How to Write a Song on Guitar

How to Write a Song on Guitar


  • Writing an original song on guitar is both simple and complex, depending on the arrangement and various accompaniment and melody choices.
  • Before undergoing the songwriting process, closely study your favorite artists to find out what makes them tick. Listen to the song structure of your favorite guitar player, such as Bob Dylan. 
  • You should also practice the fundamentals, such as singing simple melodies while playing major chords, minor chords, and more. 

If you are new to the world of music-making, you may wonder how to write a song on a guitar. The best guitars, after all, are screaming out to have songs written on them. This holds especially true for the best acoustic guitars. So what are some tried-and-true tips for writing a song with your guitar that can hold up with the greats? Keep reading to find out.

Writing Songs on Acoustic Guitar

Once you learn how to hold a guitar, you are going to want to start thinking about writing songs. Learning how to play guitar chords is a good first step, but you will also have to add melody. There is no universal method for writing a good song, though working up those guitar callouses is undoubtedly a good indication you are on the road.

Here are a few foolproof tips for writing songs on a guitar that you can practice after you learn how to play that F chord on a guitar.

Listen and Understand Classic Songs

There is no shortcut here. Take time, plenty of time, listening to your favorite songs to figure out why they work. How are the chords and melodies interplaying? Learn how to play the songs on guitar and go over them often. This allows you to, sort of, get inside the head of the songwriter. More importantly, you will come to understand that many incredible songs actually have simple structures deep down. In other words, you don’t have to be complicated to be great.

Practice Fundamentals

You need to become comfortable with the fundamentals before writing songs. Become familiar with a vast array of guitar chords and play them over and over until they are second nature. Next, try to sing simple melodies as you play the chords. Do this over and over until the idea of writing an actual song starts to feel doable.

Just Do It

The most important thing to remember is that there are no actual rules here. Any rule out there, be they structure or melody-based, has been broken repeatedly on hundreds of fantastic songs. Some songs have one chord, and others have 40. It is up to you to decide where your expertise resides. So, just do it. Write songs every time you pick up a guitar. They are going to suck for a good while. That is just part of it.

Write Songs FAQs

What is a bass amplifier?

A bass amplifier is an amp designed specifically for bass guitars, though it can also be used for electric guitars or synths, depending on the piece of music. 

Why would you want to write a song?

To become part of the popular music pantheon, of course. In actuality, writing popular songs would be great, but do it just to fulfill your inner desire to create. 

What type of guitarist are you? 

You may prefer minor chords or off-kilter chord progressions, or you may like simple chord progressions. Your preferred chord structure and adherence to any music theory should inform your songwriting. 


“Songwriting is a very personal process, and no two writers work exactly the same way. Some compose music in their heads and only later adapt it to fit an instrument. Others write with an instrument in hand.” (source)

TIP: Remember that great artists steal. If you hear a chord progression you like from a favorite artist, snag it and put your unique spin on it.



Lawrence Bonk
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