I usually write new songs starting with a free backtrack. Then I imagine which words and melodies can go with it and in that way it's pretty easy to write a new song. Finally I can sing them at open mics.

However, now I started writing some beautiful lyrics for which I don't have any music yet. I would like to add the music, but I don't play any instruments myself.

What's the best way to transform my lyrics into music by myself, without the support of other musicians?

  • 9
    The obvious answer seems to be... you'll have to become a musician! Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 12:31
  • 1
    I struggle to understand the question. If you're not a musician and you don't want to work with one then putting your lyrics to music seems a strange ambition.
    – PeterJ
    Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 12:26

5 Answers 5


There are various software packages that let you create chords (harmony) and apply drum tracks (rhythm). Some are free - depending on the level of sophistication you want.

If you look at common song structures (verse, chorus, bridge), and have good lyrics and phrasing, you can experiment with adding the above.

Just look up common chord progressions (e.g. I IV V). As you experiment, you will learn which chord progressions provide the harmony and feelings you want behind your lyrics.

If you sing the lyrics - your voice is the melody. Everything can become more sophisticated as you add other instruments and musicians, but you can start with something very simple.

These are all the pieces you need, in order of priority: melody (lyrics), rhythm, harmony.

  • 2
    The OP says they aren't a musician. How is telling them about I IV V going to help? Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 13:43
  • Understanding I IV V is very simple, and takes only a bit of theory. Playing a musical instrument requires hundreds or thousands of hours of investment. The OP is asking how to bypass that huge investment and understand/create musical ideas.
    – Paul
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 15:48
  • 1
    Yes, they can look it up, but what they find won't be meaningful to them. The OP's purpose isn't music appreciation it's composing. "...without investing the rigor of learning to play..." Except for a few unusual people, this approach won't work. Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 16:27
  • OP writes they can sing. Obviously they are a musician already. Perhaps they need to expand their theory knowledge. Perhaps they can use some software or hardware tools to produce music. Perhaps they can try to learn to play an instrument. Maybe they can collaborate with an instrumentalist? There are many ways. I don't see anything incorrect in this answer. Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 15:02

Try this: get any song, rewrite the lyrics using the same melody (parody), turn off the song and create a new melody. Or sing it with the same melody. That's similar how Yesterday (Beatles) was born. The original lyrics was about Scrambled Eggs

I like using Randomizer for faster songwriting.

Random Music Generators https://random-music-generators.herokuapp.com/melody

Melody creator: I recommend this app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dmbmobileapps.musicgen

Melody Engineer Lite: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gyokovsolutions.melodyengineerlite

Guitar Engineer Lite: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gyokovsolutions.guitarengineerlite

Linear Drum Patterns Generator: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vk.patterngenerator

Composer: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jpglomot.composer2

WolframTones (Tons of scales and modes): https://tones.wolfram.com/generate/GlPZHFM1w5S2cZKaBOAsPRIoXIg3MyHmXagJauuvpoSWL


...but I don't play any instruments myself. What's the best way to transform my lyrics into music by myself, without the support of other musicians?

It seems like your question is straight forward, but there are some details left out.

You said "other musicians." Other than who? Do you mean yourself as a musician? You said you don't play an instrument. Can you sing? Do you plan to become a musician for the sake of setting your lyrics to music on your own?

If you want to compose chords for your songs, the typical instruments to use are piano or guitar. Learning to "comp" some chords to support your singing isn't too difficult. It depends on your motivation, but you could get up to speed with comping at a basic level on either instrument in 1 year.

If you don't want to bother with piano or guitar, I think you still need to be able to sing. At a minimum you need to be able to make a melody for your words and you could do that alone by singing.

If you only sing the melody, you could use various apps to add accompaniment, the bass, drums, chords, etc. There are impressive apps available. Some can even automatically harmonize from only a vocal part. You might find digital tools to fit your need.

In the end, if you cannot find a way to set your lyrics to music on your own, just remember this: you can always call yourself a lyricist. You would be in good company with Ira Gershwin, Hammerstein, Taupin, and many others.


I would suggest that the easiest way for you to compose music to your lyrics would be to get an electric keyboard that has built-in rhythms and single finger chord ability. There are many models available in different price ranges that can do this.

If your verses don't match a specific rhythm that the keyboard contains you could use the basic metronome function to keep the beat steady.

The single finger chords basically play a full chord for each key you hit. You would then play some of the keys, listening to the chord and trying out your lyrics against the chords. Experimenting with changing the chord at different times during your verses will let you develop what changes you think sounds best. With enough repetition you can settle in on chord changes and what melody you want.

Many of the keyboards have a recording function, allowing you to save your creation. Once you have a progression figured out, the keyboard layout is simple enough to figure out what chord names you ended up playing, and some of the keyboards are USB enabled and able to export a chart for you.

You could even use the keyboard live this way for your open mic adventures, and working with the chord changes can open you up to starting to learn the music theory behind what you are doing, and how to start creating the chords on the keyboard yourself to expand the range of sounds and tones available to you to compose with.


The best way it to start learning to play an instrument. If you still what to focus more on the lyrics and signing then you can use Arcade by Output. They have 30 days free trial and after that is $10 / month. Their platform has a bunch of loops, instruments that you can use with a mouse click. Arcade by Output website

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