Updated: Jul 15, 2020
Should you write lyrics, melody, or chords first? Most of us can't write everything at once - if a fully formed song springs from your head, count yourself lucky! For me, one thing leads to another. For example, if I write a few lines of lyrics, they will start to suggest a melody to me. Then I will set chords to the melody. On the other hand, I might start with a pleasing chord progression. This progression suggests a melody to me, then I try to set words to the melody. I rarely start with a melody, but when I do, I find it suggests both harmony (chords) and words to me. The important thing is to listen to what the words and music are trying to say to you. If you listen closely, you can discover what your song needs.
Elizabeth Bruce - songwriting, voice & piano instructor