How To Write A Song On The Piano

We are all composers! I am a firm believer that anyone can (and should) create their own music. Let's break down some simple ways that will help to get you composing your own music. The video lesson shows this in 5 minutes or less but I guarantee that once you get started you won't want to stop.


1) Select a chord progression


The 1-4-5 and minor 6 chords always sound good together. You can play this progression in any order and in any key. If you need help selecting an order to play these in you can write the numbers down on small pieces of paper and pull them out of a hat! Once you've settled on your chord progression play it over and over in a loop! Your left hand is going to be what carries the progression while your right hand will take over the melody (not yet though!) so simply focus on that left hand playing either root notes, chords, 5ths, or octaves as you roll through your progression.


2) Pick a few notes to play with your right hand


ANY NOTES. You might have to play around a little to find ones that you like, but select 3-5 notes that you like the sound of while you play through the progression in your left hand. This is called your theme. Keep playing this notes over and over while you continue to play the chord progression in your left hand. Try playing your theme an octave higher or depending on your mood, maybe an octave lower!

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Hint! Notes that fall in the scale of the key you are playing in are most likely to sound awesome.


3) Play the theme in reverse order


You will use the same notes, but change the order that you play them in. This will sound really cool, kinda like your theme, but also different enough to make things fun.


4) Take your theme and change the starting note


You will play the exact same intervals between notes, but your starting note will be different. This might require some trial and error as you find what is pleasing to your ear but give yourself some time to play and explore! If your theme originally went C-E-G-G, then you might try playing G-B-D-D for this step.


5) Change up the rhythm


Play your theme but begin to explore different rhythm options! The sky is the limit here just as long as you can fit everything in within the structure of the time signature you are in. That left hand will really help to keep everything on track as it plays through your progression


And that is all my friends. This is just the beginning. Once you've established your theme and your progression you can take your song wherever your imagination leads you!



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Hi, I'm Lisa Witt

Lisa has taught in a variety of settings from beginners just getting started to recording artists preparing their songs for the road. While her background is classical, she loves helping students play the music they love by ear and is excited to be a part of YOUR journey.