How to Start Writing a Song 

Are you suffering from Writer’s Block, or do you simply waste a lot of time when starting a new song? Then learn how to write a song like a pro, with this new series!

Hello revolutionary music makers, we are Kate Harmony and Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony), and welcome to Hack Music Theory. We help you make great music that stands out, so you can move and grow your audience! If that sounds useful to you, then subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit that bell to get notified every Friday, when we publish our new video. Also, if you’re new to our channel, be sure to download our free book “12 Music Theory Hacks to Learn Scales & Chords” below. Alright, it’s time to open your DAW to hack music theory. But first… tea!




When you sit down to start writing a new song, do you find yourself staring at a blank screen for a while, only to end up scrolling through your feed? If so, then this series will get your new song started now, by turbocharging your workflow!

One of the most common obstacles to overcome as a songwriter or producer, is where to start. This is a huge issue, cos most music makers waste a ton of time when starting new songs. Just imagine how many more songs you could write if you didn’t waste all that time! So, while there are obviously many ways to start, the following 3 steps can always be counted on to get you up and running in minutes.

First things first. You need to decide on how fast or slow you want your new song to be. I encourage you to close your eyes and move to the heartbeat of your unborn song. This takes some practice, but you’ll eventually get to the point where you can even dance to your unwritten music. For now though, you could just pick a song you’ve been digging recently, then go to a song BPM website to find out its tempo, and then simply input that BPM into your DAW.

Next, you wanna decide on your time signature. Most songs are in 4/4, so we’ll stick with that for now. If you want something odd though, then check out our lesson on odd time signatures (linked above). Now, just cos you’re in 4/4, doesn’t mean it has to be boring. There are many ways to spice up 4/4, and we’ve done a lesson on that too (which is also linked above), but here I’m using 1/16 note triplets.

Finally, it’s time to get to the music making, and starting with a drum groove will give you instant inspiration, while also creating the feel that will underpin your song. So, start with your kick and snare, then add cymbals afterwards. Most kick and snare patterns these days are pretty simple, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, cos that leaves space for the other instruments. But, be sure to do something interesting with your cymbals. And writing an irregular pattern, like I’ve done here on the hats, is a great way to make your drum groove really interesting, without being too busy.

The example in this lesson is actually from Ray's new song, which he wrote yesterday while taking notes on the process, so we can share the workflow with you in this new series. So stay tuned for next week, when you’ll learn how your drum groove will now start writing your bass line for you!

Kate & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony) 
Music Teachers & Producers in Vancouver BC, Canada


Give Writer’s Block the Finger
Odd Time Signatures
How to Spice Up 4/4


Take Your Music to the Next Level

"12 Music Theory Hacks to Learn Scales & Chords" will give you a super solid music theory foundation in 30 minutes!

This is our best-selling PDF, which includes MIDI file examples. Learn the essential hacks for songwriting and producing, like our Melody Checklist (the ultimate list of do's and don'ts for writing great melodies). You'll also learn how to write chord progressions, bass lines, riffs, counterpoint harmonies, and more!

After learning our essential hacks, it's time to put them to practical use and start writing some new songs. Lesson packs include step-by-step PDF guides to making music for different instruments and in different genres (electronic, metal, soundtrack, etc.), as well as multitrack MIDI files of the examples.

Go from a blank screen to a finished song, in this online video course. Learn how to write new sections for an existing section, how to transition between sections in different keys, how to structure and arrange, and much more! This course has been called "life-changing" many times, so join 700+ music makers now (from all genres), who are learning Ray's secret hack: Song Whispering.

Hack Music Theory is a pioneering DAW method for making great music that stands out, so you can move and grow your audience! Taught by multi-award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony, and his protégé wife Kate Harmony, from their studio in Vancouver BC, Canada. Ray is the author of critically-acclaimed book series "Hack Music Theory", and has made music with Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad), Ihsahn (Emperor), Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MCs), Madchild (Swollen Members), and many more! Kate has the highest grade distinction in Popular Music Theory from the London College of Music, and is the only person on the planet who's been trained by Ray to teach his method. On that note, the "Hack Music Theory" YouTube channel teaches relevant and instantly-usable music theory for producers, DAW users, and all other music makers (songwriters, singers, guitarists, bassists, drummers, etc.) in all genres, from EDM to R&B, pop to hip-hop, reggae to rock, electronic to metal (and yes, we djefinitely djent!).

© 2019 Revolution Harmony
Revolution Harmony is Ray Harmony & Kate Harmony
All content (script & music) in video by Revolution Harmony