How Do I Write Songs?

I started writing songs when I move to Australia in 2007.

I still remember the first song that I wrote. It was a love song. I showed it to my singing teacher at that time and he was impressed.

From then on, I have written close to 30 songs and instrumentals.

I also took composition lessons from my guitar teacher, Victor Martinez.

He showed me how to use chords to add different layers of harmony to my songs. He would advise me to use unconventional chord progressions to add variety to my music.

Being mainly a singer, I pay a lot of attention to lyrics and melody. Victor opened the door to another world for me as a songwriter.

When I first started writing songs 11 years ago, I would always start my songwriting process with the lyrics. I would come up with the main message of the song and then build it up from there. Drawing from a well of life experiences, I always based my songs on things that happened to me. It was the only way I know to be authentic.

Once I was satisfied with the lyrics, I would then put a melody to it by singing the words and hearing what sounded good to me. I liked my melodies to be catchy and flowing so that it was more engaging.

I liked to take long walks or get on the train when I was writing melodies. Being out and about would give me a fresh perspective – making songwriting a lot easier. Once a melody ‘came’ to me, I would sing and record it with my phone (by using the Recorder app).

The next step would be to transcribe the melody using music notation software such as Sibelius. Doing that also helped me to improve my music theory knowledge immensely.

When I’m satisfied with the lyric and melody, it was time to add chord progressions. I liked to sing the song while playing different chords to see how they sound together.

Once that is done, I would use recording software such as Garageband and Pro Tools to record a demo of the song. It is at this stage that I would design sounds to add to the track.

The demo would then be sent to our producer, Leon Berger, who would then make it sound professional and ready for media release.

Over the years, I have learned so much more about music composition and my songwriting process has evolved. I am experimenting with different ways of writing songs and am curious as to where that will that me!

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