View Full Version : Song writing help

04-05-2012, 04:01 PM
Does anyone have good links or books about song writing. I'm not big on learning such things from books but I think I need a little help. I've written 6 or so songs now (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2IzaH9F6dQ&context=C476dabbADvjVQa1PpcFN2tTgBUzKprfrDQ-HTvcyntacjFSKVR3Q= and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBTpwB6CUuY&context=C46c153fADvjVQa1PpcFN2tTgBUzKprecI6nvAOBos 9QXGU2mSZ6o=
and I'm pretty happy with them. I can craft words fairly readily and with the help of Terry, my uke partner, i can sort out a melody.
But I am finding my rhythms and verse/chorus patterns are getting a bit repetitive. I'd like to learn how to write and use a bridge, some different rhyming schemes, some more song structures - that sort of thing. Any suggestions?

04-05-2012, 05:22 PM
I don't know of any good books or other resources, but I recommend taking the favorite songs you like and deconstructing them -- examine them for chord progressions, rhyme patterns and schemes, the use of bridges and choruses, etc.

mm stan
04-05-2012, 08:09 PM
Start with nursery rhymes and learn the patterns and rhymes....there is a song writing section below...too

04-05-2012, 08:15 PM
Hi Ron

I'm no expert, having written a total of 7 songs (instrumental to boost) in my life, but there are several areas you can explore:

(1) Rhythm - have you tried 3/4 time (waltz)? Maybe you can take some songs you know and play the chords in waltz time. You can also try 6/8 and 9/8 and etc, and what about 5/4 (such as Take Five). Simple C F C G played in waltz time may sound very different.

(2) Minor Key - You can play with Am Dm Am E7 (or Am Dm Am Em) progression? That's 1-4-1-5 in minor.

(3) Look at some "unusual" chord progressions - change the key, rhythm or switch to minor chords. All Along the Watchtower? The beginnig of Stairway to the Heaven (Am E7 C D F Am).

Also, in key of C, F to Fm change is so nice - you hear that change in many of the Beatles songs, or "Desperado" by the Eagles.

In general, When you hear some "interesting" chord change in a song, get a chard progression and see (analyze) what change caught your attention. You may not be able to use it right away, but keep it in your arsenal and one day, you'll discover a song that fits!

Of course, learning music theory helps but it's too "educational" for me. Listening to good music and stealing from it is more exciting.


04-05-2012, 10:11 PM
There was one book I saw it was called : "You Gotta Have Talent".


04-06-2012, 12:33 AM
An easy book to get started with:


Having a basic understanding of the circle of fifths is also helpful.


04-06-2012, 12:42 AM
Check out this blog: http://garyewer.wordpress.com/. It's the best guide to songwriting I've found on the web.

Ukulele JJ
04-06-2012, 01:07 AM
You could check out any of the Berklee books:



04-06-2012, 03:53 AM
I just bought a small library to work on a project for a soloist in our church. After getting a number of these to read, I can recommend these highly:

1. Songwriters Workshop (http://amzn.to/HjJbEG) Has a cd, exercises and examples to learn harmony, transitions, key changes, groove, chord color, chord progressions Absolutely great--not heavy on theory but what you need in theory and example to create proper song music.

2. How to write songs for Guitar (http://amzn.to/HeaYHn) Rikki Rooksby has several books on songwriting, this is by far the best and goes over arranging using guitar, which you can use for uke either recorded or electric.

3. How to write hit songs (http://amzn.to/HjJyiH) I'm not kidding myself that I am going to be the next Carole King, but there is a trick to writing a catchy song, and this book goes over harmony, melody, what makes a great song and is excellent just to read.

04-06-2012, 10:17 AM
Thanks team. That's plenty to be going on with.

04-06-2012, 10:18 AM
There was one book I saw it was called : "You Gotta Have Talent".

ah, yes. Apt. I figured I'd just muck around with some songs in the meantime.