blog post will show you how to quickly and easily turn your ideas into songs on the spot! 

You’ll be writing original music before you know it!

Writing a song on guitar is hard work, but it is also very satisfying. 

Below are the 8 steps to get your pen to paper and on your way to writing an original song.  

1. Determine if you want your song to be Sad or Happy

When writing a song, it is important to determine if the song should be sad or happy. 

This will help you write the lyrics and select the right chords. 

It’s important to know the mood or tone of your song. 

Do you want your song to be happy, sad, motivational, angry, etc.? 

There are many different emotions that can be conveyed through music and it is up to you whether or not you want that emotion in your own piece. 

Whether it’s a love ballad or an upbeat rock anthem – the choice is yours!

This determination will really dictate the flow of the rest of the song.  

Sad Songs

When it comes to sad songs (my personal favorite to write), there is some intent behind it and the guitar is the perfect instrument to do this with. 

If you want to write a sad song on guitar, there are certain techniques that you can use. 

One technique is playing the melody with minor chords in the background. 

Another technique is using arpeggios for an emotional effect. 

A third technique would be to play slower notes at first and gradually speed up as the song progresses. 

Happy Songs

In contrast, happy songs will require the use of major chords. 

Everyone wants to be happy right?

Who doesn’t want to wake up every day with a smile on their face? 

We all know that the key to happiness is being content, but how do you make yourself feel good and capture that moment in a song?

It all starts with the right chords or should we say the happy chords. The bright tone in the notes will really help you on your way to making a song that makes you want to get up and dance.

2. What is your song’s influence?

This may not be on everyone’s list but it’s an important one when I sit down to write a song. 

How do you find influence in a song? 

Sometimes the best way to figure out what inspires you is by listening to other songs. 

If you’re feeling stuck or need a starting point on your own creative process, try looking at some of these artists and see if they inspire anything. 

Perhaps your favorite band is The Beatles. 

Then using one of their songs as a reference point for how to structure your song could be helpful. 

Perhaps your favorite guitarist is Jimi Hendrix.  

Then one of his songs or guitar riffs could be your starting line. 

The key here is to get something flowing inside of you that infleunes you enough to start composing. 

3. Write a chord progressions for your song

A chord progression is when you play chords in sequence and they form patterns that repeat. 

Chords are played at different levels of loudness or softness, and can be major or minor depending on what sound you’re going for. 

You’ve got your guitar, you’ve strummed out some chords, and now you’re ready to write a song. 

Writing chord progressions is not overly difficult but it’s not overly easy either. I know that doesn’t sound like an answer but it’s true. 

The reason for the wishy washy answer is because sometimes there is intent with your progression. 

By this I mean, you may use a specific chord (G for example), and build off it based on it’s major or minor progression. 

Other times, it is just simply intrinsic. 

Playing guitar is a form of self-expression, which can be seen in the chord progressions that are written.

The chords that naturally come out of you capture a moment, create a mood, and often tell a story in music. 

Chord progressions are what make songs sound unique because they give an artist’s interpretation of how they (and an audience should feel about the song).  

4. Write lyrics for your song

Some may view the lyrics just as important as the music. I know I do! 

The first thing you want to do is listen to your favorite songs to see how those you admire musically are writing their lyrics. 

Be attentive and even make note of how they are using words to communicate what they are trying to convey. 

After that, think about words that capture those feelings and put them into a poem-like structure. 

Write down any words that come up throughout this process and then choose ten of them at random. 

Put these ten words together in an order that sounds good and now you have some potential lyrics! 

Writing lyrics for your song can be a complicated process. 

If you are new to the process, the best thing to do is write about something that has personal meaning to you. 

This will help drive what you write and give it more passion. 

Here are some steps that will help you write your own lyrics for a song. 

  1. Brainstorm ideas for lyrics
  2. Determine the mood of the song (remember happy or sad?)
  3. Write the lyrics down on paper or in a word document 
  4. Create a melody that fits with the lyrics
  5. Use an online lyric generator for inspiration 
  6. Make sure you have a catchy chorus, verses, and bridge in order to keep listeners interested

Song lyrics are always interesting to write. 

They can be fun, serious, or just plain silly. It all depends on the song you’re trying to write and how it makes you feel! 

