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Songwriting Cycle Solutions

Songwriting Cycle: Solutions



Why does it takes so long to write a song?

Why they aren’t as good as you imagined?

Why they start off great but then fizzle?

Wondering why you don’t finish most of your songs?


Reading another 7 tips for better songwriting blog post won’t fix it….


You have to figure out your own solutions, but I have help for you!


Most of my personal songwriting solutions have come from changing how I move through and between the 5 steps of the songwriting cycle… it started with a


Quick story:

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….

Flash Insight: Writing and Editing are different tasks… you can’t do both at the same time!


(Read more here: Handling your Inner Editor)


Flash ahead in time: I’ve counted

5 phases or steps in finishing a song

Visualizing my songwriting through this framework helps me fix my songs.

I hear the songs faster, imagining them closer and more clearly.

Feeling the different phases and switching easily between them lets me write whenever I want.



Check it out…

Songwriting Cycle: write, edit, test, level up, publish & publicize



1. Write

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

Sometimes you will find one gold line buried in a page of scrawled notes, sometimes a whole verse can fall out.


If you need to improve the consistency of your writing time click here to learn about Daily Songwriting (free PDF download in exchange for your email address)



2. Edit

Erasing, changing, rewriting

The work… this is where I spend a great deal of my songwriting time, transforming ok ideas into great songs.

After writing some ideas / lines / images / rhymes you edit them: rework and rewrite them; changing, moving around, deleting, erasing them.

I will write a page or more of ideas and possible lines before stopping to evaluate their quality. Hidden between some terrible stuff are the golden lines… sometimes a only phrase sometimes several lines or ideas

I spend most of my songwriting time between the writing and editing phases. Thinking of writing and editing as separate phases or different processes sped up both my writing and editing!


(For help with editing your lyrics, read Avoid Lyric Fail)

3. Test

Listen to it yourself, play for audience:

  • Does it sound good
  • Do I like it?
  • What should I change?
  • What should I change it too?

Get useful feedback and return to the write and edit phases to continue improving your song. 


4. Level Up

Move the song along to the next level… usually by finishing a section. Think of finishing a song as several steps or levels. 

For example, my typical workflow is to finish sections / levels in this order:

  • Chorus
  • 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 ideas, signature riffs
  • Until you finish the First Draft
  • Rewrite & Edit the Next Drafts
  • Final Draft

Complete sections in whatever order feels natural. I often do things in a different order. Each song is its own universe, let it develop naturally unless you are deliberately trying to change a habit to improve your songwriting skills.


5. Publish & Publicize

Song is done, songwriting cycle is completed!

Publish = Demo it

Publicize = tell your target market about it


Write the final draft lyric sheet, the song description for social media posts, choose relevant tags, cover art…

Demo your song so you can release your music to the world…


(learn how to write descriptions that make people want to hear you)

(Create Your Musical Elevator Pitch)

Decide how much time and money to invest in the song and what level you want to take it to:

Publishing Audio:

iphone audio, home studio, professional studio, professional mastering


Publishing Video:

iphone video, edited video, homemade video to professional video


Publicizing is where I spend the least amount of time and energy, time to change that poor habit.

Decide how you will tell your target audience about your song!


Where are you strongest and weakest in the songwriting cycle phases?

  1. Write

  2. Edit

  3. Test

  4. Level Up

  5. Publish and Publicize


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© Trevor Dimoff,, 2019