There are 5 Phases of Songwriting you must go through to write and finish a popular song.
Solve your songwriting problems by examining and improving how you move through these 5 songwriting phases so you finish your songs!
If you’re wondering why you aren’t finishing your songs
Why it takes so long to write a song
Why songs start off great but then fizzle out, or
Your songs are never as great as you imagined them to be….
You need to figure out the solution… reading another 7 tips for better songwriting blog post isn’t enough.
A few years ago I noticed that I was blocking myself, saying “no” to songwriting choices before I even finished the thought. I was editing myself while I was writing…
I finally realized I was trying to do two things at once, writing and editing. They’re two different phases of songwriting and I was blocking myself trying to do both at once.
I solved this block by…
Visualizing my songwriting through this framework helps me fix my songs.
I hear the songs faster, imagining them in greater detail.
Feeling the different phases and switching easily between them lets me write whenever I want with fewer blocks or songwriting slow downs.
The 5 Phases of Songwriting
- Level Up
- Publish & Publicize
The “Write” Phase of Songwriting
Improvisation, Imagination, Inspiration, Freestyling
Music magically appears
The muses whisper in your ear
Can you scribble the words down fast enough before they fade?
Or record a voice memo on your phone
The “Edit” Phase of Songwriting
Erasing, changing, rewriting
Once you have written lines or rhymes you can change the, try different combinations
rewriting, changing, moving around, deleting, erasing
Once you have written a few lines, start sculpting them, trimming words or adding others
I will write a page of notes and ideas and lines… and find a few great lines
Then edit and put them on a new page
You can choose to start writing and improvising and writing everything you can
I spend most of my songwriting time between the writing and editing phases
The “Test” Phase of Songwriting
Listen to it yourself, play for audience
Does it sound good, do I like it?
get useful feedback to take back to the write and edit phases
The “Level Up” Phase of Songwriting
move song along to the next level
For example, you finish a section of the song. My typical workflow is finish the:
- 1st verse
- Next verse(s)
- Pre-chorus, if needed
- Bridge, if needed
- Song Form – organize your sections, choose the order, connect sections together
- Add instrumentation, accompaniment
- Until you finish the First Draft
- Rewrite & Edit the Next Drafts
- Final Draft
The “Publish & Publicize” Phase of Songwriting
The song is done and the songwriting cycle is completed. It’s time to record your song and then release it to the world!
Your goals, budget and skills all affect the product you can produce and publish. Whether it’s a phone demo you post on social media or a professionally produced song or video.
Publicizing your songs is telling your target audience about them so they can hear and love your music.
Levels of Publishing Audio
Levels of Publishing Video
- iphone video
- edited video,
- homemade video to
- professional video
The last step in songwriting is publishing your song so it sounds as great as you can make it, then publicizing it so people that would love your music can hear and enjoy it!