Keep a journal handy

Keeping a journal handy for your song lyrics is a great idea. 

If you’re like me and find yourself writing down ideas as they come or even just letting them play around in your head.

I’ve used composition notebooks and plain old spiral bound journals before. 

The important part is that you can carry it easily and jot things down quickly when inspiration strikes so if an idea pops into your mind while you’re out running errands or sitting somewhere, write it down! 

You’ll thank yourself later when those ideas turn into

5. Find a metronome to help you keep time while practicing

A metronome is an essential tool for any musician, but it can be difficult to know what to do with one. 

It’s not enough to just turn on the metronome and let it click away; you need to make sure that you’re using your time effectively. 

Your practice session should have a clear goal, whether that’s learning a new song or improving speed at scale patterns. 

The tempo can be set by the user for different beats per minute (BPM). 

A guitarist will typically use this tool when practicing scales, chords, or solos in order to maintain timing with precision. 

A typical practice session would include setting up the metronome on one side of your guitar while you play along on the other side. 

Once you get more comfortable with playing at different tempos it’s important not to rely solely on your ears but also what you see visually as well. 

6. Record yourself with an audio recorder

One thing I like to do once I have an idea as to where the song is going musically, is to record it with an audio recorder

This again will capture the moment and help with you not forgetting anything you came up with. 

I like recording my songs with Audio Memos on my IPhone. 

It’s an awesome app that allows you to record music, voice memos, and other sounds on your phone. And the best part is it’s free! 

If you’re looking for a way to get started with recording your guitar playing or singing or any other sound really, this is the perfect place to start. 

Give it a try and see if it suits your needs!

7. Get feedback

Have you ever written a song and wondered what others think of it?

As a musician, you know the importance of feedback. 

Feedback is one of the most important aspects in music and can greatly change your songs for the better. 

But what if you want to make some changes but don’t have anyone to give you feedback? 

First, find people who have the same tastes in music as you or that could be interested in your genre or style. 

Try to get an equal amount of both positive and negative opinions about your work. 

Also, try not to make them feel obligated because they might give you their opinion whether it is good or bad. If they do want to help, ask open-ended questions like, “What did you like/dislike?” 

Lastly, don’t forget to thank them! 

8. Practice and Refine 

It’s not a secret that practice makes perfect, but it’s even more true when you’re only practicing one song and trying to ensure it has all of your effort emcompossed into this piece of music. 

This allows you to stay focused and hone in on what exactly you need to work on in order to make improvements with your playing speed, accuracy, lyrics, and overall tone.

Another reason why focusing all of your efforts into one song is important is because it keeps things fresh and interesting for yourself as well as challenging. 

There are so many intricacies that only the guitar can provide. 

The more you play your song and practice it, the more sounds you will start hearing and the more details will then be added to your song. 

Keep listening and writing 

How do you keep writing songs on a consistent basis? It’s a question I get asked all the time. 

The answer is simple. Keep listening to songs and keep writing! 

It takes work and dedication, two things that are easy to find when you love what you do. 

What matters is whether or not the song comes from your heart and soul, which will come through in each note of music played on guitar strings.

There are many different techniques and methods that can be applied when composing your own piece of music, but the easiest way to start out is by using an open-ended approach. 

This means you can use any chords, melodies or lyrics you want with no restrictions on what they should sound like! 

Again this all comes with practicing writing and listening to songs. 

It’s important to keep in mind that there are no right or wrong ways of writing songs – this will help make your creative process more enjoyable since you won’t have self-imposed boundaries. 


We’ve provided you with 8 steps to writing a song on guitar.

All that remains is for you to put in the time and effort. 

If these methods don’t work, feel free to try something different!

There is no right or wrong. This is just the way I write songs but it doesn’t have to be exact for everyone.  

Use any other instruments as well; if you happen to play any. 

Give yourself plenty of time to practice before finalizing the song and remember to seek feedback! 

Let us know what works best for you by commenting below so we can share your tips with everyone else who reads this blog post. 

The more personalized advice our readers get, the better they’ll be able to find their own way over obstacles like writer’s block or self-doubt when it comes time for them to write songs on guitar too!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and remember to always HAVE FUN! 

Frank DeMaria
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