Welcome to Day 2 of the Songs to Write Project. Yesterday I set out on this big journey (for me) to fulfill a life-long dream. I’ve been setting up my tool kit and my processes to ensure my success.

My intention is to learn to play piano well enough use it to compose at first. To create melodies I know I will need to learn a bit more about harmony and chords than I do now. Songs need to have melodies that follow certain conventions, of course, in order to be appealing and pleasing to the ear. I’ve learned that creative genius comes from being prepared with the fundamentals first. Learning chord structures and chord progressions is a great place to start.

To me, song lyrics should be singable, interesting and ideally have meaning. I like lyrics that have some surprises. What to write about seems to be a common dilemma with new songwriters. One suggestion I’ve heard is look at your every day experience for inspiration. Write about what you know and what moves you in your daily life.


I’ve done a lot of research to find songwriting and piano instruction books to help me along. For now I’ve chosen two simple books by the same author that are very easy to follow. The author is Amy Appleby and the books are You Can Play Piano and You Can Write a Song.

I have a small electronic keyboard that I’ve had for years. It’s a Yamaha PSR-270 with a midi hook up for my computer. The midi is useful for learning as well as for recording.

I discovered a shareware computer game called PianoHead that is very helpful for learning notes, scales and intervals on the piano. When I hook my keyboard to my laptop I can improve my skill easily and in a fun way. I read music but I’ve played solo instruments all my life and only learned the Treble clef.  Harmony and chords are a whole new world. PianoHead is helping me learn to hear notes, intervals and to read the Bass clef.

Becoming a songwriter in fun, but it’s also serious business as an adult. It requires learning and changes in habits. As with any major goal I’ve achieved in my life, I will need to find a process that includes daily activities. One doesn’t learn to play piano or become an accomplished songwriter over night.  We can accomplish amazing things just chipping away at it even 15 minutes a day. Tomorrow I’ll share more about the daily practices, routines and disciplines that I’ll be putting in place.

How about you? What practices and disciplines do you use to accomplish your goals? What daily activities are important for your songwriting. I’d love to know so please comment below.

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