If you want to write a guitar song, it is best to start out playing songs by other people. This gives you the chance to explore how others write and learn the basics of songwriting. By playing covers, patterns will become clear about song structure, melody, lyrics and more, which you can then recognize in the music that you love. Playing covers of new songs, you enjoy is also a good idea when you are struggling to put your own new compositions together since it can inspire with a chord, lyric or riff that you can borrow. Here are some next steps to take once you have mastered some of the songs by other people that you enjoy.
Learn basic music theory and song structure
You do not have to be able to read music to write songs or fully understand all aspects of the theory of music but learning basic theory, and song structure will make writing your own songs that much easier. You will learn about both when you play covers, which is a good first introduction, but further research looking at basic theoretical concepts like scale degrees, diatonic chords, the circle of fifths, and chord inversions gives a clear idea about the foundations of songs, which makes them easier for you to use and modify in your own writing.
Be honest and avoid clichés
Whether your message is simple or complex, you want the feelings you transmit, to be honest and heartfelt. For this reason, it is wise to avoid clichés, which can mean your message gets lost, and find your own way of getting your feelings across.
Experiment: alternate tunings and Break Out of the “Norm”
Once you have the basics of playing basic open and barred chords on the guitar, start experimenting with alternate tunings and chord voicings on your guitar to find new ways to play even basic chord progressions, which means you won’t get bored so quickly with a narrower base of music to work from.
Note your ideas
With the best will in the world, it’s impossible to memorize a great melody or lyric unless you make a note of it somewhere. When you finally sit with your guitar, it is more than likely you will have forgotten your idea. Make a note of your idea on your smartphone or record the melody wherever you are. Capturing your inspirational an idea as soon as you have it means that returning to it later will be easier.
Use the internet for writing and composition
The internet offers a vast array of tools to help with writing great lyrics to play on guitar. YouTube has live performances from a broad range of artists which you can watch and learn from. The internet is also very good if you have found a song with a chord progression that you like since you can go online to search for a live version and then copy how the artist plays it.