Tips for Songwriting w/ Cody Carnes

Do you write your own songs for worship? Do you want to start? Cody Carnes sat down with Loop Community Founder Matt McCoy to talk about his journey, his new album and tips for songwriters.

Take the Pressure Off

Matt: “If you could go back and give a younger version of yourself advice, or a worship leader that’s just starting out, what would you say?

Cody: “Take the pressure off. I think so many times we get so caught up in everything has to be perfect and has to sound a certain way. I tell myself this too. You don’t have to sound like someone else, take the pressure off. There’s something so beautiful in the very human offering of worship to God that is imperfect, and focusing on the community of believers that you are leading. You’re there to minister to the Lord and serve people, and that’s it. Make sure you’re leading them well in a way that they connect to God. Take the pressure off and have fun.

Now as worship leaders we have so much access to other people’s ministries, not just from their music but their Instagram and details of what everyone is doing. It can be so easy to get caught up in comparison. God created you for the community that you are in. You really have to zone in with the Holy Spirit and think ‘Who am I? What am I created to do? Who is the community I am leading?”

Matt: How do you go into a songwriting session without feeling the pressure of writing another huge song?

Cody: “I have an understanding that the songs I have been a part of writing, I could tell you a story about each of them and how they were written. The consistent thing is it felt like God just gave them in the room, it felt like they were gifts. It’s not my own strength and it’s not that I’m an amazing songwriter. I’ve worked hard to get as good as I can at it because I want to be able to communicate an idea and if I get a burden from the Holy Spirit to write a song I want to be able to communicate it. But really, the “magic” comes from God being in the room. Every single one of them we were having an encounter with God while we were writing them.

The pressure can come off in that way because I’ve written a lot of bad songs and still write a lot of bad songs, not every day is one of those days, and I’m okay with that. That’s part of the process. One thing I have learned about those “off days” is you learn something every time you sit down to write a song. That could be as simple as a melody and how it worked over a chord, and it will come out in another song. It’s being diligent and just sit down and do it. I try to write with people I really love, friends that I know are pursuing God and excited to write songs for the church. When we sit down to write songs, we’re chasing the glory of God together. It’s not just about sitting down and writing songs, it’s about sitting down and having an encounter with Jesus.”

Click the video below to watch the full interview with more tips from Cody!

Be sure to check out his latest album God Is Good! You can download the Master Tracks on and the chord charts on SongSelect.