ChisnallwoodMusic – SONGWRITING

Written by Judith Bell



Here you’ll find notes from songwriting club.

You’ll be able to enter lyrics in Rockquest and Bandquest competitions.

And also in NZ Ukulele Uke-Can-do-It , Singout4justice and HookLineandSingalong.

A great article about song writing here by Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys:




We’ll be able to play some completed songs on the school radio!



Tips for lyric writing

  • save everything – eg. notebook, also record your melodies
  • analyse why you like lyrics and other songs
  • keep real

Structure ideas

  • Title
  • intro
  • verse
  • pre-chorus
  • chorus
  • hook
  • bridge
  • instrumental
  • accapella
  • riff
  • coda/outro

Other elements to think of

  • texture (lots of instruments, or just one or two)
  • contrast
  • mood


  • sometimes reverse line order

Listing (same starter or ending for each line)
I live…
I live….
I live….
I live….

Some notes from Charlotte Yates’ videos


  • Title What the song is about, Short, Attracts attention, Links to chorus, simple language
  • Verse1 has details, sets scene (who, when, where, why..), lower than chorus (contrasts), “killer first line”
  • Chorus essence of song, catchy, memorable
  • Verse 2 shifts story on
  • Chorus
  • Chorus

Some useful song writing web sites:  B-Rhymes is a rhyming dictionary that gives you words that sound good together even if don’t technically rhyme.Very useful!

Click here for some great video songwriting resources as well as info about the Hook Line Sing-long competition. 8 Tips for writing pop songs


Session 1

  • Song structure
  • Defining elements of songs
  • Watch short videos
  • Title activity

Session 2

  • Re-cap session 1
  • sharing
  • Listing technique
  • Write own listing verse

Session 3

  • Rhyming patterns
  • Look at rhyming patterns in known songs
  • Reverse rhyming trick

Session 4

  • Inspiration ideas and topics
  • Colour/emotion/texture/season verse activity
  • Bring favourite song sentence with reason
  • Share Songwriter HD app

Session 5

  • Share favourite sentence
  • Share any of own writing
  • Try putting some to music
  • Writing a song which describes but doesn’t say the topic

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 5.17.28 pm

GraphicOrganizerLotusDiagram Download this to write on to help brainstorm related ideas or related rhyming words.