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Songwriting Process and Its Main Phases

Writing a song does not follow a specific structure, and while some songwriters adhere to a semi-formal or formal process, others tend to work randomly. However, it must be pointed out that using the latter approach to songwriting often results in less predictable outcomes. The lack of or limited success associated with the ad hoc approach to writing songs is that many songs cannot fit their purpose, and others remain incomplete. However, we must all agree that there is no right way of writing songs, only specific techniques that constantly work to distinguish a successfully written song from an unsuccessful one. Using a songwriting process is critical in increasing the number of completed songs and their success based on songwriting standards.

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From a listener’s perspective, what matters is a song’s ability to move them. Therefore, a songwriter must, among the things, watch out for a song’s ability to connect to the intended audience. Through the process, it becomes the responsibility of the writer to create a meaningful piece. In comparison, part of the audience is concerned with the relationship between the writer and the song’s product. The other only concerns how the piece engages or entertains them. Regardless of the type of audience, what matters is whether the song can be shared with others having similar tastes, and if nothing else, it can boost their ego.

Therefore, the fundamental phases in the songwriting process become the idea, the draft, and the development phases. At the idea phase, a successful songwriter captures every potential idea based on what they consider appropriate for their song. Once a collection of possible ideas has been established, the songwriter collects melodies and ideas for their lyrics. Having a recorder, a smartphone, for example, with you all the time is critical in achieving success at the idea phase since it gives the creator a collection of potential melodies, hooks, titles, and lyrics. The most key characteristic of this phase is that a successful songwriter records every idea that crosses their mind, whether it is a melody or a phrase.

At the draft phase, all the ideas essential in writing a song might not be present when the first words are written. The songwriter captures every raw emotion that accompanies the potential song idea at this stage. With drafting being an essential stage in the songwriting process, many unsuccessful creations are abandoned here due to their developer’s desire to churn out new songs. Patience is a virtue at this stage since it allows the songwriter to focus on one idea and see it through into a complete song. Melody’s drafting and development borrow majorly from the writer’s emotional zone. Every part of the song must have an emotional connection that backs it up.

The last phase is the development phase, where the draft is complete and is edited to bring out the quality of the work. With editing being a cycle, the writer is recommended to do it several times to make the song the best. However, at this stage, the song’s integrity is often undermined or even lost. When editing, the writer must ask specific questions that allow them to determine whether the song flows logically and emotionally, makes sense, and whether a strong emotion is conveyed. As such, while polishing the song, high standards must be set, and a balanced perspective must be established, both of the writer’s and others.

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