Would you like to learn how to make a song by yourself?
This is a fun and simple exercise in songwriting for beginners. In this lesson, you will learn how to make a song step by step using the format of another song as a template. You can also print a free PDF to help you learn.
Please note that this is just a beginner exercise in composition. Keep in mind that you are simply "warming up" by getting used to writing music, and don’t expect anything to be perfect at once. Just keep practicing and enjoy the process! :)
How to make a song as a beginner?
Learn from the masters! You can take any song, analyze its form and structure, and then use it to learn how to compose your own music. We’ll use the Beatles song “Norwegian Wood” as a template for our exercise. It is a short and simple song, but still, such a classic that almost everyone knows it.
Follow the steps below as you will learn first how the piece is made, and then how to make your own song similarly.
So. Looking at the musical material, we can see that the song only has two small melodic phrases.
The two phrases are repeated with different lyrics, and combined in a pattern that made the song a great hit and a classic! Here is a link to the chords and lyrics, if you like.
Now it is your turn to learn how to make a song!
Your task is to make your own version of this piece by using the same form.
You only need to compose two tiny melodic phrases, one for the verse, and one for the chorus.
No lyrics are needed in this exercise. But of course you can add some if you like.
OK? Let's get started!
Verse: Use as a model the first melodic phrase from the verse in "Norwegian Wood". It has three short parts. This is the Verse:
As you can see, the three parts of the melody a), b) and c) share the same rhythm and a melody that moves mostly down. b) and c) have an interval of a third and a fifth skipping up.
Chorus: This is the Chorus:
The chorus is simply a longer phrase moving in steps and repeated notes. After a skip of a fifth, the melody moves gradually downwards.
Now re-write the phrase from the chorus.
You can use anything that sounds good as long as it fits in the same length of the phrase. If you like you could even use the same rhythm.
Finally, let us combine these two parts, the verse, and the chorus, and then build your own song (sing on a syllable or whatever, since we are using no lyrics.)
Following the format of Norwegian Wood, here is how you combine your parts in your score:
Write your music, and play and sing it! How did it sound?
It was fun, wasn't it! Try it again with other sounds or melodies. Make sure to practice how to make a song with other songs as well.