So you’ve mastered some guitar chords, been practising like a pro and have mastered a few songs written by other people.  Awesome!

My guess is you are hear because you’ve decided it’s time to start writing some of your own music.  The aim of this article is to help you do just that, and we’re going to be looking very specifically at; Love songs.


Broadly speaking love songs are written at lower tempos.  Experiment with BPM’s between 80 and 132.  Tempo set’s the scene for the overall timbre for the song and almost immediately tells a listener what to expect.

Faster tempos tend to suggest energy and excitement, while slower tempos lend themselves to a more tender laid back sound

A Metronome
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With the tempo locked down you might want to start experimenting with rhythm patterns and time signatures.

Take a look at some of these basic patterns by for inspiration.

My personal favourite rythem patterns for this genre are based on 3/4 and 6/8

Choosing Chords

Before diving into the depths of music theory, take some time to study what others have done.  Take for example ‘Everything I Do’ and ‘Heaven’ by Bryan Adams.  Theory is important but a love song is based on emotion, not calculated logic.  Taking a moment to understand how other people have managed to convey these emotions is crucial.

Do the chords in these songs sound major or minor? Do some research and look up (or work out by ear) what chords are being used.  This process can demystify much of what makes a song so magical, and act as a creative spark.

Borrowing chord progressions, rhythms and melodies from other artists is a rampantly used creatively tool.  Make sure that you borrow and not steal; This is about inspiring yourself and building on something, not stealing out right!

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‘Everything I Do’ has 4 chords – A, D, G and Em.  You could start by applying these chords to your chosen rhythm, and maybe altering their order to see how they effect the feel of your song.

‘Heaven’ again has one additional chord, but the sequence has 2 minor chords Am and Dm.


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Lyrics and Melody

Words And Subject Matter

While this article has left lyric and melody until last, it’s worth noting that many writers start here.  There’s no right way to begin your song writing, so experiment with where you begin.

If your song is to be completely instrumental, you may want to skip to the Melody section.

I seek out inspiration in all sort of places.  Sometimes it finds me in life events, and at other times I have to over come writers block and seek it out.

One of my favourite online resources for writers block is Uninspired Writers. A wonderful blog with a great Instagram presence that’s curated by M.L Davis.  Here’s a snippet of their Instagram feed, some wonderful thought provoking and inspirational images and quotes in here.

Melody (Putting It All Together)

So.  This is the tricky part.

We have a little bit of all the aspects that make a song.  Tempo, rhythm and timbre established by our choice of chords and potentially some lyrics.

This is my first piece of advice at this stage: Don’t be precious about any of the ingredients you’ve gather together by this stage.  Everything must support the melody.

Your chord choice and order may change in order to support your melody – this is a good thing.  The chords should help inspire the melody, but ultimately they should support and reenforce it.

Top Tips For Finding Melodies From A Chord Progression

Start by arpeggiating the notes in your chords, and vary the note order to see if anything jumps out to you.

Really think about your emotive response when moving between chords.  How does it make you feel?  Is this what you wanted to achieve?

Are the chords suggesting a melody to you?  Can you imagine what this might sound like?


Take your time.  Write as much as possible.

No ones written a chart breaker for their first song.  Music needs time to breath, so you may find that taking long breaks between sessions on any given track helps ideas settle, mature and give you the perspective required to finish it!

If you have any idea or tips of your own for writing songs (love or otherwise!) please share them in the comments.