Saw this on quora and felt compelled to answer it.. Maybe because the person who posed the question is 27 too?
About 3 years ago, I realised my desire to express myself more through music. There have been a lot of musical ideas in my head, but it was hard to express since the only instrument I was proficient in was the drums. I wanted to know about chords, about the anatomy of a song, about how I could accompany words with songs, and tell a story. I took up pop piano lessons and music theory lessons. I must say, so far it has been really useful in helping me document my ideas. Anyway, to his question, I wrote an answer, which I believe, is a fast-trek to Getting Started in writing songs.
I’m writing this keeping in mind that your motivation is to write new songs.
1. Learn the chords for C Key. C D Em F G Am Bm.
2. Learn to play two patterns D for down U for U One for slow songs – DDUUUDU (4/4 counting) One for fast/upbeat songs – DDUUD x 2 (8s counting) And also if just DUDUDUDU if you just wanna try out the chord/beat initially
3) Depending on which comes first, tune/words. If it’s words first, I would play the chords in progression and improvise the tune with it. If it’s tune first, what happens is I would be playing chord progressions and the words are expressed freely in accompaniment.
4) Chart down the chords in correspondence to the words.
5) Organise a jam session with one or two musicians who might be better skilled in their instruments. guitarists, bassists, keyboardists. Demo your song and share with them the chord chart and how the feeling of the song should be. Let them interpret! At this point, the song may change in key, and the musicians may suggest chord variations.
7) (Which I forgot to include in Quora) Keep repeating the process, even with existing songs! You may add more musicians, or sound effects to the song at 5 during additional jam sessions. You’ll never know what new ideas may come out.