Guide to Writing Song Lyrics Without Knowing Music Theory

Writing songs lyrics without knowing music theory is possible. As a matter of fact, millions of people naturally come up with songs who have very little knowledge about music at all. If you want to know how to write a song and you don’t understand music theory keep reading. You will learn this process step by step without any formal training.

Summary of Steps for Writing Lyrics without Knowing Music Theory

 1. Come up with a Melody or Hook

 The first thing that you must do is come up with a melody or hook. A melody or hook are the parts of a song that most people identify with certain tunes. For example, Mary Had a Little Lamb is the hook of the song and it is also the melody. Mary had a little lamb is the part of the song that most people remember. The melody can also be identified by most people when the song is played. This is a classic song that is used to teach people how to play most musical instruments.

Your hook doesn’t have to be like this famous child’s tune. However, you should come up with a hook or melody that is memorable. Your hook should be hard to get out of people’s head. The melody can be an arrangement of musical notes (sounds made by instruments) for your song. Just make sure when you come up with a hook or melody that it is something that appeals to other people besides you. Well, if you’re creating the song for yourself, then that is a different matter. Writing song lyrics without melody is not recommended.

2. Make your Hook Something that Listeners will Understand

If you are making a song, it has to be relatable to the listener. Regardless of the genre you’re playing for, make sure it is suited for that group. Many pop songs provide hooks that appeal to listeners way of life. They also are based off catch phrases, popular sayings, or circumstances that most people experience today.

Sometimes, your song can even create a new catch phrase in modern culture. By the way your melody should also be something that captures people’s attention. Remember, some songs don’t have strong hooks (lyrics), but people remember them because of their strong melodies. This helps to sell the song as well.

The key is to come up with a song that contains both. That is the hard part. Some artists such as Justin Bieber and Elvis Presley are two good examples of musicians who do this well. Bieber and Presley (when he was alive) consistently make hit music because they can create and/or find songs to sing that have strong melodies and hooks. If you can do the same, you can make great music as well.

3. Creates Verses for your Song

Verses of a song are the parts that people sing before they get to your hook. Most songs are constructed with melody, bridge, and then hook. However, you can switch the order of these songs up if you choose. Verses help to support the hook and they keep a song from being redundant.

Keep in mind that some songs are made primarily with the hook. Two popular songs such as “Who Let the Dogs Out” and “I Got a Feeling” (that tonight’s going to be a good night) are two songs that are known for their repeating hooks. They do have verses and even a bridge, but most people remember the hooks and melodies of these two tunes. Still, most songs are mad with verses, the bridge, and then the hook.

Your verse should expand on what the hook is about. For example, if you make a song about eating tacos your verses should highlight that idea. Look at the example below:

(verse 1)

My stomach is hungry

It’s driving me locos

Gotta get that good grub to eat,

So, give me some tacos


Make em with cheese please,

Tomatoes, do please me,

Add some salsa to my taco,

Cause it really appeases me




As you can see in this simple song about eating tacos, the singer uses the verse to expand on his love for tacos. You won’t make silly song about tacos, but your verses must reflect what your hook is all about. If not, you’re going to lose people with your songs. Look at this example about a love song:


(verse 1)

Hey, let me show you how dig a hole

I want to go outside and play

Do you want to run some errands?

We can talk about computer programming all day?



Baby I love you more than life itself,

You and nobody else,

Let me prove it to you,

Let me prove it to you


This would be a horrible love song. Who would want to listen to a love song like this? Someone talking about digging holes, running errands, or talking politics isn’t on point when it comes to making love songs. Their verses doesn’t match their lyrics and it make the whole song sound stupid. Make sure that when you’re writing a song everything flows into each other and make sure that the music relates.

4. Create a Bridge

A bridge is a like an interlude in a song. Most modern day music do not have long bridges like they did in the past. They’re super short because most songs are designed to be played in 3 minutes or less. You should listen to the songs of today and construct your own music in this way.

