Song Writing Basics
Answering: How do you write a song?
Before I was in my first band, before I had learned to play rudimentary guitar, I was writing songs. Of course until the music was added they were more like poems with chorus' added in. Since the question was asked I thought I would give a shot at explaining how I have done it using more than one method.
The first method involves using your favorite instrument. For this conversation let us assume you play guitar or piano. I have found that when I write a song with an instrument in hand I make the song easier to sing while playing my instrument at the same time. This is difficult at times but the truly talented musician learns how to do this very early. There is a clear advantage to writing the music and the lyrics to a song. Acclimating yourself to the verses while playing you are not being hindered by someone else's input. Everything should come from within. The only thing you should really have to think about is the subject matter of your song. Once that is decided you must put the logical thinker away and let your soul do your thinking for you.
I have encountered trouble when I have later added musical parts my friends wrote in. Not acclimated to their added pieces I had great difficulty playing along while singing. Admittedly I did not train myself early to do this. It never came that easily to me and never seemed natural. When performing as a singer I mostly did not play guitar except for certain parts because I didn't want to take away from the vocals.
Another method I have used worked well enough also. Before I joined my last band I had only intended to help them write lyrics and compose them for already prewritten music. In other words the guys had plenty of rocking sounds but no skill with singing or composing. I never saw myself as a good singer but after finding my voice we all figured I would be good enough. Honestly I think my composing skills compensated for my lack of vocal experience.
I would record their music and take it home and meditate upon it, feel it within my bones and then let my thoughts drift. When you feel your soul align with the music let your thoughts become words. Whether or not you can sing you must be prepared to vocalize the lyrics. Find the rhythm and let it take you along.
Pretty straight forward and simple enough. I have written many songs, some are hubs now in the form of poems, and I do not know how to write music. I know tablature and that has worked well enough for me. However, if you wanted to sell a song you would have to write the music properly to convey the true sound and feeling of it. Or, you could simply submit in recorded form but that would involve various instruments. To accomplish that there are plenty of musical programs that could help.