As you develop your musical skills, you may become interested in writing your own music. While learning to play an instrument and being able to play others’ music is a wonderful skill, nothing compares to creating sheet music full of your own compositions! Once you have a strong music foundation, you can let your musical creativity run wild.
As a budding songwriter, you’ll need to add some additional skills to your repertoire. Writing music can be as simple as putting a pen to paper, or you can take advantage of the many songwriting tools technology offers. Whether you’re sketching out notes for yourself, writing the next pop hit, or creating sheet music of arrangements for a big band, the most important step is to just get started.
So, where do you begin? Allow us to help. Below we’ve outlined some tips and tricks for composing your first piece of music. We’ve also provided some handy resources for finding blank sheet music, along with some excellent sheet music makers. With these tools, you’ll be all set to write a masterpiece of your very own!
Before diving into the writing process, it’s important to feel inspired. Consider what kind of music you want to compose and what you want to convey. Perhaps you want to compose the next pop anthem or draft a dramatic piano piece. The choice is yours!
But if you’re not sure where to start, play some of your favorite songs or listen to your favorite artists, and think about what elements you like most about them. Do you like the upbeat rhythms? Or the catchy bass chords? See if you can emulate these techniques by putting your own spin on them.
Once you feel like you’re ready to start jotting down some notes and rhythms, it’s time to find some blank sheet music.
Find Free Blank Sheet Music
Now that you have some ideas swirling around in your head, check out these free resources online for printing blank staff paper. Here are some of the best:
This website allows you to print any kind of blank sheet music for free. No matter what instrument you’re writing for, you can find pre-designed sheet music for it here. They offer blank pages set up for piano and keyboard (grand staff), blank guitar tab, bass clef, blank mandolin sheet music, and even sheet music set-up for choir.
Music-paper.com is another free sheet music maker that not only offers more than 100 different downloadable and printable PDFs of blank staff paper, it also offers information on how to write music! Whether you’re looking for paper to jot down your next pop song or orchestral opus, you’ll find it here for free.
You might already be familiar with 8notes.com as it’s a great music resource. You can use it to find all kinds of free sheet music for many different instruments, styles, and genres. But you might not have realized that this website also offers free blank sheet music. It lets you choose between single-lined and double-lined sheets.
Check out Apps & Programs for Writing Music
Forget pen and paper! Technology has changed the way we do almost everything, and writing music is no exception. Today, there are hundreds of modern applications and programs that can get you started composing on your laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone. They range in price from free to several hundred dollars. Here are some of the best ways to create digital sheet music:
MuseScore is a free program that allows you to create sheet music online. It’s a great alternative to professional notation programs like Sibelius and Finale (see below). Muse Score is available for Mac and Windows along with various open source systems like Linux and Fedora. When you visit the MuseScore website, make sure to take advantage of their online video tutorials to help you get started.
If you’re looking for an online sheet music maker, look no further than Musink. This easy-to-use music composition software makes writing your next masterpiece a breeze. All you do is add the individual notes to the staff, and the program will do the rest for you. Before you know it, you’ll have a print-ready PDF to share with all your friends and family.
If you have an iOS device, you might be interested in this handy app. In addition to making it easy for you to create your own sheet music on your Apple computer, phone, or tablet, you can also add and view compositions from your favorite composers. Basically, it creates a library for all your music, whether it’s written by you or other musicians. Use it to digitize your collection and share your favorites with your friends.
Noteflight is another popular online sheet music maker. It offers several levels of membership based on your individual needs. The free version lets you create up to 10 scores and share them with your friends or embed them on web pages. But if you purchase the higher tiered membership, you’ll receive unlimited scores and more advanced features. Do keep in mind, this software is designed for music educators and their students, so going this route may depend on your preferences and goals.
For new composers, Flat.io provides a comprehensive interface that allows you to write your own scores and arrange new sheet music in an easy-to-follow format. Great for those who are new to arranging, or who want to try the waters without spending a large up-front investment on new software.
Sibelius is the world’s best-selling music notation software used by professional composers, publishers, and advanced music students. It allows you to quickly express and promote your music, allowing you to share both audio and video of your work. It is the fastest, smartest, and easiest way to write music for performance, film, television, or the classroom. It’s a professional tool worth considering if you are serious about composing.
Finale is another professional-level music notation program. Many music programs are drag-and-drop interfaces where you select items from a menu and drop them on the staff, but Finale offers complete freedom and flexibility. It offers extremely realistic playback of your compositions and allows you to print charts and scores.
Finale also offers several lower-priced, upgradable products, including Printmusic (a “lite”version of Finale, at $119.95), which can print up to 24 staves. Another option, Songbook, is a free digital sheet music app for your tablet — great for bringing all of your music to rehearsal on your tablet!
Work with a Certified Tutor
Even if you find the perfect sheet music maker, sometimes you might need a little help getting started with your music compositions. If that’s the case, turn to a certified music teacher. With some one-on-one instruction, you’ll receive the knowledge, inspiration, and motivation you need to begin filling in sheet music notes all over those blank pages. Sign up for music lessons for guidance on your musical journey!
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