How to Become a Music Writer

A music writer is a person who writes song lyrics and/or instrumental compositions. These lyrics and compositions may be used for songs, film/television scores or commercial jingles. It takes a specific skill set in order to be able to write music. Follow these steps to become a music writer.


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    Learn as much as you can about how music works, called music theory. If you want to write a song or any other form of music, you should first learn the concepts of music theory, which include notes, measures, meter, scales, intervals and chords. Here are some options for how you can pursue an education in music theory in order to become a music writer:
    • Take music lessons. No matter which instrument you choose to play, you will learn music theory as you train to use the instrument.
    • Study under an established music writer. Find a mentor or teacher who will take some time to teach you music theory, as well as offer advice for pursuing your goal to write music.
    • Study online. An Internet search will return a number of free online sources that provide courses on basic music theory.
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    Pursue a degree at a college of music. If you want to write or compose classical or orchestral music, you will need several years of intensive music training. Complex music compositions are the product of a thorough, applied understanding of music theory.
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    Familiarize yourself with the elements of a song. You need to understand how the song elements come together if you want to write a song. The 3 song elements that you will need to know are:
    • Lyrics. The lyrics are the words to a song.
    • Melody. The melody is the sequence of notes that coincides with the lyrics.
    • Chords. Chords are the body of the song. They signify the musical notes that support the melody.
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    Practice writing lyrics. If you plan on writing music lyrics, you need to be comfortable putting words together in a way that flows with music. Follow these steps to write lyrics to a song:
    • Choose a song title. Your title will set the tone for your song.
    • Answer the who, what, where, when and why of your song's title with phrases, or lines, for the song. Come up with as many lines as you can.
    • Arrange your song's lines into verses, a chorus and a bridge.
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    Create your own sheet music. Sheet music is what musicians and singers read from in order to perform a piece of music. Writing music involves putting all of the elements of the musical piece down on music paper, also called manuscript paper. Use your knowledge of music theory, song elements and lyric writing to illustrate your music on manuscript paper. You can do this by hand, with a pencil and paper, or by using one of the many music scoring software programs on the market.
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    Make a demo of your song. Once you have a song on sheet music, you can recruit performers to bring it to life in a recording studio.
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    Distribute your demo to music industry professionals so they may consider your song for their artists. If your song is chosen by a performing or recording artist, you will be credited as the song writer.


  • When it comes time to make your demo, search online classified ads for performers and producers who will record your song in a music studio. Many amateur artists and music producers advertise on Internet classifieds sites to gain experience and often offer their talents and services at a discounted rate, which is ideal for a demo recording.
  • If you do not play a musical instrument and need help choosing the notes for your melody and chords, find a music collaborator to help you. You can do this by placing an ad in print and Internet classifieds, leaving your information with local music shops and/or asking music teachers if they know of any students who would be interested in helping.
  • Search online for free manuscript paper that you can print from your computer.

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Categories: Visual & Written Media