Bridges are like brief intermissions in a song. They help the music transition from a verse into the melody. Again, you don’t have to follow this order. However, it makes your music sound smoother when you do. Here is another example




You are the only one I live for

And you are all that I need


Baby I love you so much

Can’t do without your touch,

Baby I need you near me

Hope your heart can hear me,

I only want you


As you can see, the bridge helps the verse (which wasn’t purposely written down) to transition into the hook. Bridges have their name because in the past, this part of this song was seen a bridge between the verse and the hook/melody.

5. Special Parts of a Song

All music has the same basic format but not all music is constructed in the same way. Some songs have intros, vamps, raps, instrumentals, and speaking parts. Let’s check out how all of these different parts work.

Intros can be spoken or sung. They usually help to introduce a song before it begins. People who hear the intro already know what song is about to be played. Many rap and hip/hop songs have intros. Vamps are like bridges, but they are repeated chords that take place within a song. A singer can use the vamp in parts of the song toward the end instead of a bridge. Singers can also use lyrics over a vamp.

Instrumentals are not that popular modern music today as they were between the 60’s – 90’s. However, many forms of EDM music rely heavily on instrumentals. When an instrumental plays within a song, nothing but the instruments are being heard. Speaking parts are not that common in many songs but they do happen. Speaking parts require a person to simply speak over the music instead of singing or rapping.

Rap music is an undying art form. It will never leave us. Many songs have raps in them today. Whether they are pop songs, R&B, or EDM tunes. Rap is also a stand alone genre. Rap songs use the same basic structure as a regular song. However, the verses are extremely long because people are rapping. Rapping requires people to speak in rhythm while a song is being played. The rate of speed that a person raps at is usually faster than the way they sing. This is why rap music has longer verse lyrics. The hooks, bridges, and vamps in a rap tune are usually made in the same way as a regular song.

6. Should I play the music on an instrument?

Yes, you should, and you must. Unless you’re a very good singer, you should figure out how to play your music on an instrument. Some people can figure out how to play an instrument well enough to create tunes. If you cannot (or just don’t want to) figure this out, have someone else do it for you.

You can find a person that might be interested in helping you to create a song. Many people like music and if they really like your tune, they’ll be glad to help. Also, they can help to develop your song. The key is to find a person who is capable of providing this service.

If you want to play this song by yourself, then try and get a keyboard. A keyboard will provide you with the best way to make songs. Pianos and keyboards are best suited for this purpose. The quickest way to learn how to use a piano is by using the white keys on the piano. Start at the middle C key. Use google to figure out where the C key is.

The middle C key is the scale that contains all the white keys. All the other scales on the piano or keyboard are made from the C scale. Start with that scale, learn the pattern of sharp and flat scales and you will then be ready to play and make different types of songs, hooks, and melodies.

Keep in mind that playing your music on an instrument simply sells your music. People want to listen to music, and they want to hear it when you are singing a song. You don’t have to become a highly rated musician to make a song, but you should learn some basic skills. This will help you tremendously when creating music.

7. Who should want to make their own song?

Any person can make their own song. Nobody has to be musical talent or genius to do so. Music is for all people. Just keep in mind that millions of people want to be the next super star singer or group. However, this is not always going to happen.

Still, if you understand the basic of writing lyrics and creating songs, you can make your own tunes. The hard part is getting people to listen to your music in an already crowded market. Also, you have to stand out from the competition. This is almost an impossibility for people to do. Still, you can make your own music once you know the basics.

The best way to make a song is to come form the heart and to create something that you and your listeners can relate to. Make sure the music you make coherent, well put together and has a catchy tune. This will help it to catch on and to be enjoyed by many people.

Remember, some music groups and entertainers have created niche audiences for their sound. Even if they are not mainstream, people have found a way to enjoy their music and they like listening to these artists. For some people that is all they need or want. Ultimately, you don't need to know music theory to write lyrics.

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