How to Start Songwriting

Pour Out Your Heart

An aspiring songwriter, you have probably experienced the power of music to make you feel alive. It affects our hearts and minds, and when written for the purpose of worship, can heal and feed our souls. So, how do we go about writing worship music that encourages the Church and glorifies God? Listen as Jennie Riddle describes where to start and what to keep in mind when writing your first worship songs. Jennie is a three-time Dove award winner, top 10 CCLI songwriter, and two-time gold certified songwriter. She is best known for authoring “Revelation Song,” along with several other songs including “Hope of the Broken World,” “Mystery of Faith,” and “One True God.” 

Have you ever written a worship song? If so, describe what the experience was like and what you learned. If not, what is your inspiration for songwriting today?
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Jennie gave five recommendations for new songwriters:

  1. Start by pouring out your heart to the Lord. 
  2. Keep laments between you and God.    
  3. Magnify the Lord in every chorus. 
  4. Write symmetrical lines and verses.
  5. Start with any key and note.

Which of these recommendations was most helpful to you and why? Which was the most encouraging to you and why?
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What emotions or fears might “pour out” from your heart as you start the writing process? Does that scare you or excite you? Why?
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List a few of your favorite worship songs and describe what you like most about them. In what ways do they magnify the Lord?
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Jennie encouraged us to remember King David who poured out his pain before God, but always rested in His truth. Like David, may we lay it all before the Lord in the songwriting process and never lose sight of His love and faithfulness. He is always the chorus.