Advice For a New Songwriter

The advice you get on social media is often common knowledge wisdom. It’s the kind of things that are filtered down through the years and stick as worthwhile nuggets.

When a new person joins the fray of an online group carrying years of collected experience, and stumbles in with a question about how to get started. Sometimes, an avalanche of tips come crashing down and I’m not so sure the OP really gets it.

Today I witnessed such an event in the Facebook Songwriting and Production group. I just joined the group recently, so, who knows? Maybe this kind of thing happens all the time in there.

But I thought, before this gets lost to the perpetual grind of the algorithm churn, I should save this here for the ages so that we can digest it slowly and methodically and add the more prudent bits to our own collective practices.

Start writing songs and sharing them

Mark Ryan –

Share your songs. All of them to get feedback. I had no idea my guitar tone was sht until I started getting the comments that it was sht.

Romel Muñoz –

Either write a lot or do your best to not start a new project before finishing or at least working on an old one. If you’re writing by hand, use a journal, title your songs, and maybe number your pages. If you’re using your phone, just try to title them, it’ll make it easier to remember your songs as well as pick them out when you’re ready to use them

Shawn M Frye

Come from the heart.

Quincy Qva EvansWooten

Get the book “Songwriting Cashflow” from Amazon.

Emanuel Treu –

Just keep doing it, dont worry about sharing or even letting others hear for a while. It’ll just muddy the waters.

John Bernal

Play every open mic you can, and don’t be afraid to suck.

Scott James Stanbaugh –

Write , write , write…

*Scotty Meade –

Mostly self taught here. A few tips: 1. If you start a song, finish it! Even if it turns out to be the worst song you ever made. Over time it’ll teach you how to continue the songs message/story. 2. Share your progress, ask advice, watch some YouTube lessons. 3. Be proud of your work. Don’t say it’s crap or bad, it’s a learning process. You’ll get better each time. Also, use the feedback you receive.

Write even when you don’t feel it.

Mike Shannon –

There’s a reason you liked it when you wrote it, don’t overthink it after the fact.

Tyler Manske

They’re like snowflakes.. they won’t all come to you or happen the same way. Some will come so fast you can’t catch it.. others creep up over the years. If you lost the flow wait til it comes back to proceed . Never force a piece to fit. And never force a song to finalize. Have patience. Enjoy the creative process. Draw from any and all sources of inspiration whether it’s real or imaginary. A song can flow to sound as if it’s about one thing but the inspiration can come from many many things that have absolutely nothing to do with each other.. and look over the song when you’re done and see if the verses are where they make the most sense.. sometimes you may write the whole thing down and all looks good… but the order of the versus might need to be switched around. Try not to toss the song into the trash once you’ve finished. Don’t be surprised if people don’t seem to care too much for your favorite song.. but seem to absolutely LOVE your worst one. . . It’s weird like that

Layla Maples

One, None and a Hundred Thousand —

And just keep writing and writing. Every song will teach you something and progress you.

Steve Ford –

Start with whatever you find and work with everything you find. Three words from a random word generator brought forth this

Nik Hamby –

Write a new song everyday. By the time you have written 100 songs….95% will be shit. But 5% will be decent/Good. Rinse repeat

Alex Hilton Williamson

record everything. If you get a random tune pop in your head, hum it on camera until you can get to a guitar. let that material of different ideas pile up (riffs, singing, lyrics, etc.) and try to piece it into something

NoiseAlter –

Have fun.

Mike Scully –

Never give up.

Johnni McCloskey

Get serious about melody composition.

John Calvin –

Listen to the Beatles.

Bruce Powers –

Keep a little notebook, or your phone with you at all times. You can get random inspirations from random things at any time. Just jot down anything that you think might be useful. Plus, you’d have days when your ideas are overflowing, write them all down, for future references, cuz you’f have days when you can’t get any inspirations at all. Have fun.

Justin Parallag

Learn how to build a song up — Subject, The melody how it all sounds, The Bridge, The Hook, And the the verses, And remember if you dont plan on becoming a recording artist thats fine you can write for other artist

Dwrath Melendez –

a song is like a movie…describe in detail how it plays thru..clever rhymes and clever scenes make it all these precious things…

Mark Blayney –

Pat Pattison. Sheila Davis. Read their books. Don’t be afraid to learn something new. Every Day. Take your favorite songs apart and see what makes them tick. Write your own version of it. Set a goal: write something every day. I get the Merriam-Webster word of the day in my inbox every day. Write something using that word. Write a verse or a line or a hook. Write it down now, don’t put it off until later.

David Robinson

Practice, practice, practice…and more practice till it becomes second nature. Worked for me

Daniel Lee Williams –

Build a business network, the broadest possible.

Ricky Desjardins –

The hook.

Michael McCarey

Do not despair the frustrations. They are the motivation that builds to a better end result.

Kevin Cronin –

Be okay with writing crap. Even the best songwriters write crap all the time, but keep writing until you get that one you love. Don’t let failing discourage you! Also, go for melody first, and then do lyrics.

Judah Venable




I am Briyan Frederick (aka Bryan Baker), probably best known as the publisher of GAJOOB and a founder of Tapegerm Collective I’m collecting all of that and more on dabodab, where I write about and document my life as a graphic arts professional, songwriter, experimental recording artist, zine and web publisher, local and personal historian and silver creative. read more.


It is basically the sound of a man having a nervous breakdown. But I generally do some of my best work when I’m hovering on the edge of insanity.Jim Shelley