• Tia Brown

Worship Songwriting: the Ultimate Beginner's Guide

Updated: May 18

Jump to section:

  1. Wait, wait… Why me?!

  2. Why Write MORE Worship Songs?

  3. God is Infinite

  4. Everyone is Unique

  5. Starting with the Basics

  6. Purpose: What is it for?

  7. Direction: Who is Speaking to Whom?

  8. Writing the Lyrics

  9. Keep it Personal

  10. Keep it Authentic

  11. Keep it Simple

  12. How Do I Write the Music?

  13. Common Song Structure

  14. What Rhythm (Time Signature) to Use

  15. What Notes to Use

  16. What Chords to Use

  17. Common Chord Progressions

  18. Making it Singable for the Congregation

  19. Need More Help?

Let me be the first to say: I’m so glad you’re here!

Songwriting is an amazing way to worship God and express your unique relationship with Him. I pray that you’re blessed through this journey and that others are blessed through you!

If you’ve never written a song before, or have tried in the past but weren’t happy with the results, that’s okay. This article is for you!

Whether your dream is to write for just yourself, for your church, or possibly for a career, I hope this will help set you on the right track. If you still have questions, comment below or contact me anytime!

Let’s do this.

Wait, wait… Why me?!

Why in the world would you think I’m the one to be writing worship songs? Don’t you need years of music training or some kind of crazy gifting?

I know you’re probably envisioning your song being used as a torture device (yes, sadly, that’s a real thing) but hear me out:

Music is not a set of numbers you must perform. Music, at its heart, is a language. It is a tool to communicate the deepest emotions of the soul.

That’s why they call it “music theory.” We don’t know the depths of it. And never will. Do you remember sitting down and learning your native language? Probably not. You didn’t memorize it–you lived it. You grew up hearing it and speaking it. Then, when it was time, someone taught you its rules so you could have even greater freedom to express yourself.

I didn’t memorize every letter of this article. No one taught it to me. I’m creating it myself, using language as a tool to communicate. Have you grown up listening to music? Can you sing your favorite song with confidence? Do you grimace when someone blasts the wrong chord? Does certain music move you and stir your soul?

You may not be a skilled music linguist, but you do know music. You’ve grown up listening to that language and speaking it. You have something you are burning to communicate deep within you, and you need to get it out.

Go get a pencil. You are about to write your first sentence.

Why Write More Worship Songs?

First, let’s get an elephant out of the room: why should you write a worship song? Doesn’t the church already have more than they can handle?

Yes, there are a lot of worship songs out there. CCLI has over 300,000 songs to choose from. That number is nothing though! According to MarsBands, there are 97 million songs in existence–and that number is growing!