One of the most fulfilling careers for those who are passionate about music is to become a songwriter or composer. Songwriters, or composers create authentic lyrics and music for musical bands, groups and vocalists.

In this specific field sometimes talent is often not enough.. Having skills also plays a vital role in becoming a songwriter within the music industry.

Keeping in mind that there is no specific standard level of music education needed to be a songwriter, a course, self-study, or perhaps a degree in songwriting is the most common accreditation for impassioned songwriters. Many education institutions provide songwriting programs, typically at a course level degree. In the Wisseloord Academy we not only provide complete classes, but we work in very practical studio sessions, so that our participants get a true experience of the songwriting world.

Below we discuss the major aspects of Songwriting, but not in too much depth, for that we have separate articles within our blog. At the end of each paragraph you will find links to those blog articles, in which we go deeper into the designated topic. If you have any questions that you would like us to help with, get in touch, we are here to help.

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Songwriting : Analyzing a song

How to become a better songwriter?

Songwriting : Arranging a Popsong

How to write a good Popsong?

Songwriting : Break out of your patterns

How to avoid developing a writer’s block?

Songwriting : Briefings

How do briefings work and what should you watch out for?

Songwriting : Co-Writing

why should you try co-writing and what are the
tips and tricks to keep in mind?

Songwriting : Inspiration Exercises

How to come up with a new concept for a song from scratch?

Songwriting : Lyrics

How do you write lyrics that really tell a story and remain interesting?

Songwriting : Melodies

How to come up with a catchy melody?

Songwriting : Rhyme

Different options when to use rhyme in Lyrics

Songwriting : Toplining

Important points to consider when making a topline

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Songwriting : Analyzing a song

In order to master the art of songwriting, practicing is not only essential but also crucial. Through practice, you will be able to determine what exactly it is that needs improvement. Another way to improve your skills is to showcase and receive feedback from someone who you respect within the music field.

Here at Wisseloord Academy, what our students say as to what the best way to improve in songwriting is when they analyze their favorite artist and analyze their songs. Answer questions like why are they so good at what they do?

One other way to analyze songs and pay attention to is:

  • Song structure
  • Lyrics
  • Melody
  • Package

Read more how we at Wisseloord Academy regularly analyze songs with our students in the article Songwriting: Analyzing a song.

Songwriting : Arranging a Pop Song

Good pop songs are easy to listen to and sometimes seem very simple, but nothing could be further from the truth. Writing a good pop song is not that easy. It really is an art to make a song sound ‘easy’.

What is the right combination of essentials that will help you arrange a good pop song:

  • Lyrics – well written lyrics are needed to come up with a good pop song, everyone understands that. But how do you write it?
  • Hooks – A lyrical hook is sometimes called a ‘tagline’. This is a word or phrase in the chorus that often stands out.
  • Production – When writing a (pop) song you must think carefully about the structure. So, make your point quickly. Also often said: ‘don’t bore us, get to the chorus’.

To learn more about the how to arrange a popsong and the general steps that most songwriters take during the arrangement of a pop song, visit the article Songwriting: Arranging a popsong.


Songwriting : Break out of your patterns

Often when a person has been writing and delivering a lot of songs, he or she might reach a point of writer’s block. At this stage, a songwriter starts to doubt if a certain rhythm has not been used in another song or if a specific chord progression has perhaps been used before and so on and so forth.  Here at Wisseloord Academy, we teach you the tricks on how to get out of it.

Here are a few examples of how you can break out of writer’s block:

  • Leave your guitar
  • Change the song structure
  • Write on a boat
  • Try a different genre

Read more about the tricks on how to get out of a writer’s block in our article Songwriting: Break out of your patterns.

Songwriting : Briefings

We’re proud of the reputation that Wisseloord Studios has gained over more than 40 years. Experience that our core team as well as all the producers, songwriters, industry professionals working in our studios decided share in a very unique way, where the creativity of the participants is at the center of the program.

