Having Trouble With Songwriting? Hooktheory Helps
One of best ways to learn about songwriting is by learning songs that inspire you. Getting inside the song structure and understanding the relationship between the form, (verses, choruses, bridges, intros and their relative lengths) the chord structure, and the melodies is the best way to get inspiration for your own compositions. It can also be useful for providing input and feedback to your clients as a producer or engineer. One of the best sites I've found helpful for breaking down the elements of a song is Hooktheory.
While the website offers multiple packages for members, as well as more advanced features for paid subscribers, the free options available are still extremely helpful. I suggest digging into the TheoryTab section. The site pairs the MIDI form of a song (there are thousands of songs to choose from, in a variety of styles) along with the YouTube version so that you can see how the chords and melody complement the actual song, side by side in real time. Additionally, the songs can be played back in any key and at any tempo, and you can switch between piano roll/MIDI editor view and guitar chord view.
While you're there, I recommend checking out the section on progressions. Here you can see a number of classic chord progressions and hear examples of them in popular music, categorized by difficulty. Also be sure to try the progression builder: a great way to come up with chord structures when writing a song.
For help with music theory, click here!