At the Wisseloord Academy you will be prepared for the real thing. This way you can gain experience while making the assignment and if you carry out the briefing well, it may just be that your work makes the ‘cut’.

To learn more about the briefings and what should you pay attention to when you start working on them, read the article about  Songwriting: Briefings.

Songwriting : Co-Writing

It is very common for songwriters to write their first songs by themselves, but nowadays almost all songs are written by two or even more songwriters. For some people it’s still quite challenging to trust and share their ideas with another songwriter. Despite that frustration it does prove to be quite rewarding and songwriters are ever more experimenting with other co-writers to create that songwriting magic that they’re hoping to achieve.

What makes co-writing so interesting is that you will encounter new ways of writing every single time. Every songwriter has his own way to approach a lyric or a way to come up with melodies. It gives you new insights and ideas.

To learn more on how to achieve that songwriting magic with co-write buddy, read the article Songwriting: Co-Writing.

Songwriting : Inspiration Exercises

A lot of songwriters do experience some challenges when coming up with a new concept from scratch, therefore inspiration is necessary to get the songwriters out of that spiral of blockage. There are several ways to awaken your creative mind. Of course, since songwriting is quite personal some suggestions might not be so helpful. Test the field and see what works best.

Here are a few tips to practice with to receive some inspiration for your songwriting:

  • Object writing – If you’re not quite sure what you want to write about, this exercise is perfect.
  • Unusual combinations – Songwriting is all about telling a story. Unusual combinations of words can be helpful in telling or portraying a story or feeling.
  • Extra tips – If you’re multilingual, you might want to consider starting writing in a different language than what you’re used to.

To learn more about the inspiration exercises visit the article Songwriting: Inspiration Exercises.

Songwriting : Lyrics

Whether a song is good depends a lot on the lyrics. Most songwriters strive to create songs with a good and catchy story because they often stick with the listener the longest. It is this important moment that someone can start to attach an emotional value to a song and be listening to and promoting it. But how do you write lyrics that really tell a story and remain interesting throughout the song?

To learn more about the art of songwritng visit our article Songwriting Lyrics.

Songwriting : Melodies

When you listen to a good song melody, the first thing that gets stuck in your head, after you have listed to the track, is often the melody itself. We have all had that experience where we listened to a song and it couldn’t get out of our head and had that desire to to put that song on repeat.

How to come up with a new melody. Here are some tips:

  • Put your instrument away – If you almost always play your instrument while writing, you may get stuck in certain patterns or chord progressions.
  • Repetition – The power of repetition should not be underestimated. Once you’ve found a catchy melody, you must put it to good use.
  • Intervals – A melody consists of two components. One of these is ‘intervals’. An interval is the musical distance between two notes.
  • Rhythm – The second component of a melody is the rhythm. You can essentially play around with this the same way you do with the intervals.
  • Listen to your idols – If you have read the above carefully, I advise you to listen to the music of your idols.

To learn more about the songwriting melodies and the tips on how to come up with new melody ideas, click the following link about Songwriting: Melodies.

Songwriting : Rhyme

Lyrics don’t necessarily have to rhyme, but in most cases, rhyme is used. We’re going to look at a few different options.

  • Full rhyme
  • Half rhyme
  • Placement of the rhyme
  • Rhyme schemes

To learn more about the rhymes within the process of songwriting, read the article about  Songwriting: Rhyme.


Songwriting : Toplining

One of the things you will be doing as a songwriter at the Wisseloord Academy is toplining. Toplining is a way of writing in which the songwriter devises the vocal lines on a pre-made demo production. This is most done in the EDM scene.

There are several important points to consider when making the topline.

  • Lyrics – When you listen to the examples, take a good look at how the text is put together.
  • Melodies – Also try to find out what kind of melodies are commonly used in his or her music.
  • Vocals and production – Topliners are supposed to produce the vocals themselves. So, it’s important to check whether the artist likes ‘clean’ vocals or wants them heavily edited.

To learn more about the toplining visit the following article Songwriting: Toplining.